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 Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). It can help parents choose which movies their children can watch.

Ratings[change | change source]

The following MPAA ratings have been in use since 1990:

Rating symbol Meaning[1]
G rating symbol
G- General Audiences
All ages admitted
(1968-present)

(Equivalent: Videogames: EC, E; Television: normally TV-Y or TV-G, sometimes TV-Y7 or TV-PG)

PG rating symbol
PG- Parental Guidance Suggested
Some material may not be suitable for children
(1972-present)

(Equivalent: Videogames: E10+ (sometimes E, T); Television: normally TV-Y7, TV-Y7-FV, TV-G, or TV-PG, rarely TV-Y, sometimes TV-14)

PG-13 rating symbol
PG-13- Parents Strongly Cautioned
Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13
(1984-present)

(Equivalent: Videogames: T (sometimes E10+, M); Television: normally TV-Y7, TV-Y7-FV, TV-PG or TV-14, rarely TV-Y or TV-G, sometimes TV-MA)

R rating symbol
R- Restricted
Under 17 requires accompanying by a parent or an adult guardian
(1968-present)

(Equivalent: Videogames: M (sometimes T); Television: normally TV-14 or TV-MA, sometimes TV-PG)

NC-17 rating symbol
NC-17- No One 17 and Under Admitted
(1990–present)

(Equivalent: Videogames: AO; Television: sometimes TV-14 or TV-MA)

R[change | change source]

The R rating (restricted) means that anyone under 17 must be with a parent 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 one 17 or under can see the movie in theaters. The rating was first used 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 with such a rating, certain movie chains would not show them and some papers refused advertisements for them. Some 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 an NC-17 rating. Notable motion pictures with 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 - Parental Guidance. May contain some suggestive content.
  • Rated X: - No one under 17 admitted.

References[change | change source]

  1. http://www.mpaa.org/FlmRat_Ratings.asp

Other websites[change | change source]