Movie Ratings

Often I get ideas for a blog post from reading other blogs. I don’t want to do something that’s cookie-cutter or plagiarism, but they do get me to thinking. Sometimes I find myself leaving a comment that’s way too long. Then I’ll delete it and maybe save the thought for a future post of my own.

Sandra at Add Humor and Faith, Mix Well wrote about being disappointed with the sexual content in a PG-13 movie that she’d seen. Go here for that post.

Her posts are always interesting and this one particularly touched a nerve with me.

Years ago I saw something on television with Jack Valenti, head of the MPAA which does the movie ratings. He said it was a misunderstanding that there was a set of criteria that determined what rating a movie would receive. I used to think that “f____” was an automatic R. Not so. Also, I thought that about nudity. Again, not so. I’ve seen PG-13 movies with both nudity and harsh language.

had this to say about the ratings system: “The MPAA does not release specific guidelines as to what content will receive which rating. However, they do state that many factors are considered including content such as sex, violence, nudity, language, adult topics and drug use.”

I’ve been so bitterly disappointed by some of the movies we’ve seen, that I’ve nearly given up going to the movies or checking out anything that’s new.

I was so aggravated at the anti-conservative dialogue in Julie & Julia. How could we pay $40 to be insulted (tickets + snacks)? And of course, that has nothing to do with a rating designation; but everything to do with the filmmaker’s personal agenda. A ratings system won’t help to figure that out, but knowing something about the cast and crew will.

Now I thoroughly vet anything we’re going to watch at Although you can purchase a membership, the basic service is free. It has about 12 categories of potential problems and lists what might be offensive. I always check the Profanity category first. If they abuse the name of Jesus, I don’t go further, because that’s a deal breaker.

The site also lists sexual content. Specifically. If there’s a scene where a woman in a low-cut blouse leans over to give the audience a view of her personal attributes, it says so. And so on.

The categories are:
Blood/Gross Stuff
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude
Frightening/Tense Scenes
Imitative Behavior
Jump Scenes
Music (Scary, Tense)
Music (Inappropriate)
Tense Family Scenes
Topics to Talk About

Apparently, now they’re reserving detailed content of new movies for subscribers only. But anyone can still see the chart listing the degrees of content in all 15 categories. Screenit is not as free and user friendly as it was originally, but it’s still a valuable tool.

Especially if you’re taking children to the movies.


Filed under Current Events, Internet links, Movies

6 responses to “Movie Ratings

  1. I hardly ever go to see movies anymore or rent them–it’s just too embarrasing! I don’t want to pay $ to watch trash! V.

  2. Hi Carla,
    thank you for coming by to see me!
    I agree with movies. I am not as clever at catching these things… I saw Julia&Julia and did note the desire for government work and long lunches. Working in Dentistry and as a Mom I have forgone many a lunch.
    I do remember when the Disney film about the Mighty ducks first came out and the language!!! I was shocked for Disney and felt that Walt would not be proud. I think that “edges to characters can be portrayed without this.

    I also had good examples with my parents. My mom would not allow foul language and also, my Dad a Clint Eastwood fan, they went out to see his new movie, mmm dirty Harry I think it was called. They left the film. and they told us that they did. this passed on strength to we kids.
    Well, we were not perfect but My parents did their best at being great parents and also spouses.
    Thank you for the link!

    With Kindness,

    • We watch a lot of movies at home but there’s still such a magic to me about going to a movie theater.

      I wish there were better movies to select from – we’d go more often.

      Thanks for visiting my blog.

  3. Oooo…what a hot topic for me. As the mother of two sons, we have had to “censor” what we will allow our children to watch. I did let them watch Avatar, which surprised me that it was marketed to kids via toys and McDonalds, but they did not like it one bit. Neither did my husband or myself. The experience of watching a highly exalted movie, however, was a good lesson in the wicked ways of the world and the bold money-mongering tactics of Hollywood. It also reinforced what we have tried to teach them. Just because there is hype surrounding a product, does not make it worthy of the hype.

    • One of the regrets I have about my parenting was that I was not careful enough about the movies we let our sons watch. Because once they’ve seen something, it can’t be unseen. I’ve watched movies recently which were ones that we’d seen years ago as a family, and I cringe. They weren’t rated R, but they were not things that children should’ve seen or heard. God please forgive me.

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