My family loves movies. We love to watch them together and I love to let the kids enjoy a good flick on their own as they enjoy some “chill out” time as well. Most parents do not have time to preview every movie before allowing their children to watch it. Even if you are watching it together, you never know when an “F Bomb” or nude scene is going to surprise you. In addition, parents have different standards about what is appropriate for their children. A PG-13 movie with some violence and adult language may be OK for one mom of a ten-year-old, while a PG with two curse words is an absolute no-go for another mom with a child the same age.
So, how do you figure out what is appropriate for your children? I have found a few websites that I think will help! If you know of additional resources, please leave us a comment below.
Common Sense Media – This website seems to be the most popular. The first time I visited it I was looking for a movie to watch with my kids after a long, hot day in the sun. We just wanted to relax and find something new we had not previously watched. I was immediately able to find a movie that my kids and I could enjoy together without any cringing moments of fear at what was going to happen next! (The movie I found was Lemonade Mouth. Super cheesy, super cute, and good life lessons!) One thing I really liked about this website was that they seem to have all my favorite movies of the 80’s that I grew up watching. It is amazing what went over my head back then! This site makes it easy for me to know whether or not it is appropriate for my kids even if I haven’t seen the movie myself or can’t remember the details. In addition, the website gives reviews of games, websites, books, TV shows, apps, and even music.
Parent Previews – I liked this site a lot! It was visually appealing to me and easy to navigate. It gives letter grades for each of the following categories: Violence, Sexual Content, Language, and Drugs/Alcohol. This makes is easy to make a judgement call on whether or not you should show this movie to your children. It also had a good mix of older movies, newer movies, and flicks for all ages.
Kids In Mind – I liked the way this website gives “bar rankings” for violence, profanity and sex. It is easy to take a quick glance at a movie and see where it falls in each of those categories. I did not find this site as user-friendly as some of the others. It also seemed to mostly have more recent movies or box-hit movies. My 1980’s classics were nowhere to be found.
Rotten Tomatoes – This website does not do as good of a job of explaining the types of violence or inappropriate scenes you may experience in the movies. The part I did like was that it lists the Top 100 Kids & Family Movies, so it is a great reminder of movies you may have forgotten about and would enjoy watching again with your kids. I also liked the fact that you can read comments from other parents. You can also read critic reviews.
Know of more sites? Share your ideas below!