Discovery Journey Helps Parents Answer Question: ‘Should My Teenager See United 93?’

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Discovery Journey offers a unique combination of ingredients creating the “recipes” for building character and values in families, schools, neighborhoods and more. In one site, Discovery Journey includes children’s book reviews, movie reviews, and ideas for relaxation time with family and friends.

United 93, the movie detailing the heroic actions of Americans aboard the third airplane hi-jacked by terrorists on September 11th, 2001 is released today and parents may wonder if it is appropriate for their teenagers to view this movie. Because the movie deals with such a recent historical event, parents may want their teenagers to view the movie so that they can appreciate the sacrifice that some Americans have made for the freedom that all Americans enjoy. However, these same parents may be concerned about whether their teenagers are emotionally prepared for such a movie. Discovery Journey helps take the guess work out of such questions by evaluating the content of children’s books and movies for positive and negative examples of the following ten traits: self-discipline, compassion, responsibility, friendship, work, courage, perseverance, honesty, loyalty, and faith. The more strongly a book or movie presents these values-oriented messages, the higher it scores. Points are deducted for negative behavioral influences, such as violence, bad language, nudity, sexual content, scary elements, and the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. The result is a Character Score, ranging from zero to 100 that parents can use to select media that have integral values messages.

The result of the recent movie review for United 93 generated a Character Score of 77 as follows:

Character Traits

Self-Discipline: 3 Stars    

Compassion: 5 Stars    

Responsibility: 5 Stars    

Friendship: 3 Stars    

Work: 5 stars    

Courage: 4 stars    

Perseverance: 3 stars    

Honesty: 3 stars         

Loyalty: 6 stars         

Faith: 4 stars

Absence of Influence    

Violence: 4 stars

Language: 4 stars

Nudity: 6 stars

Sexual: 6 stars

Drugs/Alcohol: 6 stars

Scary: 4 stars

Bad Behavior: 6 stars    

Suggested Ages: Discovery Journey recommends this movie for 17 year old mature teens and adults.

Messages: Never give up.

Reviewer: Pat Guth

Reviewer's Opinion: Well, let me start by saying that I lost my closest college friend (Mary Yolanda Dowling) in the south tower of the World Trade Center, so the decision as to whether or not to see film this was a difficult one. I chose to view it so that I could - in some way - honor those who lost their lives that day by hearing their story. I must say that I've never been so tense while watching a movie. Though we all know the outcome, the depictions of the violence inside the plane and the heart-wrenching phone calls from passengers to their loved ones were very difficult to watch and hear, yet all of us in the movie theater found ourselves rooting for these brave passengers. I disliked watching footage of the 2nd plane flying into the towers again, though I suppose we'll just never escape that - thanks to modern technology. I'm glad I saw the movie, but if you don't want to relive that awful day, I would avoid seeing the film. If you just want to pay homage to the passengers of United 93 and can handle a moderate amount of gore and violence, then it's worth seeing. Be prepared to cry. Nearly the whole audience was sobbing by the end of the movie.

If I were the parent of an older teen, I would definitely consider taking my child to see this film. Five years ago, it may have been difficult for the child to truly grasp the bravery of the people on this airplane. I believe that by re-living the events of that day at an older age, the film will touch the hearts of these youth, teach them about the strength of "ordinary" people placed in extraordinary circumstances, and also make them realize how lucky they are to be Americans.

Full Review of United 93:

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Susan Sitton co-founded Discovery Journey with her husband, Brent. Today, Susan Sitton helps lead the Discovery Journey team of 12 caring, dedicated "guides" with a combined total of 172 years of classroom experience and 18 college degrees among them. Discovery Journey previews new books, reviews new movies, provides entertaining activities and ideas for a variety of situations, and offers general tips for quality family life – at the touch of a button day or night through Susan is a magna cum laude graduate of Texas Christian University. Her previous professional experience was as marketing and membership director for several trade associations. Susan is the mother of triplets and a toddler.

Contact information:

Susan Sitton

Discovery Journey

Phone: 512.809.2983

Fax: 262-779-4832


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