I've always loved going to the movies. In fact, in my younger and more happening days -- read between the lines,"before kids," my husband and I would often go to several movies in a single weekend -- not to mention, sleeping in and enjoying long and lingering dinners! Now that kids are the biggest part of our lives the majority of movies we do go to see these days are the kid-friendly kind, or so I thought.
I don't know about you, but I've come to discover that just because a movie has a "PG" rating it does not guarantee it is appropriate for all kids -- especially, my very sensitive 7 year old daughter who thinks that "stupid" is a bad word. Up until now I've had to rely on the opinions of other parents who have already seen a movie that we might be considering in order to determine if it will be acceptable for my daughter and son. While this has been somewhat helpful, as we all know we each have different standards of acceptability so sometimes this approach has left me running out of the theatre covering my daughter's eyes -- my son on the other hand usually remains riveted and takes over his sister's abandoned popcorn.
With this in mind, I was thrilled to have recently found a very useful website kids-in-mind.com. This website provides an extensive review of just about any movie you can think of (both current and DVD movies). However, unlike the MPAA single, age-specific rating, kids-in-mind.com will rate all movies according to several criteria, including Sex & Nudity, Violence & Gore and Profanity. It gives each of these categories a scaled rating of 1-10 (e.g. a 10 would imply the most profane). In addition to the number rating, kids-in-mind.com provides a detailed description and explanation of specific scenes within each category so that a parent may determine for themselves if this film is inappropriate for their specific child or their personal criteria. Let's just say, I very recently successfully used this system to clearly demonstrate to my nagging 10 year old son why Quantum Solacewas not appropriate for him to see and even though "Everyone else has seen it" I still was not comfortable sending him into the theatre.
Its important to note that kids-in-mind.com does not condemn or criticize a movie, but rather provides the necessary information so we may make an informed decision and decide for ourselves if we feel a particular film is appropriate (or not) for our children. Click on this link to take a closer look at their rating system explanation. Kids-in-mind.com Methodology
Since we are heading into a long weekend and we will be searching for entertainment for our kids I went to the site to check out their review of Coraline. Given it is a Tim Burton film I already had a suspicion that it would be inappropriate for my daughter, Rachel. Let's just say, I think we'll go to the Aquarium instead. For a look at their review, click here: Kids-in-mind.com Review of Coraline
My only caveat would be that in order to reap the benefits of this site you must also endure the ads. While I am willing to spend a little extra time skipping the ads, for those of you with a bit less patience (or time) I believe they offer an ad-free membership at a very low cost (I think it is $1).