'Is that movie okay for my kids?'
Brilliant site offers easy-to-grasp look at movies to help parents decide their suitability.

Choosing a suitable movie for your child can be quite intimidating. You may not have access to a DVD box with an age restriction on it, or the age restriction offers no further information about the content. We have discovered an awesome site which helps us to find out more about a movie before allowing my children to watch it.

Even adults can use it- after all; some of us don’t like certain elements in our small-screen entertainment. All you do is type the title of the movie into the search box.

It’s called Common Sense Media, and it offers just that- a non-judgmental review of movie content and a realistic description of the age the movie would suit. It’s not preachy or even conservative, but simply breaks down elements of the film into eight qualities:

•    Educational value
•    Positive messages
•    Positive role models
•    Violence and scariness
•    Sexy stuff
•    Language
•    Consumerism
•    Drinking, drugs and smoking

What I like about these categories is that apart from the predictable factors most parents would want to know about such as swearing, violence and sex, the site also digs into aspects such as product placement and whether or not the characters offer a positive approach or a negative one.

We’ve used this site often for many different kinds of movies and have found the tips and analysis to be accurate- as the site describes itself: "We rate, educate, and advocate for kids, families, and schools".

Here’s an example of a description, just to give you an idea of the style of review:

The Lego Movie

Parents need to know that The LEGO Movie is an action-packed animated family-friendly adventure following original and existing LEGO characters. Featuring an all-star voice cast and some of the brand's most popular figures (Batman, Superman, Gandalf, Wonder Woman, etc.), the inventive movie should appeal to all ages, from young Duplo players to teens who consider themselves Master Builders. Although there's nothing overly objectionable (a few mild exclamations like "dang," "heck," "stupid," and "darn"), there's definitely a lot of action and peril, plus quite a bit of violence with the villain's security forces shooting at the good guys, and a character getting "beheaded" (since minifig heads pop off) or erased (with nail polish remover). Kids will love seeing some of their favorite minifigures come to life, but of course they'll probably ask for the tie-in LEGO kits after the movie.

They gave it an age recommendation of six and there is also a grid which offers a look at all the categories at a glance.

So if your kids are relaxing at home and their granny or uncle has brought a movie for them to watch, you can easily check whether or not it’s reasonable without having to watch it yourself. Of course, it’s also fun to have family movie times, so you can check which movies will work best for all of you. Common Sense Media also reviews toys, books, games, apps, TV shows, websites, music and more!

This is a review of a review site, which is a bit strange, but I give Common Sense Media a massive 10/10.

What puts you off movies for kids? Language, violence or something else?

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