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What Do Those Movie Ratings Mean?

One of the first things parents do when deciding what movie to go see is to check the film rating to make sure it’s appropriate for all members of the family.

That little box in the corner with the giant letter sometimes also includes basic information, but what do they really mean?

Different countries have their own movie rating systems based on content and the suitability for certain audiences. In the US the Motion Picture Association of America is responsible for rating films.

It is a completely volunteer program with no laws involved. Movies are presented by the makers to a board of diverse individuals, including some parents.

Here is a  more in depth explanation of film ratings.

G – General Audiences

For all ages. There will be no strong language, nudity, sex, or drug abuse. Minimal violence is allowed.

PG – Parental Guidance Suggested

Some material may not be suited for young children. There may be some profanity, brief nudity, and violence. No drug use is allowed.

PG-13 – Parents Strongly Cautioned

Not appropriate for children under 13. Drug use may be shown, more than brief nudity not of a sexual nature, violence is not extreme or realistic. F-bomb used as a swear word.

R – Restricted

Kids under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. These may include adult themes and activities, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse and persistent and intense violence.

NC-17  Adult Only

No children or anyone under 17 will be admitted. The movie may show extreme violence, sex, drug abuse, and deviant behavior.

These ratings are just one tool to use when deciding on which movie to see. If you have any doubts about the content of any movie, go see it yourself first before having the family tag along.


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