How does the USA movie rating system work?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by trainguy77, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Lets say a movie is rated R in the USA does that mean that anyone under the 18, or whatever the age is, can't get in? Like In canada if its 18A people who are 17 can't get in. But most movies that are good are rated 14A, but you only have PG-13 so that would suck for teens if they can only see PG-13 movies by themselves.
  2. jmurphy macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2006
    Sandusky, OH
    In the US, there are 5 ratings: G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17. 'G' stands for 'General Audience': that is, it's reccomended for all viewers. Next is 'PG', for 'Parental Guidance'. Movies of this type might have mild language or crude humor. Next comes PG-13, where kids under 13 usually need a parent watching with them. They might have some pretty harsh language and sexual scenes. Continuing on, there's 'R'. If you're under 17, I think, you need a parent to accompany you into the theater. Lastly, no one under 17 may view an 'NC-17' film.
  3. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    For R you need to be 17 or older

    All the other ratings are just there as guide lines, no law stop a 2 year from seeing a PG-13 moives, however you need ID for R, and then there is NC-17 which has already been covered
  4. maestro55 macrumors 68030


    Nov 13, 2005
    Goat Farm in Meridian, TX
    G - General Audiances, All ages admitted
    PG - Not a bad movie, but they suggest parental guidance.
    PG-13- Those under 13 without a parent are not let in, those 13 and above can get in without a parent.
    R - No one under 17 can get in without a parent, but those 17 and above can.
    NC-17 - no one 17 or under are admitted. Must be 18 or above..
  5. RBMaraman macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2002
    Prospect, KY

    G - General Audiences - All Ages Permitted

    PG - Parental Guidance Suggested - Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Children

    PG-13 - Parents Strongly Cautioned - Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13

    R - Restricted - Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent Or Adult Guardian

    NC-17 - No One 17 And Under Admitted
  6. trainguy77 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    I wish the Canadian in USAs system could be mixed. I like having 14A but we don't have pg-13. So many of your R movies turn in 14A movies here which means teens, like myself can see them. However some of go to 18A. I feel sorry for teens down in the US because I have seen many good movies that are 14A for violence yet they are R in the US.
  7. cslewis macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2004
    40º27.8''N, 75º42.8''W

    Don't feel sorry for us. The last thing we need is more sex and violence... :D

    How does the system work for you guys?
  8. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

    Aug 5, 2005
    Why do you bother with letters in the US? The game-rating system is even worse, though. Here, 12s are for people over 12 (or those with parents, or anyone in fact - people really don't give a monkey's), 15s are for people over 15 and 18s are for people over 18. What's all this "NC-17" crap. What does NC even stand for? People in Carolina came up with it? :confused:
  9. Macaddicttt macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    NC-17 = No Children under 17.
  10. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    Here is the rating system and the reality of what the ratings are:

    G - General Audience. Everyone can see this movie, only little kid movies get this rating
    PG - Parental Guidance Suggested for little kids, usually has no swearing and little violence.
    PG-13 - Parental Guidance for everyone under 13. These movies are usually ok for kids, and very rarely are there innapropriate movies rated PG-13.
    R - Restricted unless your 17, but you can get in without a parent, a parent just has to buy you tickets.
    NC-17 - No children under 17. This rating is very rare, and in very few theaters. No children are allowed to even buy tickets.

    G through R have so little restrictions and basically it's up to the parent wether or not they want their kids to see R-rated movies.

    And the video game ratings are similar:

    EC (Early Childhood) are games for very little kids, such as three year olds.
    E (Everyone) is comparable to G
    E-10 (Everyone 10 and above) is comparable to PG
    T (Teen) is comparable to PG-13
    M (Mature) is comparable to R
    AO (Adults Only) is comparable to NC-17.

    And just a side note: NC-17 movies are sometimes referred to as rated X movies. And, just like the ESRB is getting pressure from people for only making games with sex in them AO, so is the movie rating people for only making movies with a lot of sex NC-17.
  11. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005

    P - suitable for pre-school children.
    C - suitable for children.
    Those are only really used on TV.
    G - General Audience
    PG - Parental Guidance recommended
    M - suitable (but not restricted to) a mature audience ie. 15+
    MA - restricted to 15+
    R - not too sure if we have R ratings anymore but it's basically 18+
  12. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Same reason we ended up with a Pentium chip instead of an 80586. Apparently in the US it is easier to Trademark a word or letters than it is to trademark numbers. The movie ratings are trademarked to the MPAA, which assigns the ratings.

    Note that the NC-17 in particular was created to repace X which became synonymous with pornography in the 70s. The X rating was not trademarked so it could be used for films that weren't rated by the MPAA.

  13. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    I don't get it either. Why not just use numbers?

    It reminds me of the PC makers who label their screens WXSGUA+ instead of just writing 1440x900 resolution.
  14. trainguy77 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    G General viewing. Suitable for viewing by all ages.

    PG Parental guidance is advised. These movie will have a small amount of language or maybe a little violence.

    14A Suitable for viewing by persons 14 years of age and older. Persons under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. May contain: violence, coarse language and/or sexually suggestive scenes.

    18A Suitable for viewing by persons 18 years of age and older. Persons under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. May contain: explicit violence, frequent coarse language, sexual activity and/or horror.

    Restricted (R)(i have never seen this rating in theaters)
    Admittance restricted to persons 18 years of age and over. Content not suitable for minors. Contains frequent use of sexual activity, brutal/graphic violence, intense horror and/or other disturbing content.

    Adult (A)(never heard of this but its worse then R)
    Admittance restricted to persons 18 years and older. Content not suitable for minors. Contains predominantly sexually explicit activity.

    I got most of this info from
  15. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    I might as well chime in with the NZ system.

    G - Anyone
    PG - Parental guidance recommended if under 13
    M - "Mature", parental guidance recommended if under 16
    R16 - Must be 16
    R18 - Must be 18
  16. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    The Norwegian system:


    An adult guardian "adds" three years to a kid's age, except for the 18 year limit which is absolute.
  17. treblah macrumors 65816


    Oct 28, 2003
    I thought they were all guidelines that the MPAA adopted so the gov't wouldn't do it for them. :confused:

    EDIT: Nevermind. The US rating system is not law and is up to individual theaters to enforce.
  18. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    Well, 5 codes are easier to remember than a crapload (and that's not even all of them.

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