A Quick Guide to Choosing Movies That Middle Schoolers Will Love

If your preteen wants to have a movie night with friends, you may find yourself with the difficult task of finding and approving an age suitable film. They are a little old for kids’ movies but not old enough yet for more mature movies. It may be tough to find one that they are interested in. Perhaps your child has already selected a movie, but you have no idea what to think of it, or if it their friends’ parents would approve. You are not alone.

Commonsensemedia.org is a website for movie and book reviews. There are sections available for parents, educators, and advocates. There is also a feature that allows you to indicate your child’s age, and to then read through reviews by other parents about many different titles. Most reviews include some sort of synopsis or plot summary. You can search by topic or by specific title. There is also a search function which allows you to learn about various social media platforms. These include informational articles about: Youtube, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Fortnight, and many more.

To get your preteen and their friends laughing, start with comedy classics like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), Groundhog Day (1993), Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), The Princess Bride (1987), and the Back to the Future trilogy (1985-1990). If they are interested in more thought-provoking movies; Arrival (2016), The Help (2011), and The Truman Show (1998) are great films to get them talking about current social issues. Do they want to get spooked without the nightmares? Coraline (2009), Monster House (2006), and Hocus Pocus (1993) are spooky fantasies while Beetlejuice (1988) and Ghostbusters (1984) give enough creepy vibes without the fright.

Common Sense Media has a great section for parents who want to discover information about films for their preteens. Luckily, a diverse selection of movies exists in a wide range of genres. Classical, thought-provoking, scary, dramatic, sad, funny, uplifting, period pieces, and Oscar winners. You can feel assured about letting your preteen and their friends watch a movie that appeals to their interests, while also staying within your comfort zone as a parent.