My 17-year-old wants to watch an R-rated movie… some ideas

So you’ve been watching what your kids watch for 17 years, and now you’ve got a kid who’s legally allowed to see R-rated movies, but you’re still not so sure. You don’t want to be seen as a prude, but you’re not ready to say “SURE… let’s watch ‘The Wolf of Wall Street” or ‘8MM'”. There has to be some middle ground, right?

First, if you show them a GREAT movie, and it’s rated R, they can’t complain, right? There are many legendary R rated films from the 70’s and 80’s that might not even be “R” rated in today’s “Walking Dead” and “Supernatural” TV society.

A couple of great ones:

The Godfather (I or II… no one should see III): These movies are absolute classics, and while they’re not for everyone, few contest their Academy Awards. They feature some drug use, some mild nudity and sex and some fairly extreme violence, but they deliver important messages and show violence for what it is. You probably won’t find yourself wanting to cover your kid’s eyes.

Die Hard: This first outing for Bruce Willis in this way-too-long series was a masterpiece of throw-away fun entertainment for “grown-ups”. Your kid will also likely appreciate the presence of “Severus Snape” (Alan Rickman) as Hans Gruber, master criminal leading the group of evil-doers battling with Willis. For a very long time, I felt Hans Gruber and Hannibal Lecter were my two favorite movie villains… until Heath Ledger became The Joker and broke all the molds forever, but that’s getting off topic. Die Hard also features some drug use and very brief partial nudity/sex. There are a few scenes of graphic violence, but again, you probably won’t be lunging to cover anyone’s eyes.

Some other candidates:

  • Adaptation (Nicholas Cage plays twins in this subtle mind-bender)
  • Caddy Shack (tamer “crude and rude” than today’s R-rated romps, but GREAT cast)
  • Spinal Tap (improvised “mocumentary” on a classic rock band in decline)
  • Dirty Harry and the sequels (iconic young Clint Eastwood at his intolerant steeliest)
  • Alien (the grand-daddy of sci-fi horror)

I’m not going to say you’ll have no uncomfortable moments watching these with your kid(s), but you’ll almost certainly enjoy the overall movie, and you probably won’t get criticized for a lame choice when it’s over.

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