Entertainment, Educational Media, and Movie Reviews

My family has been watching a lot of movies this summer, so I’m always checking the ratings to find out if a particular film is suitable for all of us to watch or not. Plus I’m one of those people who actually like spoilers. 🙂

Screenit.com used to be my favorite movie review site until they started charging a subscription fee. However, there are some other sites that I like even better now. I often check several of the following sites to get different opinions because their views may vary. For example, the Dove Foundation says right up front that World War Z is definitely “Not Family Approved,” while Movideguide says “it’s a very strong moral, heroic worldview that’s pro-family,” and Kids-in-mind doesn’t come to any conclusion but lets you decide for yourself.

I know there are a lot of movie review sites out there, but these are the ones that I use…

My Top Three Favorites:

Kids-in-mind provides parents with objective and complete information about a film’s content so they can decide, based on their own value system, whether or not they should watch a movie with their kids. Kids-in-mind has the most comprehensive and detailed descriptions (spoilers included!) of all the free movie review sites for families.

Common Sense Media is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that rates not just movies, but also games, apps, and more based on age appropriateness and learning potential. Want to turn a movie into an educational experience? Common Sense Media’s reviews include discussion questions to talk about at the end! Although I don’t always agree with the “official” review, this site also lets registered members post comments, so you can read a wide-ranging variety of opinions from both parents and kids. The Common Sense Media site also has free resources for educators, like a Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum for grades K-12!

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is a huge online database of information related to films, television programs, and video games. Find everything you want to know including: plot summaries, cast and crew members, celebrity bios, quotes, trivia, goofs, filming locations, soundtrack info, technical specs, ratings, awards, box office data, trailers, reviews, message boards, and a parents guide with content advisory. Since the beliefs that parents want to instill in their children can vary greatly, rather than giving personal opinions about what is right or wrong in a film, IMDb sticks to describing the facts of relevant scenes to help parents make informed decisions. They hide spoilers with a MouseOver script, but you can take a peek if you want by hovering your cursor over it.

Here are a few more:

Movie Mom’s full archives of more than 1,400 reviews (including her 200 best films for families) and 400 blog posts is now on Beliefnet for searching.

Movieguide is a guide to movies and entertainment based on family-friendly and faith-friendly content.

Christian Spotlight on Entertainment features Christian film news, as well as reviews of movies, games, and TV shows. You’ll find careful recommendations and guidance for family viewing and play, and visitors share their insights to help produce the most well-rounded reviews available.

The Dove Foundation provides online family movie and video reviews and ratings based on traditional Judeo-Christian values.

Screenit.com offers parents unbiased, comprehensive, and detailed movie reviews (including spoilers!), but now you have to pay a membership fee for full access to the site. If you’re not a member, you can still see the At-a-Glance ratings and content summary.

Amazon.com – If you’re thinking of buying a DVD, the reviews at Amazon (or your favorite online seller) are an obvious choice.

P.S. Did you know that Amazon.com now offers instant streaming of movies and TV shows via Amazon Prime? And at only $79 per year, it’s cheaper than Netflix! I actually like Amazon Prime better than Netflix – here’s why: Amazon Prime also includes unlimited FREE two-day shipping on millions of items with no minimum order size, as well as a Kindle book to borrow for free each month from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. New customers are eligible for a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, and you can cancel anytime. Click here to enjoy unlimited streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows!

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