Today's topic strays from my usual assortment of sites for kids of all ages; these site selections are for parents in charge of summertime movie and video selection. If you've ever wondered which PG-13 movies were appropriate for your kids, or why a certain movie (with no sexual references) was rated R, then these movie reviews are for you! Popcorn, anyone?
As implied in the site title, each movie is graded (on a scale from A to F) in five categories: Overall (a grade that rates the artistic merits of the film); Violence; Sexual Content; Language; Drugs and Alcohol. The best feature here is the section titled "Talking about the movie with your family" at the bottom of the review page. Check it out for interesting topics to discuss over an after-movie ice cream. "In the movie 'Cats & Dogs' Professor Brody struggles to spend time with his son. Besides being busy with his research, why do you think he felt awkward playing sports with his son?"
With kids-in-mind, this site summarizes a movie's appropriateness with three numerical ratings (ranging from 1 to 10) for Sex, Violence and Profanity. For example, "Artificial Intelligence" was awarded a 3.5.2 which translates to a 3 for Sex, 5 for Violence and 2 for Profanity. Reasons for each rating are described in detail, and the review concludes with a short list of single-word discussion topics and a concluding message: " Life, whether mechanoid or humanoid, is not worth living without love."
Nell Minow is Movie Mom, and she awards check marks for artistic merit. One check means "Really awful, almost impossible to sit through or particularly offensive" while five checks is "One of the all-time greats -- don't miss it!" In addition to her merit rating, Movie Mom offers a suggested minimum viewing age and evaluates the movie in five areas of parental concern: Profanity, Nudity/Sexual References, Alcohol/Drug Abuse, Violence/Scariness, and Tolerance/Diversity Issues. More great clicks are Movie Mom's "Thoughts on TV and Videos for Foster Parents" and "Guide to Family Movie Watching."
Screen It reviews are written by a husband and wife team who've been at this since 1996. Each movie is quantified (from Mild to Extreme) in fifteen areas of parental concern including a few unique ones such as Smoking and Jump Scenes (those surprises that make you jump out your seat.) In addition to the parental review, Screen It provides a critique of the film's artistic value on a separate page titled "Our Take," and links to the movie's user ratings at the Internet Movie Database.