By Erin Brereton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Streaming site has more mature than kid-friendly content.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn about foreign-film topics and treatments, video-based exercise routines, improv and cooking techniques, and the myriad lessons taught via video storytelling, such as empathy and respect for others. Younger kids might also gain exposure to age-inappropriate material if left to browse on their own. Tubi TV offers up free entertainment as well as quality titles older kids might not encounter elsewhere, all subsidized by regular advertising, but for younger kids, the risk posed by too-mature material is ever present.
Each movie is its own world of messages: some positive, others not so much. There are more adult-oriented offerings than kids and family options, and many of the adult titles carry less-than-constructive messages for kids.
Violence & Scariness
A lot of horror options, and gun and other types of violence are displayed via some of the usual suspects, such as The Terminator, and other not-so-usual suspects (a movie called Penthouse Playboy).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Because of the variety of titles, most of which are not for kids, there's the opportunity to see sexuality depicted on-screen. There are plenty of unrated and R-rated movies, plus TV-Mature-rated items.
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Cursing is found in adult-rated movies and other selections. The frequency of swearing depends on the movie itself.
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Products & Purchases
Video ads interrupt and often precede features, but they aren't overly disruptive.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some titles address drug and alcohol issues with humor and authenticity, while others depict graphic scenes of addiction with a range of substances and violent negative impacts.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tubi is a movie- and TV-streaming site. The site often places ads at the start and occasionally once or twice during viewing selections, but it doesn't generally feel like you're constantly pausing to watch one. Users don't have to register to view titles, which range from kid-friendly to NR and R-rated. Many feature swearing, sex, and other content of varying intensity that's not ideal for younger viewers. Users will have to make decisions based on the content to ensure that kids are not exposed to inappropriate material.
Videos and Photos
Based on 7 parent reviews
One of the best video streaming services that is free and legal!
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Children’s shows to adult content
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What’s It About?
TUBI offers a number of widely released and lesser-known free movies and shows. In addition to the usual topics, sections feature LGBTQ characters, shows that aren't available on Netflix, and award-nominated films. Categories also offer family movies, kids shows, programs for preschoolers, and development-oriented shows for babies. Users will see some familiar characters, like Eloise and the Transformers -- and ads, which may briefly interrupt viewing. Registered users can save titles to a queue; closed-captioning is available for some items.
Is It Any Good?
This web-based entertainment service offers an impressive number of titles, although not all of them are appropriate for younger viewers. Although you may not have heard of some of the shows and movies on Tubi, there's a good amount of foreign films and award-winning options, plus inspiring independent titles, music, and other selections that can broaden kids' horizons. You can't purchase a subscription or otherwise pay to avoid the occasional commercials that are shown, but they're not too intrusive -- you may, for example, only see one before and one during an hour and a half movie.
It's easy to watch things on the site; you can fast-forward or rewind movies and shows and save titles to a queue to watch later if you register. Determining which items would interest you most unfortunately isn't quite as straightforward. Users can type a title into a search field to see if it's available, and a section that lists items that are ranked highly on the Rotten Tomatoes rating site can help identify some potentially high-quality options. Separate sections list the site's most-watched movies and items that are currently trending -- but there's no easy way to filter the selections in a category to, for instance, see the most recent horror releases, or see all the items on a page that are rated PG-13. If you're willing to weed through the various sections, there are plenty of titles on hand to keep you and your family busy for a good while. But the several kids-focused categories are the only places to reliably avoid R-rated films and mature TV series. Generally, Tubi can be a worthwhile free entertainment resource for adults. But for kids under 17 who are viewing it independently, the potential for exposure to mature content probably isn't worth the gratis access to movies and shows.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why ratings exist. What makes a movie or TV show appropriate for a certain age? Do you think some kids can handle more than others? Why?
Is there a benefit to one streaming service over another? Is there one that seems better to you?
- Subjects: Social Studies: cultural understanding, global awareness, Arts: acting, film, Hobbies: cooking, sports
- Skills: Emotional Development: empathy, Communication: listening, Responsibility & Ethics: embracing differences, respect for others, Health & Fitness: exercise
- Genre: Video Sites
- Pricing structure: Free
- Last updated: August 18, 2020
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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