Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Your Turn

The MPAA is changing the movie ratings system. Kind of. Instead of just saying PG-13, they will also include specifics of why it is PG-13. My question is do you even pay attention to ratings? At what age do you think a child can see an R rated movie?

39 comments:

Renoblondee said...

It mostly depends on the movie. My eight year old son has seen no R movies and will not for quite a while. I am aghast at people that allow their little dudes to watch R rated movies. Aghast. Yes, I'm judgy that way. Now a pre-teen or teen, I have mostly no problem with. My 16 yr old daughter has seen R's for a few years now. She can see much worse on her Ipad I'm sure.

Ms Cool said...

With a 9-year-old, I absolutely pay attention to ratings. My son can see some PG-13 movies with comic violence like the Avengers. I read parent ratings and specifics of why a movie is rated and other details at sites like commonsensemedia or IMDB if a movie is on video.

I think the ratings are helpful and then parents can decide when their child can see an R-rated movie. I can't imagine even thinking about it until my son is in his mid teens.

Cathy said...

I think it also depends a lot on the kid - some are more likely than others to have nightmares. I was pretty disgusted though by the number of young kids I saw in the theater to see the hangover movies (with their freakin' parents!).

VIPblonde said...

I had pretty strict parents; I was probably 11 or 12 before I saw my first R rated movie, and it was probably at a friend's house! I think it's a good idea; there's a huge difference between being rated R for graphic sex, and being rated R for language

Snapdragon said...

Don't they already do this on the previews?

And agreed. I'd be much more likely to let a younger person watch sex over graphic violence.

Karen said...

I don't pay a lot of attention right now, but I will when I have kids. I won't be too strict with stuff when the kids are teenagers and I'd use my best judgement for pre-teens, but elementary school kids shouldn't be watching R-rated movies.

Mostly it depends on the film; there are really good R rated movies that deal with serious topics and there are R rated movies that are rated that way because they are over the top disgusting--the disgusting ones are the ones that I might not let even my older kids watch.

KLM said...

My son is pretty much afraid of everything, so I tend to use commonsensemedia more than the ratings system because as others have mentioned, it gives specifics about why a movie is rated the way it is, what types of violence are in the movie, etc. I would be more apt to not let my children see a movie if there was disturbing content specific to them, not necessarily to shield them from drug use or other unsavory topics, etc...

HolidayinCambodia said...

Well, my mom took me to see Prime Cut at the drive-in when I was, like, six, and all I remembered from it was the scene where Sissy Spacek told someone that she had had sex with each guy (of an opposing group, maybe?) for a nickel and then she dropped, like, two dollars in nickels from her drugged, limp hand.

And that hasn't affected me in the least over the succeeding 45 years.

HolidayinCambodia said...

I lie. I now see that I had to have been 10, as the movie wasn't released until 1972.

But I think that memory isn't probably the best for a small kid.

RowdyRodimus said...

I've been watching R rated movies as long as I can remember but then again (and seriously I don't mean to brag so I apologize if it seems that way) I was considered gifted as a child and wrote an essay about the value of comic books and other forms of fantasy (including movies) when I was in 1st grade. As long as it wasn't porn or overly sexual, I could watch what I wanted. One of my earliest memories is watching a Hammer Films Horror marathon with my Dad. (I also have a memory at 4 years old being Baptized by the priest and my great grandma giving me a crucifix. My Uncle Ray says "Now you don't have to worry about Werewolves" when I calmly said to him, and remember I'm 4 here, "No, Vampires are stopped by Crucifix's, Werewolves need silver bullets or Wolfsbane" lol)

I could always separate reality from fantasy and that's really how I judge what my nieces can watch. They can watch an R rated horror movie and laugh but then turn around and be scared by something on Adventure Time.

It's the same way with video game ratings. Halo, which has you pretty much shooting alien bugs with neon blue "blood" is rated the same as a Call of Duty game that has you shooting civilians or dying through a nuclear explosion. One is obviously fantasy that is no different than watching Star Wars and the other is like watching Hostel.

Ratings are a tool IMO not a guide. If you want to really protect and help your children don't just say "No R or M rated stuff", look at why they are rated why they are and discuss them with the child. Educate them. Educate yourself. Be active in the child's choice of entertainment. Not only will you have more control over what they are exposed to but you'll build bonds that are being lost in today's society.

rhinovodka said...

no, I don't pay attention to ratings but I don't have kids. I probably saw R movies when I was young but don't remember the age. Honestly, probably 12 or 13 is ok for R.

EmEyeKay said...

Like @Ms Cool, I check common sense media if I have any questions. They're so good at explaining exactly why it got the rating that it did, and giving specific examples.

Many times I've thought a film would be okay, I go to the website, read, and then I remember the scene that would make it inappropriate. It's a very helpful website.

Anna Nonymous said...

It's important if you have kids, otherwise, don't care.

Ms Cool said...

I forgot to mention that we watched a movie in the last few years that was probably rated PG with my son where it was proclaimed that the Easter Bunny wasn't real. That was cruel.

SubaruGirl said...

I always check IMDb re: movies for my (as of last week) 12 yr old stepdaughter, as her dad and I are concerned about what she sees. Unfortunately, her mother is a complete fcking idiot and took her to see Bad Teacher (rated R) in the theatre when she was 10. And even when she finally realized how bad the movie was, think she got up and walked out? Nope! She didn't want to waste the $ spent on the tickets, no matter that her kid gets to hear the c-word, etc. Should be noted that she's a good kid, and very sweet and naive still, so it really wasn't a good movie for her. Should also be noted that Xmas 2011 (the same yr) she got to see her 17 yr old stepbrother and her mom's b/f get falling down drunk and smoke a hookah pipe. And then the 17 yr old alkie kept asking her to tuck him into bed that night. All that to say - yes ratings matter, although maybe not very much if the kids live in an R-rated house half the time.

Comma Chaser said...

I'm a Married/No Kids, so I haven't had to worry about ratings or content for a while. Kind of a film whore anyhow, I'll pretty much see anything.

I think whether kids s/b allowed to see films w/ more mature content really depends on the maturity of the kid and the values that the parents want to maintain in the household. They have that right to, the parents, that is, and some families are stricter than others. I don't judge.

That said, I was allowed to see several R-rated films in the show/on video, but typically I'd have discussions with my parents about such films. I got to see _Clockwork Orange_ at about age 15, but only after I'd read the book and talked about it with my mom.

Lola said...

Totally depends on what the content of the movie is. Whichever one of the Batman movies was R...okay at 11. Hangover movies...still not cool at 13.

Language...okay. Violence, in context...okay. Boobs, mild sexual "situations"...okay. Deviant (I use this word in the context of "deviating from the norm" not to imply "sick") sex/sexual innuendo...no bueno. Graphic violence for the sake of violence...no bueno.

I should add though that my child is very mature and grounded.

Turkish Taffy said...

I live in a country where full-frontal nudity, and any scenes of intimacy are censored. It's always a shock when I download something and find explicit scenes. It's a shame because there are some shows like The Borgias and Boardwalk Empire that I know my kids, now almost grown, would enjoy, but we would feel uncomfortable watching them together. Sometimes we get caught short with films we have downloaded and have to hit the fast forward.
But we don't pay any attention to ratings when we choose. We are more interested in the quality content. If it's a good film, we will just hit the fast forward, or try to download the censored version.
I'm no prude. I've raised my kids to be honest and open about sexuality. But we also believe in dignity and privacy.
As for language, my son has Tourette's, so it's pretty hard to shock us.

The Black Cat said...

It does depend on the child. I saw mature type movies at a young age and had no problems. I grew up with campy Hammer horror movies and loved them. They did not have movies that showed gratuitous violence and sex to the extent they do now though. What I did have a problem with, and still do, are movies that show animals in distress. I was the only child that was bawling her eyes out at the end of Mary Poppins when the dog looked sad when she left. The Amazing Panda Adventure was pretty rough and had me bawling when the animatronic baby panda was sick and dying.

VeeBee said...

I was like Rowdy in that I was considered gifted and I had no issues seeing R movies. I remember seeing Silkwood (by myself) in third grade and being so fascinated with the story that during my next visit to the public library with my dad I did microfilm requests to scroll through the newspaper stories about her death. I also saw Jaws 3 and Vacation the same year with no problems. I admit Vacation was a sneak. I was there to see Fire & Ice ( a PG cartoon) and within the first few minutes a panther got killed with some sort of blade and I was like OH NO! And off to Vacation I went and laughed myself silly.

I have a young son and I do let him watch some R movies. But nothing sexual or gratuitously violent. Off the top of my head I know he's watched Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List. He also loves Titanic which is PG-13 and I'm fine with the brief nudity and sex scene. We let him watch Walking Dead with us but NOT Spartacus. So the answer is yes, within reason.




auntliddy said...

With 5 grands under 10, i check out a movie really well before i take them. Also prediscuss scary parts to see if ok. Dont want to terrify them! Lol

auntliddy said...

Age 13 good for r rated, but depends on kid.

VeeBee said...

Oh and I will add that I am appalled when people bring kids to movies that are absolutely NOT okay for any child. Example: we went to Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at NIGHT and these "parents" brought their three young (all under 8) kids to it!!!!! I was like OMG did these idiots not read the book? !?!?! WTF?!?!? I was actually offended and morally outraged (which is extremely rare for me!) I thought, if they can afford 3 nighttime movie tickets then they definitely could've afforded a babysitter!

NotAMeanGirl said...

I have a 13 year old boy and I ALWAYS pay attention to ratings. If he wants to see a PG-13 or R my husband and I have to see the movie first. Then we decide if it's something we're ok with him seeing or not. (Of course, his bio-dad has totally different criteria than we do and he sees PLENTY of stuff we wouldn't really let him when he's visiting there...)

cricket said...

I never bothered with the ratings.I always figured my daughter had enough sense to know that what she saw on TV or at the movies wasn't real.She never had any nightmares or any other problems from seeing movies with me.The Mom who was the pickiest one of my daughters friends Mom's about rating's and cuss words and letting them see anything she thought was too risque is the one who's kid got pregnant at 15. There is such a thing as sheltering them too much too.

ulalume said...

@VeeBee - My dad & my 21 year old sister went to see "the girl with the Dragon Tattoo" not really knowing what it was about, just thinking it was an action movie... they were in for some very awkward moments during some very graphic rape scenes. I can't imagine bringing small children to that!!

CrazyCatLady said...

Am I crazy or don't they already do this? I made a huge mistake watching a lameass horror movie recently (do not remember title, and I was pissed because I LOVE to be scared). At the beginning of the DVD it said PG-13 due to violence, alcohol, teen partying etc. They do the same for movie previews

Kowalski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sarah.estell said...

I pay attention to ratings because I have an 11 year old. I like to have an idea of what he is going to see. He sees a lot of PG 13 movies as it seems like everything is PG 13 these days. I usually look at Common Sense Media to get specifics for the rating so I would welcome this.

Jennifer said...

I think what movies a child sees or doesn't see should be up to the parent... when in their own home. When it comes to theaters, I think they should restrict ages allowed into certain movies to keep annoyance of patrons to a minimum. No matter whether a parent is there or not.

So, for instance, no kids under 17 at an R rated movie, not because it's necessarily too much for them to see, but because they will annoy the crap out of the others in the theater. Likewise, no babies except at G rated movies.

The whole PG-13 bit I could care less about... Call it PG if you want and drop the 13. If a parent doesn't already know what movie their 13-16 year old kid is going to and what it's about, should the movie theater and mpaa really be that concerned?

Cee Kay said...

Here in Canada, an R rating means that no one under 18 gets in. Period. We have more ratings in the middle range with PG, PG-13 and 14A. I have an almost 12-year-old son. He's seen a few PG-13 movies over the last couple of years now, but he'll watch 14A movies when he's 12 at least (these tend to be more graphically violent and sexually explicit in nature, although still only to a point). I see no value in exposing him to idiotic behaviour any sooner than necessary, which is usually what gets depicted in movies with those types of ratings...

Erik said...

I don't have kids so maybe I have a different viewpoint, but I think that it depends on the movie. If it's R rated because of sex/language, I wouldn't mind at a young age. If it were because of violence, I wouldn't allow it until they were much older.

Profane Ghostie Burrito Whore said...

Back when I was a horny teen, I remember there was some newspaper that listed ratings with specifics. [I think it was a Catholic rating!] Anyway, I always looked for the "O" rating (for obscene) because it talked about specifics (nudity, breasts, language, etc.).

Izzie said...

Clutch my pearls, the MPAA surely knows what they're doing!

Ladies and gentlemen of the academy, I present to you, courtesy of ThoughtCatalog, a few of the most interesting ratings and their reasons::

Much Ado About Nothing (1993) – Rated PG-13 for momentary sensuality
Twister (1996) – Rated PG-13 for intense depiction of very bad weather (PROTECT YOUR KIDS! TWISTERS!)
Grumpier Old Men (1995) – Rated PG-13 for salty language and innuendos. (SALTY LANGUAGE!)
Alien vs. Predator (2004) – Rated PG-13 for violence, language, horror images, slime and gore. (Gore is way better than salty language, ya know.)
Batman Returns (1992) – Rated PG-13 for brooding, dark violence. (Way better than momentary sensuality {-- also the name of my new band.)
Beverly Hills Ninja (1996) – Rated PG-13 for sex related humor, martial arts violence and a humorous drug related scene.
Rollerball (2001) – Rated PG-13 for violence, extreme sports action, sensuality, language and some drug references.
3 Ninjas Knuckle Up (1995) – Rated PG-13 for non-stop ninja action.
To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar (1995) – Rated PG-13 for subject matter involving men living in drag, a brief scene of spousal abuse and some language.
King Leopold’s Ghost (2006) – Rated PG-13 for graphic and disturbing images, and descriptions of inhumanity. (Oh, the inhumanity!)

The MPAA's ratings relies on the same types of panels that studios use to screen first cuts of their movies - nothing to do with what actually affects viewers, just what the the 8 out of 10 parents on the panels think will affect the viewers.

Jenn said...

I saw em all on HBO and Skinemax after my mama went to sleep and I didn't kill or maim anyone, yet.

Renoblondee said...

True that @Jenn. Me too.

sarahsays said...

Omg yes I have to comment on this. Lately there seems to be a push to make movies fit a PG-13 or R rating when they should really be ratedR or NC-17. Like "Rock of Ages" , I usually let my 11 and 12 year olds see PG-13 movies, but there were a lot of oral sex innuendos that I just don't think are appropriate for a PG13 rating. Also, " the Girl with a Dragon Tatoo" should have definitely been rated NC-17. There are ALOT of kids below the age of 15 that watch R rated movies. Not only should they list why they are ratng it way, I think they need new folks to work there.

HD YEAHH said...

Salty language!!!

And "non-stop ninja action" made me clutch MY pearls. Lol

Agent**It said...

Profane, thanks for a good laugh. There was a Catholic paper called The Pilot that used to have the movie listings. Bet you loved the Sears catalogue:)