That Was PG-13?

Rock of Ages is yet one more example of why parents shouldn’t offer a blanket “yes” to PG-13 movies.

“But mom… the movie doesn’t have any nudity!”

Neither does the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition… would you buy it for your teenager?

Parents might wanna to rethink this one.

Maybe it’s just because I graduated from high school in 1988, or maybe it’s because I actually have groups like Foreigner, Journey and REO Speedwagon on my iPod… whatever the reason, when I first saw the preview for Rock of Ages, starring Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise and Catherine Zeta-Jones… I thought it looked really good.

My wife Lori and I went to see it, and we were immediately captivated by the music. The movie was funny, creative… and WOW… was it uncomfortably sensual. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a little sensuality between me and Lori, but I’m a little embarrassed when two people start stripping, grinding and moaning in front of me. And that’s exactly what happens if you watch this movie.

Yes, there’s no nudity, but the film couldn’t have been any more sensual even if there was nudity. If a parent were to jump on (the Internet Movie DataBase) and click on the “parents guide” for Rock of Ages (it’s a small link near the rating of the film on IMDB), they could read about two pages worth of notes under the topic “Sex & Nudity.” Here’s just a snippet:

A woman offers to have sex with a man: she opens the ties on his leather trousers with her teeth and we see his pubic hair (no genitals), she looks down with wide eyes, he picks her up and tears off her short skirt and blouse to reveal a skimpy bra and panties (we see cleavage, bare buttocks and thighs); she bends away from him and he sings to her buttocks, she turns the other way and his head is below screen, suggesting oral sex as she writhes, he lifts her onto an air hockey table, pulls her legs apart, rubs her thighs, he lies on the table (his trousers still on), she straddles him at the groin and they writhe as if having sex until she groans and falls off onto the floor, suggesting orgasm (she walks out of the room with her clothing in her arms, and the man reaches into the crotch of his pants to rearrange his genitals and zip his trousers).

Again… this was PG-13.

I don’t want to sound like a whiner or complainer, but parents need to know what media their kids are watching and equip them to skip entertainment like this. It’s okay for parents to say, “Sorry, we’re not going to watch that film.” (Last week I wrote more about dissecting movies and teaching discernment in my blog post, “Dissecting R-rated Movies Like Looper.”)

Todd and I just posted our official review of Rock of Ages today on our Movie Reviews & Quick Q’s page, including some discussion questions we can use if we encounter kids who have seen the film.


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About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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One Response to That Was PG-13?

  1. Shane says:

    Perhaps more adults should consider their own movie choices before seeing movies. offers some great help for this problem… for our kids AND ourselves.