It’s no simple thing to figure out if the game your son wants to buy is appropriate, or if the movie your daughter’s friends are going to watch is right for her. Of course you turn straight here to thebanner.org for your reviews, but you can’t find everything here. So here are some other sites you might find helpful. As always, these are tools for discernment, not substitutes for good judgment on the part of the one who knows your child best—you!
1. kids-in-mind.com This website will answer any and all questions you may have about a movie’s content. At a glance you can read a description of the movie and an assigned rating for three categories: Sex & Nudity, Violence & Gore, and Profanity. Need more information? Click on “Complete Content Analysis” under the title of your choice to find out pretty much everything that is in the film. It’s the same content listing, by the way, that you will get if you click on “Parents Guide” on the Internet Movie Database imdb.com. Don’t look here for an evaluation of how worthwhile the movie is—this site will just tell you what your child might see.
2. parentpreviews.com Parent Previews also reviews movie content. The site lists a report card on each movie, giving grades in the categories Violence, Sexual Content, Language, and Drugs/Alcohol. There is also an overall grade based on the combination of those grades. You can also read a full review or the details of the content. The “Talk It Over” section suggests questions for discussion. You can also check alternate titles and readers’ comments.
3. pluggedin.com This arm of Focus on the Family reviews movies, videos, music, TV, and games. While movies get a content caution rating for each of three categories—kids, teens, and adults—the other categories leave it to the reader to decide based on content descriptions. Focus on the Family also offers book reviews at a separate site, thrivingfamily.com. They explicitly state that their reviews are for content, not for literary merit.
4. dove.org The Dove Foundation evaluates movies, music, and books, each of which have either received or not received the Dove designation “Family Approved.” Their focus seems to be on movies, as the book and music sections have a much more limited selection. Movies have a bar graph rating content in the categories Sex, Language, Violence, Drugs, Nudity, and Other. Once you get beyond the first couple of screens, the site is not as streamlined and easy to use as others.
5. commonsensemedia.org This website offers reviews of a broad spectrum of movies, games, apps, websites, TV, books, and music. Like kids-in-mind.com, these reviews are based on content, not worldview. They promote what they call “media sanity,” offering tools to parents and children to be savvy users. Common Sense Media allows parents and kids to share their ratings as well.