Last night, while the wife was working late, my 20 month-old and six year-old got in bed and watched Home Alone 2. Not only was it not as good as the original (surprise!), but it was peppered with references to prostitution and drunkenness, as well as constant references to killing the little kid. In my opinion, without being prudish, it went a little further than I would have liked given my co-viewers. To avoid surprises like these, check out Common Sense Media, a public service non-profit that rates and reviews all movies and gives you a sense of appropriateness and content by age, as well as for sex, violence, language, and what they call “message.” This last is to flag potentially objectionable over-commercialism (overt tie-ins to products, promotion of certain behaviors, as well as modeling use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
While the New York Times and many local papers give these ratings, this site is easy to navigate and makes it easy to look up new or old films. And the ratings are a lot more helpful than the MPAA (Motion Picture Association) ratings required by law.