How To Find Out if a Movie Is Age-Appropriate For Your Child
School is out and summer is here!
One of the best memories we all have is hitting the air-conditioned movie theaters during the summer — even sneaking into watch as many movies as possible in a single day, right?
With kids in the house, we’re now on the lookout for movies that we can bring both our kids to and watch together as a family. Not that many “G” or “PG” movies are out these days that are really “family-friendly”. The difficulty is predicting whether or not a movie is safe for your kids just by watching a trailer or two.
For example, we’re considering taking our 6 year old to see the Surf’s Up movie in theaters right now about penguins and surfing at the beach. Here’s some trailers about Surf’s Up:
Can you really tell if the movie is kid-friendly and family-safe from these trailers with this rated-PG movie?
This is where the internet really comes to your aid in bringing more points of view specifically for the child-appropriateness of any given movie. Sites like Common Sense Media provide movie reviews by their staff, adult visitors and kids themselves as well. They include specific details about the movie in terms of sexual content, violence, language, social behavior, and drugs/alcohol/smoking. Many times they include exact examples of what is found in the movie so that you’re not surprised when you’re in your seats next to your kids.
Next to each item is a RED/YELLOW/GREEN indicator for each audience which helps break down the movie and why the ratings were issued.
And next to each movie title in a big fat font is the rating for the minimum AGE for which they they deem this movie appropriate. For Surf’s Up, a PG-rated film, they say it’s ok for 5 years old and above. Which means I should pretty comfortable taking my 6 year old to see the movie.
Other places to look are on sites that allow user-generated comments & reviews. A quick Google of “_____MOVIENAMEHERE___ APPROPRIATE CHILD” will usually bring up some reviews.
For example, About.com has a Kids Movies & TV focused section that is pretty good and spelling out exactly what to expect. For Surf’s Up, they listed specific “bad” words used, bad behavior, etc.
So we’re off to see Surf’s Up at the 5 o’clock showing and a nice dinner out afterwards with the kids. Hope we give Surf’s Up a thumbs-up after seeing it ourselves!