Family Movies: A Guide to Finding Family-Friendly Films

You never know what you’re going to find when you take the kids to the movies – or turn on the TV in the evening. 
Here's a review of four useful online resources to help you avoid surprises and find the best family-friendly films.

This informational website provides a factual, objective synopsis of the content of a film in the each of three categories (sex/nudity, violence/gore, and profanity) on a scale of 1 to 10. Specifics are offered in each of the write-ups as to why a film received a particular rating. There are also discussion topics, as well as an overview of the messages that the movie conveys. The details provided can really help you avoid surprises, and they give you the information you need to make an informed decision for yourself about whether you deem a movie appropriate for your family. 
Cost: Free 

2. Reel-Appeal
Reel-Appeal is a movie companion created by Mimi Doe (the author of 10 Principles for Spiritual Parenting) and writer/producer Jennifer Marquis. The website provides the names of family-friendly films that correspond with the spiritual parenting principles in Doe’s book. Each of these films then has an in-depth PDF discussion guide that helps parents teach critical thinking as it relates to entertainment choices, and it’s bound to create some thought-provoking family conversations, too. 
Cost: Free.

This is the Netflix for family-edited Hollywood films. Cleanflicks works much the same as Netflix. There are no late fees, you’ll have several different subscription plans to choose from, and returning the movies is as easy as slipping it into a prepaid return envelope. Except, with Cleanflicks, the film’s profanity, nudity, graphic violence, and sexual content have been removed. Edited movies are available to buy or rent at the Cleanflicks site.
Cost: Subscription plans range from $20 to $40 per month. A free trial is available.
4. Spiritual Cinema Circle
This monthly DVD club features films selected specifically for their spiritual and psychological value. Each shipment includes a special newsletter with reviews and  information about spiritual cinema, plus an online members-only resource area. Subscribers receive 4 movies each month (to keep).  For parents of younger children, a Kids Spiritual Cinema package is available as well.
Cost: $20 per month, plus shipping/handling. A free trial is available.
Note: fees for each of these services are valid at the time of writing but are subject to change at any time.
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