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News in Youth Services

Monday, September 11, 2017

Selecting Family Friendly Movies

You know, we get many families who come into the library looking for a great family movie to watch together.  The right selection may make or break the evening that is typically filled with popcorn, jammies, blankets and pillows.  However, it can be hard to find a family-friendly film that is both compelling and appropriate for all ages these days.  So how do you find a good one for your family?
  • Ask a librarian.  Every family has different needs.  A librarian will help parents and caregivers gather information to be able to make informed decisions.  The library catalog also shows the MPAA rating which can help your decision-making.
  • Gather recommendations from your friends.  Friends who know your preferences will usually have spot-on recommendations.  If you're not sure about your friends advice, talk about the movies you've liked and see if they have similar viewpoints.  If you share the same thoughts, then must likely you can take their advice.
  • Family Friendly Sources. 
    1. IMDb - search for a movie, then click "More" in the line above the title.  Look for "External Reviews."  This will bring up reviews from different sources, so try to stick with the established newspaper or periodical sources.
    2. Kids-in-Mind.  The site will provide you information about three criteria, plus has links to, IMDb listing, and the movie's official site so that you can view a movie trailer.  
    3. Dove Foundation.  It provides content rating descriptions, a synopsis of the movie, the movie rating and ages the movie is approved for viewing.  The movie receives a "Dove Family-Approved" if the movie is deemed appropriate for family viewing.  It does provide recommended ages for the movie.  Plus it offers a movie trailer.  To find "Family-Approved" movies, select "Reviews," then All Dove Approved Reviews.
    4. Common Sense Media. This site will sort reviews by age categories:  Preschooler, Little Kids, Big Kids, Tweens and Teens.  The site has video reviews of the movies for content and language and gives an overall rating up to 5 stars.   
Just remember when selecting movies from 20 years ago, the rating system was different.  So those movies rated PG by the movie industry, might today be rated as PG-13.  When it comes to selecting a movie for your family, be informed and do some homework.  For more tips for parents, check out Film  And remember, we are always here to help!

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