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 and E; Television: TV-Y and TV-G)

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

(Equivalent: Videogames: E10; Television: TV-Y7 and 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 and Low TV-14)

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

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

NC-17 rating symbol
NC-17- No Children 17 and Under Admitted (Previously No Children Under 17 Admitted Until 1997 Or 1998)

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

Old Ratings[change | change source]

The old movie ratings, which were in use 1968 to 1970 were:

  • Rated G - General Audiences. All ages admitted.
  • Rated GP - Guidance Parental. May contain some suggestive content.
  • Rated M: - Suggested for Mature Audiences. Parental discretion advised.
  • Rated R: - Restricted. Persons under 16 are not admitted unless accompanied by parent or adult guardian.
  • Rated X: - Persons under 17 not admitted.

NC-17[change | change source]

The NC-17 rating means that no children aged 17 or under (previously no one under 17) will be admitted to a 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 also acquired 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 them. 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).

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]