Coffeytalk is an online family magazine that offers both expert parenting advice and family friendly movie reviews. As parents, when we’re looking for a movie to see with our kids, we’re concerned with more than the rating. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) assigns each movie a rating based on the amount of violence, the swear words used, any sexual content, and the general tone of the movie. Movies are rated with a G (for General Audiences), meaning that the film basically contains nothing that anyone would find offensive and that parents can feel comfortable taking children of all ages to see this movie. PG means that Parental Guidance is suggested. There is no age requirement set, but parents are advised that some words or images might not be suitable for younger children. PG-13 means that Parental Guidance is suggested for children under the age of 13 years old. To further explain how they came up with the rating, the MPAA has also given its reasons. For a more specific run-down of a movies rating, go to http://www.parentalguide.org . An R rating indicates that a movie is restricted, and that no one under the age of 17 will be admitted without an adult accompanying them. An NC-17 rating means that the movie is for adults only, and no one under age 17 will be admitted at all.
The ratings are just a guideline. It’s up to us, as parents, to decide what movies our kids can handle, and which they will benefit from. We are bombarded with advertisements and previews, which don’t really tell us the whole story. We do have choices in how we spend our movie-going dollars.
In my movie reviews, I look at the film from a parent’s point of view. And, of course, I want to be entertained by the whole experience as well! I don’t go to see every movie that comes out, just the ones I choose to see – which happens to be a lot anyway! And I grade the movies with letter grades like you’d get in school. Any film that gets an A is definitely worth seeing. It’s probably award-worthy. A B means that it’s enjoyable, but you could wait to see it on DVD if you’re not in a hurry. A C is just barely passable. Wait for the DVD, or skip it all together. A D is a total waste of time and money. An F, well, speaks for itself. I don’t give many F’s because I feel like people put time and effort into creating this movie and the fact that it made it into the theaters is an accomplishment in itself. And I am not totally generous with A’s either. I’m looking for quality in the story, in the acting, in the cinematography – I want to be taken away for a couple of hours and enjoy it. So an A really means something in my book!