10 MCU Movies That Could Have Been Great With An R-Rating, According To Reddit

Though Deadpool 3 still hasn’t been officially announced by Marvel Studios, it’s no secret that the movie is in the works, and Ryan Reynolds has recently started training for the threequel. The movie will set a precedent for the MCU, as it will be the first R-rated release in the universe, and depending on its success, it could lead to more R-rated Marvel movies.


However, as every MCU film that has been released so far has been rated PG-13, Redditors have argued that some should have benefitted from an R-rating. Whether it’s to see more emotionally involved character arcs, more horror elements, or bloodier action sequences, these would have been incredible mature superhero films.

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Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (2022)

Doctor Strange 2 has many horror tropes, and with Sam Raimi in the director’s chair, it’s full of the comedy horror that the auteur became known for with movies like Evil Dead 2 spirit Drag Me to Hell. And despite being another family-geared MCU movie, the 2022 release absolutely pushed the limits of the PG-13 rating. It did so in such clever ways too, such as robots’ oil spilling all over Wanda to look like blood. But being part of the universe was still limiting.

Luckylunayre wants to see an R-rated Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness based on what was cut from the film. The Redditor notes, “After seeing the cut scene where Wanda literally puppeteers a decapitated corpse, it would have been nice to see.” The user is referring to the cut Doctor Strange 2 scene that hints at a much darker R-rated version of the movie, which could have been epic.

Iron Man 2 (2010)

LittleYellowFish1 thinks Iron Man 2 could have benefitted from an R-rating, noting that the film didn’t do the comic book that it’s based on justice, and they claim that directly stemmed from having to work within the confines of a PG-13 rating. The Redditor explains, “Iron Man 2 heavily sanitized the Demon In A Bottle storyline. Tony’s problems with alcohol and addiction would have been better explored with a more mature age rating.”

Alcohol and substance abuse certainly isn’t a narrative that a Disney-owned property would want to push, but it could have made for an interesting character study. The first Iron Man could have been R-rated too, as its narrative is heavily tied to the Iraq war and is relatively darker than other MCU movies. And it’s obvious that the film was produced before Marvel Studios belonged to Disney.

Thor: Love And Thunder (2022)

Fans have had problems with the MCU’s Phase 4, as each movie has been pretty hit or miss. Unfortunately, most fans and critics thought Thor: Love and Thunder was a miss, and that’s because of two major problems. Many believed the fourquel was too comedy-centric, turning the God of Thunder into a caritcautre, and it also ironically butchered the villain, Gorr the God Butcher.

BRINGERofMILK thinks the movie would have benefitted from an R-rating, noting, “Gorr could have come across as more of a threat if the R rating came from his slaughter of the gods.” The movie didn’t depict Gorr butchering one god (except for the beginning in which he killed a God in self-defense.) Seeing the antagonist causing a bloodbath with Necrosword was the perfect R-rating opportunity.

Ant-Man (2015)

BreadSimulator thinks Ant-Man, one of the most creative MCU films in terms of both action and comedy, should be R-rated. However, an R-rated Ant-Man likely wouldn’t go over well, especially not compared to the other choices, as the 2015 superhero film was clearly one for the family.

Between the Thomas the Train setpieces and the family-driven narrative, it’s the most family-friendly MCU release. Even though the Redditor doesn’t explain why it should be R-rated, whether it’s violence, sex, or profanity that they want to see in the movie, it risks ruining Ant-Man’s innocence and joy.

Black Widow (2021)

Black Widow brought back the espionage aspect of the MCU that fans loved about Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but it didn’t quite capture the spy thriller that the 2014 movie perfected. Future-Fruit-7485 thinks the prequel should have been R-rated, and that way it could have been more like the movies it was influenced by.

The Redditor adds, “Black Widow should totally have been an R-rated film with more exploration about the dark past which we got a small teaser in Age of Ultron.” Not only that but, as the name of the location of the Black Widow program is literally the “red room,” much more of a massacre was expected.

Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)

Like Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy is directly aimed at the whole family. The film is full of cutesy characters like Groot and Rocket, and the heroes literally win by fooling the villain with a dance-off. But TimelineKeeper thinks the movie could have been way better if it was R-rated, but still keep that comedic tone.

The Redditor makes a great point, noting, “my vote would either go to one of the Guardians (I absolutely loved The Suicide Squad. It didn’t feel gratuitous and didn’t lose any of the Guardians‘ bright, colorful fun.)” The Redditor makes the comparison because both team-up movies were directed by James Gunn. However, it worked in The Suicide Squad because the characters are all trigger-happy anti-heroes, whereas characters like Groot and Drax, despite the latter being labeled the “destroyer,” are pretty harmless.

Eternals (2021)

ArjuntheGreat18 thinks Eternals should have been R-rated, and while the Redditor doesn’t give any reason why it’d make the film better, it makes a lot of sense. The 2021 release was criticized for being rather dull and lifeless, and that unfortunately led to the film being the only MCU movie rated rotten on Rotten Tomatoes.

If the film was rated R and showed just how powerful the superhero characters were with heightened violence, it may have added some excitement to the movie. However, Eternals still has a pocket of dedicated fans, and they were completely disappointed by the lack of Eternals news at Comic-Con and D23. But even they would admit that the film and its potential sequel would benefit from an R-rating.

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

The Incredible Hulk had become all but forgotten up until last year, and many fans didn’t even consider it a proper MCU release. But as Abomination appeared in Shang-Chi and then She-Hulkand now the Leader has been announced as the Captain America: New World Order villain, it has seemingly become the most important Phase 1 movie.

However, one Redditor thinks it wouldn’t have needed these characters’ return for fans to remember the movie if it had been R-rated. The Redditor comments, “Actually seeing him have to control his rage and destroy everything from anger would be honestly amazing.” With rumors that World War Hulk could be a Phase 6 movie, the user might get what they want, but it’d still be PG-13.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)

Avengers: Age of Ultron was the first major disappointment in the MCU after the first movie set the standard so high. Between the superhero team simply battling an army of faceless robots and all the incoherent subplots, it didn’t inspire awe as its predecessor did. And TimelineKeeper thinks that the film could have been much better if it was R-rated.

The Redditor suggests, “The destruction of a country, the war zones of Wanda and Pietro’s backstory, the large-scale consequences of Ultron taking over… the internet? I just wonder if it would have felt more significant without the PG-13 The superhero movie had a lot of heavy themes, but that wasn’t explored as thoroughly as it could have been because of the strict PG-13 rating.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

The Winter Soldier was an espionage thriller full of incredible combat, and TheDapperDeuce1914 thinks that the 2014 movie should have gotten the R-rated treatment. However, directing duo the Russo brothers did such a great job at making the thriller engaging, and they created tight fight sequences where the audience feels the impact of every punch and drop-kick.

It’s hard to imagine how an R-rating could have made the movie better considering the filmmakers managed to work around the rating so well. Adding blood to the fight scenes wouldn’t change much, and fans already know how opposed to foul language Steve Rogers is.

NEXT: Captain America’s 10 Most Life-Changing Events In The MCU

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