What Is The Movie Rating System?

What is the movie rating system; this article will explain.

With the recent media hysteria over school shootings and bombings, people have begun to point to violence in movies as the cause of our violent youth. Movies today are filled with violent depictions, sex, and drug references. So what can parents do to safeguard their kids? There are a few simple steps a parent should undertake to monitor what a child watches. The number one reason that kids see movies they shouldn't is lack of respect and understanding of the current movie rating system.

The movie rating system, as most people are aware, contains six different ratings: G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17, and X. G stands for general audiences. These movies contain nothing that would be considered offensive. G movies are absolutely absent of violence, sex, drugs, swearing, and crude comments. G movies are great fun for the whole family, and while teenagers may think that the newest Disney cartoon is a drag, kids (and most parents) are sure to get a blast from it.

PG stands for parental guidance. This phrase has become void of meaning over the years as G ratings have become harder and harder to obtain, and fewer G movies are released. This lack of G movies has allowed parents to think that PG movies are very decent shows, and thereby allow children of all ages to see any PG movies. PG movies can contain light swearing, suggestive comments, light or animated violence, and can also deal with the issue of drugs and alcohol. PG movies may contain material that is unsuitable for small children, but can be handled maturely by most elementary school children and up.

PG-13 simply means, parental guidance until the age of 13. This rating has also become misunderstood. PG-13 movies are by far the most commonplace, movie theaters are full of them, and it is the rating that most moviemakers attempt to achieve. A PG-13 rating identifies that the rating board has deemed some of the movie's contents as unsuitable for children under thirteen. However, since the movie theaters don't check id's to see if kids are thirteen, anyone can buy a ticket to a PG-13 movie. PG-13 movies can contain mild nudity, moderate profanity, moderate sexual situations, references to drugs and alcohol, and moderate to extreme violence. A good way for parents to decide which PG-13 movies to let their children see is to preview the movie, either by asking other parents, or previewing it themselves.

R movies, being "restricted", have caused the most controversy in the past few years. Each movie theater sets it's own policies on R rated movies. These policies can range from anyone who can pay their way to children under 17 must enter the theater with a parent. Some theaters have opted towards a blend, letting anyone 17 years or older purchase tickets and whoever receives those tickets can see the show. R rated movies are suggested for mature audiences only, and contain material that is deemed unsuitable for children to young teens. R movies can contain extreme nudity, extreme sexual situations, extreme profanity, underage drinkers and illegal drugs, and extreme violence. Caution should be taken and careful selections should be made on which of these restricted movies to take your children to.

NC-17 is a rating that is not seen often, because most movies that receive this rating from the rating board edit their films, removing some of the crude parts, and send it back to receive a final R rating. NC-17 very clearly says, "No one under the age of 17 allowed, period." These movies are for adults only and often contain pornographic scenes.

X is a rating carried in only special theaters and X rated movies are considered pornographic in nature. X ratings simply should be kept away from the kids.

The movie rating system that is in place can help parents determine which movies to allow their kids to watch. If this information is not sufficient for parents, movie theaters often have synapses of movies they carry, containing information on the extent of nudity, profanity, violence, and sexual situations in each movie. By placing a call to the local movie theater one can easily obtain this information, and quite often an employee's opinion on how suitable the movie is for children. Careful monitoring of the information we feed our children will help ensure that the entertainment media does not adversely affect them.

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