Watch Out! 100 Movies You (Might) Regret Showing Your Kids

From characters dying to surprisingly sexy scenes, all these films have something that makes them worth a check-in before you push play. By Betsy Bozdech
Watch Out! 100 Movies You (Might) Regret Showing Your Kids

During a recent visit, our old friends decided the time was right to watch one of their longtime favorite movies, Roxanne (the 1987 Steve Martin romcom based on Cyrano de Bergerac), with their kids -- ages 12, almost 9, and 5 1/2. After all, it was rated PG and was a comedy -- safe, right? But then the language kicked in ("s--t" and more). And costar Daryl Hannah got locked out of her house naked. And, wow, the innuendo ("you know what they say about the size of a man's nose ... "). We powered through, but there were definitely some blush-worthy bits for everyone. (And I think we all agreed that, today, it would most likely have been rated PG-13!)

Movies we remember as being innocuous when we were young may have iffier stuff than we remember, from scary scenes to sailor-level language. Or maybe it's just been ages since we saw anything other than the edited-for-TV version. To help prepare you to deal with anything age-inappropriate (or even just awkward) that might come up when you watch your old faves with your kids, we've selected 100 "watch out" movies:

It's impossible to avoid every potentially upsetting or awkward scene in everything your kids will ever see -- and you wouldn't want to, since those moments can turn into great teaching opportunities. But before you push play or buy a ticket, it's a good idea to check out detailed movie reviews (like ours!) to be prepared for whatever might come up. Watch with your kids, and be ready to offer a comforting hug or pause the movie to talk about why a scene was sad, scary, or strange. Don't be afraid to say no to a movie your kid isn't ready for. And don't forget that, with the right context, facing cringeworthy moments -- especially the sad or scary ones -- as a family can be really important in helping kids develop a solid foundation for coping with life's inevitable ups and downs.

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About Betsy Bozdech

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Betsy's experiences working in online parenting and entertainment content were the perfect preparation for her role as Common Sense's executive editor of ratings and reviews. After earning bachelor's and master's... Read more
What movie has caught your family by surprise?

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Comments (120)

Teen, 14 years old written by Nadiacloud

The Incredibles because it has many sexual induendos and there was one character that was showing her clevage. I think that The Incredibles should have been PG-13 instead of PG. It’s not appropriate for kids.
Teen, 17 years old written by linas101

In my opinion I'd say just about all films have possible parts or elements you might regret showing but this list covers a lot of great points.
Kid, 11 years old

Watched water ship down when I was 6 it scared me a lot plz BE CAREFUL WITH THAT MOVIE
Adult written by darkmoon

I'm like Tony Saprano. With my children, it is always 1955. It takes real effort to ensure they watch age appropriate material. If I feel uncomfortable with something, I turn it off. That seldom happens because movies are usually reviewed before I let them see them. Parents who sit through a two or three hour movie with their children--cringing and feeling uncomfortable --need to grow up. With effort, parents can find lots of great movies for children. The innocence of childhood is short and parents need to protect their children so they can actually experience being a child. Too much of today's entertainment for children is cynical and edgy, and exploits or damages the child's innocence. For this reason, I enthusiastically support sites like Common Sense Media.
Adult written by Monera

Honestly, I think there's another conclusion to draw from the movies past that parents watched as kids: we decided that today's kids can't handle what everyone else grew up with. Come on, who here has been scarred for life from watching "that movie" at the same age as their child? Also, just explain the stereotypes and outdated ideas were just in a time where they were acceptable. If you could handle the movie as a child, why can't the next generation? The real world isn't scrubbed down and censored to suit childish sensitivities. Maybe the movie industry then realized that a little more....
Adult written by davidlarson

Thank you for the list. When I watched a lot of these movies, I watched with my single person or married-no-kids point of view, but now as a dad to an 11 year-old and 6 year-old, and a teacher, I find this sort of resource very helpful, as it reminds me of aspects that I'd forgotten but now reevaluate. I appreciate your tone. That you used the words "might regret" is not lost on me. I hope you ignore the criticisms of political correctness. You've compiled a useful, thoughtful resource. What readers choose to do with it is up to them.
Adult written by [email protected]

Thank you for this list. As a teacher I find it very helpful. My fifth graders begged to see Gremlins last year but I decided to screen it first because it had been so long since I'd seen it. Good thing I did because there was plenty of content that was inappropriate for the classroom.
Adult written by currick

Growing up really has ruined my old favorites for me :D The worst so far has been showing my daughter 16 Candles (PG at the time). I loved that movie though now I can't believe I did. When Jake sends his drunk girlfriend off with Ted and tells him to "have fun"....I was so appalled. I had to explain to my daughter how that is actually rape and that it is terrible that was presented as comedy.
Adult written by Scott_C

This is outrageous. Kids don't connect concepts like adults do. If a naked woman is trapped outside, kids just find the humor in it as she is just naked, not staring out of lust. Language is different since kids repeat that. Most kids however don't remember or watch the movies for these moments, however just accept them. I never realized what the drunk scene in Dumbo was until I watched it when I was older. These things don't click in a kids mind and to most kids it is just part of the movie.
Teen, 16 years old written by NT2298

So Common Sense Media is on the political correctness trip now, are they? Might as well partner up with Yahoo and NBC.
Adult written by nduns

First of all, for some of this stuff, I don't think it's always a good idea to shield kids from this sort of stuff. Showing kids scary imagery can actually help prepare them for the future. If you spend your life hiding death from them, they'll grow up disappointed when they see it happen for real. Secondly, to all the parents blaming film makers for this sort of thing, no, if you let your kids see stuff like this, it's your fault for not doing your research. Sometimes parents even outright ignore a film's rating, which has always kind of irritated me as it tells me that these people don't actually pay attention. If you allow a kid to watch something like South Park just because it's animated, it's your fault for being judgmental and assuming animation automatically equals child-friendly. Third, not all anime has sex, swearing and gore in it. Seriously, there are tons of anime shows that are perfectly appropriate for kids. You just have to look in the right places for them. It pains me when people just assume all anime is the same. No, people, it's not. There is variety. The only reason you don't know that is because you haven't watched enough. (Like most anime haters. Yeah, that's right, judge the ENTIRE medium off of a select few overrated titles. It's not like millions of other anime shows exist)
Parent of a 8, 10, 12, and 15 year old written by not educated

My daughter watches adult swim. She watches shows like Superjail! Though. Glad superjail! Got cancelled. Jailbot is a psychopath. Warden and Jacknife has sex! And masturb--es!
Adult written by Warren K

how old is your daughter? how old are you? Superjail is a fantastically hilarious show, but there is extreme graphic violence and excessively over the top sexual references. this show, if rated by the MPAA (if it were a film), I would place my money on it getting at least an R and more likely NC17. As a 49 year old fan of the show, I'm truly stunned that it airs on cable tv at all! so, with that said, I hope your daughter is at least 30.
Teen, 13 years old written by a nerd

Why does everyone say anime is bad I am 13 and I watch anime all the time there is anime for all ages so stop complaining about how "mature" it is
Teen, 13 years old written by Katybuggy

I'm not exactly sure, why many people are talking about anime, but I will agree with some of the other peers on here. Anime is meant for tons of different age groups, from Pokemon to Space Dandy. It just depends on which type you choose. I wouldn't recommend the TV-14 and TV-MA for people under 14, especially boys. If you have younger kids I would suggest Studio Ghibli, who produced Ponyo and My Neighbor Totoro. If you tend to claim that anime is total violence and sexual themes think about Pokemon and how inappropriate is that? It's up to you though, I obviously don't have kids, I'm not your child's guardian though, it's your decision.
Teen, 16 years old written by goaskalice

To all of the parents complaining about anime, NO NOT ALL ANIME HAS SEX AND VIOLENCE. Yes, there are a lot that do but those are mostly TV-14 AND TV-MA rated shows. Most of the shows that you people are complaining about are the ones on Adult Swims' Toonami which your kids shouldn't be up late enough to be watching anyways if they can't handle the content. These shows are only on after midnight. If they want to watch shows like My Neighbor Totoro and Angel Beats, LET THEM. If they want to watch anime that is PG or G rated LET THEM. If you don't want inappropriate content just don't let them watch anything TV-14 and above.
Teen, 16 years old written by goaskalice

MAJOR TIP FOR PARENTS WITH SCARED CHILDREN: Let them watch Face Off on Syfy. It is a show all about special effects in movies. It helped me get out of my childhood fears and it might help your kids too once they realize that its all just effects. Okay, I can understand how kids can be scared of movies like Caroline and Monster House, but my overall experience has been different. Depending on how your kids are raised and how mature they are, they will be more or less sensitive to different concepts in movies. Growing up I always watched "creepy" movies like Caroline, Monster House, and Jaws, and Alien. Quite honestly almost none of these movies got to me and overtime I got used to them since honestly my dad didn't care what I watched as long as it didn't have too much sexual content, nudity or extreme violence. The only movies my dad won't really watch at my age are the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" series and #00:Rise of an Empire (I've already watched the original 300).At my age I'm still not really affected by many movies. Most recently I watched Silent Hill (not that scary but definite sexual content) and Saw. Saw is now one of my favorite movies. I loved everything, especially the surprising and exciting development and plot twists. No bad dreams nothing. Also a tip to parents with scared children after watching some of these movies, it will be okay. For years I was traumatized after watching "Alien" and always had fears of aliens coming to take me away or eat me. But once I realized that everything was just in my head, I was able to learn to love "Alien" and other movies like it. For movies with violence, if you thikn your child is mature enough, LET THEM WATCH IT. It will help them become more mature and accept that death is a part of life and that we have to accept it. Many movies they will want to see in the future will have violence but if you keep them a way from violence all of their life, they will never grow used to it. At 10 I watched Gladiator. Tons of violence but I loved it...ALOT! I'm just about to watch The Exorcist. Wish me Luck!
Adult written by nduns

Thank you! Someone who actually gets that showing kids movies like these actually helps PREPARE them for the future! Something over-protective parents need to realize is that, well, kids need to understand things like death and violence. If you spend your life sheltering kids from this stuff, they'll grow up blissfully unaware of how cruel the world can be and end up majorly disappointed when it's not as nice and cheerful as their folks led them to believe it was.
Parent of a 5, 12, 14, and 18+ year old written by kawaiikittenz

I regret showing my 4 year old finding nemo. It actually should had been rated PG instead of G. Anyways my 12 year old liked it
Adult written by loldoge333

I am 10 I sleep with my grandma because I watched snippits of horror movies at my friends house but my dad lets me watch watch adults would think "scary," not scary, just thriller. My parents know I can easily handle stuff like, "f**k this s**t," I'm not a repeater. If your child is immature, put Jaws in the bookcase for another year or two. (10is a good age) and 9 for the classic Jurassic Park. Back in the bookcase for the Goonies (seriously? Drugs, p3n!s jokes) Spaceballs. Also maybe once your child is in middle school Dodgeball it is my favorite movie hilarious I just think Ben Stiller is really saying very rude things and sexual things in that movie and shows weight problems (0kay, he's morbidly obese) at the end, and says, even though it's sort of mumbled," f****n Chuck Norris."
Teen, 15 years old written by musicalmelody

@IDontLikeAnything - Not EVERY anime has sex scenes, or sex at all. It's just which genre you watch. Animes like ponyo, pokemon, angel beats, etc, does not have any. I can go on and on with this list but the animes on adult swim are targeted towards 18+.
Parent of a 5, 10, 12, and 15 year old written by IDontLikeAnything

I've been treating my 15 year old and 12 year old boys not to watch Space Dandy or Deadman Wonderland. Or anything at all! I'm an overprotective parent. Space Dandy is really inappropriate. It teaches kids to wanna grow up wearing skimpy clothes. Not something I want my teen watching.
Parent of a 4, 10, 12, and 15 year old written by Parent of 4 Children

Every movie I've seen and I hate anime including sailor moon, and inuyasha. I'd say space dandu was the hentai. (Space damdu) DANDY I mean correct my spelling. I hate every show. My kids cannot do anything at all
Parent of an infant, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18+ year old written by EducationIsImportant

I cannot stand anime! I know right space dandy is 40+ and so is kill la kill. I hate everything
Parent of a 4, 10, 12, and 15 year old written by IDontLikeAnything

Cause in Every anime, they have sex. Why my 15 year old was watching space dandy from adult swim and these girls butt were showing at the restraunt. NO Kids
Kid, 12 years old

The Amy, Sally, and Mina movie...the death of Breezie. Seriously, who put that in a G rated movie? In one of the Disney XD interviews, it is revealed Amy saw Life of Pi on her birthday. She's 8 years old. This is a book but - Time to Get Serious, just...don't let them read that until they're fifteen.
Adult written by meganr3

The best thing you can do is know your own kids. I'm honestly more disturbed by things than my kids are in some ways. If the innuendo goes over their heads, let it.
Parent of an infant, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18+ year old written by EducationIsImportant

Movies like big hero 6, frozen, and more. Education means everything to me. And my kids have see the disney characters having sex. I agree with mykidsarebabies review down there.
Teen, 14 years old written by BoyOfDestiny55

Real quick, I want to put a bit of knowledge out there. Many people on here are freaking out over movies like "Spaceballs" and "Big" having very mature scenes for a PG movie. And there is a reason behind that. Back in those days, most notably the 80's, there wasn't a PG-13 rating, and Parental Guidence actually meant, well, parental guidance. A movie from the 80's rated PG is today's equivalent of PG-13. Nowadays, Despicable Me is considered PG, but back then, Big, a movie with a surprising amount of sexual content, was considered PG. Here is the bottom line: When watching an older PG movie, make sure the parents review it, as the rating system was different and loose. PG didn't usually mean farting yellow twinkies, it probobly meant a character explicitly asking for sex, sprinkled with moderate swear words. I hope this clears things up a bit.
Teen, 14 years old written by Da_masta_snipa

Finding Nemo In the first few minutes of the movie, Nemo's mom dies trying to protect her babies, she is eaten by a barracuda. There is no blood, but it can be traumatizing to some kids, as a death in the beginning of a movie can be hard to take. Marlin says "Coral?" several times and then cries in anguish. Even though this movie is rated G, it should've been rated PG because in the beginning, when Nemo is kidnapped by scuba divers, the divers are extremely creepy, compared to the size of the fish. In another scene, Nemo's father Marlin and his companion Dory come across a shark named Bruce. Bruce's appearance is very scary, and he gets scarier when Dory is injured. Her blood travels into his nose, and his eyes turn black and menacing. He chases Marlin and Dory around a sunken ship, and there is a brief reference to The Shining (an R-rated Stephen King adaptation), in which Bruce says, "Here's Brucey!" Near the middle of the movie, when Nemo tries to escape the fish tank, he is trapped, and a fan is getting close to chopping him up, but he is saved when a fish blocks the motors with a pebble.
Teen, 14 years old written by Disneymovielover77

Finding Nemo is a really good movie but I think parents should just skip those parts of the movie or wait until they think it's the right age. Also where is Disney's A Christmas Carol (2009) that movie has TONS of scary scenes, but it's a good movie but scary.
Teen, 14 years old written by Disneymovielover77

Finding Nemo is a really good movie but I think parents should just skip those parts of the movie or wait until they think it's the right age. Also where is Disney's A Christmas Carol (2009) that movie has TONS of scary scenes, but it's a good movie but scary.
Kid, 11 years old

Well honestly, that's life everyone has to deal with the truth every once in awhile. I know I felt horrible!
Teen, 13 years old written by Disneymovielover77

The movie Noah is a movie that families should stay away from. My parents,brother, sister and I was expecting it to be like the story, but instead it was WAY violent for us. The beginning was good but then it got darker. The fallen angels were the described as good when they were the bad guys and evil.A girl gets trampled by soldiers and she screamed for someone to save her. My siblings and I repeatedly had to close our eyes during the movie. I could hear screaming and after the movie I couldn't sleep. We were expecting it to be a family friendly Christian bible film but instead we got a movie that's over the top violent and incredibly dark and scary.It was too dark and it wasn't like the story we heard of in church. We are Christians and after the movie we read the story and didn't like it as to how dark it was. Watch God's Not Dead, Heaven Is For Real, and the ones from the creators of Facing the Giants those are cleaner and less violent. Stay away from Noah and watch these titles instead.
Adult written by marthawood

The Goonies was surprisingly cringe worthy. Way more swearing than I remember. Jokes about drugs and sexual fetishes and penis jokes. Also, scary to my daughter was a kid getting locked in a meat locker with a dead body.
Adult written by nguest

As I person who grew up with the Goonies, I don't remember them joking about drugs or any sexual fetishes. The Goonies is a PG rated film.
Parent written by penrose99

This isn't an old fave, but Coraline scared my 7 year olds and we had to stop the movie. frankly, it scared me. I don't think it's a good idea at all to show fake parents trying to keep you away from your real parents!
written by Amalthea

It depends on the child. I have two daughters, now ages 12 and 10. A few years ago they saw "Coraline" at their summer day camp. My older daughter fell in love with it, and it STILL ranks among her favorites. She wanted me to see it with her. While I was watching, I couldn't believe how disturbing it was, but also how visually stunning and beautifully written it was. I, for one, will willingly watch it again. As for my younger daughter, she wants nothing to do with it, ever again (she did something else while her sister and I watched it). If a child has a taste for the dark and/or macabre, I HIGHLY recommend it; if a child is the sensitive type...not so much.
Kid, 12 years old

Maybe don't show your kids the Godfather? I found it one of my favorite movies, but SOOOO much killing. I mean I think 19 characters or a bit less. Poor Poor Luca Brasi. Blood and gun shooting. I can handle a lot for my age. But I normally wouldn't recommend it to kids under 14. Very confusing mafia movie.
Kid, 10 years old

I regret watching titanic parents don't let your kids watch this horrible movie. Spoiler alert that the girls finance tried to kill her
written by Amalthea

My two daughters discovered the real "Titanic" at school when they were in 1st and 3rd grades, and developed a fascination with the ship (which is not surprising, as my husband has the same fascination). I explained to them about the movie: that, while the story of Jack and Rose is fictional, all of the props - the dishes, the linens, even the grand staircase - were made by the original companies that made them for the original Titanic! Naturally, they wanted to see the movie. My husband and I had seen it in the theatre when it first came out, and I had re-watched it just recently, so I had a clue. I watched it with them, and they both loved it. They enjoyed it so much that, when it was re-released in 3-D, my husband and I took them to see it, and it was an unforgettable experience. By the way, plot point: Rose's fiancé was a BAD GUY!
Adult written by liza1030

We just recently went to an outdoor movie night at a friends house where the feature film was Spaceballs. It was rated PG but the content was definitely PG-13. It had sex and language. I realize that kids are going to be exposed at some point and time in their life but I believe that they have their entire lives to grow up. I prefer to simply use caution when choosing movies/shows that my kids will be watching. Lets just say that Spaceballs will never be watched in our household.
Kid, 10 years old

Bot you should watch Matilda our teacher showed to us when it was pg13
Parent of a 10 year old written by MamaBearNJ

"Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva," an anime movie based on a video game, was something we picked out expecting a nice light fluffy kid-friendly adventure movie (based on the commonsensemedia.org reviews). Somehow they never mentioned that this story is all about DEATH! and how DEATH IS PERMANENT! Really, really depressing, and the opposite of what we were expecting.
Teen, 14 years old written by Zelda64L

Well, death is permanent... and all you can do is come to terms with it. We don't live forever, and I think that kids need to know that people and animals die, and we have to deal with our grief in positive ways. A movie that teaches lessons about death is not bad, it is simply trying to teach the truths of life.
Adult written by carriek1

here's a common sense question: doesn't forgetting about the "adult" content imply that is was not that upsetting. If you see or read something really awful it is burned into your memory for life. (a scene in the Day of the Locusts will haunt me until I lose my memory.) Sitting through a movie with your mom and suddenly a breast pops out on screen, that's just a tiny silly part of life. There's a lot more going on in this world than worrying about your kids hearing the f-bomb yet again. (I hear that one every time I am on a bus, in the library, the supermarket, etc,)
Kid, 6 years old

The only reason I went to see Journey 2- the mysterious island is because the trailer looked awesome. It is WAY too violent.
Teen, 13 years old written by Isaac Burbank

I'm 13.I thought War Games was kinda rough with the language.(Rated PG)I just rented it cause I love 80s movies.It started having s*** multiple times,and oh my God sometimes.There was also a part that seemed kinda awkward to me.It was at the end.I think you all know what it is,right?
Parent of a 7, 9, and 11 year old written by laineypc

I remembered "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" as being a fun romp when I first watched it not long after high school. I forgot the language, and the negative flat and stereotyped portrayal of the vice principal, the fact that the main character got away with deceiving his parents and in the end his sister who was so angry at his ability to pull off the deception, turned down the chance to betray him in the end, because he was just too charming to resist. Seeing it from the other side of adolescence, his manipulation of his best friend, and deception of his family made me cringe. I felt awful showing it to my 11 year old, and now he wants to see it again.
written by Amalthea

I can relate! My daughters saw the episode of the TV show "Victorious", titled, "The Breakfast Bunch", which was a spoof of "The Breakfast Club". They loved it and thought it was hilarious. I hadn't seen it in years, so we picked it up. A little voice told me to watch it alone before letting the girls (who are now 9 and 11) see it...and I'm glad I did. First of all, I had forgotten that it was rated R. Second, it isn't a lighthearted comedic romp, but a pretty intense, angsty drama. I've told them that they can see it...when they're a little older.
Teen, 15 years old written by James V. Taylor

I asked my dad to download Logorama (an Academy Award Winner for Best Animated Short Film), but my dad told me when he finished downloading the film, it had inappropriate content in it. It would be fine if I watched that short film when I'm 13 or 14 years old.
Kid, 11 years old

I am having difficulty finding the list of movies you would regret letting your children watch. I would ignore it because I have an extremely high level of maturity for my age, but I am curious. In previous comments, people mention Jaws not being scary. They are right, but it is by opinion. It would have been rated PG-13, but the MPAA did not have that back then. And it is extremely gory and filled with shark attacks that could happen it real life. I have seen people afraid of the ocean because of that movie. I would understand why parents would want to be cautioned.
Teen, 13 years old written by CaptConnor2001

That's because Steven Speilburf used a mixed of animatronics and actual Sharks to decieve the eyes. I watched jaws when I was 5 and I still swam in the ocean.
Kid, 11 years old

First off, those children have a right to be afraid. The movie contains very realistic events. The special affects is so exemplary that it could make the viewers jump out of the seats. Majority of 11 year old children would be afraid to see blood and sharks devouring people before their very eyes. I am different, though, but I have a high level of maturity which allows me to appreciate movies like this. It sounds like you are making fun of these children because it is rated PG. I understand the movie is rated PG, but I bet you didn't know the following: the MPAA didn't invent PG-13 until the fourth jaws. Basically, it couldn't be rated PG-13. Ad how do I know it wouldn't be rated PG? Jaws 4 is rated PG-13 and isn't as gory, meaning jaws 1 should be rated PG-13. I really hope this was neither elusive nor disconcerting, so that you understand what my exemplary contradiction is. :)
Parent of a 6 and 10 year old written by GinBin

We watched Big Miracle, about the whales trapped in the ice, and my 10-year-old loved it. It's a great story and the grownups liked it too. But when (spoiler alert) the baby whale died, my animal-lover 5-year-old just lost it and was inconsolable for the rest of the movie. :(
Kid, 9 years old

Aww please.. used to family guy's swine and drinkin' wine, then you're sure fine.
Parent of a 10, 12, and 15 year old written by jlshibata

I don't know. There are some movies for sure kids should avoid. But I wasn't always so careful. I let my oldest when he was 3 or 4 watch Jurassic park 3, he loved it. I really think it depends on the kid. Some are just more sensitive to things than others. And there are great family movies that can move you to tears. Yes it hurts the heart but it's a great time to teach a life lesson. Sometimes when you guard you miss a lesson. My kids loved Goonies. Yes it's inappropriate in parts but it's funny and the kids all work together to help save the neighborhood.
Parent written by mom of two amaz...

We pulled up a list of 'best family movies' off the web. GOONIES was in the top ten so we rented it. The first ten minutes were swear words, penis references, and kids disobeying their parents. How it ever got on the list I'll never know. It was ten minutes of garbage and that was enough for us.
Teen, 16 years old written by movie/gamefan

The one movie I regret showing my sister was the film the hangover and now she watches it more than 3 times a week
Teen, 17 years old written by rockergal

My dad watched a lot of inappropriate movies with me in view. Some gave me nightmares and I still feel traumitized by them. Movies like The Omen, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hide and Seek, and Paranormal Activity were common occurrences. My mom hated it but never seems to be able to put a stop to it. Mind you, I'm the kid who at 7 years old screamed/cried and ran out of the theatre during "Honey I Shrunk the Audience" at Disneyland. Parents please be mindful of what you show your kids or watch while they're around. It might scar them emotionally.
Adult written by Scarsdale mom

The absolute worst movie by far was Coraline. I took my very young children to see it, after my mother-in-law told me she had read a review saying it was good for kids. It was a cartoon to boot. But it was really an animated horror film, playing on a child's worst possible fears: when a child finds a duplicate "perfect" mom in a parallel world, she must agree to have her eyes removed and buttons sewn into place instead. Of course the "perfect" mom turns out to be a monster who entraps children, and she must escape and save her real family. We contemplated leaving half-way through but decided to sit through it for the "resolution." I was so shaken up that when we got home, even though it was late, I had us all sit down and watch Sponge Bob for an hour just so we could calm down. Horribly inappropriate.
Teen, 14 years old written by Zelda64L

Inappropriate? It's a movie, true a scary one for younger children, about being grateful for what you have. I remember seeing it in theaters when i was 9 and I was enthralled by the pure quality and wonder put into the film. It had a great story, and I feel like it's truly a great dark adventure for children 7 and up. I think it's interesting however... among the many people I've met who've watched this, the children seem to love this adventure, yet the adults seem truly horrified.
Teen, 13 years old written by dr.moriartemisha

I totally agree. I was eight when Coraline came out, and it was terrifying. I had nightmares and was scared for ages. It should have been M or pg-13. It still scares me, the most horrifying kids movie I've seen.
written by Amalthea

My 11-year-old daughter LOVES "Coraline"! She had seen it at a summer camp and just adored it. Finally, I had the chance to watch it with her, and two things shocked me: 1) how scary it was, and 2) how GOOD it was! Personally, I find SpongeBob more inappropriate.
Teen, 15 years old written by kuzronk

Keep it in mind that since some kids enjoy semi-creepy stuff like Tim Burton films. Would you rather them watching movies like Coralline or a movie like saw?
Adult written by Bigchris

Ok we used to love the Christmas movie jingle all the way when I was a kid but we shown my siblings "13 12 10 "but at the time younger the movie we completely forgot just how Mutch searing was actualy in the movie not to mention the very rude yet funny scene where Arnold swatsanagers wife is sudduced by the very charming man next door good movie but completely inappropriate material and ps was suprised by rango too
Parent of a 4, 7, and 9 year old written by gonzi

I took my three kids aged 9, 6 and 4 to see Brave in the school holidays last year and my 6yo was deeply disturbed by it. The basic story is that a young girl wishes her mum was "different" and then her Mum is bewitched into becoming a bear. Just to add more drama to it, the girl's dad is a bear hunter. My daughter kept leaning over to whisper to me: "Is the Daddy going to kill the Mummy now?" But my other kids, including the 4yo thought it was "cool".
Teen, 13 years old written by jupiterrocks24

Okay, come on, it really depends on the child. And the scenes may differ. When I was 3 and 4 years old, I watched Dumbo every day coming home from preschool. The part with his mom saddened me, but it was not traumatizing. And in Finding Nemo, which I saw at its premier at around the same age, it was the shark scene, not the first scene, that scared me and made me cling to my mother. It really depends on the child here.
Parent of a 17, 18+, and 18+ year old written by knysnamom

The movie that terrified me as a child was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - the scene with the child-catcher overshadowed everything else and even today, when I think of that movie, that is what I remember. More recently I remember watching Chicken Little and thinking that some scenes in that could be quite terrifying for young viewers.
Parent written by AuntTerri 70

My parents took me to see Disney's "Fantasia" when I was about 5 in the mid 70s in the big dark movie theater. I freaked! It was so dark and loud with all the crazy orchestral classical music. I think this kind of Mickey Mouse took us all by surprise. I remember the crazy "dancing brooms" and I just could not deal. I think we bailed early. I still have not seen much of it over the years since. Kids today don't get as scared as we did I think. We were more sheltered and didn't have the constant stimulation they have. But I would be careful with young ones on that one. They probably wouldnt be too interested anyway. Not a regular Disney movie. As I just looked it up and found out that druggie people used to enjoy doing psych drugs and going to trip out on it... so I'm assuming that's an indication it's not the most fun for little ones :)
Parent of a 15 year old written by Kim D.

Star wars first movie at the cinema I ever saw and I thought it was so exciting I jumped out of my seat yelling! Introduced it to my 13 year old and it was solo boring! Too slow and too much complicated dialogue
Parent of a 7 and 8 year old written by Jeff C.

The Last Starfighter. One of my all-time favorite movies, but a huge mistake showing it to my young nieces and nephew. I completely forgot about the scene in the bedroom with the Playboys and cursing. Played for comedy, but that didn't matter - completely inappropriate and COMPLETELY unnecessary in an otherwise very clean (and awesome) film.
Parent of a 13, 16, and 16 year old written by AudienceofOne

The 80's movies amaze me to go back and watch now. Thank goodness for PG-13 now. Made mistakes with Breakfast Club, Romancing the Stone (had to turn it off), Throw Momma from the Train, and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles--also, the Great Outdoors (maybe ok for older teens). Now I always screen first!
Parent of a 9 year old written by cindyono

GREMLINS Should go under the scary scenes catagory but parents must know, It has major Santa spoilers. Not once but twice!!!! Beware!
Adult written by Lil'Betty

One movie that should be listed under "Traumatic" for the death of an animal is the yearling. My 6 year old has seen many of the "regrettable" movies listed and handled them very well. However, the movie "The Yearling" - the 1946 classic - was horrifyingly traumatic. I didn't recall the ending, so my daughter and I fell in love with the little deer and thought the boy would have to set it free in the end. Instead, he is told to shoot the deer since it keeps eating the family's crops and they are nearly starving. The dad is injured so he can't do it, the boy refuses, so the mother tries to do the job - but only critically wounds the deer. Now the boy has no choice but to shoot his beloved pet as it lay bleeding. Very, very disturbing.
Parent of a 7 year old written by goodenoughmom

I regretted showing my 6 year old son the movie The Fox and the Child. I had read reviews that gave no warning about the sudden & alarming harm that comes to the fox. Although the fox does not die at that moment, you see blood & she appears dead for a brief period. This moment was tragic & disturbing to me and my son.
Kid, 10 years old

My Mom Regrets Me Seeing Airplane.Female Breasts And Many Suggestive Jokes And Sexual Situations Make This One Not For Kids.
Parent written by lablove2000

RANGO- I generally look at Common Sense Media before we go out to watch movies but this one was a cartoon and I just thought we would be OK. WOW was I surprised at the curse words used so regularly in the movie. Not just once but MANY times.
Teen, 13 years old written by Ki-RBT

I didn't think it was so bad, really. I saw it when it came out (I was 10), and I barely noticed the 'swearing', if you can call it that. Admittedly, some families are more touchy about mild swear words than others, but most, I think, are just fine with it.
Teen, 13 years old written by Iron Pyrite

I don't see why you think that because it is a cartoon, it is for children. It is a western, what do you expect? Water guns instead of real guns and lollipops instead of cigarettes? Also, it is a comedy! Everything is in a comic environment.
written by Amalthea

My daughters love the TV show "Victorious". One ep was a spoof of "the Breakfast Club". I thought it would be fun to let them (ages 10 and 8) see the original movie. Something told me to view it first (I hadn't seen it in YEARS), and I'm glad I did! It's not really a lighthearted comedy, is it?
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old written by adaMadman

While I agree that too thick a filter on kids' viewing is not desirable, there are a few that we have not pre-screened that turned out not to be appropriate. Many will disagree with me, but note my 8-year-old son is very, very sensitive and easily spooked. E.T. was far more frightening than I remembered; Karate Kid much more teen-level in theme and language than my recollection, and something about the ongoing peril in Spy Kids also made him ask not to watch it (the freaky Thumb-Thumbs, perhaps)? My point is that I recommend pre-screening films you have any doubt about, even those you think you remember fondly from your childhood. Side note: What's up with the relentless poop and fart jokes? Will Hollywood ever get tired of cramming every kids' movie full of such lazy writing? (I think it was Despicable Me I where we felt they were the most forced, of late.) What an insult to a viewer's intelligence -- including the kids.
Parent written by Gallowglass

Kids reactions can be hard to predict. My daughter ended up watching Kill Bill at one stage (nothing I could do about it) and I was worried abut the effect of the violence on her but she was unperturbed. She rationalized the whole thing as the good Mommy getting all the bad Mommies. However when she saw the third prequel of Star Wars later she was deeply upset by Anakin killing the young Jedi trainees. None of this was shown directly. There was just a scene showing the empty robes on the ground of the school. It was the change in Anakin at bothered her. How could a good kid turn into a bad man?
Parent of a 10, 11, and 17 year old written by motherbearof3

As a self-admitted TV and movie junkie, my kids have been watching the same from an early age and they were taught that it's entertainment and pretend. I had to roll my eyes at the "scary scenes" and "traumatizing events" lists. Bambi? Let me throw a twist on that one for you: my husband, who has hunted since he was old enough to shoot straight, didn't want our son (now 17) to watch it as a toddler because he felt it was anti-hunting, not because he thought he'd be frightened. I finally won the argument, and now it's a family favorite. I'm also surprised Jurassic Park didn't make the scary list. Our son was a dinosaur fanatic -- probably still is, but won't admit it ; ) -- and saw that movie and the sequels at a much younger age than probably most people think is appropriate. But he understood that dinosaurs + people would probably = a few getting killed. Sex and language is one thing (I didn't see Grease until I was an adult, and thought wow! I had friends in elementary school who saw this?), but I have never denied my children access to good entertainment or a classic because a character or its parent or friend dies. Death is a natural part of life, and should be a part of children's education just as letters and manners.
Adult written by teammartinez

Can't you just list the 40 movies that are promised in the title of the article? I have to click on multiple links to multiple articles reading multiple paragraphs and on and on and on... just give me a list first, I'll decide if I want to read you articles after that!
Parent of a 14 year old written by Caroline Knorr

Sorry! We wanted to compile all of our Watch Out stories into one place. We appreciate your feedback and are always trying to improve on how articles are presented so they are easy to read and informative.
Parent of a 8 year old written by santoroski

I double agree, feels like link bait. And this story we emailed to me. Common Sense Media you can do better!
Adult written by dm91214

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles. I saw this with a couple families in the room and forgot about the car rental scene where Steve Martin’s character screams the F-word about a half a dozen times and uses a few other expletives. By the time I found the remote to skip forward the scene was over. Too bad for the movie and awkward for us. That type of dialogue wasn't needed at all. It was rated ‘R’, but I couldn’t remember why until that scene came up. Because it was made in the 80’s I thought maybe it would be a PG-13 today. Wrong! I was at a movie theater recently with my family and saw the film trailer “Meet the Miller’s. In 3 minutes we saw a movie that was about drugs, drug runners, sex, swingers, strippers, violence, and potty jokes. I asked my daughter, who is in high school, if she had any interest in seeing this film. She said no. I didn’t ask my 13 year old son, but he knew I was uncomfortable. What Warner Brother executives or producers gave the ok to make this film? It’s the first time I felt like walking out of the movie theater because of the trailer.
Parent of a 8 and 8 year old written by andsoitgoes

As a parent of twin 8 year olds in a home where no one swears, and where my daughters point out when we happen to use something that they thing is inappropriate (crap and darn are two examples they call me on in the rare instances in which I slip, though I never slip with "hard" swear words), I trust them and their understanding that swear words aren't worth using. So far, we have watched many of the classic 80s films from my childhood and not once have I heard even a single use of antyhing said in the films. We've watched some movies that some parents might find too violent, but we always clearly explained the possible reasoning behind the violence and such. They may be tomboys, but they don't act out anything that they see. Maybe we are lucky, but we also ALWAYS explain anything that comes up. As for the sex thing, we tend to be more careful there and never watch overt sexual acts, and because of how complex and confusing sexuality can be, it's clear why violence is more openly accepted. Innuendo is something I really don't worry about, because almost all of it goes over their head. There are scenes, actions, comments and such that they do understand, and we talk to them about it. My wife and I have had explained and discussed sex with our daughters, but mainly because they asked us directly about it. We didn't use terrible metaphors, we didn't try and use baby language, we were clear and concise. We answered their questions and made it clear that we were open to any questions. I have friends that are gay, and we've talked about that as well. They understand the mechanics, the risks and they understand that yes, it is enjoyable but also stressed that they can get sick, pregnant and such. We have yet to watch a movie that has an overt sex scene, but those times when it's something that is a bit over the edge, we will skip it. Same with violence that is a bit too disturbing. Now, I am far from the best parent in the world, but I also refuse to be as closed minded and unapproachable as our parents were. I felt confused, ashamed and I never had anyone I was comfortable enough to discuss the questions I had. My wife and I are determined to be there for our daughters, and shielding them from everything is going to do the opposite. They'll hear it, they'll see it and I'd rather be proactive rather than reactive. I can only imagine how different my childhood would have been if I hadn't been overexposed at too early an age, and had not been left in the dark when I had questions and no one to talk to. And while we have to ensure we aren't here to just "be their friends", we also have to be 500% sure that we are approachable enough that when, not if, they have questions, we are there for them. Seeing jiggly boobs in Beauty and the Beast, being a bit scared by finding Nemo, having to deal with a few four letter words and putting up with innuendo that we didn't understand and they won't understand until they're much, much older is putting way, way too much focus on the wrong things. Educate your children, treat them like they matter and treat them with respect. Shield them from evey thing, every little questionable thing, and watch it implode on you as they get older. Just my 2 cents that no one asked for :)
Teen, 13 years old written by jupiterrocks24

I don't mean to be rude, but excessively shielding children can do more harm than good. Occasionally letting something in as they grow older and pointing out that it is bad and explaining why is important. Of course, this is when they're older and more matured and can handle it. But shielding them from everything isn't always the answer.
Parent written by Shivanicat

Hi Betsy.... I think you should add the Life of Pi to that list....that movie was marketed to kids and it should have been rated R. It was disturbing and upsetting to ME, my grandson and I both agreed we felt kind of sick afterward. Not a kids movie at all, even adults should be advised. It was good film making I suppose, but horrible none the less.
Adult written by 02befree

I agree Shivanicat -- I was like going...WHAT? The truth to the metaphor that several people were killed and implied that some were eaten to survive? I was drawn in that it was a magical Disney like movie, etc., but I was upset that I watched it with my young daughters, and as an adult, I was left with a knot in my gut as the real plot unfolded. Not cool. I think of how many kids sat through that going - what's going on here? Definitely not a kids movie, at all. Even without what I've mentioned, the discussion of religion and his journey is for a much more mature audience. Sorry to offend, but this goes into the category of The Emperor's New Clothes". Everyone says it's great, so no one will disagree.
Parent of a 8 and 8 year old written by andsoitgoes

You have to be kidding. Life of Pi was an amazing, wonderful film that was a fantastic adaptation of an even better book. Yes, there were some scenes that could be a bit scary, but to even think it should be rated "R" is crazy. It was far less terrifying than a lot of cartoons. Now, I understand every person experiences things differently, but if you'd done even the most minimal research, you would have understood everything that you ended up finding so terrifying. Actually, it's even fully detailed on this site that you follow, taking 5 minutes to read the review here and you would have seen the full details about all the things that made you so uncomfortable. I don't mean to sound aggressive, but to bash a movie and blow it that far out of proportion, especially when all the answers to whether or not it has themes that would be inappropriate for you and your grandson are right here on the site you're posting this on. Even outside of here, imdb has a detailed "Parents Guide" on the majority of films released. This site and imdb are all very clear on the themes that you feel so strongly against. I always look no matter how innocent something may or may not be, and adjust accordingly. Life of Pi is a wonderful, wonderful experience. It's a beautiful film, it's well acted and it does quite an excellent job recreating the world from the book.

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