We Saw Despicable Me {How To Pick a Kid Friendly Movie}


I have been more than strict when it comes to movies and television with my kids. My 4 year old has seen about 3 Disney movies. Her favorite show is still Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Signing Time. My 1 year old could watch Boz every day and not get tired of it.

Last week my son spent the night with my parents by himself for the first time. It was a big deal and he had an absolute blast. My daughter was also excited about this. She kept saying, “I’m the only kid! I’m the only kid!” So, after we dropped my son off, we decided to go to a movie–complete with popcorn and m&m’s.

We chose Despicable Me. I was not planning on seeing it. I do not trust anyone other than {possibly} Disney to do a decent family movie. But I looked it up online and read a review that said Despicable Me had some really redeeming qualities and was actually worth the money. So. We went. And we all loved it.

Now, remember, I’m with a 4 year old girl. An innocent 4 year old girl. Not an 8 year old boy who imitates every noise and laughs at every silly face. There was definitely some bathroom humor–but no inappropriate innuendo. There was only one scene that made me feel “eeeh” and I know Lydia had NO idea what it was. {Those crazy yellow guys were sitting on top of a copy machine and copying themselves…}

The whole message of the movie is that parenting changes you. Or maybe that’s what I got out of it. It was just a sweet sweet story about family love and commitment. And it was really funny.

This is actually not a movie review post. What I want to tell you about is a few sites I visit when deciding if we are going to spend money on a movie. Get ready to bookmark!

Plugged In

movie reviews family

This is my favorite because it comes from a Christian world-view. The reviews highlight Positive Elements, Spiritual Content, Violent Content, Rude/Profane Language, Drug & Alcohol Content and Other Negative Elements and a Conclusion. I like this because although they are not being specific with how many curse words show up, they explain and give their opinion on how this movie will affect you–your heart and your mind. I’m always encouraged and challenged after reading their reviews!

Kids In Mind

This is the one I use when I’m going out with a big group of people. You never know who’s going to be offended by what, or if you’ll feel embarrassed watching something with certain people. The reviews are rated on three 1-10 scales: Sex & Nudity, Violence & Gore and Profanity. Then you can read specifics about why they rated them this way—they give specifics without giving away the story or making you read something offensive.

family movie reviews

This is awesome because you can just glance at the movie and know if you want to see it or not–if a movie comes up 8-5-7, I’m not going to see it! AND! They have an iPhone app!

Screen It

This is the first review site I ever found about 10 years ago. It is probably the most comprehensive site. It gives a brief summary like so:

movie revies for kids

Then you can click through to all these sections to see specifics on each one. Specifics. And spoilers. So beware.

Parent Previews

movie review family

I just found this one while researching for this post. I like it already! It’s easy to read, has a good rundown of the movies and it’s problem areas. Then it gives suggestions for movie alternatives! What a great idea! So your kids want to see Despicable Me but you think it’s inappropriate? Parent Previews suggests Monster’s Inc., A Little Princess or Annie instead! Great idea, right?

Before you see your next movie and then kick yourself all the way home (or back to your mailbox Netflix in hand) check out one of these sites and save your kids’ hearts and minds!

linked to We are THAT Family’s Works for Me Wednesday


  1. My kids don’t see movies either. And no disrespect for Disney cause I know you love them, but their movies are not at all trustworthy. I am appalled by some of the stuff they put out for kids. So I trust no one!!

    Which is why I love these sites too!! The few times I haven’t done my research I have regretted it so much. And even my almost 7 yo has seen less movies than I can count on 2 hands. We are super picky in what they see.

  2. AH! Thanks so much for sharing this!!!! I’m bookmarking all of these sites!

  3. I have teens, and there is a bit of a following of the “yellow guys” (minions!) in their crowd. And on Facebook.

    Keep being vigilant and checking it all out with Plugged In. I love being able to dialogue with the kids about the elements PI covers before they see a movie.

  4. Another good one is commonsensemedia.org. very similar to the ones above, but this is the one I use most often.

    I just discovered your blog and I am enjoying your posts very much! It’s definitely reflective of what I am thinking about a striving for as a parent these days.

  5. Do they let you know if there are crazy orphan-stealers in it? 🙂
    .-= vanessa@silly eagle books´s last blog ..80 CSN Store Gift Certificate Giveaway =-.

  6. We love kids in mind and even use it before our date nights. I just don’t find adultery entertaining at all and now I don’t have to pay to see it! Woot! 🙂

  7. Thanks so much these look like great resrouces!
    .-= Tara´s last blog ..Two Words 2 =-.

  8. Thanks so much these look like great resources!
    .-= Tara´s last blog ..Two Words 2 =-.

  9. My (now) husband and I have always used pluggedinonline and dove.org to rate movies before we would go see them as adults. You have to be careful what you put in your heart.

    The only Disney movie I have seen so far that I really objected to was The Princess Frog. I couldn’t believe some of the dark aspects of that movie … they took it to a whole new level of darkness … even using teminology that the Bible define as demonic 🙁

    But I am a huge Disney fan and for the most part agree they have they corner market on family movies.

    (Oh and my favorite part of Despicable Me was when he read the story about the unicorns and the three little kittens … very touching)

  10. We love that movie too! I recently tried Screen It and I don’t think they have their “free” option anymore. Bummer!

  11. Common Sense reviews movies, apps, books, tv, web, etc. for all ages. http://www.commonsensemedia.org/new They also provide curriculum for K-12 for Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety.


  1. […] How to Pick a Kid Friendly Movie: Impress Your Kids – If you love your kids, you want them to only see what is appropriate. That is SO HARD to do in today’s world. Amanda gives great resources for helping you determine which movies you feel your kids should see. […]

  2. […] See my favorite spots for family-friendly movie reviews! […]

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