How To Find A Nonviolent
Movie Or TV Series To Watch That You And Your Family Will Love
Before I started writing this booklet, I had a website called http://www.Peacemovies.com where I had reviews of relatively non-violent movies available to browse for free. It is still up. If you want reviews of nonviolent movies from 2011 to 2013, please visit the site and scroll to the bottom of the homepage where the links to the archives are located. There are reviews for a total of about 600 movies altogether, most of which are now available on Netflix. Try searching for 'nonviolent movie reviews' and the first page of search results will likely be filled with results from http://www.Peacemovies.com.
The inspiration for doing the web site http://www.Peacemovies.com came from a brief survey that I did on the streets of San Jose, CA, USA where I asked about 35 people the question 'Do you prefer to watch a violent or nonviolent movie?' The possible answers were 'Violent', 'Nonviolent' or 'Don't care'. About ½ of the people answered 'Nonviolent', ½ the people answered 'Don't care' and only one or two people answered 'Violent' or indicated that a violent genre of movies such as horror movies were their favorite. This got me to thinking that the market for nonviolent movies could be fairly large, even compared to the market for horror movies, if it were properly developed.
Indeed, as I started the http://www.Peacemovies.com project and started reviewing movies, I found that about 40% of the movie titles available qualified for the 'nonviolent' or 'little or no violence' categories on the web site. Much fewer movie theater spaces were devoted to that type of movie, however. So the problem then became how to promote the viewing of nonviolent movies.
For awhile, I was producing a monthly newsletter with the latest information on violent and nonviolent movies, including what movies were coming out the following month in the movie theaters and on DVD. All of the nuts and bolts that went into the newsletter and more are being made available to you here in this booklet, so that you can reproduce your own category of movies that you would potentially like to watch and review.
At the end of 2013 I stopped reviewing movies and launched other projects, such as http://www.Peacestickers.net at the end of 2014, which features peace themed bumper stickers available by mail order worldwide and fair trade crafts available at brick and mortar consignment locations in Springfield, Oregon, USA.
By the end of 2015, I started to consider whether I would be interested in relaunching the movie reviews. After mulling over carefully what it would take to relaunch the movie reviews, I came to the conclusion that my time would not be well spent if I tried to make a good showing and attempted to overcome some of the faults I had found with the previous movie review process.
Originally, I had 4
categories of movies, Little or No Violence (2 or less violent
scenes per 2 hours), Nonviolent (10 or less violent scenes per 2
hours), Iffy (10-20 mildly violent scenes per 2 hours) and Too
Violent (way more than 10 violent scenes per 2 hours). The
movies that were rated as being 'Too Violent' were put on a
black list and listed but not reviewed. This kept my workload
easily manageable, but upon further thought it was determined
that there was little other justification for not reviewing the
movies that were deemed to be 'Too Violent'. For you see, movies
with significant literary merit were being put on my blacklist,
such as Selma, 12 Years A Slave and so on. If I made an
exception to include such movies in my reviews, then I would
also have to include such works that derive from significant
literature such as the too violent Sherlock Holmes and Stephen
King movies. The conclusion then became that I would have to
review ALL of the movies that were available, which is just too
big a workload. Plus there is the fact that I didn't want to
personally sit through a bunch of violent movies just so that I
could write reviews of them. The whole point of my http://www.Peacemovies.com project is to give people the tools to avoid watching
violent movies if they choose to. Being the first customer of http://www.Peacemovies.com,
I wasn't about to give up my privilege of not having to watch a
Then it hit me: Most of my screening of movies for
violent content had involved simply watching the Youtube videos of
the previews and then sorting which movies to put on the 'Too
Violent' black list and which ones to actually watch later. If I
combined the Youtube video screening process with the information
that was available from various third party movie review sites
that look at various 'trigger elements' in movies such as
violence, sex and the portrayals of drug use in each movie, I
could completely eliminate my need to watch and review movies. I
can't re purpose the information on most of the third party review
there doesn't appear to be any law or principle against my letting
other people know about those review sites and how to get the most
out of them so that you don't end up inadvertently watching a too
The Basic Process For Pre-screening A Movie To See If It Meets Your Criteria
This process will be illustrated for how to pre-screen movies for violent content.
Visit the following two web sites to get an idea of which movies are being released to theaters and to DVD in the next few months:
Many of the movie reviews on these two sites will give a synopsis of the movie along with an MPAA rating and a brief explanation as to why the movie got that MPAA rating, such as 'R for bloody violence'. Any movie that gets an MPAA rating of PG-13 or higher because of violence would be excluded from the movie review process on Peacemovies.com and be classified as being 'too violent.'
If the movies you are looking for are already in the theaters or to be on DVD soon, try searching for 'What's On Netflix [month] [year]' in your favorite search engine, or if you want to find the latest movies in theaters in your local area, try http://www.google.com/movies.
Open up your favorite web browser and type into a search engine a phrase that includes the movie title, the year the movie came out (if known) and the word Youtube. Press enter. In the first 2-5 search results there should be a 2-4 minute Youtube video which is the official movie trailer for that movie.
Then play the Youtube video and watch for the following:
First, see if there is a green MPAA rating screen at the beginning of the video indicating how the advertised movie is rated and why. Does the MPAA rating screen talk about the fact that the movie is rated R or PG-13 for violence? If it is rated that way for violence, you can stop right there and go on to the next movie on your list to pre-screen.
If there is no MPAA rating screen or if there is no red flag that shows up in the rating screen, then watch the entire preview video. If there are more than 2 violent scenes in the trailer, the movie will likely have many, many violent scenes.
Never, ever depend entirely upon the text of the http://www.Google.com/movies synopsis to determine the violence content of a movie. I tried that once for the movie 'The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared'. I thought, 'What kind of violence is a 100 year old man capable of? This movie should be fine.' When I actually went to see the movie, I walked out after the first 15 minutes because the movie was so violent. Watching the preview video later, I saw that I would have been given adequate warning about the violence content of the movie by watching the trailer, as there were a few explosions shown as if they were funny. The unfunny parts where people were beaten with baseball bats were not shown in the trailer, but they didn't really need to be shown to get the point across about violence in this movie.
If you are fine with 'funny' explosions or if the trailer doesn't reveal any questionable scenes of violence, then go to the next level of pre-screening.
Step 3: Movie Review Sites That Screen Movies Based On 'Triggers' Such As Violence, Sex, Etc.
The number one site that reviews movies and gives them age appropriate ratings based on various 'triggers' is http://www.commonsensemedia.org. You can search the site for the movie title and if the movie has been out for more than a day or two in the theaters, this site should have a review of it, if it is a mainstream, blockbuster type of movie. To avoid violence in the movie that you want to watch, be sure that this site gives that movie its lowest rating for violence content. The site will also give the movie an age rating such as 'on' for ages 10 and up for instance.
Other similar sites include:
Intelligent and (mostly) Nonviolent Movies
This site is a good site for finding ratings for violence in movies and detailed descriptions of what kind of violence is in the movies:
Movies And Videos For Kids
This site does not review R rated movies, though they
do have some third party content information and international
ratings systems information on R rated movies:
Good site for reviews of TV series as well as movies, though the movie reviews are not complete. (Truth was not included as of this writing.) Games and books reviewed too.
Comprehensive reviews of violence in movies. Some faith based movies reviewed:
TV Shows and Movies Reviewed In Audio Format with links back to pluggedin.com.
movie review site focusing on sex and violence content:
Another Christian site:
8 Family Friendly Movie Review Sites Recommended:
Catholic News Service:
Movies, Videos and Games reviewed:
Popcorn Parents Family Movie Reviews
Movies with an adoption theme:
More Christian Cinema
If you don't find
the movie you want reviewed on http://www.commonsensemedia.org or any of the other
suggested sites, then try typing in the movie title into a
search engine with the word 'violence' tagged onto the end of
the search term. This will often bring up various news sites
that review movies. Sometimes they will list the MPAA rating
plus any reasons for the rating at the end of the review, such
as 'R for bloody violence'. These sites are handy if the Youtube
trailer didn't show enough information.
Good luck and happy viewing!
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Here is a web site that has reviews of video games that have redeeming social value: http://www.gamesforchange.org.
One game listed on that site that is of particular value is Zoo U, a role playing game for kids that teaches social skills.
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