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Movie Ratings, Family Movie Reviews & More!

Our Expert Studies provide a family guide to the latest information from academic and media-related research.

Articles

What Movie Ratings Pay Off for Studios? »

On March 30, Disney announced the movie Frozen had become the top-grossing animation in box office history, topping $1 billion in worldwide sales. Now the snowy tale about two sisters… read more »

Articles

7 Dirty Words You Can’t Say on TV »

Truth is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) doesn’t have a list of specific words that can’t be said on the airways. (However profane speech is banned on broadcast radio and television between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.) You can thank comedian George Carlin for… read more »

Articles

Another Era Ended—Archie Comics Dismisses Comic Code Authority »

For many, the seal of the Comic Code Authority that used to be boldly emblazoned on comics in the 1950s, than a tad smaller in the 1960s, is a rarely noticed icon. Yet it represented one of mass media’s earlier attempts to regulate and tame the content of a medium that was especially popular for kids.

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Reviewers' Blog

After Oscar Win “The King’s Speech” Is About To Be Altered »

The King’s Speech was the toast of the evening at the 83rd Academy Awards this past Sunday, taking home the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Original Screen Play. It’s also notable as being the very first R-rated movie to receive an A-grade from read more »

Articles

Family Oscar Parties 2011 »

With the Academy Awards less than a week away, many people are making final preparations for their own Oscar parties. But how can parents with children make this a family friendly affair with so many of the top titles earning an R rating?

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Expert Studies

FTC Report on Marketing Violent Entertainment to Children »

Released in December 2009, this report details improvements and deficiencies in the current US marketplace with the selling of media products to children and teens. Of particular interest within the report are the compliance rates of specific retailers in making sure underage customers don’t have access to adult rated products.

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Reviewers' Blog

Is Oscar Becoming More Of A Family Man? »

This week’s Oscar nominations caught me a little by surprise. After last year’s collection of films were deemed to be seen by the least number of people ever at the time of nomination, it appears this year’s awards are trying woo back Mr. and Mrs.… read more »

Articles

Will A New MPAA Leader Bring Changes to Movie Ratings? »

After the late Jack Valenti headed the Motion Picture Association of America for over three decades his replacement, Dan Glickman, took over in 2004. Just last week (January 22, 2010), Glickman announced his resignation as CEO of the MPAA. In the interim Bob Pisano, President and COO, will take the helm until a permanent replacement for Glickman… read more »

Articles

New Potter Movie Is Back To PG—But Don’t Get Too Excited »

The Harry Potter series began in the realms of PG ratings, but the last two (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) went into PG-13 territory. However, the latest magical movie—read more »

Articles

Changes in Movie Ratings—Yet Again »

In January I wrote about new MPAA head Dan Glickman’s encouraging remarks to filmmakers to create more NC-17 movies and have them playing at suburban theaters. [http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/publications/rgcolumns/2007/0125.asp] But over the past few months—and especially the last two weeks—I’m seeing other changes that I haven’t… read more »

Articles

Changes in Movie Ratings Part 1—Why Independent Producers Want Change »

With the recent media coverage regarding television ratings, few have taken notice of the other major media rating system that is being modified. The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) movie rating system is about to be affected by subtle changes that I feel could spell big differences in the types of movies you find at your local… read more »

Articles

Changes in Movie Ratings Part 2—More NC-17 Movies Coming to a Theater Near You »

For years, independent producers (and foreign filmmakers) have claimed their movies receive stricter ratings than movies coming from the big six studios that contain similar content. One filmmaker who decided to make a strong statement about this inequality is Kirby Dick. His recent documentary, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, made its debut appearance… read more »

Articles

Jackass: The Movie? Or the MPAA? »

Please forgive the questionable title on this column, but it certainly is a question that begs to be answered after checking out the content in Jackass: Number Two, a "movie" (better described as an obscene circus act) that has left many—including hardened liberals—wondering just what does the MPAA consider NC-17 content?

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Articles

Is the MPAA Giving In on CLERKS 2? »

A friend of mine who has been reviewing movies from a traditional artistic viewpoint for decades pulled me aside at a screening a couple of weeks ago.

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Articles

Cinemanow or Cinema-no »

In the same way upstart Napster forced music companies to begin taking a hard look at legally offering their artists’ works online, movie pirates are forcing the hands of major studios to consider the same plan.

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Articles

Want to See a Movie? Parents May Want to Wait a Week »

At the risk of sounding like a complaining film critic, this year Hollywood is changing the rules of the game, and it may ultimately affect consumers—particularly parents—more than critics.

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Articles

Unrated Movies Further Erode MPAA System »

There is so much attention given to media rating systems lately that many may be led to believe that no mainstream movies are being released to DVD without some sort of rating stamped on the cover. However, a growing trend on store shelves shows yet another indication that the real creative geniuses are not sitting in the writers’ or directors’… read more »

Articles

Movie Ratings: Not Suitable for Adults »

Often critics and other film industry types lament and whine over why a movie received an R-rating when it deserved a PG-13. This nonsensical demonstration of supposed artistic rights doesn’t win much sympathy from my mouth for one simple reason – these vocal opponents have long forgotten the true purpose of the movie rating system.

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Articles

Cuts in Panther Lead to Box Office Success »

After screening the latest Pink Panther film a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t help but be surprised at the lack of objectionable content. There are some mild sexual innuendos—one involving the infamous little blue pill—but I was expecting the gags to go out of control. Not so. Instead, the short comment or sight gag… read more »

Articles

Making Sure Your Shields Aren’t Down »

I’m not what you would call a "Trekkie," but I must admit to enjoying many of the older Star Trek films, when (in my opinion) the franchise hit its peak. Way back in the 1980s, Captain Kirk was king, and in The Wrath of Khan, he showed how he could outsmart any space pirate after taking down the shields of an attacking ship, pirated… read more »

Articles

Take2 Interactive: Guilty of Mocking ESRB Ratings? »

Is it a game publishers dream? Or nightmare?

Just when you thought the controversy surrounding Take2 Interactive’s Grand Theft Auto:San Andreas was fading away, a new development has brought the game back to the forefront of news media—and likely cash registers.

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Articles

TV Ratings—Time To Change the Program »

The Parent Television Council’s recently released report on television ratings confirms what nearly any parent who watches television already knows: That, in general, the TV ratings system isn’t meeting the needs of the portion of the population it’s designed to assist.

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Articles

The Game of Revising Ratings »

In the late 1980s, the MPAA introduced the PG-13 rating in an effort to make a stepping-stone between PG and R. Now, the Entertainment Software Review Board (ESRB) has made a similar move with their video game rating system—except it’s near the tamer end of the scale.

 

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Articles

Garry Marshall Defends Family Movies »

When Raising Helen released, I felt it would likely rank as one of the best family films of 2004. As the months have passed, I still hold firm to that opinion.

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Articles

I’ll Have A PG-13 Please… Extra Violence, Hold the Sex »

When you watch as many movies as I do, you begin to see patterns developing—not only in types of movies made, but also how they are fine-tuned to fit into a particular classification. This is especially true of the popular PG-13 slot.

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Articles

Signing Away Your Kids »

Imagine sending your child over to a stranger’s house for two hours. While there, you have a guarantee she will not be physically abused in any way, but the unknown adult with may say or do anything he wants, such as: take his clothes off, have sex with other partners, or perform any kind of violent act, including murder, on other people. Would… read more »

Articles

The Best Shot for Hollywood »

You know you’re getting somewhere when a newspaper writer on the other side of the continent takes his best shot at your cause.

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Articles

Ratings versus Censorship »

During a radio talk show, I was pitted against Mr. Jeremiah Gutman, the co-chair of the National Coalition Against Censorship. Involved for decades with First Amendment cases and other issues of individual rights, this New York lawyer has had a hand in many pivotal points of legal decisions regarding freedom of speech in the United States.

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Articles

The Heartland Film Festival »



  Where “Truly Moving Pictures” Reign

If you’ve ever considered going to a film festival, but have been worried you may find material that stretches the envelope beyond your comfort zone, - Heartland may be a great one to check out.

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Articles

Is Disney Sailing Into Rough Waters? »

Disney’s theatrical release, Pirates of the Caribbean, has everything you would expect: Swashbuckling adventure, sword fights, a villain, and a fair maiden. But this movie has made Disney history because of something you wouldn’t suspect: it’s the studio’s first PG-13 release.

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Articles

Television Addiction – Just Say “Off” »

I was trained at a young age to worship television.

It was the center of our home, akin to a shrine. From within the wooden box, a powerful force seemed to pull our small family of three toward it. Our day didn’t begin before the set was turned on, and no one went to bed until it was turned off. The compelling need to constantly watch… read more »

Articles

The Reality Plague Hits Theaters »

Today I sat through 90 minutes of reality entertainment that left me convinced there are far too many dollars in the pockets of people who have nothing to do, because unlike Reality TV The Real Cancun is a Reality movie.
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Articles

Use Pause to Reflect »

My family was rooted to their spots like trees. Was this the same group of people I had just spent eight grueling, bickering hours traveling with? Wasn’t it everything the seat belts could do to contain those squirming bodies? Yet here they stood frozen, just inside the hotel room with the door still wide open, looking like something out of… read more »

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