If you are thinking about a family trip to the movies, or maybe a movie night at home, you have to carefully select a film that is appropriate for your children. While all movies are rated today, the ratings cannot always be trusted. The basis for the rating may not always coincide with your personal values and what you would allow your children to watch.
So before deciding on a movie, there are some steps you can take to ensure the movie is appropriate for your family.
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Try These helpful hints first
Research the current standards for rating movies by checking the MPAA website.
Ask someone whose opinion you trust.
Go to an online mom or dad chat room and ask for the opinions of other parents. Be sure that you ask for details and not just if they would recommend the film to another family; their reasoning for liking or not liking the movie may be different from your own criteria.
Visit an online site dedicated to movie reviews, some popular sites include:
Clean Cut Media: They have supplied a list of movies categorized as clean or family-friendly. A clean film has no violence, sex or bad language and has an overall positive message. A family-friendly movie is one that you would take your 10-year-old to see. There is also an exceptions column where there are additional comments about the film.
Plugged In: This site will give an overall synopsis of the film and give detailed descriptions of the positive elements, spiritual elements, violence, sex, bad language, drugs and alcohol and additional negative elements.
Kids in Mind: Rates sex, violence and language on a 1-10 scale and then gives a detailed explanation of each category.
Movie Mom: States the MPAA rating and gives a letter grade as to how accurate the rating is and also gives suggested age range for which the movie is best suited.
Ultimately, You know best
Trust your gut. After taking all the reviews and comments into account, make a decision based on your child and family's views not on what got the 'best' family friendly reviews. You know what level of sex, violence, etc. is suitable for your family movie night. Keep in mind you can always watch the movie alone first before allowing your children to see the film and you can reserve the right to turn off the movie or leave a film early if you feel the content is inappropriate.