Parents, guardians, and supervisors of children need to continue to read reputable, professional reviews that consider age suitability of movies. The top summer family movies feature a wide range of acceptability for families depending on ages of children. Home is the only movie out in theaters this week that is recommended for all ages. However, Inside Out, Max, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Faith of our Fathers, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 are suitable entertainment choices for those 12 and over.
The Dove.org Foundation (DP) has rated the box office’s #1 movie, Inside Out, as “Family-Approved” For Ages 12 and Over. Even after weeks in theaters, this movie continues to receive good reviews. Jurassic World is #2 and Terminator: Genisys is #3 at the box office this week, but DP does not recommend either one for families.
Ted 2, which is an R-rated movie, is #5 in the box office but is definitely unsuitable for families. Max is #6 and is a PG movie that is acceptable for families with children aged 12 and up. Avengers: Age of Ultron, #12 in the box office, is a possible worthwhile movie for families with youths over 12. This is a PG-13 rated movie because of some violent action and foul language. However, the film has moral and redemptive content. The characters, like most superheroes, fight to defend humanity and sacrifice themselves for others. The movie presents themes of teamwork, goodness, family and more. Captain America is a hero and role model.
The animated favorite Home has been out for many weeks in theaters and is now #15 at the box office. DP has rated it “Family-Approved” For All Ages. Faith of our Fathers, which is #16 in the box office, is also suitable for families with youth 12 and older. This film traces the impact of the Vietnam War on two families. DP rates Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (which is now #19 at the box office, after many week in theaters) as a PG movie for families for ages 12 and over.
Sonoma Christian Home offers top picks for families each week, trailers, and interviews for family movies.
Good family movie reviews with sufficient, user-friendly detail are more valuable today than ever before. This is because many popular family movies have elements of violence, language, and more that are not appropriate for children. PG and PG-13 ratings cover a wide range of acceptability for families and require diligent parental guidance. Children under 7 or 8 are especially vulnerable because in general they have not yet developed their own consciences and have difficulty discerning fantasy from reality.
Children and youths are more at risk that ever to depression, confusion, and mental and emotional deficits because they are often exposed to inappropriate content or even an excess of content by media and technology. Parents and guardians need to be vigilant, knowledgeable, and careful supervisors of children as they guide them through various stages of development. Age-appropriateness is critical for the healthy development of children.
Written by Diane Howard, Ph.D. (Performance Studies), dianehoward.com