The movie rating guide in America has had a few changes over the years. Most people don’t care what the rating guide has to say about the movies they watch. But if you have kids, then you worry about everything and put faith in organizations like the MPAA. The movie rating system is run by the Motion Picture Association of America who spend most of their time these days griping about Pirate’s Bay.
- General Audiences. A film rated G will contain no sex, nudity, drug use, violence, emotionally scarring content or adult situations. This rating is usually identified with kid movies but nature films, documentaries and other non offensive films can also earn the G rating. Naturally the movie rating guide that defines a G rated film is controversial due to the eternal debate over what is acceptable to children. By the current standard, a movie like “Bambi” could easily be changed to PG because that hunter dude totally blew his mom away.
- Parental Guidance. A PG rated film can offer a little violence, brief nudity and mild profanity. Movies in this rating system are still seen as decent choices for children if the parents deem them old enough to handle someone getting mooned or kicked in the balls while screaming ‘Crap!’ An example of a film rated PG would be a movie like “Corpse Bride”.
- PG 13. The PG-13 rating came about in 1984 thanks to “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”. Some parents found it a little too gory when Mola Ram ripped the bloody, still beating hearts out of victims. Studio executives panicked at the thought of their action summer flick cash cows being rated R. So Steven Spielberg had a chat with MPAA president Jack Valenti and they hashed out the PG-13 rating. The movie rating guide allows PG-13 films to have drug use, non-sexual nudity and violence that is not too gory. “G.I. Joe: Rise Of Cobra” is a perfect example of a PG-13 flick.
- Restricted. The R rating is for films with too much adult content. No one under seventeen is allowed unless they are accompanied by a guardian or cool older brother. Graphic violence, simulated sex, adult themes and filthy, potty mouths abound. While you can take your kid to go see a movie like “Saw”, you probably shouldn’t.
- NC-17. The movie rating guide changed the X rating to NC-17 in 1990. No one under the age of seventeen can see a NC-17 movie so you know they are pretty cool. Rated X was identified strongly with pornography and studios were having a hard time selling the films that fell under this rating. The last rated X flick was “Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III”.
- Heavy R? These days the film studios are lobbying the MPAA for yet another rating change. NC-17 still falls under the stigma of being too obscene for our Puritan values. This affects Hollywood revenues. The solution would be for a new rating called Heavy R. The actual parameters of the Heavy R rating have yet to be revealed but it sounds sexy. Like naked exploding cursing zombie sexy.