As a mother of four, I can tell you that raising children in today's society requires a certain amount of diligence on the part of a parent if you hope to prevent exposing your child to unnecessary violence, gratuitous sex and other nasty things. With Hollywood locked in a seemingly endless competition to see who can push the lines of decency the furthest, many parents are left wondering if there is anything safe for children (or adults for that matter) to watch anymore.
If shock value isn't your cup of tea, you'll be delighted to know that there is help in the form of family friendly movie reviews. Turning to the internet for these resources has made it allot easier to know ahead of time if a movie is appropriate for members of our household and it could do the same for yours.
Some of my favorite review sites are:
Screenit.com – This site has in-depth information about specific criteria, including violence, profanity, sexual innuendo and mature situations. Their database is very comprehensive and updated frequently with new releases both in theaters and on video. The search function is non-existent, making the navigation of this site a bit difficult, but once you learn your way around screenit.com, you will find yourself turning to their database quite often.
IMDB.com – Parental reviews is a rather new feature to the web's largest movie database. I can only imagine they finally added it due to overwhelming demand. IMDB's parental reviews are user contributed, making it less comprehensive at this time than other parental review sites. Over time however as more families volunteer to contribute reviews, their selection will surely grow. Like other sites, there are a variety of specific criteria that movies are reviewed on including sexuality, violence, and profanity.
ParentPreviews.com – Another new addition to the family movie review scene, this site boasts a large database of new and old movies with detailed reviews on each. They also have parental reviews on video games that highlight areas for concern such as violence and gore.
As parents, it's our job to make sure that our children are surrounded with positive influences and age appropriate entertainment. The recent trends towards in-your-face adult situations fueled by Hollywood dreams of banking in at the box office have left us with a choice. We can choose to let our children be exposed to concepts and imagery that we don't feel comfortable with. Or, we can choose to take matters in to our own hands and respond proactively by screening our children's videos and movies for objectionable content.
While it may take more time and effort, it's nice to know ahead of time that when we sit down as a family to enjoy a movie that there will be no unpleasant surprises.