Criminal Minds

TV review by
Elliot Panek, Common Sense Media
Criminal Minds TV Poster Image
Entertaining crime drama's violence is too grim for kids.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 25 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 87 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive messages

Crime solving, team work themes. 

Positive role models & representations

Agents are devoted to the pursuit of justice, treat each other with kindness and respect. 

Violence

Brutal murders using weapons, drownings, torture; bloody crime scenes. Child molestation, rape. Death penalty a theme. 

Sex

Some innuendo, often crime related. 

Language

"Hell," "damn," "ass."

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

Social drinking, drugs used during crimes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Criminal Minds is a long-running series crime procedural full of brutal, realistic depictions of violence, including torture, shootings, horrific murders, and bloody casualties. The themes range from sex crimes and mental illness to plane crashes and capital punishment. Words such as "damn," "hell," and "ass" are frequent, and there's some social drinking. On occasion, criminal behavior is connected to drugs. Aside from the gruesome crimes, the team of detectives treat each other like family and sometimes add some light humor to bleak plot lines.

User Reviews

Adult Written byLincoln1 April 9, 2008

Nightmares for weeks

This show has gotten progressively more violent with each episode. I will no longer be watching. The display of disturbing violent action -- and the character... Continue reading
Adult Written byramblinrose1 May 20, 2012

Fantastic show but not for young kids.

It's an extremely good show but be warned...the subject matter is very disturbing. It basically shows you what goes on in the minds of insanely deranged c... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySuperreveiwer..maybe June 22, 2013

Commonsense Gave it a bad Rating

OK so, quality: It said the show was a normal crime show, but has it's unique qualities. They put themselves in the position of the criminal..... and they... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byCriminal_Minds September 26, 2011

Deserves more than two stars!

I personally adore this show! The characters are just show awesome and the way they all work together to solve these crazy, shocking crimes is fantastic. Yes, C... Continue reading

What's the story?

CRIMINAL MINDS follows a team of FBI psychological profilers as they track down mentally disturbed serial killers. Led by agents such as Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin), Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), and, later, David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), the profilers use some traditional methods, such as interviewing suspects, as well as advanced forensic techniques. However, the hallmark of this group is its encyclopedic knowledge of the human mind and patterns of behavior. Through hard work, the use of new technology, and plenty of lateral thinking, they are able to read the minds of the killers and predict their next moves.

Is it any good?

Like most good crime dramas, the long-runningbseries offers detective stories full of interesting details and lots of suspense. Despite the lack of originality and endless violent moments, it has garnered over a decade of loyal fans. It's inspired some spin-offs, too: Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. 

Over the years characters played by actors such as Jeanne Tripplehorn, A.J. CookJennifer Love Hewitt, Damon Gupton, Emily Prentiss, and Aisha Tyler have come and (sometimes) gone. But the show’s longevity is due to the compelling narratives and has become a pop culture favorite thanks to its insertion of notable quotes that summarize the significance of each episode. If you crave this sort of entertainment, Criminal Minds is worth tuning into. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the amount of  violence in crime dramas. How realistic are these program's story lines? Is violence exaggerated for the sake of dramatic tension, or is it merely reflective of the world we live in? What draws viewers into plots that are essentially designed to disturb them?

  • How does Criminal Minds compare with other crime dramas on television? Does it do anything differently to distinguish itself from similar shows? How do the characters demonstrate perseverance and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

For kids who love drama

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