I'm not sure how long the group Common Sense Media has been around (at least since 2007, which I believe is the last time they were mentioned on Cinematical), so I apologize if I am shedding light on something that's already been in and out of the spotlight for years, but I just caught wind of their ratings system yesterday. I was checking Netflix to see if Atlantis: The Lost Empire was available for streaming when I noticed, for the first time, the green Age 7 button declaring that the film's Common Sense rating was "OK for kids 7+".
My first thought was in regards to how much I liked the idea of a 'Common Sense' rating, but then I started to wonder whose common sense it was referring to. So I clicked on to read the actual details of the Atlantis rating and recoiled a bit at the idea. I still think that their assessment of 7+ is a fair one, but the "Common Sense Note" attached to it was curious. You can read the whole thing here, but if you had no idea the style of the film I'm not sure you'd let children anywhere near its "dive-bombing planes, lots of guns, a huge robot monster, fire, and the death of hundreds of anonymous sailors."
Their strange reading of Atlantis aside (their rater is oddly hung up on the anachronisms of an animated fantasy film, for one), I do like the idea behind the Common Sense Media agenda. I do think parents who aren't particularly movie savvy deserve a more descriptive and objective guide to what one can expect from certain films (and I love that Netflix supplies this system's ratings in a supplemental capacity), but I'm still not sure if their system is a better alternative to the MPAA.