What Movie Ratings Mean


Movie ratings in the United States are determined by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). They were created as a way of ending censorship and of giving tools to parents to help determine which films their kids should see. The current system contains five distinct ratings.


  • A G-rated movie is suitable for all ages. It contains no objectionable content and can be viewed by small children.


  • PG stands for "parental guidance suggested." PG films are a little more intense than G films and may contain some mild violence.


  • PG-13 means that parents are strongly cautioned against letting kids younger than 13 see the film. It may contain action-style violence, erotic situations or a handful of swear words.


  • R stands for "restricted." An R-rated film contains adult themes, violence and/or nudity; anyone under 17 who wishes to see it must be accompanied by a parent.


  • NC-17 movies are meant solely for adults. No one under 17 may attend them under any circumstances.


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