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Watch Out! 100 Movies You (Might) Regret Showing Your Kids

Common Sense Media logo Common Sense Media 7/6/2015 Betsy Bozdech

During a recent visit, our old friends decided the time was right to watch one of their longtime favorite movies, Roxanne (the 1987 Steve Martin romcom based on Cyrano de Bergerac), with their kids -- ages 12, almost 9, and 5 1/2. After all, it was rated PG and was a comedy -- safe, right? But then the language kicked in ("s--t" and more). And costar Daryl Hannah got locked out of her house naked. And, wow, the innuendo ("you know what they say about the size of a man's nose ... "). We powered through, but there were definitely some blush-worthy bits for everyone. (And I think we all agreed that, today, it would most likely have been rated PG-13!)

Movies we remember as being innocuous when we were young may have iffier stuff than we remember, from scary scenes to sailor-level language. Or maybe it's just been ages since we saw anything other than the edited-for-TV version. To help prepare you to deal with anything age-inappropriate (or even just awkward) that might come up when you watch your old faves with your kids, we've selected 100 "watch out" movies:

  • Films that could traumatize your kids: From loss to death and dying, your guide to the movie scenes that could cause emotional scars.
  • Unexpectedly sexy moments: Some innuendo always goes over kids' heads, but some of the racy stuff in these classics is impossible to miss.
  • Surprisingly scary scenes: From evil rats to flying monkeys, a roundup of films with scenes that can leave kids running for cover.
  • WHAT did he just say?!: Some of your childhood favorites probably have more four-letter words than you recall.
  • Racial stereotypes: Times have changed, but the characters in these movies haven't. Don't end up blindsided by a stereotype you didn't see coming.
  • Old-fashioned gender roles: T urn cringeworthy moments into a chance to talk about sexism.

It's impossible to avoid every potentially upsetting or awkward scene in everything your kids will ever see -- and you wouldn't want to, since those moments can turn into great teaching opportunities. But before you push play or buy a ticket, it's a good idea to check out detailed movie reviews (like ours!) to be prepared for whatever might come up. Watch with your kids, and be ready to offer a comforting hug or pause the movie to talk about why a scene was sad, scary, or strange. Don't be afraid to say no to a movie your kid isn't ready for. And don't forget that, with the right context, facing cringeworthy moments -- especially the sad or scary ones -- as a family can be really important in helping kids develop a solid foundation for coping with life's inevitable ups and downs.

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