The sheer number of movies out there is quite amazing. Every year, Hollywood, Bollywood and a number of other similar organizations as well as independent movie makers churn out increasingly large quantities of movies. While some of these movies like the animated Ice Age series are clearly intended to be family movies, many others like Devil’s Chair are clearly not suitable for children… or sensitive adults for that matter.
The first thing to note when considering a movie for your family is its official rating in your country. Most countries have fairly decent categorization of movies to protect the minors from potentially harmful content. Sadly though, these are not always accurate so you can also try looking into the usual sources of information like wikipedia as well as the official website of the movie.
A movie’s trailer and actual clips from the movies can usually be found on the official website as well. Youtube, IMDb and other video sites will often feature clips not found on the official website should you wish to sample more of the movie. These clips can often give a quick glimpse into the theme and style of a movie. Just as importantly, such snippets can get you hyped up for the actual movie!
Another good option is to find reviews from a conventional source or a blogger that may be specializing in family movies. Such websites like “framebyframe” are often run by fellow parents or people who care about children so their authors may be able to give you some insight. Forums populated mainly by parents can also be a decent source of information.
For those who really wish to understand in detail how suitable a movie is for the family, then this “kids-in-mind” website is a great tool. It “reviews” a huge number of movies by providing a plot summary as well as detailing every potentially objectionable scene. The website generally categorizes these less desirable content into “sex and nudity”, “violence and gore” and profanity. Each of these categories then receive an aggregate score at the end. A quick glance at these ratings will give a fairly accurate idea of the suitability of a movie for family viewing.
Kids-In-Mind (www.kids-in-mind.com) gives a fantastic visual and written summary of unsuitable content for the discerning parent and viewer
With such tools in hand, you can easily determine which movies are safe for the whole family and which movies are better viewed in solitude… or at least not in the presence of children!