Wednesday, July 18th, 2007 at 9:10 am in Movies.
Hogwarts has taken over the multiplex and your kindergartner is begging to see it â€” but the latest chapter in the Harry Potter franchise has a PG-13 rating and people keep referring to it as â€śdark.” So, whatâ€™s a parent to do? Read psychologist Richard Freedâ€™s take on violent films and movie industry-generated ratings in the Times, then let your mouse provide some guidance. In addition to helpful reviews by Times critic Mary Pols and readers, we really like reading the family-friendly movie critics on sites such as Yahooâ€™s Movie Mom, for example, which gave â€śOrder of the Phoenixâ€ť a B-plus. Keep this one for the 12-and-up crowd, she says, â€śParents should know that the Potter stories become increasingly violent and that this story for the first time includes the death of a major and much-loved character…
… Characters are in frequent peril, including torture, and there is also some emotional abuse. There are some graphic and disturbing images.â€ť
Also enormously helpful: Common Sense Media and Kids In Mind. The latter in particular offers incredible detail about the scenes â€“ believe us, there are many — that may concern parents. Bottom line, if you and your middle schoolers or teens have read all the books and seen all the movies, wild trolls couldnâ€™t keep you away. But if this is your familyâ€™s first foray into the world of Hogwarts, do not start with this one, no matter what your childâ€™s age. Go back and rent movie #1, or better yet, read the books.
– Jackie Burrell