By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic)
WHAT'S DOCTOR STRANGE ABOUT?
A brilliant-but-arrogant surgeon takes a journey that will transform him into a time-and-space-bending superhero. Rent or buy it here.
IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B+)
Utterly unique in the Marvel movie universe, Doctor Strange presents a metaphysical adventure with dazzling kaleidoscope imagery. Benedict Cumberbatch adopts a mostly-convincing American accent while retaining his odd likability. His performance makes his transition from egotistical genius to altruistic hero both entertaining and moving. The rest of the cast is excellent, though some are underused. A few jokes are forced and the mythology needs fleshing out in order to make more sense, but the action delights and the protagonists' character arc satisfies. Prepare for visuals unlike anything you've seen on screen before.
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?
Doctor Strange is rated PG-13. There is no sexuality, nudity, or drug use. A man refers to he and a woman being “lovers” in the past. The protagonist briefly appears shirtless. There are a few moderate profanities (s-words, a-hole, etc) but no f-words. There is plentiful action violence, with fighting, a beheading seen in shadows, two traumatic car accidents, an impalement, and bodies dissolving while being pulled into another dimension.
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
No matter your knowledge or talents, your potential will be limited if you succumb to arrogance. There is always more to learn, and others can teach you if you are humble enough to let them. You will discover your true power when you turn your energy away from self-fulfillment and towards helping others.
For another doctor worth knowing, check out Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog, from Avengers writer-director Joss Whedon.