Established by the MPAA in 1968, the rating system was created to help parents make informed viewing choices for their children.
Learn the facts, history, and evolution behind 50 years of ratings.
THE FILM RATING SYSTEM
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Disney and Universal Take Part in MPA-EICOP Entertainment Law and Policy Fellowship
The MPA and the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program (EICOP) today announced this year’s MPA-EICOP Entertainment Law and Policy Fellows’ studio placements.
MPA Builds Out Federal Government Affairs Team
Alivia Roberts and Katherine Grayson will both join as Director, Federal Government Affairs. Charlie Schonberger will join as Manager, Federal Affairs and Trade Policy. All three will be based in our global headquarters in Washington, DC.
Michael Rodriguez Joins MPA as Senior Litigation Counsel & Director for Content Protection in Americas
In his role, Rodriguez will closely coordinate with law enforcement officials across the United States, Canada, and Latin America on critical content protection matters such as felony streaming in the U.S. and other online piracy prosecutions throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Statement on the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program Extension
Version 4.0 of the California Film and Television Tax Credit program — which Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law — will build on the program's success by creating new commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion and establishing a pilot program on production safety, among other provisions.
The Second Annual MPA Awards
We're presenting our 2023 MPA Awards to three individuals from the global creative and policy communities who have made notable contributions to the film, TV, and streaming industry: award-winning director/writer/producer Gina Prince-Bythewood , U.S. House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries , and Mexico City Governor Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo .
Hispanic Serving Institution Graduates Named 2023 MPA-EICOP Entertainment Law and Policy Fellows
Meet our 2023 Fellows: Alberto Lugo, who received his J.D. in 2022 from the UCLA School of Law with specializations in Media, Entertainment, & Technology Law and Policy and Critical Race Studies; and Samantha Wauls, a 2022 graduate from the University of New Mexico School of Law.
MPA Welcomes Republic of Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol to Global HQ
The Motion Picture Association hosted Republic of Korea (ROK) President Yoon Suk-yeol at our global headquarters, marking the first time a Korean president has formally met with the American entertainment industry. The event brought together some of the most important and culturally influential content creators from the United States and the ROK.
At this year's CinemaCon — the annual gathering of movie theater owners from around the world — our Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin addressed attendees about the state of the film industry and highlighted the latest efforts and news from the MPA.
American Parents' Views on Movie Ratings
American parents overwhelmingly believe the Motion Picture Association’s film ratings are accurate and that they help them make better movie choices for their families, according to a new report released by our Classification and Rating Administration, which administers the rating system.
MPA Expands Latin America Team, Hiring New Communications, Public Affairs and Advocacy Leaders
We've expanded our team in Latin America, naming Cesar Castillejos as Vice President of Communications, Public Affairs and Advocacy for the region and Carlos Monroy as Advocacy Director for Mexico. These two appointments strengthen the MPA’s impact in Latin America, which is undergoing enormous growth in its home/mobile and theatrical markets.
MPA Hires Josh Levin as Vice President of State Government Affairs for the Northeast Region
Levin will be based in New York, creating an official office in the region and continuing our shift towards a regional approach for the association’s state government affairs work.
TPN Launches Upgraded Program and New TPN+ Platform to Advance Entertainment Content Security
The Trusted Partner Network (TPN) — the leading global film and television content security initiative, which is fully owned by the MPA — is launching its enhanced program with a new membership model, application and cloud content security assessments, and the TPN+ platform.
With this expansion and the launch of the new TPN+ platform, TPN is bolstering its program to keep pace with rapid change and evolution throughout the media and entertainment industry.
Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Generated Over $314 Million for Georgia’s Economy
The film's production infused the Georgia economy with more than $314 million in local economic activity, created more than 1,800 local jobs for Georgia residents, and supported many local businesses.
New York State Multicultural Creativity Summit
The Motion Picture Association, in partnership with Empire State Development and the New York Latino Film Festival, hosted the 2022 New York State Multicultural Creativity Summit — providing a roadmap for diverse content creators to navigate the film and television industry.
California Captures Millions in Economic Activity from Production of 'Nope'
Prior to hitting the big screen, Jordan Peele’s 'Nope' generated 1,550 local jobs and tens of millions of dollars for the state’s economy, according to data from NBCUniversal’s Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG).
At our inaugural MPA Awards, hosted at our global headquarters in Washington, D.C., we honored four individuals from the global policy and creative communities who have made notable contributions to the film, TV, and streaming industry.
Writer-director Nikyatu Jusu received the MPA Creator Award, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ) received MPA Industry Champion Awards, and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) received the MPA Lifetime Achievement Award.
2021 THEME Report
The 2021 THEME Report is a comprehensive analysis and survey of the theatrical and home/mobile entertainment market environment. It provides in-depth analysis of how the film, television, and streaming content industry performed in 2021, as well as an audience demographic survey.
Humans tell stories—it’s what we do. Today, the stories that define our lives and shape our world are brought to life by the global creative community, including the creators and artists working in film and television. The Motion Picture Association fosters this economic and cultural enterprise by advocating for policies that recognize the power of our stories, reward creators, and allow us to produce, distribute, and protect the creative content audiences love.
How Osage Tradition Influenced the Hair & Makeup in “Killers of the Flower Moon”
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About Film Ratings
Established by the Motion Picture Association in 1968, the rating system gives parents, guardians, and teachers the tools they need to make informed decisions about what children watch.
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Best Movies 2021
The Best Movies category awards the best-reviewed film regardless of their release, whether they went straight to streaming or swung onto the silver screen. Spider-Man: No Way Home became the mega-cultural event that would entice moviegoers back into theaters, and it lived up to the hype for critics, as well. It was a music-filled year with In the Heights , West Side Story , and Summer of Soul . On the heavy side, some big tomatoes for Pig and a career-best Nicolas Cage, Jane Campion’s first-in-11-years The Power of the Dog , and A Quiet Place Part II , everyone’s collective exhalation through horror. Meanwhile, Raya and the Last Dragon , The Mitchells vs the Machines , and Coda brought representative, progressive ingredients to family storytelling.
The order reflects Tomatometer scores (as of December 31, 2021) after adjustment from our ranking formula, which compensates for variation in the number of reviews when comparing movies or TV shows.
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) 93%
In the Heights (2021) 94%
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (2021) 99%
Pig (2021) 97%
The Power of the Dog (2021) 94%
CODA (2021) 94%
Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) 93%
West Side Story (2021) 92%
A Quiet Place Part II (2021) 91%
The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021) 97%
The Suicide Squad (2021) 90%
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) 92%
Shiva Baby (2020) 97%
The Velvet Underground (2021) 98%
The Truffle Hunters (2020) 97%
Quo vadis, aida (2020) 100%.
Luca (2021) 91%
Slalom (2020) 100%
Drive My Car (2021) 97%
Coded Bias (2020) 100%
The Sparks Brothers (2021) 96%
Parallel Mothers (2021) 96%
The Lost Daughter (2021) 94%
Mayor (2020) 100%
Two of Us (2019) 98%
Mass (2021) 95%
Luzzu (2021) 98%
Changing the Game (2019) 100%
Acasa, My Home (2020) 100%
Sabaya (2021) 100%
More golden tomato awards 2021.
Best Wide Release Movies 2021
Best Limited Release Movies 2021
Best Streaming Movies 2021
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Mpaa movie ratings (usa).
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) supervises a board of 8 to 13 members who work for the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA). In turn, the board is funded by film distributors and producers, who pay a fee to have their films rated.
The MPAA President (currently Chris Dodd) chooses the Chairman of the Rating Board. Board members are chosen from U.S. society and must meet the qualifications of having a "parenthood experience" and possessing an "intelligent maturity" (quoting the MPAA website). They meet in Los Angeles, California, and apply the following ratings to films:
Operating since 1968, an important difference between the MPAA and movie rating boards of many other countries is the voluntary nature of the American movie rating system. No studio, distributor, theater, or video store is bound by any legislation to follow the ratings applied by the MPAA ratings board.
However, member companies of the MPAA (Disney, 20th Century Fox, Sony/Columbia Tristar, MGM, Paramount, Universal, and Warner Bros) have good incentive to submit all of their releases for ratings along with many other non-member studios. Many theaters and theatrical chains have policies whereby they refuse to exhibit movies that have not been rated by the MPAA. Also, the increasing threat by U.S. lawmakers to put legislation in place if the industry cannot regulate itself, is incentive for the motion picture industry to keep their own policing efforts in force.
While the MPAA ratings appear on home video titles released in the U.S., DVD releases are not considered separate products from the original films and therefore retain the identical rating provided to each movie for its theatrical release. That means MPAA ratings on video releases do not take extra features into account. Also, if the main film has been altered -- such as a special "Directors Edition" -- the film will revert back to "Unrated" status when it is sold on home video formats.
Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) 15301 Ventura Blvd. Bldg. E Sherman Oaks, California 91403 (818) 995-6600 Email: [email protected] www.mpaa.org
The Top 20 Highest-Rated Movies on Rotten Tomatoes
What are the movies with the highest rating on RT and why have they endured for so long?
With the sheer amount of content permeating every facet of media, from streaming to physical media, it’s hard wading through everything to find the best of the best. Thankfully the folks at Rotten Tomatoes have created a handy list of the top-rated features on their site to give audiences a starting point for finding the enduring classics that might connect with them.
But the list is just a starting point. A bird's eye view. So we wanted to look closer at the list itself and the movies on it. What is it about them that has allowed them to rise to the top and become the highest-rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes?
It's important to note that the ranking of the list—as crafted by Rotten Tomatoes itself—was created using a movie's "Adjusted Score." RT officially explains the score as follows:
Each critic from our discrete list gets one vote, weighted equally. A movie must have 40 or more rated reviews to be considered. The Adjusted Score comes from a weighted formula (Bayesian) that we use that accounts for variation in the number of reviews per movie.
This adjustment is made to account for the volume of reviews a movie receives. So if a movie only has four reviews, but all are positive, it technically has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. But if a movie has 483 reviews and a 96% score, that average is technically harder to achieve given the sheer number of reviews that exist.
So without further ado, let's dig into the top 20 highest-rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes.
20. All About Eve (1950)
RT Score: 100%
One of the quintessential features about show business, All About Eve is the Single White Female of the 1950s. Legendary actress Bette Davis plays legendary actress Margo Channing who takes a shine to a sycophantic fan named Eve ( Anne Baxter ). But as Margo and her friends soon realize, Eve has more than just friendship on her mind; she actually wants to steal Margo’s career from her, and everything that comes with it.
Directed and written by Joseph Mankiewicz , All About Eve was a critical darling upon release in 1950. Critics praised the acid-tongued dialogue and the acting of all involved. It would eventually win six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Since its release it’s often called one of the smartest films to exist with its insider-view of the theater world that many believe is synonymous with filmmaking. It holds a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Roger Ebert cited it as Bette Davis’ finest work. It’s a crackling story that reminds everyone to watch out because your friends and enemies might just be one and the same.
19. Dunkirk (2017)
RT Score: 92%
It might surprise many to realize this is the only feature directed by Christopher Nolan to enter this list. Nolan’s tenth feature film follows the various men from Belgium, Great Britain, and France who fought and died during the battle of Dunkirk in WWII. The film was a long-time passion project for Nolan who initially conceived of it in the early 1990s. The film’s visceral imagery was often compared to Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan , and Nolan crafted the entire narrative as something of a time puzzle. The all-star cast often takes a backseat to the sheer power of the cinematography and technical prowess.
Dunkirk went on to win three Academy Awards for sound and editing and made over $500 million worldwide. Though it holds a 92% on RT, critics at the time cited its script, direction, cinematography, and score as worthy of praise, with many considering it Nolan’s best as well as one of the foremost features on WWII.
18. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
RT Score: 98%
One of the most iconic images of cinema is little Elliott ( Henry Thomas ) and his friends traveling across the moon to help their alien buddy E.T. “phone home.” The Steven Spielberg -directed feature is a heartfelt, funny, and compassionate story of friendship wrapped up in a coping with divorce narrative (heavy stuff for a kid’s film). On a scant budget of just $10 million, E..T the Extra-Terrestrial has netted nearly $800 million since its release in 1982 (it was re-released in 1985 and 2002) and surpassed Star Wars as the highest-grossing film of all time. It also won four Oscars, mainly in effects and sound as well as the John Williams -created score that’s endured alongside the movie.
It’s a film that connected with audiences so much it was screened at the White House for then-President Ronald Reagan, made Princess Diana cry, and was showcased at the United Nations. Interestingly, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial won universal acclaim upon release but boasts a 98% on RT with one negative review.
17. Coco (2017)
RT Score: 97%
The first of three Disney films on this list (excluding the Fox merger), Coco tells the story of a little boy named Miguel who wants to be a musician. Unfortunately his family, for reasons unknown to him, has placed a ban on music. So when Miguel steals the guitar of a long-dead and famous Mexican musician he is accidentally sent to the Land of the Dead where he must reunite with his ancestors and learn about his family’s past.
Coco marked the first motion picture to boast an all-Latino cast and have a nine-figure budget. It was also Pixar’s first film with a Latino lead character. Like all Pixar features Coco is a blend of humor and heart, with a final scene that is an emotional gutpunch. The songs, penned by Frozen lyricists Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez , are spunky and infectious with the track “Remember Me” going on to win Best Original Song at the 2018 Academy Awards; the film also won Best Animated Feature.
Coco boasts a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes receiving praise for its rich characters and colorful animation.
16. Modern Times (1936)
Whether you’ve seen one of his films or not, nearly everyone can identify Charlie Chaplin’s “the Tramp” character. The kind-hearted vagrant with a mustache and bowler hat had been Chaplin’s bread and butter since the mid-1900s. Interested in the nature of machinery, especially in the midst of the Great Depression’s unemployment, Chaplin assembled a movie wherein his Tramp character plays a factory worker struggling to deal with modern technology and the aftermath of losing his job. Chaplin hoped Modern Times would be his first “talkie,” but decided to abandon the idea and keep the Tramp silent for as long as he could. (The character’s first sound film would be four years later in The Great Dictator .)
Though it won no awards in 1936, Modern Times is considered Chaplin’s best feature and is his most popular, boasting a perfect 100% on RT. Reviews at the time were positive, though not overly effusive and it was not commercially successful in the United States with its political views on labor being cited as controversial. Modern Times is often championed for prophesying our increased dependence on machinery and automation, all seen through the eyes of one little Tramp.
15. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
Another 100% feature on the list, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a silent German Expressionist film about a somnambulist (or sleepwalker) played by Conrad Veidt , who commits murders at the behest of the evil Dr. Caligari ( Werner Krauss ).
A landmark in horror history, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is usually taught in film schools as the best example of German expressionism. The movement is commonly identified for its reliance on dark and twisted imagery, sharp and oblique angles, and shadows painted directly on the sets themselves. The film is perceived to be a war allegory, with Veidt’s Cesare the German soldiers fighting in WWI and Dr. Caligari the government sending them off to their deaths. Today the feature is a creepy tale of control with a dreamlike atmosphere and stark cinematography. It’s a highly memorable silent film.
Surprisingly, the film was marketed as a standard horror film, free of artistic pretensions and captured an audience upon release in 1920. It was distributed in the U.S. the next year but was pulled from theaters after protests regarding the presentation of German features during wartime. It’s unclear how the movie was received in 1920. Some film theorists have said it was a commercial and critical success while others maintain it was a critical failure that was “too high-brow to become popular in Germany,” this per Siegfried Kracauer. Regardless, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari has become a foundational film and a must-see for any fans of horror.
14. Casablanca (1942)
RT Score: 98%
When asked to say the first classic era film you've seen, the usual answer is this 1942 war drama directed by Michael Curtiz . Humphrey Bogart plays Rick Blaine, an apathetic bar owner in the Vichy-controlled city of Casablanca. When he’s reunited with Ilsa ( Ingrid Bergman ), the woman who got away, Rick is forced to reconcile with his past and his own response to the events going on in the city.
Casablanca remains a perfect example of why studio-era cinema has endured. Its stars are A-list and utterly flawless, the directing isn’t technologically focused but geared towards the performances, and it has serious stakes. However, while filming it was assumed that Casablanca would just be another war drama in a decade dominated by them. You might say the studio didn’t think it’d amount to a hill of beans.
Reviews in 1942 were pleasant with resident critic Bosley Crowther applauding its sentiment. Other papers, like The New Yorker , simply called the film “pretty tolerable.” With a budget of a little over $1 million the grosses were good but not spectacular. It wasn’t until the late-’50s that audiences started to appreciate the movie for the classic it is. Here’s looking at you, kid!
13. It Happened One Night (1934)
One of the funniest screwball comedies out there, there’s nothing better than It Happened One Night . Claudette Colbert plays heiress Ellen Andrews who runs away from home because she can’t marry who she wants. She meets up with reporter Peter Warne ( Clark Gable ) and the two strike a deal: if she gives him an exclusive he won’t rat her out to her dad. Thus the two end up on a cross-country adventure with Ellen realizing her privilege and the two falling in love.
Screwball comedy was popular during the Depression as it positioned the wealthy in positions of goofiness (how times have changed). Colbert’s Ellen is relatable, a princess running away from the strictures of her rigid life. Gable’s Peter is scrappy, a man’s man. The two’s chemistry is fantastic and makes for some unforgettable comedy.
Interestingly, Colbert thought the movie was “the worst picture in the world and home studio Columbia didn’t think much of it either. Reviews were pleasant, with Variety saying there wasn’t a “particularly strong plot.” Word-of-mouth and the Depression creating a need for heartwarming stories helped the film do brisk business, eventually turning it into a hit. It won five Oscars, including both Best Actor and Actress for its leads, as well as Best Picture and is labeled as one of the best comedies ever made.
12. Eighth Grade (2018)
RT Score: 99%
Director Bo Burnham blew audiences away in 2018 with his feature directorial debut, Eighth Grade . The film follows Kayla ( Elsie Fisher ), who is about to finish her last week of middle school. As the tween prepares to transition to a new school, she's forced to confront all her social awkwardness and the problems she doesn’t want to follow her to high school.
Burnham was inspired to make Eighth Grade by his own adolescent anxieties. He translated that into a feature examining the generation of children who came of age with social media. Newcomer Elsie Fisher, who’d previously been known for voicing one of the little girls in Despicable Me , became an instant star after the film’s release for her performance as Kayla, garnering a Golden Globe nomination in the process (the film would receive no Oscar nominations). Eighth Grade holds a 99% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes with reviews praising its “supreme awkwardness” and “achingly honest” script.
11. Inside Out (2015)
In 2015, Disney and Pixar got psychological with Inside Out , the colorful tale about the anthropomorphic feelings that control the minds of every being on this planet. In this case, the audience meets the emotions of a girl named Riley. Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler ) wants Riley, who is moving from her hometown of Minnesota to San Francisco, to have the perfect transition. But when Sadness (voiced by Phyllis Smith ) messes things up it’s up to Joy to get the little girl’s mind back in order.
With the success of the 2009 film Up director Pete Doctor was able to pitch this movie, inspired by his daughter Elie personality change as she became a teenager. The film was a bit of a game-changer for the studio, the first to not be intensely overseen by Pixar’s former chief creative officer John Lasseter and the first to have half the story crew be comprised of women.
Inside Out premiered out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015 and grossed over $850 million worldwide with the biggest opening gross for a Pixar movie at the time. It holds a 98% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes with the critical consensus being that it’s “another outstanding addition to the Pixar library of modern animated classics.”
10. Wonder Woman (2017)
RT Score: 93%
After several decades in development, Warner Bros. announced in 2010 plans to adapt Wonder Woman for the screen. With an at-the-time untested director in Patty Jenkins and a leading lady who wasn’t a household name in Gal Gadot , Wonder Woman was considered a gamble that paid off big time.
Gadot plays Diana of Themyscira, a princess living on an island of Amazonian women warriors. When a WWI spy (played by Chris Pine ) crash-lands on Themyscira it kicks off a series of events that sees Diana leave home to travel to England. Diana hopes to find a “Godkiller” weapon to stop the evil god Ares from destroying humanity.
Wonder Woman connected with audiences everywhere but none more so than women, who found the movie’s predominantly female cast and lack of male gaze to be refreshing. In a time where politics were making women fear everything, Diana and the women of Themyscira gave them hope. The film was a success financially and garnered incredibly positive reviews despite the online discourse that dominated social media. It was considered DC’s best feature at the time and kick-started a wave of discussion on the roles of women, both in front of and behind the camera.
9. Moonlight (2016)
RT Score: 99%
The Oscars mistake heard round the world is usually cited as overshadowing the sheer power of Barry Jenkins’ powerful tale of love between two African-American men. Everything in Moonlight , from the performances to Nicholas Britell’s score, to the luminous cinematography, is astounding.
Director Barry Jenkins was reluctant to tackle a second film after his 2008 feature, Medicine for Melancholy , debuted. After that he wasn’t able to get a script into production. Urged on by his producer, Jenkins took a shot at adapting Tarell Alvin McCaraney’s play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue . The finished product pointedly discussed black masculinity, particularly where it regards homosexuality, poverty and struggle, and the relationships between families.
On a budget of just $4 million, Moonlight grossed $65.3 million worldwide in 2016. It holds a nearly perfect 99% on Rotten Tomatoes with several reviews praising the film’s authentic and personal story. It would win three Oscars, including Best Picture where it infamously was thought to have lost to La La Land . A presenter snafu led to the most controversial Oscars ceremony in years.
8. The Third Man (1949)
Directed by the acclaimed British auteur Carol Reed with a script by Grahame Green , The Third Man is a landmark in British film noir. The Third Man follows Holly Martins ( Joseph Cotten ), a man sent to Vienna on the behest of his friend Harry Lime ( Orson Welles ). But when Holly discovers Lime’s been murdered it kickstarts a twisted and wholly unpredictable mystery.
With its stark black-and-white cinematography and heavy use of Dutch angles, The Third Man is considered one of the most expressive and cynical features to come out of post-WWII Britain. The feature is not only regarded for its look, but its acting, and a third-act twist that is still a highlight for fans today.
The Third Man became the most popular film in Britain in 1949, though the reviews were tepid elsewhere. Critics in the U.S. praised it, even if a few thought the cinematography was overwhelming. Surprisingly, the film was nominated and won just one Oscar for Robert Kasker’s “deliriously tilted” cinematography. Since its release the film is considered a masterpiece and a must-watch for film aficionados.
7. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
In 1979 Australian director George Miller debuted Mad Max about a post-apocalyptic world. The film had two sequels, 1983’s Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome . The films made Miller a cult favorite who would go on to direct The Witches of Eastwick (1987) and Happy Feet (2006). Miller also was offered a chance to make a big-scale Justice League movie that legendarily crashed and burned . But in that time Miller was always working on a fourth Mad Max film. After obtaining the rights in 1995 he spent the next 20 years attempting to get the film made.
It wasn’t until 2009 that Warner Bros. offered to help Miller with the film and in 2011 Mad Max: Fury Road entered production. The film followed a new incarnation of Max (this time played by Tom Hardy ) and a woman named Furiosa ( Charlize Theron ) attempting to liberate a group of female prisoners. The intense action and physical effects remain remarkably revolutionary in an age of CGI, and numerous essays have been written on the film’s feminism.
With a $200 million dollar budget it would have been difficult for the feature to turn a significant profit and only grossed $378 million worldwide. It was cited by Forbes as “too expensive, but not really a flop.” Reviews were strong with several critics championing Fury Road as the greatest action feature ever made. The film won six Academy Awards in the tech field, including Best Costumes and Production Design and, more importantly, has introduced Max and his gang to a whole new generation. The movie has a 97% on RT.
6. Get Out (2017)
Before he was an Oscar-nominated director, Jordan Peele was best known as one half of the comic duo Key and Peele . After his comedy show went off the air in 2015, Peele transitioned to directing and burst out the gate with a movie that challenged audiences’ thoughts on race, history, and the nature of the horror movie. In Get Out , Daniel Kaluuya plays Chris, a black man invited to meet the parents of his white girlfriend. But what starts out as an awkwardly weird weekend turns into a terrifying tale of cultural appropriation.
Get Out flew under the radar right up until the moment of release, premiering at the Sundance Film Festival a month before hitting theaters nationwide. Upon release in 2017, reviews were extremely enthusiastic. Writers were praising the film from every angle, from its presentation of the white savior trope to how it looks at black culture butting up against white society. Get Out was a box office success, a critical darling and, more importantly, made Jordan Peele the fifth Black man nominated for Best Director. He won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and the film currently stands at 98% on RT.
5. BlacKkKlansman (2018)
RT Score: 96%
Spike Lee has been challenging audiences’ thoughts on race since the 1980s, but it wasn’t until he adapted the story of Colorado Springs police officer Ron Stallworth that he nabbed his first Best Director nomination.
In the 1970s, Stallworth (played by John David Washington ) was the first Black man hired to the Colorado Springs police department. When he stumbles upon an ad for the Ku Klux Klan, Stallworth decided to infiltrate the organization with the help of a white fellow officer ( Adam Driver ). BlacKkKlansman is at times both painfully humorous and utterly terrifying. Lee and screenwriters Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz create something that feels timely and, unfortunately, timeless.
A box office success upon release, BlacKkKlansman drew as much criticism as it did praise. Lee’s provocative story drew rave reviews from critics, while director Boots Riley took to social media to decry the director’s use of inaccurate facts for narrative entertainment. Regardless, the film holds a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and was nominated for six Academy Awards. Lee didn’t win for Best Director but did get a chance to make a speech at the awards ceremony when the film won for Best Adapted Screenplay.
4. Citizen Kane (1941)
RT Score: 100%
If you’ve studied film in any capacity you’ve seen and/or heard “Rosebud,” the plaintive cry that anchors Orson Welles ’ filmic monument, Citizen Kane . Welles was just 25 when he wrote, directed, starred and produced Citizen Kane . Inspired by the life of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst , Welles created newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane, an ambitious man who reaches the heights of professional glory at the expense of personal relationships.
Citizen Kane is a marvel of filmmaking from its directing to its cinematography, with director of photography Gregg Toland creating several new techniques that have become de rigueur in cinema today. The film’s release history already has several books written on it, but the movie irked Hearst immensely. He attempted to have the film stopped and when that didn’t work he banned all advertising, reviews, or mentions in any of the newspapers he owned. Several major theaters refused to screen it for fear of running afoul of Hearst and his lead gossip columnist, Louella Parsons .
When Citizen Kane finally did open it was a box office disappointment, playing to near empty houses in rural areas and major cities. Despite several good reviews at the time the film was the first (though far from the last) time Welles would be in the red. It was nominated for nine Oscars regardless of Hearst’s campaign, though it only won one for Best Original Screenplay. Now Citizen Kane is regarded as a masterpiece, the film by which all other films are judged, and Welles’ name is positioned firmly as one of the greatest directors of our time.
3. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
It’s hard to believe but The Wizard of Oz only has a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes! Who could possibly dislike the most charming, fun, sweet movie to ever exist? One that’s made a legion of children smile and has inspired nearly every movie to follow? It’s just baffling. The story of Dorothy ( Judy Garland ) and her trip over the rainbow to the land of Oz has countless books written on its production, which involved numerous directors, costume changes, and actor swaps, but the finished product remains just as dazzling today as it did in 1939.
The Wizard of Oz came out in one of the best years for cinema and, interestingly enough, is the only feature from the Golden Year to make this list. This was home studio MGM’s pony (alongside Gone With the Wind ). The movie was a massive undertaking with numerous worlds created on a studio backlot (and a revolving door of directors). Judy Garland was just 16 when she got the role of a lifetime as Dorothy Gale, taking on a role that initially was offered to Shirley Temple .
It isn’t surprising that the movie received huge praise in 1939; not from The New Yorker though who called it a “stinkeroo.” Because of its large budget it took several years for the movie to reach a profit, aided by subsequent re-releases throughout the ‘40s. It did only win two Oscars (out of a low six nominations) for Best Song and Score. But no matter because the movie now is cited as one of the best films ever made with nearly all of its cast becoming legends.
2. Lady Bird (2017)
For a generation of women in 2017, watching director Greta Gerwig’s feature Lady Bird was like being sent right back to their high school. The story of a confident young woman named Lady Bird ( Saorise Ronan ) and her desire to leave her Sacramento hometown was relatable, funny, cringe-worthy at times but always delightful. Gerwig, the star of films like Frances Ha and Mistress America , had been working on the script for years and was determined to make it her first solo directorial effort.
Lady Bird grossed nearly $80 million worldwide and was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture. Greta Gerwig became just the fifth woman nominated for Best Director, the first since Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman Best Director winner for The Hurt Locker in 2009.
1. Black Panther (2018)
RT Score: 96%
By the time Black Panther was released the Marvel Cinematic Universe had been a presence for ten years. And yet, in all that time, audiences were still asking for a superhero lead of color.
All that changed with the release of Ryan Coogler ’s Black Panther , an exuberant, rich, and highly entertaining story about the citizens of the fictional country of Wakanda. Led by T’Challa ( Chadwick Boseman ) as the eponymous Black Panther, the nation of Wakanda must band together to stop the evil Killmonger ( Michael B. Jordan ).
In development since 1992 - Wesley Snipes wanted the role badly - Black Panther went through its fair share of development hell . With Snipes leaving the project in the early 2000s, Marvel finally greenlit it as part of their phase two slate in 2014 with Boseman, who had previously played Jackie Robinson and James Brown , as King T’Challa.
Black Panther grossed over $1 billion dollars in 2018, becoming the highest-grossing solo superhero film and the highest-grossing film by a black director. More iconic was its winning of three Academy Awards, including Ruth Carter ’s fantastic costume design. It also marked the first time a Marvel feature was nominated for Best Picture.
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What do movie ratings mean, and who applies them?
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The movie rating system used in the United States was created in 1968, as a replacement to the Hays Production Code. The Hays Production Code simply gave the Production Code Administration's approval or disapproval of a movie, without any gradation to describe the movie's content. The arrival of more and more wide-appeal movies containing adult content led the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), in conjunction with the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) and the International Film Importers & Distributors of America (IFIDA), to devise a new rating system to help parents protect their children from mature material. The rating system originally consisted of four ratings and now includes five.
The body that assigns these ratings is the Rating Board, located in Los Angeles. The Rating Board consists of eight to 13 full-time members and is part of the Classification and Rating Administration . The president of the MPAA chooses the chairman of the Rating Board but has no say over the board's decisions. Board members come from a variety of backgrounds, but they all have some parenting experience so they can look at movies with a parent's perspective. Members of the board view each film submitted for a rating, estimate the appropriate rating individually, discuss their thoughts as a group and vote on what rating the film should receive. The board also provides the producer of the film with an explanation of its decision, if the producer requests one. If the producer isn't happy with the rating the film receives, he can re-edit the film and resubmit it for rating, or he can appeal the board's decision. In this case, the Appeals Board, which consists of 14 to 18 movie industry professionals, hears both sides of the argument and votes on whether to overturn the decision. A rating can only be overturned by a two-thirds majority vote.
The rating process is largely subjective and is ever evolving. A Policy Review Committee comprising MPAA and NATO officials monitors the Review Board and provides guidelines to follow when rating movies. At this time, the Rating Board rates movies as follows:
- G -- "General Audience - All Ages Admitted" : Applied when a film contains no nudity, sexual content, drug use or strong language. Violence is minimal and the theme of the movie is deemed appropriate for young children. According to the MPAA, a G rating does not indicate the film is a children's movie.
- PG -- "Parental Guidance Suggested. Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Children" : The Rating Board applies this rating when the members believe the film contains themes or content that parents may find inappropriate for younger children. The film can contain some profanity, violence or brief nudity, but only in relatively mild intensity. A PG film should not include drug use.
- PG-13 -- "Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13." The MPAA added this rating in 1984 to denote films in which violence, profanity or sexual content is intense enough that many parents would not want to expose their younger children to the film, but not so intense as to warrant an R rating. Any movie featuring drug use will get at least a PG-13 rating. A PG-13 movie can include a single use of what the board deems a "harsher, sexually derived word," as long as it is only used as an expletive, not in a sexual context.
- R --"Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian" : The Rating Board applies this rating to movies the members believe contain a high level of adult content, such as harsh profanity, intense violence, explicit sexual content and extensive drug use. In some states, the minimum age to see an R rated movie unaccompanied is 18.
- NC-17: "No One 17 And Under Admitted" : Originally called X, this rating is applied to films the board believes most parents will consider inappropriate for children. It indicates only that adult content is more intense than in an R movie; it does not imply any sort of obscenity. As with films rated R, the minimum age to see a NC-17 movie is 18 in some states.
This rating process is entirely optional; no filmmaker is required to submit her film for a CARA rating. Most filmmakers do because most movie theaters in the United States use the ratings system, and it's harder to get them to show a movie if it's not rated. Filmmakers who do not submit their movies to the Rating Board are free to release their movie unrated or to apply any other rating system. They cannot use any of the above ratings, however, as they are trademarked. CARA is not associated with the U.S. government, and its film ratings have no legal meaning.
This rating system is used when movies come out in theaters and when they are released on video. It is intended only for use in the United States. Rating organizations in other countries apply their own ratings to U.S. movies, and the Rating Board rates submitted foreign movies with its system, disregarding the film's rating in any other country.
Here are some interesting links:
- The Classification and Rating Administration
- The Motion Picture Association of America
- Kids-in-Mind -- A useful site that rates movies based on specific types of mature content.
- Hollywood Seeks End to Internet Movie Piracy
Movie Ratings FAQ
What are the five movie ratings, is nc-17 worse than r, can a 11-year-old watch a pg movie, why is an nc-17 rating bad, what is pg-13.
Please copy/paste the following text to properly cite this HowStuffWorks.com article:
Movie Ratings Explained — Origins & How They’ve Changed
H ave you ever wondered why movies are rated the way that they are? The rating a film receives can have a significant impact on its audience size and, by the same token, on its box office revenue. But, what do all of the various letter ratings really mean? We will be explaining each of the current movie ratings as well as all of the former ratings that are no longer used. Let’s tackle each rating in escalating order of severity, but first, a bit of background on the rating process.
Movie Ratings Explained
Who determines movie ratings.
The organization in charge of assigning ratings at their discretion is the MPA, or Motion Picture Association, but most people will likely be more familiar with the previous name of the organization, the MPAA, which formerly stood for Motion Picture Association of America. The name and acronym were shortened relatively recently in 2019 after operating for 74 years as the MPAA.
To learn more about this organization, be sure to read our What is the MPAA? article. The documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated also offers a compelling deep dive into the behind the scenes operations of the MPA.
This Film is Not Rated • Full documentary
Movie ratings are assigned by different organizations around the world and sometimes level judgements based on entirely different criteria. These ratings are specific to the United States film industry. Let’s get started with the rating given to films that are perfectly safe for all ages.
Film Rating Organization
When the Hays Code was repealed in 1968 and replaced with the voluntary film rating system, the G rating was one of the four initial ratings and is still used to this day. The G rating is given to films considered appropriate for “General Audiences,” meaning these films do not contain any objectionable content and are suitable for viewers of all ages.
What happened to the G rating? • Movie rating guide
The G rating is still around to this day but it has become less frequently used over the years. The G rating used to be more widely applied to films of varying content but now it is reserved for only the absolute safest and squeaky-clean of films. The PG rating has even largely replaced the G rating as the de facto rating for most children’s movies. Check out our list of the best kids movies of all time and see where they land on the G to PG spectrum.
Cinema Ratings Explained
There is a decent chance that you have never heard of the M rating. This short-lived rating was given to films considered appropriate for “Mature Audiences.” But it was quickly the subject of much confusion as some films assigned the M rating were still considered appropriate for most children. The exact meaning of “Mature” was unclear to the general public and, because of this, the rating was changed.
The M Rating explained • Who rates movies
The M rating was only used between 1968-1970 when it was replaced by the GP rating, which stood for “General Public.” However, the GP rating was also ill-fated as it was soon replaced again with a rating that finally stuck, the longstanding PG rating.
What Are the Movie Ratings
Preceded by the M and GP ratings, the PG rating has remained in use ever since it was first introduced in 1972. The PG rating is given to films where “Parental Guidance” is suggested. PG films are typically considered safe for kids to watch but may contain suggestive content.
PG movie moments that push the rating boundaries • Rating system for movies
Before the introduction of the PG-13 rating, PG films were often able to push the envelope much farther than they can today. Over the years, the general MPAA ratings have both loosened and tightened in accordance with the perceived social norms of the times.
For a deeper dive into these fluctuating social norms, check out our exploration into the history of film censorship in America .
For example, in the '70s, a film with violence, gore, swearing, and even nudity could land a PG rating, such as Jaws . Whereas a film containing those elements released in the current year would never land a PG rating. Find out where Jaws ranks on our rundown of the best Spielberg films ever made .
Ratings for Movies
The PG-13 rating was introduced in 1984 as an intermediate level between the PG and R ratings. A number of films fell into a grey area where they contained more objectionable content than the average PG film but didn’t push enough boundaries to land an R rating.
Films like Jaws and Poltergeist landed PG ratings upon release, but these days, they would be far more likely to land PG-13 ratings.
Why the PG-13 rating was created • Movie rating system
The one-two punch of Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom directly led to the creation of the PG-13 rating. It was Steven Spielberg himself who suggested the addition of a new rating between PG and R to accommodate films that landed in this as-yet undefined gray area. Spielberg directed and/or produced all four of these risque PG rated films. Learn more about Steven Spielberg’s directing style in our guide to how Spielberg directs a long take .
Movie Rating Organization
The R rating was one of the four initial ratings when the voluntary film rating system was first introduced in 1968. The R stands for “Restricted,” meaning no one under the age requirement would be admitted to an R rated film on their own. However, someone below the required age can still be admitted as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Movies rated R for questionable reasons • All movie ratings
Even though this rating has been around since the beginning, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t changed at all over the years. The initial age requirement for admittance to R rated films was 16 before being raised to 17 in 1970.
The R rating is the highest rating level that most films receive, but there is one rating higher.
- History of Censorship in America →
- The Hays Code & Hollywood Censorship →
- What is the MPAA & How Does It Work? →
Movie Ratings Meaning
The X rating was the fourth and final initial rating when the system was first instituted in 1968. However, the X rating is a bit of an outlier in the system. The X rating was not an official rating assigned by the MPAA but rather a rating that producers could self-assign to their films in lieu of submitting for an official MPAA rating or after being rejected from any of the lower ratings.
Whatever happened to the X rating? • Cinema ratings explained
When the X rating first came into being, the age requirement for admittance to X rated films was 16 years old. As opposed to R rated films, no one under the age of 16 could be admitted to an X rated film under any circumstances, even if accompanied by a parent or guardian. In 1970, the age requirement was bumped up one additional year to 17.
Noteworthy films such as Midnight Cowboy and A Clockwork Orange received X ratings. Though A Clockwork Orange later had it’s rating lowered to an R after approximately 30-seconds of footage was re-edited. Read about A Clockwork Orange and other great examples of satire to learn more.
Receiving an X rating could drastically reduce the audience size and box office potential of a film. So filmmakers and producers were highly incentivized to avoid landing an X rating. Most theaters would refuse to screen X rated films, and TV stations would not air even censored versions of X rated films.
Many advertising options offered to other films were not available to X rated movies. There have been many instances of the MPAA refusing to issue R ratings to films, requiring additional cuts in order to avoid an X rating hurting the film’s bottom line.
In 1990, the X rating was retired and replaced with the NC-17 rating. The X rating had become closely associated with pornography, and filmmakers objected to their films being classified in the same category. The MPAA did not assign X ratings to pornographic films, but since the X rating was a self-assigned rating in lieu of an official MPAA rating, pornographic filmmakers adopted the X rating and used the label with relish.
The two films that most directly led to the creation of the NC-17 rating were Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and The Cook , the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover . Both films received X ratings, frustrating their respective filmmakers for the limitations the rating imposed on their films.
Many advertisers refused their promotional materials, theaters refused to screen the films, and rental stores even refused to stock their X-rated tapes. The latter accepted the X rating while the former chose to remain “Unrated.” After the NC-17 rating was instituted, the first film to receive the new rating was Henry & June , which had previously received an X rating as well.
News report on the introduction of the NC-17 rating • all movie ratings
When first introduced, the wording for the NC-17 description read: “No Children Under 17 Admitted.” In 1996, the wording was changed to: “No One 17 and Under Admitted,” effectively raising the age requirement by one additional year to 18.
Films rated NC-17 still faced additional promotional and distribution challenges not faced by films rated R and lower. But they were less severely hampered than they would be by an X rating or remaining unrated in some cases. The introduction of the NC-17 rating has been the last significant update to the movie ratings system thus far.
NR and UR labels
If a film doesn’t fit any of the previous labels, it may wind up labeled NR or UR, which stand for “Not Rated” and “Unrated” respectively. At first glance, the NR and UR labels might look like they mean the same thing, and they are sometimes used interchangeably, but there is also an important distinction.
The Not Rated label is usually applied to films that are not yet rated or that have chosen to remain “Not Rated” rather than accept the rating assigned by the MPAA. A film might be promoted in trailers and other advertisements ahead of receiving an official MPAA rating with the disclaimer “This Film is Not Yet Rated.”
On the other hand, the “Unrated” label is most commonly applied to alternate cuts of a film that differ from the initial theatrical release. An “Unrated” cut of a film often exists alongside a rated cut of the film. It commonly appears on home video releases or re-releases that contain additional footage or do not maintain the cuts initially made to ensure a lighter rating from the MPAA.
Saw rated vs. unrated comparison • Film rating organization
Because of the voluntary nature of the film rating system, some filmmakers would choose to leave a film as “Not Rated” rather than take on an X rating. Films like Day of the Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 remained “Not Rated” after being refused R ratings from the MPAA. NR films received some of the same screening and advertising limitations as X-rated films but were sometimes afforded more leeway and avoided the pornographic connotation of the X rating.
What is Pre-Code Hollywood?
What is pre-code Hollywood? Before the movie rating system was introduced and before the Hays Code was enacted, the state of Hollywood censorship was vastly different. Learn all about pre-code Hollywood, up next.
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Home » USA » How Does the Film Rating System Work in America?
How Does the Film Rating System Work in America?
As you settle into your seats with your popcorn and drink, a film obviously intended only for adults begins to play on the big screen. This is pure horror to you since you decided to bring your entire family, including your little kids, to watch this movie. Now all of you are sitting stiff as a rock. No one even dares to turn their neck throughout the excruciating two hours of runtime.
How were you to know? The poster didn’t give you a clue. Sure, you saw an NC-17 rating while booking the tickets, but that was as good as gibberish to you. Well, if you had known, you could have saved yourself some discomfort and embarrassment.
If terms like “PG-13,” “R,” and “NC-17” sound confusing, you have happened upon the right page on the internet. Especially if you have kids.
Films may contain content that is unsuitable for children, or triggering to adults. That is why the American film rating system implements such intricate terminology. It is supposed to clue in viewers as to what they can expect from a movie.
Familiarizing yourself with the Motion Picture Association (MPA) is beneficial if you are a movie fanatic who is new to the States. First off, we will take a look back at the past to locate the origins of the American film rating system. Then we’ll learn how American film ratings work.
The Motion Picture Industry Rating System: A Brief Introduction
It all started in 1968. The Motion Picture Association (MPA) introduced a rating system to help parents decide which films are appropriate for their children. These ratings are determined by the Classification and Ratings Administration (CARA), and a board of an independent group of parents is involved in the process.
The MPA represents the five major American film studios—Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros—and Netflix. This means all films released by these studios and platforms have to get an MPA rating. The scheme is voluntary for other nonmembers of the MPA. Films can even be exhibited without any rating.
Although this is not a law-enforced rating system, the MPA is today’s dominant American film rating system. A bad MPA rating might lead to the refusal of screenings from movie theaters.
Since 1968, the MPA has gone through a myriad of modifications in terms of its rating system. The American film rating system we know today is the outcome. Let’s get familiar with the latest MPA rating terms.
Types of MPA Film Ratings
1. g (general audiences).
The safest rating a movie can get. People of all ages are admitted to the theater. There is nothing offensive for either children or adults in G-rated movies. Popular examples are Cars and Ratatouille .
2. PG (Parental Guidance)
PG films contain material that may not be suitable for children. This means parents are urged to provide “parental guidance,” as in accompanying their kids to the movie theater. However, this usually applies to films sensitive only for very young children.
These films are usually safe to watch with families. Interstellar and the Harry Potter series fall in this category.
3. PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
A PG-13 movie is considered inappropriate for children under 13, so parents are advised to exercise caution. But, other than pre-teenagers, these movies can be enjoyed comfortably by all. Think of movies like Avatar and La La Land .
4. R (Restricted)
This is where the trouble starts. R-rated movies may contain violence, adult situations, or both. Parental guidance is compulsory for anyone under 17. It’s best not to go to these movies with the family. Fifty Shades of Grey and Joker should ring some bells.
However, not all R-rated movies are guilty of the same offense. Parents should ideally learn more about the film before taking their children to the theaters.
5. NC-17 (Adults Only)
Often referred to as the “kiss of death” for any film, the NC-17 rating limits a film’s prospects of being marketed, screened in theaters, and sold in major video outlets. Movies with this rating often face financial failures. Kubrick classics like Eyes Wide Shut and A Clockwork Orange fall under this category.
An NC-17 film is for adults only. No one below the age of 18 can watch these films at the theater, even with parental guidance. Children are strictly prohibited inside. Needless to say, you would be taking your family to watch such a film at your own risk.
6. NR/UR (Not Rated/Unrated)
As we have mentioned before, not all films need to be reviewed and rated by the MPA for exhibition at theaters. Such unrated films are displayed with an NR or UR rating. This also happens when an uncut or recut version of the film is played.
Film ratings are accompanied by content descriptors that justify why a film got a certain rating. You can spot these in trailers and posters. So, if you are unsure about a certain film, read the film rating content descriptors.
You will exclusively see these for PG to NC-17 rated films. Since G-rated films’ content is suitable for all audiences, they don’t have content descriptors.
Criteria of Judgement for American Films
It’s not enough to simply know the rating terms. You must also know what the basis of this judgment is.
Say you are taking your grandparents to a movie. You may think strong language is not a problem in their company, but extreme violence may be over the line. How can you know which ratings are indicative of less violence and full language freedom?
After assessing the usual criteria for judgment in the American film rating system, you might have a clearer picture.
Violence is permitted, but in progressively ascending intensity in accordance with the ratings. Mild to moderate violence is allowed in G to PG-13 movies. Anything beyond that receives the R and NC-17 rating, since excessive violence can be triggering even for adults.
Language is a sensitive issue in the G and PG movies. Only some snippets of speech that go beyond polite conversation are permitted in G-rated films; don’t expect anything stronger than that.
Profanity is allowed in PG-rated films, but the use of a harsh word with sexual connotations will incur at least a PG-13 rating.
An R rating is given only in cases of paramount use of explicit language. However, language is rarely a major factor for getting an R or NC-17 rating.
Films portraying substance abuse are restricted to PG-13 and above. This can be even in the form of language, as in a drug reference. From 2007 onwards, depictions of cigarette smoking have also started to be considered in a film’s MPA rating.
In extreme cases, R and NC-17 ratings are also doled out on the basis of drug use. Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream received an NC-17 rating for its explicit portrayal of narcotic drugs and addiction.
No nudity is allowed in G-rated films. It is restricted to PG and above, but that too in a brief and non-sexual context. Any prolonged nudity will require at least a PG-13 rating.
If nudity is sexually oriented, the movie will generally require an R rating. Of course, there is the NC-17 rating for outrageously graphic sexual content.
Sex scenes are excluded from G-rated films. Just like with violence, it is allowed in increasing degrees and periods as per the ratings.
Although there are no explicit criteria for sexual content by the MPA, the system places too much emphasis on sex, in practicality, all the while letting films with massive amounts of gruesome violence pass through with a mere PG-13 or R rating. The Exorcist is a case in point.
There is an uneven distribution of what is considered appropriate by the American film rating system. This has largely to do with persisting orthodox tendencies of censoring sex.
What Should You Take Away From A Film Rating?
Ratings only speak of the nature of the content; not for the quality of the film. There are plenty of clean G-rated movies that are insufferable, and equally as many R and NC-17 rated films that awe the audience. Therefore, it is best not to judge a film before you watch it solely based on how much “indecent” content it is rumored to have.
The American film rating system has been developed for parental supervision; it should be used for that purpose alone. MPA ratings are not the same as movie reviews, and should be treated with due distinction. Movies are made with a lot of time, effort, and money. The content they include is relevant to the context. Maybe don’t take your kids with you, but give it a try, nevertheless. You are the final judge.
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The United States of Movies — 51 iconic films
The united states of movies.
Movies have touched almost every aspect of the American experience — and just about every square inch of land. EW picks the one film that best captures the spirit and story of each state.
Ava DuVernay 's drama about Martin Luther King Jr. ( David Oyelowo ) and his famed protest march uses historic locations, including the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Related : Inside the Best Picture nominees: A deep dive into Selma
Into the Wild (2007)
Christopher McCandless ( Emile Hirsch ) abandons his urban life for one in nature — with tragic results. The beautiful, brutal Alaskan landscape takes center stage.
Raising Arizona (1987)
The Coen brothers ' kidnapping comedy transforms the Southwestern desert into a cartoonish world of bizarre dialects, manic chases, and a bounty hunter from hell.
True Grit (1969)
This Western, partially set in Fort Smith, follows crotchety U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn ( John Wayne ) and headstrong teenager Mattie Ross ( Kim Darby ) as they pursue her father's killer.
In Roman Polanski 's inky noir, Jack Nicholson investigates dark deeds and darker secrets in 1930s Los Angeles. A hard-boiled masterpiece.
A psychotic fan ( Kathy Bates ) nurses an injured novelist ( James Caan ) in the snowy confines and rural disquiet of her Rocky Mountains home.
The Ice Storm (1997)
Ang Lee 's glimpse into the bleak heart of WASPs in moneyed Fairfield County reveals a spiritual funk that no amount of Scotch, self-help, or key parties can cure.
Fight Club (1999)
Sometimes called "the Chemical Capital of the World," Wilmington (unnamed in the film) provides the setting for this antisocial opera that rhapsodizes about explosive violence and soap products.
District of Columbia
All the President's Men (1976)
Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman play Washington Post muckrakers Woodward and Bernstein in this riveting procedural about speaking truth to power.
Say hello to director Brian De Palma 's Miami-set tale of gangsters and cocaine (and cocaine). Al Pacino stars as Cuban refugee-turned-criminal overlord Tony Montana.
Related: Al Pacino utters iconic Scarface line 35 years later in exclusive clip
More than just a nightmare of backwoods banjo players, this film suggests that within every upright Atlanta businessman hides a wild Appalachian hunter.
Lilo & Stitch (2002)
An alien crash-lands on rainy Kauai and learns valuable lessons about ohana and Elvis in a film that explores the meaning of sisterhood.
Napoleon Dynamite ( 2004)
This cult classic is so Idaho, it sparked a flippin' festival there, complete with tetherball and a tater-tot-eating contest.
The Blues Brothers (1980)
John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd bring the cool (and the shades) as bluesmen who burn serious rubber around the Prairie State to save their old orphanage.
Breaking Away (1979)
Beneath the surface of this tale of a blue-collar teen and his dream of being a world-class cyclist beats the heart of a life-affirming epic about us versus them.
Field of Dreams (1989)
When a farmer ( Kevin Costner ) replaces his cornfield with a baseball diamond, the town assumes he's lost his mind. But it tees up a tearjerker about fathers, sons, and the magic of the game.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Dorothy Gale might go over the rainbow but she discovers that there's no place like the Sunflower State.
Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
This rags-to-riches biopic tracks how country-music legend Loretta Lynn ( Sissy Spacek ) became the voice of her ol' Kentucky home.
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
New Orleans is a city eternally preserved in the liquidy black-and-white lust of Tennessee Williams' pinnacle drama.
The Cider House Rules (1999)
Lasse Hallström directs the John Irving novel, where "princes of Maine and kings of New England" come of age in apple orchards beneath Yankee blue skies.
Perky, plus-size Tracy Turnblad ( Nikki Blonsky ) fights for acceptance (and dance fame) in this song-filled redo of John Waters ' 1988 homage to his beloved Baltimore.
The Departed (2006)
Martin Scorsese 's Oscar winner dives into Boston's underbelly. Matt Damon stars as a police department mole, Leonardo DiCaprio as a cop undercover in the local Mob.
Set against Detroit's Motown scene, this adaptation of the Broadway musical follows the Dreams as they navigate the highs and lows of stardom.
Despite bearing the name of a North Dakota city, the Coen brothers' northerly noir is quirky Minnesota to its core. Yah.
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Norman Jewison 's tinderbox Best Picture winner centers on a Black Northern police detective ( Sidney Poitier ) investigating a murder in Sparta, Miss.
Gone Girl (2014)
David Fincher 's exquisite adaptation of Gillian Flynn 's thriller captures a landscape so expansive, a woman could vanish into it.
A River Runs Through It (1992)
Director Robert Redford makes the big skies and clear waters of 1920s Missoula, Mont., every bit as striking as a young Brad Pitt .
A delusional father, a depressive son, a road trip to Lincoln: What could go wrong? Alexander Payne 's meditation on the past offers an unlikely vision for the future.
The Hangover (2009)
What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas after three friends awake with no memory of the world's wildest bachelor party.
Our Town (1940)
The film of Thornton Wilder's American classic visits Grovers Corners, where a young couple and their families face love, life, and loss.
Garden State (2004)
No mobsters or housewives here: South Orange son Zach Braff showcases Joisey's eclectic spirit in this offbeat comedy about an actor's unconventional homecoming.
Gas Food Lodging (1992)
The dusty streets and striated skies of a small desert town provide the backdrop for this tale of two lonely girls and their waitress mother.
Do the Right Thing (1989)
On a hot day in Brooklyn, tensions simmer, boil, and explode. Spike Lee 's masterpiece is a panoramic portrait of New York City at its best and worst: every neighborhood a city, every block a universe.
This beguiling drama glows with precise local details and mysterious characters, and Amy Adams ' gentle star-making performance.
Three Faces West (1940)
This Dust Bowl saga was overshadowed by The Grapes of Wrath , but star John Wayne , playing a proud farmer, delivers flag-waving sermons worthy of this state.
From slushies at the convenience store to explosives in the school gym, this jet-black comedy exposes the horror lurking under the surface of suburban Sherwood.
Take a ride in your surrey with the fringe on top for this adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1943 musical, featuring the catchiest anthem for a state ever written.
Stand by Me (1986)
The Stephen King story was set in Maine, but Rob Reiner 's adventure about four friends searching for a dead body finds wonder in Oregon's green woods and wild rivers.
Few visitors can resist sprinting up the 72 steps outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art because of Sylvester Stallone 's testament to a blue-collar state that stands tall.
The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
Director George Miller brings demented mayhem to RI's pastoral estates and historic churches — with an assist from a devilish Jack Nicholson.
The Big Chill (1983)
In Lawrence Kasdan 's baby-boomer classic, seven college friends reunite in an antebellum mansion for a funeral, and to examine what happened to their 1960s ideals.
Terrence Malick 's films are steeped in nature, telling stories born from the land. The same is true of his first film: a hazy, bleak rehashing of the American dream.
In his epic latticework set in the state's capital, director Robert Altman celebrates Nashville as the essence of America's thumping, generous, crazy heart.
As big and wide as the state it portrays, George Stevens' generation-spanning family saga strides across a Lone Star landscape of cattle barons and oil tycoons.
127 Hours (2010)
Amid a topography so gorgeously spooky and remote it might as well be Mars, Aron Ralston ( James Franco ) must save himself when his arm is trapped by a boulder — a testament to nerve and endurance.
Dead Poets Society (1989)
Although shot in Delaware, the Robin Williams gem about a passionate teacher at a prestigious prep school captures the rebellious nature of this New England state.
Jimmy Stewart stars as a widower who wants nothing to do with the Civil War, until his son is apprehended by Union troops and he's forced to battle his conscience.
The supernatural teen romance put the town of Forks on the map. Under perpetually gloomy Pacific Northwest skies, Bella Swan ( Kristen Stewart ) finds forbidden love with gentleman vampire Edward Cullen ( Robert Pattinson ).
October Sky (1999)
You can almost taste the coal dust in this story of future NASA engineer Homer Hickam Jr. ( Jake Gyllenhaal ), who grew up in a mining town in the state's lower cradle — and discovered the only way out was up.
Friendships are tested when down-on-her-luck Milwaukee baker Annie ( Kristen Wiig ) is drafted to be the maid of honor for lifelong bestie Lillian ( Maya Rudolph ). Cue the Wilson Phillips.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Director Ang Lee's gut-wrenching love story may have been shot in the towering Canadian Rockies, but the rugged hearts of its heroes — two ranch hands ( Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal) who embark on a doomed romance — are pure Wyoming.
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The Most Popular movies in the US States
The most popular movie in the largest city of each US State (as of making list)
- Movies or TV
- IMDb Rating
- In Theaters
- Release Year
1. SpaceCamp (1986)
PG | 107 min | Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi
The young attendees of a space camp find themselves in space for real when their shuttle is accidentally launched into orbit.
Director: Harry Winer | Stars: Kate Capshaw , Lea Thompson , Kelly Preston , Larry B. Scott
Votes: 15,653 | Gross: $9.70M
Filmed in Huntsville, AL
2. Into the Wild (2007)
R | 148 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.
Director: Sean Penn | Stars: Emile Hirsch , Vince Vaughn , Catherine Keener , Marcia Gay Harden
Votes: 646,048 | Gross: $18.35M
Filmed in Anchorage, AK
3. Jerry Maguire (1996)
R | 139 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent agent with the only athlete who stays with him and his former colleague.
Director: Cameron Crowe | Stars: Tom Cruise , Cuba Gooding Jr. , Renée Zellweger , Kelly Preston
Votes: 281,229 | Gross: $153.95M
Filmed in Phoenix, AZ
4. Gone with the Wind (1939)
Passed | 238 min | Drama, Romance, War
A sheltered and manipulative Southern belle and a roguish profiteer face off in a turbulent romance as the society around them crumbles with the end of slavery and is rebuilt during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods.
Directors: Victor Fleming , George Cukor , Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable , Vivien Leigh , Thomas Mitchell , Barbara O'Neil
Votes: 328,009 | Gross: $198.68M
Filmed in Little Rock, AR
5. Malignant (I) (2021)
R | 111 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery
Madison is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.
Director: James Wan | Stars: Annabelle Wallis , Maddie Hasson , George Young , Michole Briana White
Votes: 103,985 | Gross: $13.39M
Filmed in Los Angeles, CA
6. In the Line of Fire (1993)
R | 128 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan couldn't save Kennedy, but he's determined not to let a clever assassin take out this president.
Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Clint Eastwood , John Malkovich , Rene Russo , Dylan McDermott
Votes: 111,081 | Gross: $102.31M
Filmed in Denver, CO
7. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
PG-13 | 122 min | Action, Adventure
In 1957, Indiana Jones becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls.
Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford , Cate Blanchett , Shia LaBeouf , Karen Allen
Votes: 483,034 | Gross: $317.10M
Filmed in Bridgeport, CT
8. Human Hibachi (2020)
90 min | Comedy, Horror
A man documents his girlfriend's 35th birthday on his phone. What he captures throughout the night are the most disturbing human acts imaginable.
Director: Mario Cerrito | Stars: Wataru Nishida , Andrew Hunsicker , Zachary Chung Pun , Carley Harper
Filmed in Wilmington, DE
9. The Devil's Advocate (1997)
R | 144 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
An exceptionally-adept Florida lawyer is offered a job at a high-end New York City law firm with a high-end boss--the biggest opportunity of his career to date.
Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Keanu Reeves , Al Pacino , Charlize Theron , Jeffrey Jones
Votes: 393,263 | Gross: $60.98M
Filmed in Jacksonville, FL
10. The Suicide Squad (2021)
R | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
Supervillains Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, Peacemaker, and a collection of nutty cons at Belle Reve prison join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X as they are dropped off at the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.
Director: James Gunn | Stars: Margot Robbie , Idris Elba , John Cena , Joel Kinnaman
Votes: 390,441 | Gross: $55.82M
Filmed in Atlanta, GA
11. Jurassic World (2015)
PG-13 | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A new theme park, built on the original site of Jurassic Park, creates a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur, the Indominus Rex, which escapes containment and goes on a killing spree.
Director: Colin Trevorrow | Stars: Chris Pratt , Bryce Dallas Howard , Ty Simpkins , Judy Greer
Votes: 668,160 | Gross: $652.27M
Filmed in Honolulu, HI
12. The To Do List (2013)
R | 104 min | Comedy, Romance
Feeling pressured to become more sexually experienced before she goes to college, Brandy Klark makes a list of things to accomplish before hitting campus in the fall.
Director: Maggie Carey | Stars: Aubrey Plaza , Johnny Simmons , Bill Hader , Alia Shawkat
Votes: 41,203 | Gross: $3.45M
Filmed in Boise, ID
13. Candyman (2021)
R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller
A sequel to the horror film Candyman (1992) that returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began.
Director: Nia DaCosta | Stars: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II , Teyonah Parris , Nathan Stewart-Jarrett , Colman Domingo
Votes: 73,434 | Gross: $61.19M
Filmed in Chicago, IL
14. Eagle Eye (2008)
PG-13 | 118 min | Action, Mystery, Thriller
Jerry and Rachel are two strangers thrown together by a mysterious phone call from a woman they have never met. Threatening their lives and family, she pushes Jerry and Rachel into a series of increasingly dangerous situations, using the technology of everyday life to track and control their every move.
Director: D.J. Caruso | Stars: Shia LaBeouf , Michelle Monaghan , Rosario Dawson , Michael Chiklis
Votes: 193,215 | Gross: $101.11M
Filmed in Indianapolis, IN
15. The Experiment (2010)
R | 96 min | Drama, Thriller
26 men are chosen to participate in the roles of guards and prisoners in a psychological study that ultimately spirals out of control.
Director: Paul T. Scheuring | Stars: Adrien Brody , Cam Gigandet , Forest Whitaker , Maggie Grace
Filmed in Des Moines, IA
16. Mars Attacks! (1996)
PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi
Earth is invaded by Martians with unbeatable weapons and a cruel sense of humor.
Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Jack Nicholson , Pierce Brosnan , Sarah Jessica Parker , Annette Bening
Votes: 239,025 | Gross: $37.77M
Filmed in Wichita, KS
17. Goldfinger (1964)
PG | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
While investigating a gold magnate's smuggling, James Bond uncovers a plot to contaminate the Fort Knox gold reserve.
Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: Sean Connery , Gert Fröbe , Honor Blackman , Shirley Eaton
Votes: 198,801 | Gross: $51.08M
Filmed in Louisville, KY
18. Reminiscence (2021)
PG-13 | 116 min | Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi
Nick Bannister, a private investigator of the mind, navigates the alluring world of the past when his life is changed by new client Mae. A simple case becomes an obsession after she disappears and he fights to learn the truth about her.
Director: Lisa Joy | Stars: Hugh Jackman , Rebecca Ferguson , Thandiwe Newton , Cliff Curtis
Filmed in New Orleans, LA
19. Thinner (1996)
R | 93 min | Fantasy, Horror
An obese attorney is cursed by a gypsy to rapidly and uncontrollably lose weight.
Director: Tom Holland | Stars: Robert John Burke , Joe Mantegna , Lucinda Jenney , Bethany Joy Lenz
Votes: 32,991 | Gross: $15.17M
Filmed in Portland, ME
20. The Sum of All Fears (2002)
PG-13 | 124 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
CIA analyst Jack Ryan must stop the plans of a Neo-Nazi faction that threatens to induce a catastrophic conflict between the United States and Russia's President by detonating a nuclear weapon at a football game in Baltimore, Maryland.
Director: Phil Alden Robinson | Stars: Ben Affleck , Morgan Freeman , Ian Mongrain , Russell Bobbitt
Votes: 122,520 | Gross: $118.91M
Filmed in Baltimore, MD
21. Free Guy (2021)
PG-13 | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
When Guy, a bank teller, learns that he is a non-player character in a bloodthirsty, open-world video game, he goes on to become the hero of the story and takes the responsibility of saving the world.
Director: Shawn Levy | Stars: Ryan Reynolds , Jodie Comer , Taika Waititi , Lil Rel Howery
Votes: 406,324 | Gross: $121.63M
Filmed in Boston, MA
22. Don't Breathe 2 (2021)
R | 98 min | Action, Crime, Horror
The sequel is set in the years following the initial deadly home invasion, where Norman Nordstrom lives in quiet solace until his past sins catch up to him.
Director: Rodo Sayagues | Stars: Stephen Lang , Madelyn Grace , Brendan Sexton III , Adam Young
Votes: 68,579 | Gross: $32.64M
Filmed in Detroit, MI
23. Fargo (1996)
R | 98 min | Crime, Thriller
Minnesota car salesman Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson.
Directors: Joel Coen , Ethan Coen | Stars: William H. Macy , Frances McDormand , Steve Buscemi , Peter Stormare
Votes: 706,695 | Gross: $24.61M
Filmed in Minneapolis, MN
24. The Help (2011)
PG-13 | 146 min | Drama
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
Director: Tate Taylor | Stars: Viola Davis , Emma Stone , Octavia Spencer , Bryce Dallas Howard
Votes: 482,081 | Gross: $169.71M
Filmed in Jackson, MS
25. Superhero Movie (2008)
PG-13 | 75 min | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Orphaned high school student Rick Riker is bitten by a radioactive dragonfly, develops super powers (except for the ability to fly), and becomes a hero.
Director: Craig Mazin | Stars: Drake Bell , Leslie Nielsen , Sara Paxton , Christopher McDonald
Votes: 73,854 | Gross: $26.64M
Filmed in Kansas City, MO
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Comparing Tv Vs Movie Ratings: Which Reigns Supreme?
Are you one of those individuals who constantly finds themselves in the debate of TV vs. movie ratings? If so, you’re not alone. This hot topic has sparked numerous conversations and arguments among entertainment enthusiasts. In this article, we will delve into the intriguing comparison between TV and movie ratings, discussing their similarities, differences, and the impact they have on our viewing experience. So, whether you’re a fervent TV show binge-watcher or a dedicated moviegoer, get ready to explore the world of TV vs. movie ratings and uncover the secrets behind their allure. Let’s dive in!
TV vs Movie Ratings: Exploring the Differences
The importance of ratings for tv shows and movies.
Ratings play a crucial role in the entertainment industry, providing a measure of audience reception and critical acclaim for TV shows and movies. These ratings serve as a guide for viewers, helping them make informed choices about what to watch. Understanding the differences between TV and movie ratings is essential for both industry professionals and audiences alike. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of TV and movie ratings, examining the various rating systems, their methodologies, and their impact on the viewing experience.
The TV Rating System
Television ratings are designed to provide parents and viewers with information about the content of a TV show, enabling them to make informed decisions about the appropriateness of the program for certain age groups. The primary TV rating system used in the United States is the TV Parental Guidelines established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Here are the categories used in the TV Parental Guidelines:
- TV-Y: Suitable for all children
- TV-Y7: Intended for children age 7 and above
- TV-G: General audience; suitable for all ages
- TV-PG: Parental guidance suggested
- TV-14: Parents strongly cautioned; may contain material unsuitable for children under 14
- TV-MA: Mature audience only; unsuitable for children under 17
The TV rating system is usually displayed as a small icon on the corner of the screen at the beginning of a TV show or during commercial breaks. While these ratings provide a general guideline, parental supervision is still advised, as individual sensitivities can vary.
The Movie Rating System
Movie ratings, on the other hand, differ significantly from TV ratings. They aim to provide viewers with information about the suitability of a movie’s content, considering factors such as language, violence, nudity, and themes. The primary movie rating system in the United States is the Motion Picture Association (MPA) rating system, also known as the MPAA rating system.
Here are the categories used in the MPAA rating system:
- G: General audiences; all ages admitted
- PG: Parental guidance suggested; some material may not be suitable for children
- PG-13: Parents strongly urged to be cautious; some material may be inappropriate for children under 13
- R: Restricted; only admitted with parent or guardian if under 17
- NC-17: No one 17 and under admitted
Similar to TV ratings, movie ratings are typically displayed on posters, movie trailers, and other promotional materials. But unlike TV ratings, movie ratings have a more significant impact on a film’s distribution and marketing strategies.
Factors Affecting TV and Movie Ratings
Various factors influence TV and movie ratings, ensuring that the content is appropriately evaluated and classified.
Content Advisory Boards
Both TV shows and movies undergo a review process by content advisory boards or rating boards. These boards consist of industry professionals or experts who assess the content of a show or movie based on predetermined guidelines. The board members watch the program or film and assign an appropriate rating according to their evaluation.
Viewer Feedback and Complaints
TV shows and movies can also receive feedback and complaints from viewers. If certain content is deemed too explicit or offensive, viewers have the opportunity to voice their concerns to the broadcasting network or the movie studio. This feedback can influence future episodes or sequels, leading to adjustments in the content or rating.
Societal Norms and Sensitivities
Societal norms and sensitivities play a vital role in determining the content that is deemed appropriate for different age groups. As societal attitudes change over time, rating systems may need to evolve alongside them. Topics once suitable for general audiences may now require a higher rating due to shifting cultural perspectives.
Implications for Viewers
Understanding TV and movie ratings is crucial for viewers, allowing them to make informed decisions about the content they consume. It helps parents ensure their children watch age-appropriate shows and movies, while also guiding individuals who prefer specific types of content. By providing clear guidance on content suitability and potential concerns, ratings empower viewers to choose what aligns with their preferences and values.
The Debate: TV vs. Movie Ratings
While both TV and movie ratings serve the purpose of informing viewers, there has been an ongoing debate regarding their effectiveness and consistency. Here are a few key points of contention:
Subjectivity of Ratings
The rating process is subjective and relies on the interpretations of the content advisory boards. Some argue that the same scene or dialogue might receive different ratings depending on the context, making the system less reliable. The subjectivity of ratings can also lead to disagreements among viewers who perceive certain content differently.
Different Standards for Television and Film
TV shows and movies often tackle similar themes and explore the same level of explicit content. However, due to different rating criteria, a TV show might receive a more lenient rating compared to a movie with similar content. This discrepancy has sparked discussions about whether the standards for TV and movie ratings should be aligned.
While ratings provide guidance, it is ultimately the parents’ responsibility to monitor their children’s viewing habits. Some argue that relying solely on ratings may result in inadequate parental supervision, as ratings cannot capture every potential concern or impact the individual sensitivities of each child.
TV and movie ratings exist to help viewers navigate the vast landscape of entertainment choices. They provide a valuable tool for understanding the content and making informed decisions about what to watch. By considering the differences between TV and movie ratings, viewers can make choices that align with their values and preferences. While ratings may not be perfect, they serve as a starting point in the never-ending quest for finding the perfect TV show or movie. Remember, ratings are not meant to restrict but to inform, allowing viewers to enjoy their entertainment experience to the fullest.
MichaelFan2013 Ratings Explanation
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between tv ratings and movie ratings.
TV ratings and movie ratings are systems used to classify and inform viewers about the content of television shows and movies. While they serve similar purposes, there are some key differences between the two.
How are TV shows rated?
TV shows are rated based on content guidelines set by the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board. These guidelines include age-appropriate content warnings such as TV-Y (suitable for all ages), TV-PG (parental guidance suggested), TV-14 (parents strongly cautioned), and TV-MA (mature audience only).
How are movies rated?
Movies are rated by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) using the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) system. This system assigns different ratings such as G (general audience), PG (parental guidance suggested), PG-13 (parents strongly cautioned for children under 13), R (restricted, under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian), and NC-17 (no one 17 and under admitted).
Why are there different rating systems for TV and movies?
The rating systems for TV and movies differ because of their distinct formats and viewership. TV shows are generally broadcasted on regular channels with specific time slots, allowing for more tailored ratings. Movies, on the other hand, are viewed in theaters or through home media, requiring a different set of guidelines.
Can a TV show and its movie adaptation have different ratings?
Yes, a TV show and its movie adaptation can have different ratings. The content of a TV show and a movie can vary, and each is rated independently based on their respective guidelines. Therefore, it is possible for a TV show to have a different rating than its movie adaptation.
Are TV and movie ratings internationally recognized?
While there are variations in rating systems across different countries, some rating classifications, such as G, PG, and R, are widely recognized internationally. Each country may have its own specific rating board or system to inform viewers about the content of TV shows and movies.
In comparing TV and movie ratings, it is evident that the television industry has made significant strides in offering quality content. However, movies still hold their own in terms of cinematic experiences and storytelling. While TV shows often provide more time to develop characters and plotlines, movies maintain their appeal with big-screen visuals and immersive soundtracks. It’s important to remember that both TV and movies cater to different preferences and offer unique experiences. Ultimately, the choice between TV and movies is subjective and depends on personal taste. Both mediums have their own merits, and it is up to the viewer to decide which one resonates with them more.
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The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting Film Classifications
Where applicable, the Decent Films Guide provides classifications assigned to films by the Office of Film and Broadcasting of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops . USCCB classifications for films not covered by the Decent Films Guide can be found at the USCCB Office of Film and Broadcasting website , or at Catholic News Service’s movies page .
The USCCB classifications, although less familiar than the MPAA ratings , are much more valuable for assessing a film’s moral and spiritual significance. Instead of merely keeping tabs on the levels of sex, violence, and coarse language in a film, the USCCB Office of Film and Broadcasting “evaluates films for artistic merit and moral suitability” using the following classifications:
A-I – General patronage
A-ii – adults and adolescents, a-iii – adults, l – limited adult audience.
According to the USCCB website, this classification designates “films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. L replaces the previous classification, A-IV.”
O – Morally offensive
These classifications come with content advisory information summarizing the rationale for the classification (e.g., “some violence and sexual innuendo…”), as well as full-length and capsule reviews for an extensive library of reviews encompassing thousands of films from all decades of cinema. The sheer breadth of coverage now available at the USCCB website makes it one of the most reliably useful online resources for gauging the potential interest level for unfamiliar films.
The Office for Film and Broadcasting has the distinction of being an authorized agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Classifications are assigned by lay professionals, not bishops, and individual film ratings have no authoritative or disciplinary status. Still, the Office for Film and Broadcasting represents an exercise of pastoral and social action on the part of the US bishops, and it is appropriate for Catholics to avail themselves of this resource.
Beyond this, the classifications themselves, and the criteria informing them, provide morally and spiritually relevant information that should be of interest to non-Catholic as well as Catholic Christians. In general, the reviews tend to be professional and savvy, and show critical acumen as well as moral insight.
It is worth noting that the USCCB reviews are the work of many different critics writing at different times, and on the USCCB site these reviews are not signed (though reviews at Catholic News Service’s movies page do display bylines with the writer’s name). Thus, these reviews reflect a variety of approaches and standards that are not always self-consistent.
Perhaps the most significant limitation of the USCCB’s age-based classifications system is that it makes no distinction between positively worthwhile content and merely acceptable or permissible content (that is, content that merely avoids giving offense). A film that has little artistic, entertainment, or moral and spiritual value can get the same rating as the best moral drama, provided only that it avoids objectionable content. Of course, the reviews provide information on whatever positive merits a film may have; but there is no index of such merit in the classifications system, and no way to use the rating to seek out more worthwhile films.
For more about the ratings used by the Decent Films Guide , see the main ratings page . Or see the reviews page to browse reviews by any ratings criterion.