When I was in 5th grade, my class got to pick a movie to watch. We chose Poltergeist. After all, it’s rated PG. Remember the scene where the parents smoke a joint in bed, while demon toys are terrifying children in another room? I still do.
Needless to say, it’s often difficult to navigate movie appropriateness and ratings, especially for younger kids.
This summer’s box office will be huge this year, with a projected record $5 billion in ticket sales. Most of those movies are rated PG-13 or R.
That makes it tricky for families with younger kids, so we created a list of all the PG movies coming out this summer. We’ve included links to Common Sense Media wherever possible. They do a great service of fairly rating films, games and other types of media for modern families.
Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank, jaded by disillusionment, and Casey, a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them – forever.
PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements, and language.
When Marnie Was There (Limited)
Adapted from Joan G. Robinson’s children’s novel When Marnie Was There (or Omoide no Marnie), it’s a coming-of-age story about a young girl that befriends another girl named Marnie, who just so happens to be a ghost. The book is said to have a “special place” on Hayao Miyazaki’s 50 Recommended Children’s Books list.
PG for thematic elements and smoking.
Sunshine Superman PG
A heart-racing documentary portrait of Carl Boenish, the father of the BASE-jumping movement, whose early passion for skydiving led him to ever more spectacular – and dangerous – feats of foot-launched human flight.
PG for thematic elements, some language, smoking, and a brief nude image
Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.
It’s a Pixar film, so it’ll likely be great for the whole family.
PG for mild thematic elements and some action.
A dog that helped US Marines in Afghanistan returns to the U.S. and is adopted by his handler’s family after suffering a traumatic experience.
PG for action violence, peril, brief language and some thematic elements
The story of Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters-from T. rex to Napoleon-the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression. But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he-alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob-ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. The trio embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill, the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind…from annihilation.
PG for action and rude humor
An animated comedy. Jake is a shy, but talented, foosball player. His passion for the game is rivaled only by his love for free-spirited Laura. With her encouragement, he beats the town bully, Ace, in a foosball game. But everything changes when Ace becomes the world’s best soccer player and returns years later to turn their village into a new sports stadium. He starts to destroy everything and kidnaps Laura in the process. Just when it looks like all hope is lost, the toy figures from Jake’s foosball table come to life. He and the players embark on a wild adventure to save Laura and reclaim their village. With the help of his team, his town, and a little bit of magic, Jake will try to save the day.
The following movies are aimed at kids and families but don’t yet have an MPAA rating. However, it’s likely that they’ll be rated PG-13.
Pixels – not yet rated (likely PG-13) July 24
When aliens misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, they attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. President Will Cooper (Kevin James) has to call on his childhood best friend, ’80s video game champion Sam Brenner (Sandler), now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders (Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage) to defeat the aliens and save the planet.
Ant-Man (expected PG-13) July 17
Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
Pan – not yet rated (likely PG-13) was due to be released July 24, now set for October
Offering a new take on the origin of the classic characters created by J.M. Barrie, the film follows the story of an orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland. There, he finds both fun and dangers and ultimately discovers his destiny-to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.