Do you know about Common Sense Media? This non-profit rates media in terms of its appropriateness for children. You simply go to their website and look up almost any movie, tv show, video game, book, and more. The site will give you a recommendation for what age a child should be in order to view. It also gives information about things like the level of violence, alcohol or drug use, sex, consumerism, and more so that guardians can quickly make informed decisions. Best of all there is a short paragraph at the end of each review. It tells you anything a parent may want to know and discuss with their child before or after viewing. For example, if you look up the movie, Zombieland: Double Tap, it lets you know:
Parents need to know that Zombieland: Double Tap is the horror-comedy sequel to Zombieland, set 10 years after the first movie. It’s a worthy companion piece to the original, rather than a pale imitation, and the characters’ chemistry is as strong as ever. But iffy/mature material makes it best for older teens and up. Expect extreme (albeit comical) zombie violence and gore, with guns and shooting, blood sprays, severed heads, destroyed body parts, and a monster truck running over hordes of zombies. Language is also strong, with multiple uses of “f–k,” “s–t,” “c–ksucker,” “motherf—-r,” and more. Characters kiss, and there are two sex scenes; they’re more suggested than shown, but sex noises are heard through walls. There are suggestions of drinking (bottles/beer cans shown), and a bag of pot is shown, with spoken references to smoking pot. Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin all return.https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/zombieland-double-tap
Check out this free website. It’s an easy tool that you can quickly use while figuring out what movie to rent or when you are at the store trying to decide if you want to purchase a video game. Let’s say that you decide that overall a certain movie is okay for your teen, but you are concerned about a scene with drug use or a sex scene. You can ask your child what they think about that scene. Ask if they think it is realistically portrayed. Ask if they think there are any risk or consequences not shown in the movie. Ask what these actions might look like in real life. Also, discuss your values and expectations about these topics. You can explain that we can enjoy a movie without agreeing with every single decision made by all characters. Ultimately you may decide some media has no redeeming value or not enough redeeming value to justify the negative role-modeling shown.