Nothing that would offend parents for viewing by children. Parents urged to give "parental guidance". May contain some material parents might not like for their young children. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers. R — Restricted Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
If a film has not yet been assigned a final rating, the label This Film Is Not Yet Rated is used in trailers and television commercials. Tennessee law[ edit ] Since , Tennessee state law has set the minimum age to theatrically view an R-rated film without adult accompaniment at 18, instead of Green, yellow, or red title cards displayed before the start of a trailer indicate the trailer's rating. When the trailer accompanies another rated feature, the wording on the green title card states "The following preview has been approved to accompany this feature.
A yellow title card exists solely for trailers hosted on the internet, with the wording stipulating "The following preview has been approved only for age-appropriate internet users. The yellow card is reserved for trailers previewing films rated PG or stronger. A red title card indicates that the trailer is restricted and when it accompanies another feature, the wording states "The following restricted preview has been approved to accompany this feature only.
Trailers hosted on the internet carrying a red title card require viewers to pass an age verification test which entails users aged 17 and older to match their names, birthdays and ZIP Codes to public records on file.
Filmmakers were pushing at the boundaries of the Code, and Valenti cited examples such as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? To accommodate "the irresistible force of creators determined to make 'their films'", and to avoid "the possible intrusion of government into the movie arena", he developed a set of advisory ratings which could be applied after a film was completed. On November 1, , the voluntary MPAA film rating system took effect, with three organizations serving as its monitoring and guiding groups: Both were to be released by subsidiaries.
Suggested for General Audiences Rated M: Suggested for Mature Audiences — parental discretion advised Rated R: Restricted — persons under 16 not admitted, unless accompanied by parent or adult guardian. Persons Under 16 Not Admitted This content classification system originally was to have three ratings, with the intention of allowing parents to take their children to any film they chose.
However, the National Association of Theater Owners urged the creation of an adults-only category, fearful of possible legal problems in local jurisdictions. Restricted — Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian Rated X: No one under 17 admitted The ratings used from to were: Restricted — Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
No one under 17 admitted Addition of PG rating[ edit ] In the early s complaints about violence and gore in films such as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins , both of which received PG ratings, refocused attention on films seen by small children and pre-teens.
The first film to be released with this rating was the John Milius war film Red Dawn. General Audiences — all ages admitted Rated PG: Parents Strongly Cautioned — some material may be inappropriate for children under 13 Rated R: Restricted — under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian Rated X: No one under 17 admitted X replaced by NC[ edit ] In the rating system's early years, "X"-rated films such as Midnight Cowboy and A Clockwork Orange were understood to be unsuitable for children, but non-pornographic and intended for the general public.
However, pornographic films often self-applied the non-trademarked "X" rating, and it soon became synonymous with pornography in American culture. Neither film was approved for an MPAA rating, thus limiting their commercial distribution, and prompting criticism of the rating system's lack of a designation for such films. Restricted — under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian Rated NC The violence in a PG rated film will not be intense, while violence that is both intense and persistent will generally require at least an R rating.
Violence is not prohibited in G rated films, but if present will be minimal. Profanity may be present in PG rated films, and use of one of the harsher "sexually-derived words" as an expletive will initially incur at least a PG rating.
Multiple occurrences will usually incur an R rating as will the usage of such an expletive in a sexual context. Nevertheless, the ratings board may still award a PG rating passed by a two-thirds majority if they believe the language is justified by the context or by the manner in which the words are used. Adventures in Babysitting , where the word is used twice in the same scene;  The Hip Hop Project , which has seventeen uses;  and Gunner Palace , a documentary of soldiers in the Second Gulf War , which has 42 uses of the word with two used sexually.
The film contained only mild profanity, but was rated PG because of a scene where drug paraphernalia were briefly visible. Nudity that is sexually oriented will generally require an R rating. A Fox Searchlight spokesman said the NC rating did not give them much trouble in releasing this film they had no problem booking it, and only the Salt Lake City newspaper Deseret News refused to take the film's ad , and Fox Searchlight was satisfied with this film's United States box office result.
In , the Directors Guild of America called the NC rating an "abject failure", for causing filmmakers to re-edit films to receive an R rating, rather than accept an NC rating. Film studios have pressured the MPAA to retire the NC rating, because of its likely impact on their film's box office revenue. This exception is troubling, Hilden argues, because it ignores context and perspective in evaluating other films and favors conventional films over edgier films that contribute newer and more interesting points to public discourse about violence.
All R-rated films are not alike. He noted in a news article for the Christian Science Monitor that the R rating is "broad enough to include relatively family-friendly fare such as Billy Elliot and Erin Brockovich which were both rated R for language along with films that push the extremes of violence, including Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. Film critic Roger Ebert has called for replacing the NC rating with separate ratings for pornographic and non-pornographic adult film. The uneven emphasis on sex versus violence is echoed by other critics, including David Ansen , as well as many filmmakers.
Moreover, Ebert argued that the rating system is geared toward looking at trivial aspects of the film such as the number of times a profane word is used rather than at the general theme of the film for example, if the film realistically depicts the consequences of sex and violence. He called for an A adults only rating, to indicate films high in violence or mature content that should not be marketed to teenagers, but do not have NC levels of sex.
He also called for the NC rating to be removed and have the X rating revived. He felt that everyone understood what X-rated means, while fewer people understood what NC meant. He called for ratings A and X to identify whether an adult film is pornographic or not. In The Movie Ratings Game,  he documents a prejudice against sex in relation to violence. This Film Is Not Yet Rated also points out that four times as many films received an NC rating for sex than they did for violence according to the MPAA's own website, further mentioning a bias against homosexual content compared to heterosexual content, particularly with regards to sex scenes.
Filmmaker Darren Stein further insists that his tame teen comedy G. The film's director, Lee Hirsch, has refused to recut the film, stating, "I feel a responsibility as a filmmaker, as the person entrusted to tell these kids' stories, to not water them down. The same, however, could not be said about the teen drama Kids , which director Larry Clark wanted rated R so parents could take their kids to it for educational purposes, but the MPAA rated it NC due to its content of teen sex and turned down Clark's appeal.
Tougher standards for independent studios[ edit ] Many critics of the MPAA system, especially independent distributors, have charged that major studios' releases often receive more lenient treatment than independent films. The independent film Saints and Soldiers , which contains no nudity, almost no sex although, there is a scene in which a German soldier is about to rape a French woman , very little profanity, and a minimum of violence, was said to have been rated R for a single clip where a main character is shot and killed, and required modification of just that one scene to receive a PG rating.
As Parker and Stone did not have the money and the time to edit the film, it retained its NC rating. In contrast, Parker and Stone's second feature film, South Park: The MPAA has consistently cited nationwide scientific polls conducted each year by the Opinion Research Corporation of Princeton, New Jersey , which show that parents find the ratings useful.
Critics such as Matt Stone in Kirby Dick's documentary This Film is not Yet Rated respond this proves only that parents find the ratings more useful than nothing at all. Accusation of "ratings creep"[ edit ] Although there has always been concern about the content of films,  the MPAA has, in recent years, been accused of a "ratings creep", whereby the films that fall into today's ratings categories now contain more objectionable material than those that appeared in the same categories two decades earlier.
We're heading towards an age when we don't need a mommy-like organization to dictate what our delicate sensibilities can and can't be exposed to. I deeply hope that the MPAA's irrelevance is imminent. They're too easy on violence yet bizarrely reactionary when it comes to nudity and language.