Movies for Kids

MOMMY MOVIE REVIEW: How Young is TOO Young for “Ready Player One”

This is a big one for me because my daughter is throwing a Ready Player One birthday party and inviting everyone in her 8th grade class. I’ve already gotten inquiries about it from those parents and some friends as well, so this is what you can expect from Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One.
It’s based on the popular novel by Ernest Cline, but I’ve heard it doesn’t stay true to the source material. Ready Player One tells the story of Wade Watts, a lonely gamer in the year 2045. He plays a popular virtual reality game called The Oasis, where Wade and most everyone else in the future spends their time. The creator of The Oasis has died, but left a game in place that would leave it’s ownership in the hands of whoever wins. Wade must follow the clues that were left behind and save The Oasis from a new, dangerous threat.
This movie is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for “sci-fi action violence, bloody images, some suggestive material, partial nudity and language,” but what exactly does that mean?
Well, I can tell you that the language in Ready Player One is pretty mild profanity, except for the one f-bomb I counted. The sci-fi action violence comes primarily in the form of CGI, so it’s bloodless and impersonal. I think the suggestive material refers to a scene where Wade’s avatar meets his crush at a virtual dance club. Wade’s wearing a special suit so he can feel when their avatars touch, which gets a little racy. She moves between his legs at one point, but the affect is more implied than seen.
The partial nudity and bloody images come during a scene that might be the toughest for sensitive viewers. It’s also my favorite part of the whole movie.
Wade and his friends follow clues to a virtual game that takes place inside the movie The Shining. Here, they are subjected to terrifying twins, tidal waves of blood and that one creepy zombie-lady in the bathtub (fans of The Shining know EXACTLY who I’m talking about). The blatant nudity from the original film IS omitted, but there’s a profile shot that gets the message across.
This part of the movie IS scary, but not traumatizing. I would compare it to a video-trip through Disney’s Haunted Mansion, but with a tiny bit of zombie-nudity.
The rest of Ready Player One is enjoyable (if not a little shallow and, at 2.5 hours, over-long) and appropriate for kids 12 and older. Parents will have to use their best discretion for kids younger than that. I will be taking my 10-year-old because she’s comfortable with scary movies and because she’s a gamer who will LOVE The Oasis. Plus, she’s heard far worse language from her Mom while sitting in traffic!
Ready Player One is now in theaters and you can find tickets HERE.

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