Objective Movie Rating Site For Parents

Want to know if a movie is appropriate for kids but don’t trust the crappy, arbitrary, and useless censorship of the MPAA? You might want to check out kids-in-mind. The site seems relatively free of pesky moral judgments; it sticks to listing potentially inappropriate stuff so that you, the consumer, can decide if the movie is ok for your kid.


A man in an elevator is shot in the head (blood sprays on the wall of the elevator car and it pools under him on the floor). Two men are shot in the head (we see bloody wounds and blood pools under them on the floor). A man is shot in the head (blood pours from the wound and pools on the floor). A man shoots a man in the head, and he falls onto a table and then the floor (we see blood on his head).

And that’s just one entry from The Departed! What a good movie. —MEGHANN MARCO

Kids-in-mind [via BoingBoing]


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  1. lettuce says:

    My guy was always suspect of the MPAA ratings system. Then one day I decided to do some research and found a large game being played with people’s lively-hood for no reason.

    Great to see a site like Kids-in-mind.

    Also after my research I watched This Movie Not Yet Rated. A nice little documentary. Check it out.

  2. dugn says:

    Screenit.com has been doing this a lot better for a lot longer.

    Even if you don’t have kids, it breaks down and rates the movie by 15 characteristics – including the number and severity of the incidents that led to each rating.

    Screenit.com’s site may look a little hokey site since they started pushing (begging) people to become paid subscribers. But just click NO THANKS and go to the best site on the web for these kinds of detailed reviews.


  3. dfeatherstone says:

    I’ve been using kids-in-mind for a couple years and it’s super. Screenit shoots itself in the foot with clutter and subscriber crap. I want to know whether I should put something in my Netflix queue or set of for a movie with my 9 year old son NOW. Kids-in-mind lets me do it. On target. Convenient. Screenit is not a lifehack. Sorry.

  4. I like the Catholic bishops’ film site: http://www.usccb.org/movies/

    Whoever writes the reviews has a rather droll sense of humor so they’re often dryly funny. But what I appreciate is that they’re very specific about violence, sex, language, themes, etc. I’m not always all that concerned with their analysis of the morality of the movie, but they’re very specific about troubling elements, even going so far as to say things like, “Although this is G-rated, the cartoon fight scenes may be frightening for young children, but mature 6-year-olds with appropriate adult guidance should be able to handle it.” Or whatever.

    I also like their top 10 from 1965 to 2006 … good way to pick out random movies at the library.

  5. ElizabethD says:

    “The Departed”: Making murder tedious.

  6. I’ve always rather liked Need To Know‘s approach, which can be summed up as “take the average of the opinions of the ChildCare Action Project and the Celebrity Nudity Database“.

  7. flyover says:

    um – spoiler!?

  8. RandomHookup says:

    I read the entry for American Beauty and got all tingly.

  9. Kids-in-Mind seems cool: they managed to review Harry Potter without being all “oh noes, magic!” I’d use it if I had kids.

    Screen It! still feels the need to place the use/approval of magic under the category of Bad/Disrespectful Attitude even though they don’t talk about it in their regular review. (They also thought the first one had “heavy” violence)

  10. Islingtonian says:

    Thanks for the link to the Bishops’ movie reviews, Eyebrows McGee. My mom used to tell me about when she was little, there would be a bulletin at church telling them which movies were ‘appropriate’ or not. I think she said ‘Oklahoma!’ got a naughty rating, because in one scene a woman was in a lake and you couldn’t tell if she was clothed or not. Horror!

  11. Juancho says:

    That was the Catholic League, Islingtonian. At one time, they were very powerful. William Donahue has made them a laughingstock.

    USCCB is very useful, and the morality element makes for an interesting sociological standpoint.

  12. x23 says:

    i must second-recommend This Film Is Not Yet Rated. it shows how completely bogus the MPAA rating system actually is.

    not that i think a government controlled ratings system would be better (as obviously an industry-controlled ratings system would be better… as a government-controlled system kinda funks up that whole first amendment deal.) i just don’t think the MPAA rating system is even remotely similar to other countries rating systems.

    it’s all very shady and very skewed for violence vs. sexuality. personally the latter is less “damaging” … but you wouldn’t know that based on MPAA ratings.