Movie Mom

Movie Mom


A Christmas Story

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Profanity:Some mild epithets, some strong language, and episodes involving a father's and child's use of profanity (not heard). Warning: child punished by having his mouth washed out with soap.
Nudity/Sex:Mild (episode of prize lamp in the shape of a woman's leg)
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:Bully, kids' fight, kid touches an icy metal pole with his tongue on a dare and it freezes to the pole
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:1984
DVD Release Date:1984

There’s no better way to start off the Christmas season than this holiday classic, now celebrating its 25th anniversary and so popular that Turner Classic Movies runs it for 24 hours each year. Millions of fans can recite its lines from memory and some are so passionate they visit the Christmas Story house and attend the Christmas Story conference. Some even buy leg lamps or the action figures.

christmas story action figures.jpg

I think there are two reasons for the movie’s enduring appeal. First, it perfectly evokes the experience of childhood. Today’s kids may not drink Ovaltine or wait for their decoder rings, but they still have to deal with bullies and they still wish for gifts their parents think are too dangerous. But more than that, this is the perfect antidote to all those stories of Christmas perfection on one hand and dysfunction on the other. I love the way this family responds when everything goes wrong. They laugh. And you know that in the future, this Christmas is the one they will always remember.

Parents should know that this movie includes some mild sexual references. A character offers money to a girl to do some non-specific things for him and looks at pictures of women in lingerie. There are also humorous references to bad language including a child having his mouth washed out with soap for swearing.



  • Anne

    We usually find movie mom’s movie reviews to be accurate and very helpful for us as parents when we look for movies to watch with our kids (currently in 2nd and 3rd grade). However, this review, in our estimation, was way off.
    To be fair, we turned the movie off after about 40 minutes because we were surprised by the amount of profanity used in the movie. Perhaps the last half of the movie was better than the first. It wasn’t worth it, to us, though.
    Movie mom states the movie has “mild epithets” and profanity “not heard”. In the portion we saw, we heard “son of a b****” twice, very clearly, and “smart a**” twice, also very clearly. Three of these were uttered by kids in the film. Also, another couple of scenes focused on the word “fu**”, uttered by a child, although it was only heard partially.
    We still love movie mom, and usually we trust her judgment on recommending wholesome movies for families — but this review really missed the mark. It seems that either her minimum age recommendation should have been much higher (for the amount of profanity), or the grade of A+ should have been much lower (or both).

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    I do apologize, Anne. When my archive of reviews was transferred to Beliefnet, the age recommendations did not always register correctly. I have amended the review to indicate that it is recommended for middle schoolers and up.

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