On July 5, MoJo reveals that among the top summer family movies, a range of acceptability continues for families depending on ages of children. Parents, guardians, and supervisors of children need to continue to read reputable, professional reviews (especially Movieguide.org) that consider age suitability of movies they are considering. “Home” is the only movie out in theaters this week that is recommended for all ages. “Inside Out,” “Max,” Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Faith of our Fathers,” and “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” are suitable entertainment choices for those 12 and over.
Here are the current box office rankings of some top, summer, family movies available in theaters along with acceptability ratings:
“Jurassic World” has been number one and “Terminator: Genisys” has been number two at the box office as of July 5, but the Dove.org Foundation (DP) does not recommend either one for families. DP has rated the number three movie, “Inside Out” as “Family-Approved” For Ages 12 and Over. Even after weeks in theaters, this movie continues to receive good reviews.
“Ted 2,” which is an R-rated movie, is number four in the box office but is definitely unsuitable for families. “Max” is number six and is a PG movie that is acceptable for families with children aged 12. “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” number 12 in the box office, is a possibly worthwhile movie for families with youths over 12. This is a PG-13 rated movie because of some violent action and some mild foul language. However, the film has moral and redemptive content. The characters, like most super-heroes, fight to defend humanity and sacrifice themselves for others. The movie presents themes of teamwork, goodness, family and more. Captain America is a hero and role model.
“Faith of our Fathers,” which is number 16 in the box office, is also suitable for families with youth 12 and older. This film traces the impact of the Viet Nam War on two families. The animated favorite, “Home,” has been out for many weeks in theaters and is now #17 at the box office. It remains one of the best picks for families with children of all ages. DP has rated it “Family-Approved” For All Ages. DP rates “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” (which is now #18 at the box office, after many week in theaters) as a PG movie for families for ages 12 and over.
Movieguide.org provides detailed reviews of current movies in theaters that include specific information about acceptability and quality. Dove.org provides categories that are helpful to families: Not Recommended for Families, Family-Approved For All Ages, and Family-Approved for Ages 12 and Over. Sonoma Christian Home.org provides top picks for families each week, trailers, and interviews for family movies. Good family movie reviews with sufficient, user-friendly detail are more valuable today than ever before. This is because many popular family movies have elements of violence, language, and more that are not appropriate for children. PG and PG-13 ratings have a wide range of acceptability for families and require diligent parental guidance and knowledge. Children under 7 or 8 are especially vulnerable because in general they have not yet developed their own consciences and have difficulty discerning fantasy from reality.
Children and youths are more at risk today that ever to depression, confusion, and mental and/or emotional deficits because they are often exposed to inappropriate, adult, and/or too much content on media technologies that include: cellphones, video games, computers, television, and on theater screens. Parents and guardians need to be vigilant, knowledgeable, and careful supervisors of children as they guide them through various stages of development. Age-appropriateness and age acceptability are critical issues in the heathy development of children and youths.