I am a huge movie buff. I love most types of movies–action, comedy, drama, science fiction, fantasy, historical, mystery, even romance if I am in the right mood. The only problem with this love of movies is that I also feel very strongly about not inviting content into our home that will offend the Spirit. Sometimes, it is difficult to know what you will see in a movie you haven’t seen before. There are many times I have debated with myself whether or not to watch a certain movie based on my prediction of what it might contain.

I have found two solutions that have helped make such choices easier for me personally. The first is a website called kids-in-mind.com. This free site provides information about potentially offensive content in movies. It promotes this as information for parents to know what their kids may be watching, but I believe that adults should be watching what they watch as well. I often use this site to see if I or my family members are “walking into a trap” when we go to the theater. Sure, there might be a few spoilers in the descriptions that give away a minor part of the movie but, to me, the knowledge of what to expect in terms of content is worth the risk. The real spoiler would be to subject myself, my wife, and my children to inappropriate content that doesn’t come out of the mind very readily.

The second solution that I have discovered is a really cool product called Clearplay. This solution consists of two elements: 1) a special DVD player and a USB thumb drive that plugs into your PC and the DVD player ($80) and 2) a subscription to the Clearplay filter list ($7.95 per month). To use this product, you go online and select the movie(s) you want to view. The appropriate filter(s) are downloaded onto the USB thumb drive which is then inserted into the DVD player. This automatically loads the content filters into the DVD player’s memory. You can then customize the level of content filtering desired based on several settings:

  • Violence
  • Sex
  • Nudity
  • Vulgarity
  • Bloodshed
  • Substance Abuse
  • Blasphemy

These settings allow you to create a customized viewing experience based on what you want to filter out and how intense you want that filtering to be for each area. The thing I like best about Clearplay is that it literally takes the power to control what I view away from Hollywood and gives it back to me and my family. The other thing I like is that the movies are carefully edited to remove offensive content, but also to make certain you can still follow the storyline. This is not an easy task when editing some movies.

One caveat is that the filters cannot always remove all potentially offensive content, but there are always clear warnings on the menu screen when this is the case. Also, I have found that removing all offensive language, violence, nudity, and sex does not necessarily make a movie an uplifting, worthwhile, or positive experience. There are many movies that, even with these things removed, can still offend the Spirit with the message(s) they portray. So this product is not a panacea and good judgment and inspiration are still required.

However, for myself, I have found that these two solutions (kids-in-mind.com and Clearplay) have helped me to take better control of the media I view and have allowed me to enjoy watching movies once again without worrying so much about what I am going to encounter. If you are aware of other solutions for reviewing or filtering out negative content from movies, I would love to hear about them.

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