Motion Picture Association of America film rating system

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The Motion Picture Association of America film rating system is a system used by the MPAA. It can help parents choose which movies their children can watch.

Ratings[change | change source]

Current (since 1990) MPAA movie ratings are:

Rating symbol Meaning[1]
G rating symbol
G- General Audiences
All ages admitted

(Equivalent: Videogames: EC, E; Television: TV-Y, TV-G)

PG rating symbol
PG- Parental Guidance Suggested
Some material may not be suitable for children

(Equivalent: Videogames: E10+; Television: TV-Y7, TV-Y7-FV, Low TV-PG)

PG-13 rating symbol
PG-13- Parents Strongly Cautioned
Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13

(Equivalent: Videogames: T; Television: High TV-PG, Low TV-14)

R rating symbol
R- Restricted
Under 17 requires accompanying by a parent or an adult guardian

(Equivalent: Videogames: M; Television: High TV-14, Low TV-MA)

NC-17 rating symbol
NC-17- No One 17 and Under Admitted

(Equivalent: Videogames: AO; Television: High TV-MA)

R[change | change source]

The R rating means Restricted. The rating means that under 17 requires accompanying parents or adult guardian. The rating was first issued in 1968. R rated movies usually represent with strong violence, intense language and other strong adult content.

NC-17[change | change source]

The NC-17 rating means that no children aged 17 and under will be admitted to any movie which is under this rating. The rating was initiated in 1990 after the earlier X rating they had created 22 years before had become associated with pornography. Unfortunately, the NC-17 rating went on to acquire stigma: movie stores like Blockbuster wouldn't stock movies under such a rating, certain movie chains would not show such movies and some papers refused advertisements for such movies. Certain movie companies will often surrender an NC-17 rating and release a movie with no rating whatsoever; others release movies without a rating if they are expecting such an MPAA rating. Notable motion pictures under an NC-17 classification include Henry & June (1990) and Showgirls (1995).

Old Ratings[change | change source]

The old movie ratings, which were in use 1968 to 1990 were:

  • Rated M: - Suggested for Mature Audiences. Parental discretion advised.
  • Rated GP - Guidance Parental. May contain some suggestive content.
  • Rated X: - No one under 17 admitted.

References[change | change source]