Monday, September 10, 2012
Rated R Movies
Many of my favorite movies like The Godfather, The Matrix, Gladiator, and The Shawshank Redemption are rated R, but I saw them edited. As a result, I don't know about all of the content that was originally in the movie and am hesitant to tell people how great a rated R movie was in case that person rents it and are turned off by the 35 F bombs or the sex scenes that might be in the unedited version that I knew nothing about.
Approximately half of the movies in the top 50 best movies on IMDB are rated R. Interestingly only 1 of the top 50 biggest money makers is rated R. I guess you can read a couple things into that. First, making a rated R movie will hurt how well a movie does at the box office since you are obviously excluded a large group of potential viewers. One might also read into this and assume that Rated R movies are typically more likely to win academy awards or receive more critical acclaim. Since 1970, 22 of the 42 movies that earned an academy award for best picture were rated R.
The MPAA rates movies with a panel of judges that have a somewhat secret formula. It's kind of like the formula credit bureaus use to determine your credit score. You have a pretty good idea of what certain things will do, but some subject matter can be hard to pin down and is not always consistent. I have seen some PG-13 movies that were more offensive than some rated R movies but inconsistent movie ratings is a topic for another day.
I don't really know what my point was about R rated films. I think the rating is helpful and I try to stay away from them. There are good rated R movies like Slumdog Millionaire, The King's Speech, and Schindler's List (so I've been told) and then there are just down right filthy and raunchy rated R movies. Since it is often hard to differentiate until you have seen a movie, I avoid them and have tried to make The Movie Guy a family friendly site and only review movies with a rating of PG-13 or below.