With the birth of our son, Reece, my wife and I are starting to think more and more about certain influences and how they will affect him in the coming years. Particularly of interest is the influence of media, in all it’s forms, but particularly movies and television. Other than music, these two media forms probably hold the most sway in our lives.
How do you decide what to watch and what not to watch? What is good and what is bad? In thinking about this, I’ve determined 3 things:
1) You cannot trust the movie ratings system
Hollywood is not getting better. The movies that are rated “PG-13” now would probably have received the “R” rating just a few years ago. I’ve even seen some ‘PG” movies that weren’t quite famiy appropriate.
2) You cannot trust the previews
Hollywood is getting wiser. They realize that there is at least some moral pulse left in America, and so they aren’t going to show you all the bad stuff in the previews. When is the last time you heard a curse word in a preview? Side note: don’t you hate it when the previews contain all the best/funniest parts of a move? I hate that…
3) You cannot trust your friends
I have a lot of friends that I would trust to recommed a movie as “family-friendly”. I also have a lot of friends that I would not trust. Because their definition of “family-friendly” is much different than mine, I’ve learned not to trust word of mouth alone.
So what is the solution?
For several years now, I have been consulting a website called “Kids in Mind” (kids-in-mind.com).
The site offers reviews, not of the storyline, but of the content. They rate movies on a scale of 1-10 in 3 categories: “Sex & Nudity”, “Violence & Gore”, and “Profanity”. I find this site very helpful in determining what movies we are going to rent and more importantly – which ones we aren’t (we hardly ever go into a theater. Redbox is a good friend of ours).
This site has been helpful to me as a single guy, a married man, and now as a father of a young child. I imagine it will be even more helpful when I am the father of teenagers….
I challenge you to check out your movie on Kids-in-Mind before your next viewing, and ask yourself a few questions while you read the review: Is this movie appropriate? Do my children need to see this? Would God want me to watch this?
What about you – how do you determine what movies to watch?