Written by Dr. Kyle Barrett, Director of Spiritual Formation.

Ever regret renting that Redbox for family movie night?  Ever had to turn one off?  With the number of movies out there today geared for kids, it’s often difficult to decide what is appropriate.  Besides being appropriate we also, whenever possible, want to choose movies which highlight character qualities we hope our kids will one day embody.

Common Sense Media is a new family resource we want to highlight this week which helps parents make wise decisions when it comes to media consumption and their children.  They offer reviews of movies, video games, and smartphone/tablet apps that will help you stay up-to-date with the constantly changing landscape of digital media.

Watch the brief video above for more detail, but here are the 8 categories to consider when selecting a movie for your family:

  1. Age – Is this appropriate for my kids given their age?
  2. Quality – Is the movie done well?
  3. Educational value – Does the movie do more than entertain?
  4. Messages – What are the messages (positive and negative) being sent by the movie?
  5. Role models – Are any of the characters someone our kids should look up to?
  6. Violence, sex, and language – Is there content that is inappropriate especially for younger children?
  7. Consumerism – Is the movie trying to sell something?
  8. Drinking, drugs, and smoking – Are these behaviors portrayed as consequence free?


We’ll highlight another aspect of Common Sense Media after Thanksgiving but we highly recommend you check them out!