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Summer movies in Denver—when is a child old enough?

With a wave of his wand, Harry Potter transforms a child's regular day into the vivid colors of the imagination. The ultimate working mom, JK Rowling created a world of delight for kids and adults alike in the Harry Potter wizarding series. Many families use the series as a great read-aloud choice for family time. And, of course, there's the story's ability to transfer to the big screen.

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As summer pounds its heat on Denver, movies have more and more escapism appeal. Kids clamor to see the films they've heard about from their friends; parents scramble to ensure that what their kids see is suitable.

No surprise, there are many online means of determining a film's suitability. There are the obvious choices, such as the Motion Picture Association of America. The site includes an educational section that helps parents "make informed decisions about what their kids watch." 

Littler-known sites are out there too. Some give great detail of what to expect so parents can determine whether their child is ready—or if they're prepared to discuss some difficult concepts after the movie is over. One such resource is the Kids in Mind site, which has been rating movies for nearly 20 years. The site analyzes the content of a given movie, detailing elements that fall in such categories as "sex & nudity," "violence & gore," and "profanity." Further, it lists potential discussion topics—those things that might crop into a child's mind after watching the film.

As always, viewing the movie trailers can give parents some insight into what the greater movie holds so they can decide if it might be appropriate for their child. Finally, of course, parents can see the movie on their own, to get the ultimate firsthand knowledge of what the film holds. 

What it comes down to, though, is what parents know about their child. Is he mature enough to watch some of the more adult-canted scenes? Is she prone to nightmares? Is he likely to have an articulate discussion regarding those things that confuse him? 

Once parents have determined whether they should take their child to an animated film like Up or Ice Age 3 or G-Force or whether they could take the leap into live-action movies like Harry Potter or Transformers or G.I. Joe, the next step is clear: anyone in the metro area can go to to see Denver-area theaters, times, and even local reviews; then they simply head to the theater for a big box of popcorn and some good summertime entertainment. 



  • Jim Judy 5 years ago

    Don't forget Screen It ( that provides more parental movie content info that any other source, and includes highly detailed "Frightening/Tense Scenes" for just this scenario.