Movies with the same content but different MPAA ratings

It’s no secret that some of the ratings decisions from the MPAA can leave you scratching your head and wondering what just happened.

The MPAA assigns ratings of G, PG, PG-13, R or NC-17 to films, and often those ratings don’t seem to represent the film quite as well as we’d like. Recently we posted an article titled “5 movies with the wrong rating” where we pointed out some films that probably should have received a different rating.

We now want to take a look at some comparisons and break down some movies that have nearly identical content but completely different ratings.

Philomena (PG-13) – Nebraska (R)

Both “Nebraska” and “Philomena” were released in 2013 and tell compelling, funny and touching stories. Both films received high marks from critics and audiences alike, but the MPAA saw the films very differently.

Both “Philomena” and “Nebraska” received R ratings when they first went to the MPAA. Both films appealed the rating, and “Philomena” was dropped to a PG-13 while “Nebraska” retained its R rating.

According to the MPAA, “Philomena” is PG-13 for some strong language, thematic elements and sexual references. “Nebraska” was rated R for some language.

To break it down further, “Philomena” has four uses of the f-word compared with the two in “Nebraska.” On ok.com, “Philomena” has an age rating voted on by users of a 14+ and “Nebraska” has a 16+.

The Lovely Bones (PG-13) – Heavenly Creatures (R)

Our next example comes from two films directed by Peter Jackson. His 1994 film “Heavenly Creatures” is rated R for a chilling murder and some sexuality. His 2009 film “The Lovely Bones,” however, has a PG-13 rating for mature thematic material involving disturbing violent content and images and some language.

Both films involve murder and both are quite disturbing. Both films have intense sexual references and violence, yet one receives an R while the other gets a PG-13. The difference in rating on these films is particularly striking considering the disturbing and sexual content in the films is very similar and the language is actually stronger in the PG-13 “The Lovely Bones” than it is in the R-rated “Heavenly Creatures.”

On ok.com “The Lovely Bones” has an age rating of 15+ and “Heavenly Creatures” has a 16+.

The Fall (R) – Big Fish (PG-13)

The 2006 film “The Fall” and the 2003 film “Big Fish” have a lot in common. Both take us on a journey to another world where our protagonists escape to a better place, only to realize the world they live in offers more than they dreamed. Something else these films have in common is that they’re beautiful from both a visual and storytelling perspective.

Where these films differ, however, is the rating. “Big Fish” is rated PG-13 and “The Fall” is rated R.

According to the MPAA, “Big Fish” received a PG-13 rating for a fight scene, some images of nudity and a suggestive reference. “The Fall” received an R rating for some violent images. That’s literally all it says: some violent images.

To break it down a little further, “Big Fish” features brief nudity, some violence and some profanity. Truth be told, the PG-13 rating is probably appropriate for the film.

Now, let’s look at “The Fall.” There is no sex or nudity, the violent images are far less than anything you’d see in a Batman or a James Bond film and there’s less language than most PG films. This one really is hard to understand. Really hard.

“The Fall” has a 14+ age rating on ok.com and “Big Fish” has a 13+.

Life of Pi (PG) – Cast Away (PG-13)

The 2012 film “Life of Pi” captivated audiences with its stunning visuals and arresting story. It also reminded some people of the 2000 film “Cast Away” starring Tom Hanks.

While these films share some elements, they are very different stories and special in their own ways. When it comes to content, the two films are very similar; again, however, they received two different ratings. “Cast Away” was rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some intense images and action sequences. “Life of Pi” received a PG rating for emotional thematic content throughout and some action sequences of peril.

Sounds pretty similar, right? Let’s look a little closer. “Cast Away” features intense scenes that include a deadly plane crash and Tom Hanks’ character trying to survive on his own on an island and on the sea. “Life of Pi” features intense scenes that include the sinking of a ship that kills several people and the lead character trying to survive on an island as well as on the sea.

“Life of Pi” also features animal violence and themes of cannibalism and murder. Both movies are almost completely devoid of language, yet one film gets a PG- 13 while the other is given a PG. “Life of Pi” has an age rating of 10+ on ok.com and “Cast Away” has a 12+.

Do you think the MPAA got these ratings right? Or do you think it’s time to rethink how we rate our films? Let us know on the comment boards or on Facebook.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Famous Infinity Mirror Room is open in Las Vegas
Yayoi Kusama's "Aftermath of Obliteration of Infinity" mirror room is open at the Bellagio in Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Glittering Lights dazzles Las Vegas
The Glittering Lights holiday display is shining at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Mat Luschek/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Skybar at Waldorf Astoria lets you sip your way through Las Vegas history
Skybar At Waldorf Astoria Lets You Sip Your Way Through Las Vegas History (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stan Lee in Las Vegas for Madame Tussauds unveiling
Stan Lee Las Vegas speaks with the Review-Journal's Chris Lawrence about his love for his fans and shared universes. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ultimate Belgium Waffle Sundae at Lavo
Lavo at the Palazzo serves a 16-scoop ice cream sundae that costs $800. (Rochelle Ricahrds, Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A New Zip Line Is Opening On The Las Vegas Strip
A New Zip Line Is Opening On The Las Vegas Strip (Janna Karel lLas Vegas Review-Journal)
You'll need a keen eye to find this secret bar on the Las Vegas Strip
You'll need a keen eye to find this secret bar on the Las Vegas Strip (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"The Lion King" roars into Las Vegas
New music club 172 brings loud luxury to Las Vegas
New music venue at the Rio brings rock ’n’ roll and food together at intimate club. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fans fear for Zak Bagans’ safety in Las Vegas Halloween TV special
Fly Linq zip line time lapse
Fly Linq zip line timelapse
Shaq opens Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken
Shaq opens Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken
Robert Deniro And Chef Nobu Talk About The Success Of Nobu
Robert Deniro And Chef Nobu Talk About The Success Of Nobu (Al Mancini Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center (Janna Karel/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like