Faith of Our Fathers is the top redemptive movie pick for the first weekend in July. Award-winning author, journalist and syndicated columnist Rusty Wright writes on tipr.tv, “As this nation commemorates the [Vietnam] war’s 50th anniversary, a touching new film traces its impact on two families. Faith of Our Fathers tells a moving [fictional] story of two men who, in 1997, embark on a journey to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, to discover the fathers they never knew. Guided by wartime letters from their dads–combat companions who died in Vietnam–John Paul George and Wayne Adams meet their fathers and themselves.”
Hollywood Christian Examiner describes Faith of our Fathers as a solid tribute to forgotten Vietnam War veterans. In this article, Michael Foust writes, “As the nation commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, a new movie that hits theaters Wednesday–just in time for Independence Day–seeks to provide healing…”
Many other family films are among the top-ranked movies in theaters this week. However, these summer family favorites have a range of acceptable content related to the ages of children. Parents and guardians should note that due to violence and other inappropriate content, many of the most popular summer movies are not appropriate for children, especially under 7 or 8.
Batkid Begins is a heart-warming documentary in theaters about a 5-year-old boy with leukemia who wishes to become Batman. The Make-a-Wish Foundation grants Miles Scott his wish, transforming parts of downtown San Francisco into Gotham City, providing Batmobiles, and even gathering people to play characters from Gotham City. The event they produced had a pronounced effect on the whole community after more than 20,000 people signed up to help. Movieguide® gives this PG-rated movie a top quality and top acceptability rating.
Home (#15, after many weeks in theaters) remains one of the best picks for families with children. The Dove Foundation (DP) has rated it “Family-Approved” For All Ages.
In Inside Out, young Riley and her conflicting emotions must cope with moving to a new environment. DP has rated this movie as “Family-Approved” For Ages 12 and Over. Even after weeks in theaters, this movie remains #2 at the box office and has received good reviews from reputable sources.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (currently #5 at the box office despite being in theaters for many weeks) is a possible worthwhile pick for families with youths. It is rated PG-13 due to violent action and some foul language. However, Age of Ultron has moral and redemptive content. As in most superhero movies, characters fight to defend humanity and even sacrifice themselves for others. The film emphasizes teamwork, goodness, and family, and Captain America is an especially admirable hero. DP rates this movie as “Family-Approved” For Ages 12 and Over.
Max, #4 in theaters for the second week, is another good PG-rated movie for families with youths. Parents should note that this may not be appropriate movies for young children due to violence and military scenes. Max is a heart-felt movie about a boy who cares for his deceased brother’s traumatized army dog. DP also rates it as “Family-Approved” For Ages 12 and Over.
Parents should note that Jurassic World (#1 at the box office) is not appropriate for children under 7 or 8 due to dinosaur violence. DP considers it Not Recommended for Families.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (which is # 16 at the box office, after many week in theaters) is a PG-rated movie for families. DP rates this silly but entertaining comedy as “Family-Approved” For Ages 12 and Over.
Good movie reviews with sufficient, user-friendly detail are more valuable than ever because many popular family movies have elements of violence and language that are not appropriate for children. PG and PG-13 movies require diligent parental guidance. Children under 7 or 8 are especially vulnerable because in most cases they have not yet developed their own consciences and have difficulty discerning fantasy from reality.
More children are at risk as they are exposed to inappropriate content on cellphones, video games, computers, television, and theater screens. Parents and guardians need to be especially vigilant and knowledgeable in their supervision of children as they guide them through the stages of their development. They need to make sure that that children are exposed only to what is age-appropriate and acceptable.
Written by Diane Howard, Ph.D. (Performance Studies), dianehoward.com