Summer is when all the good movies come out, it’s great to see the blockbusters. But every movie has a different rating and it’s important to know what they mean before taking your family for a movie night. Remember that the movie ratings you might have known as a kid have changed over time. The MPAA movie ratings are voluntary and as time has gone by what they mean has developed with the times. Be prepared before you buy your tickets.

G Rating: The G rating doesn’t mean a movie is a kid’s movie. It means the rating’s board doesn’t think there will be content that will offend parents. There might be mild language example: stupid, idiot, heck and there might be violence. There isn’t drug use in G rated movies but remember what you consider drugs and what the board consider drunks can be different. People might be drinking alcohol in G rated movies.

PG Rating: This rating means the board thinks parents should see the movie before their kids do and determine if the movie is appropriate. The non-child friendly aspects of a movie get more frequent or intense as the rating goes up.

PG-13 Rating: This rating was developed as a way to separate certain R rated movies from others. The R rating covered so much that it became confusing. The board decides a movie is PG-13 not by the subject of the movie, but how the subject is presented. One important thing to keep in mind is that the F-word might be said in a PG-13 movie. Definitely go see the movie before your kids do.

R Rating: These are movies that children can’t get into without a parent, sometimes even with adult supervision they won’t be allowed in. You really have to deem an R rated movie as appropriate to your family values before watching it with your family.

Remember that the ratings on a movie are subjective and determined by people. They aren’t an absolute, definitive answer to whether you should take your family to a movie. It’s up to you to determine what movies are appropriate for your kids, use the ratings as a guideline and enjoy the summer!