Why did you set up Is This Movie Suitable.com?

Going to the cinema can be expensive. There’s travel, snacks, drinks and the ever-increasing price of tickets. When taking children to the cinema you want to be sure that you aren’t wasting money by either having to leave because you aren’t happy with the content of the film or by having to endure the extra expense of watching the movie yourself first.

Our aim is to provide helpful, entertaining and informative reviews that give you all the facts you need in order to make a choice you are happy with.

What makes you different from other movie review sites?

Most movie review sites concentrate on juggling opinion as to whether or not the movie is good, bad or ok. Whilst we also say whether or not we like the movies we see, reviewing alone isn’t the focus of Is This Movie Suitable. Our reviews are tailored to highlight factual content that we feel you would want to know about before deciding whether or not to let a child watch a movie.

Why are there adverts on your site?

Because going to the movies costs money! We’re a small operation without the benefit of expense accounts. We are stringently against any sort of movie piracy and we pay for all our own DVDs, Blu-Rays, streaming content, cinema tickets, petrol and popcorn! The adverts are present in an effort to allow us to keep doing this so we can continue to provide helpful and fun reviews for your reading pleasure.

How can you decide what is suitable when each child is so different?

No-one knows your children like you do and you are of course the person best placed to make judgements as to what kind of content is likely to scare or upset your child. Some 8 year olds can have a much more sensitive disposition than some 6 years olds. Just because we say that a particular scene is likely to frighten a younger child doesn’t mean that we know your child better than you do and so if, after reading our review, you feel that you are happy with your child experiencing the content we highlight then of course feel free to go ahead. We aim to inform, not dictate.

I’m only chaperoning, I’m not the parent of the child / children I plan to take. What should I do?

If you are weighing up different options and are not certain how the children you are supervising are going to react after reading our review then we recommend talking the matter over with the applicable parents. We will provide all the help we can but you shouldn’t assume that our advice will apply equally to every child when you are unaware of how particular children, or their parents, may react to certain content.

You seem to focus a lot on 12A movies. Why is that?

The 12A classification is a wonderful tool for allowing supervising adult discretion, but we feel that alone it may not provide much insight into potential content. The BBFC provide guidance here as to what kind of content a 12A film may contain. Considering that it’s perfectly lawful for an adult to supervise a 4 year old at a 12A film, that’s a lot of potentially unsuitable content, especially because there is a lot of difference between, say Spider-Man 2, and Warm Bodies. Also, 12A’s tend to be released in home media as 12’s – which of course means that it is illegal for anyone under 12 to buy the movie. That seems rather a strange state of affairs to us.

We write our reviews with the goal of ensuring that anybody who reads them will then be informed as to exactly what content is in that particular film so that if you do decide to see a movie with a younger child, you will have as much information at your disposal as possible as to what that child may see.

What about PG (Parental Guidance) movies?

We do review PG movies as well but we feel the PG certificate gives a better indication of content than a 12A and so we focus on them a little less. You can read the BBFC guidance on PG certificates here. Of course the world is a rapidly changing place and we feel that sometimes movies that gain PG certificates now may not have done so 20 years ago. We therefore also review PG movies where possible to do our best to help you make informed choices.

Don’t you review movies rated 15 and 18 as well?

By their nature 15 and 18 certificate movies are restricted. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 15 or 18 to see the respectively rated movie in the cinema or buy them in an entertainment store. We would never condone breaking the law and so we believe no guidance from us is necessary. If you are unhappy with your 15-year-old seeing a 15 rated movie then we feel that is a conversation you need to have with them in general and we probably wouldn’t be of any help.

What’s wrong with trusting the BBFC age certificates? Are you criticising them?

Of course not! The BBFC has an exhaustive list of allowable and un-allowable content for each certificate; they award them with the intention of informing parents and restricting inappropriate content from minors. However, as children develop at different speeds and because adults have differing views on what they are happy for children to see, we set up Is This Movie Suitable in order to provide additional information and clarification to those deciding which movies should be seen by children in their care.

The movie I want to go see isn’t on your website, don’t you review every new release?

Unfortunately there are only two of us! We can only see so many movies. We aim to ensure we see and review all the big releases as well as catch up on movies available on home media and we will update Is This Movie Suitable.com as much as we possibly can, but if a movie isn’t on our site that just means we haven’t gotten to it just yet. If you have a specific request then please do get in touch using the form below and we will try to accommodate you as much as possible.

Why do you differentiate between cinema movies and home media movies? Surely it’s the same?

The home is a safe place for children. The movie can be paused at any time and there is no problem with adults talking and / or reassuring the children should they need some support at scary or upsetting scenes. The cinema is a very different experience. The screen is huge, the sound is very loud and talking disturbs other movie goers. Once you have bought the tickets and sat down you are committed to watching the entire movie or having to take the child out of the theatre.

Is This Movie Suitable makes the distinction in our reviews because we feel that a child may be more able to cope with potentially unsuitable content in the safety of their own home. Not only that, you might be happy to let a child watch a movie when you have the option to skip scenes or stop the movie to explain and / or comfort a child, but are not happy to let them watch it when this option is not available to you.

Why don’t you list every single thing that could be unsuitable?

We aim to highlight the ‘worst’ scenes and content in our reviews as opposed to listing all of it. Other movie reviews sometimes go through a list of bullet points where every single thing, no matter how many, is described in excruciating detail. We feel that not only can this make a movie seem much worse than it actually is, we also feel it makes for boring reading!

At Is This Movie Suitable we will ensure that we tell you about the potentially most unsuitable content simply because if you are happy with the child in question seeing the scenes we describe, then they should also be fine to see other ‘weaker’ content. For instance, in our review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey we talk about the nature of the ‘gore’ in the fight scenes. However, if we were to list every single slash, hack and pixel of blood then that would just be tedious. Instead, we tell you about the worst of the decapitations (as there are a few), the ‘holding a head aloft’ bit and any emotional distress that may arise due to these elements.

We feel that by doing this we will write entertaining reviews, not ruin the movie for you as a reader, and ensure that you have the information you need to make the right choice.

Aren’t you rather acting like killjoys? Lighten up!

Absolutely not! We make no judgements at all about what you decide once reading our reviews. We will never say ‘we think allowing your child to see this movie is wrong’ and just because we highlight a particular element doesn’t mean we think it is something disgusting or obscene. Our reviews are designed to inform you of any content we feel you would want to know about in order to make a decision you are happy with.

Why should I listen to you! What do you know?

We are total movie enthusiasts and have spent many many years watching and enjoying all sorts of movies; we are therefore well aware of the wide variety of content available on our screens. We have also experienced being present when children in the cinema have been crying at what they see. For example, it would have been assumed that Toy Story 3 would be good fun for all ages, but we are aware of some children aged around 6 and 4 who became so distraught at some scenes that were, rather unexpectedly, quite frightening and sustained, that they had to be taken out of the theatre to calm down.

We are not professionals, nor are we affiliated with any movie studio or governing body. We simply aim to provide helpful and useful reviews to any adult concerned that a movie might not be suitable for a particular child.

If you highlight lots of potentially unsuitable content should I not watch the movie with a child?

The choice is entirely yours. We do not aim to choose for you what you allow a child to see, Is This Movie Suitable.com’s goal is simply to provide you with as much information as possible so you can make informed choices.

What are those categories at the end of the reviews all about?

There are many different types of potentially unsuitable content, especially because all children are different and what may upset one child may be of no bother to another. We have broken down the content into some categories that we feel are of common concern to adults when trying to decide whether a movie is suitable for children. We then score these elements out of 5 and provide additional clarification into our reasons where applicable.

Why do you mention blasphemy? Surely that’s only a minor thing? Are you some kind of church group?

Is This Movie Suitable is not a church owned or run website. However, we appreciate that different adults will have different views as to what they feel is acceptable content for children than others. We respect the fact that the term ‘bad language’ for many includes blasphemy and we therefore mention specific examples where we feel that some adults would want to know about such content beforehand.

You got it wrong! Your review said X movie would be fine for 8 year olds but when I watched X movie with an 8-year-old I wasn’t happy at all with the content they were exposed to.

We are terribly sorry that the child in question didn’t enjoy the movie or you feel that they saw content you were not happy with. We at Is This Movie Suitable aim to provide as much helpful, factual information as possible to allow you to make an informed choice and there may be times that you feel we were unsuccessful. However, we must stress that the final decision in allowing a child to see a particular movie is the responsibility of the appropriate adult and we cannot be held responsible if you feel the wrong choice was made.

That said, if you feel that our review was misleading or not informative then please do use the contact form below to get in touch and we will look into your concerns as soon as possible.

You got it right! I want to thank you for helping me out. How do I get in touch?

Thank you very much! We at Is This Movie Suitable.com strive to provide as much help as possible in making the choice to allow children to see certain movies. If you want to tell us we did a good job please use the contact form below. We may ask you if you would mind us using your comments in a testimonial to post up on Is This Movie Suitable (and our social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus) so that other people can read what you have to say about us. We won’t post anything up without your express permission and we will of course take down your comments should you ask us to.

Can I write for Is This Movie Suitable.com?

How very nice of you to offer! Is This Movie Suitable is a family run website at present and will remain so for the foreseeable future. However, if things go particularly well for us we may look into the possibility of taking on additional help and so if you express an interest we will keep your information on record and drop you a line should we make that decision. We are happy to accept unpaid submissions and guest posts and indeed have posted some reviews submitted by guest contributors. We have experience of knowing how useful it can be to build up a portfolio and are happy to help in this regard. If you think you have something you would like to write about: be it a review or some other relevant subject, then please do contact us, below.