What makes the film Us rated R

What do R-Rating, PG-13 & Co. mean? Age ratings and parental controls in the United States

Anyone who has always wanted to know what an R-Rating exactly means and what other US age ratings such as PG-13 are all about can find all the information about youth protection for films in the USA here.

At least since the success of Deadpool in 2016, the term R-Rating has been on everyone's lips again. Ultimately, the superhero adventure became the second most successful R-rated film in US cinema history. This inspired the studios to increasingly bring films with this age rating to the cinema.

Deadpool was followed by Deadpool 2 and this was also very successful at the box office. The superhero film Logan - The Wolverine could not only convince the audience, but also the critics. In August 2019, the DC film Joker also received an R rating and thus continues the trend.

But what does R-Rating or rated R actually mean, and what other age ratings are there in the USA?

R-Rating and Co .: The age ratings of the MPAA in the USA

The Motion Picture Association of America, which brings together the six largest US film studios, issues age recommendations for their films as a voluntary self-regulation. Although they are not legally binding, the Association of American Cinema Operators has undertaken to enforce them. The most recent revision of the age recommendations took place in 1996, since then the following five classifications and definitions have existed:

  • G - General Audiences (general audience): Spectators of all ages are permitted here. In these films there are no strong expressions, nudity, sex or drug use, violence is shown only minimally.
  • PG - Parental Guidance Suggested (Parental guidance recommended): Some of the content here may not be suitable for young children. There may be some expletives, violence and brief nudity. There is no drug use.
  • PG-13 - Parents Strongly Cautioned (Parents strongly warned): Some content here may not be suitable for children under the age of 13. For purely thematic reasons, no film can receive a rating higher than PG-13. Drug use can occur here, nudity does not have to be short, but generally has no sexual connotations. Violence occurs, but it is either realistic or extreme or persistent, but not both. In general, a sexually derived strong expression is allowed here, especially the famous fuck, but not in a sexual context. With a two-thirds majority of the classifying persons, however, several of these expressions or their use in a sexual context can also be permitted.
  • R - Restricted (limited): There is some content for adults here, which is why under-17s are only allowed in the company of a parent or adult supervisor. This can include adult topics and activities, rough language, intense or persistent violence, sexually connoted nudity, and substance abuse.
  • NC-17 - No one 17 and under admitted (No one admitted at the age of 17 and younger): Such films are clearly for adults, which is why under-18-year-olds are not allowed. An NC-17 rating is not included "obscene" or "pornographic" equates to, it may be based on violence, sex, abnormal behavior, substance abuse, or other content unsuitable for children. Even so, major US cinema chains do not show NC-17 films and many media outlets do not advertise them.

In addition, each film checked by the MPAA receives an individual short description of the approval, which mentions which of the possible content occurs in which form, for example with Deadpool: "Consistently strong violence and rough language, sexual content and clear nudity."

You can find more information about the predecessor of the MPAA's age ratings, the Hays Code, here.