It’s not hard to discern that a movie like The Last Exorcism or Machete probably isn’t a good bet for kids. Yet, sometimes, the line between what is okay and what isn’t becomes blurred. Ratings and general movie reviews simply aren’t enough. As children enter the teenage years, this can become even trickier. Yet, there are many websites that tell parents the age appropriateness of movies. The following websites give movie reviews for parents.
Common Sense Media
On commonsensemedia.org, find a simple age rating to see if a movie is appropriate for your child. If a movie says 16 plus, it probably contains a lot of violence, nudity, language or a combination of all three. Look closer and parents will see there is also a color-coded rating. Green means it is definitely okay for that age group, yellow means “iffy” and some even have a grey “No Kids” label. This means that this movie is too intense for any kid, teenager and probably a lot of adults.
When parents see a movie designated for their child’s age group, they can then click on the movie for more detailed information. There are educational, message and role model ratings. Then, there are rating for violence & scariness, sexy stuff, language, consumerism and drinking, drugs, & smoking. Next, there is a plot summary with specific references to why the movie is given a certain rating. If a movie is rated PG-13, Common Sense might note that while there isn’t any nudity, there are sexual innuendos that parents might not want their 14 year old to hear. Finally, there are parent and kid movie recommendations along with best of lists to browse through.
Kids in Mind
Go to kids-in-mind.com for simple ratings. On the front page, there is a list of current movies in the theaters with a sex/nudity, violence/gore and profanity ratings. All of the ratings are from one to ten with a color system to help parents see when the movie becomes inappropriate. Click on the movie and there are detailed accounts of any and every scene that displays violence, sex or profanity. One movie even detailed a cake fight in the violence section; that’s how detailed it is. In addition, there is an A to Z list of movies with general ratings, movie year and “kids in mind” ratings and information.
Parentstv.org has an easy color and age rating for families. There’s also a seal next to some movies. This is the “seal of approval” by the website. Basically, this means the movie is wholesome. Click on the movie for a recommended age, rating, and synopsis with parent worthy information. There’s also a small box at the top noting any type of sexual contact between characters, violence, language and social behavior. Besides reviews for movies in theaters, there’s also a DVD review section and TV show section. Find tons of other movies from their alphabetical dropdown menu at the top of the site.
These sites are very helpful when picking out a family movie to watch. It is also important for helping your teen choose a movie to go see on Friday night. Even as an adult, I like to look at these ratings. After all, if reading about the content bothers me, then I definitely don’t want my family to view it.