Usccb and CNS Reviews on movies

I like movies but entertainment is my least priority. We must always try to put God first.
There are some negative movie reviews on certain movies but on another site someone disagrees from a rating system from AI to O (CNS USSBC) A to F (decent films) ECT

From the MPAA and so on

Example Matrix first matrix received O.
Sequels recieve L.
Another example
Final Destination A-III
Sequels basically mostly O lol.

John wick O
JOHN Wick 2 rated L

I saw something like this and what I heard is

Does it want you to go out and sin do bad things ECT. Do you understand the reality from fiction?
(When it comes with magical elements in movies)

No movie I’ve seen so far makes want to bad things niether do I support any voilince.

If I can give advice ask your local Priest spirturaly Director bishop for example.

So what are your opinions please I’d like to know God bless all you are in my prayers.

I like to read the IMDB parental guide which actually describes the potentially problematic bits objectively and make up my own mind on whether it’s something I want to watch. I don’t care about swearing personally, I don’t mind violence if it’s necessary to the plot but I don’t like gratuitous violence, strong sex scenes or a lot of very crude language. They make me uncomfortable. They don’t make me want to sin… but they make me not want to be seen to support those movies by going to see them.

1 Like

If the movie isn’t family friendly, I don’t want to see it.

If I may be frank, I believe most Catholics should be able to discern a decent movie from deplorable trash.

Personally, I find the Catholic rating system unnecessary as you can read reviews and the plot synopsis online.


If you yourself don’t have a problem with movies making you want to sin, and the movies aren’t porn or excessively dirty (so the actors weren’t being exploited), and you’re not trying to determine if a movie is all right for your minor children to see, then I’d say you can just trust your conscience and not be concerned about the movie ratings.

The main purpose of those ratings is for busy parents with kids to quickly determine if some movie might be okay for their kids to see. The secondary purpose is to provide a guideline for people who don’t have confidence in their own conscience when it comes to choosing a movie to watch. If you don’t fall in either category, I’d say watch what you want, and if it makes you feel uncomfortable or sinful at any point , then you can turn it off, fast-forward through that scene, walk out of the theater (like go to the restroom and come back when the scene is over, or leave entirely if it’s really bad), etc.

Not everybody needs movie ratings and they don’t bind people under pain of sin, so feel free to ignore them if you don’t find them helpful.

I completely agree. However, there are people who don’t watch a lot of movies and like to have movie ratings they can trust so they can decide if a movie is okay for their minor children or even for themselves. They don’t trust what’s written in the media about movies, probably with good reason since movie critics can be very biased, can leave stuff out, and are also more concerned about the movie maker’s craft than whether the actors use 1000 four-letter words or have sex on camera 5 times. A movie like “Goodfellas” is considered a well-made movie (which indeed it is) but most Catholic parents wouldn’t want their kids watching it, and even some Catholic individuals would not want to watch it.

When my kiddos were younger I used Common Sense Media for information.

It’s your call to make, of course, but you’re missing out on a ton of great movies. If you’re a mature, discerning individual, you can deal with some adult themes without melting.

Again, obviously it’s your decision, but to me it just seems like an adult subsisting entirely on chicken nuggets, Mac and cheese, and applesauce. At some point your palette matures and you move on to more complex stuff.

When I was a kid, before the Internet was even dreamed of, :wink:
our diocesan newspaper carried the Catholic movie ratings. My father did not go to the movies, but he always checked those listings and if it was out of our rating by age, we weren’t seeing it.
By the time I had kids, there were lots of websites with ratings, and reviews and if you read enough of them, you could figure out what was age appropriate.

Violence is sometimes a necessary part of the plot. It is the manner in which it is portrayed that becomes the problem, or its message. And that can only be reviewed on an individual case, not a general statement. Still, some movies are not for the squeamish.

With all due respect, not everybody likes movies that much. My parents watched very few movies made after the 1960s. In those days we didn’t have streaming, movie rentals, or cable movie channels (and when those came out my parents never bought one and didn’t even have basic cable until about 20 years after everybody else) so their movie watching was largely limited to the occasional old movie on TV or an occasional spy movie for Dad as long as it didn’t have sex scenes in it (which he would turn off in disgust). My mother thought most movies made after about 1960 were too dirty for her to enjoy and after walking out of “See No Evil” pretty much swore off going to them.

I probably saw all of 3 movies that were rated “PG” during the 17 years I lived in their home, and for one of those they both insisted on going to the theater and watching it with me.

The flip side of that is I became something of a movie aficionado as an adult and watched some of everything (see also the thread about the lady who was raised by parents who harped on “sin” - we tend to do the opposite of what our parents teach), but decided on my own that the old movies made before the 1960s, when you couldn’t just throw sex and violence explicitly onto the screen, tend to be a lot better because the directors were forced to be more creative and play to the audience imagination.

These days I probably see about one or two new movies a year, usually on planes. About 95 percent of movies being made now do not interest me at all. I occasionally enjoy a historic docudrama, a biopic, or something made in a country other than USA. But one can certainly live quite happily without current movies.

Right. Or sex or bad language. I think a mistake people often make is thinking that if a movie portrays immoral stuff, the movie is endorsing it or suggesting to the audience that it should imitate the characters.

Bearself mentioned Goodfellas, which is a perfect example. Tons of adult stuff in that movie. Sex, violence, language, etc. But the movies thesis is that living the gangster life ends badly. Anyone watching Goodfellas is going to come away thinking they don’t want to be Henry Hill. It looks glamorous for awhile, then it all comes crashing down. If anything, the movie reinforces traditional morality as opposed to undermining it.

1 Like

Well, sure, it won’t kill you to skip the movies. But if you have a flat rule that movies with adult themes (or “current movies”) are per se garbage, you’re going to miss some good stuff. If that doesn’t bother you, then yeah, to each their own.

Right, but you don’t have to sit through over 2 hours of people swearing constantly, committing multiple murders and assaults, massive drug use, racial and ethnic slurs, adultery etc. to reach that conclusion that gangster life is bad.

You could also choose to watch a movie like “A Bronx Tale” or any number of old classic gangster movies (“Dead End”, “Little Caesar”, “White Heat” etc.) and arrive at the same conclusion with a lot less explicit content.

1 Like

But without the iconic Joe Pesci scenes? Naw bro. :see_no_evil:

I guess I’m just not particularly sensitive or offended by it. If someone uses some bad language in a movie…meh. It’s just a movie.

I’m not sensitive or offended by it either, although the use of the F-word in Goodfellas was so overdone it’s become a joke (the Youtube of all the f-bombs in the movie is, to me, more entertaining than most of the movie).

However, I can definitely understand if somebody else doesn’t find it entertaining or want to sit through it, or even if they don’t want to encourage that style of moviemaking by supporting it. Same for all the old Peckinpah uber-violent movies, and every other edgy genre.

Yeah, I’m not saying people are morally obligated to break out of the kids section. It strikes me as overly restrictive, but to each his/her own.

That is one of my favourite movies of all time. Top 10 easily. The soundtrack is amazing and I love how that is used to move thru the decades following his life and how he changes. That scene where he takes his girlfriend thru the kitchens up to the VIP section is meant to represent his rise in power from a poor background it is an almost perfect movie. Touched on so many themes such as religion, domestic violence, how it’s easy to go on a slippery slope. I can see why people wouldn’t like it though.

I think they do it though to show you in detail , without you having to do it yourself, what it would feel like and look like for an ordinary person to become embroiled in the life. He goes there so we don’t have to. I love the character of Karen for that reason - she’s caught up in and almost get killed

They are guidelines. They are the opinion of the reviewer.

It’s up to you to gather information from these sources, and others, and then make your own judgment on whether to see the movie.

Anything L or O needs serious discernment.

I like Decent Films reviews. He and I have similar taste in film.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit