The Twenty Best MPAA Ratings

MPAA ratings

March 5th marks the release of Tim Burton’s take on Alice in Wonderland. And as exciting as that may be, it is not the movie itself that is so interesting. It is the Motion Picture Association of America’s rating description that makes it noteworthy. You know, that small selection of descriptors that accompany the actual movie rating to warn you of what lies within. It looks much like the one pictured above. For Alice in Wonderland, it states that the movie is Rated PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar. Yes, a smoking caterpillar. This has to be, by far, the best rating reason ever.

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We made the photo big, just to verify that it is indeed a smoking caterpillar.

Sure, the MPAA’s become a total joke over the past fifteen years or so. If you wanted anymore proof, just check out the documentary This Film Not Yet Rated. It’s quite revealing and helps show how a board of misguided parents administers the whole process. On the bright side, at least it seems like they occasionally like to have a little fun with their job. It would be almost too easy for them to just say “Rated R for sexuality, language and violence.” They need to throw in some oddly specific explanation, something along the lines of, “Rated R for a graphic scene of intercourse, an occurrence of colorful language, extreme future violence throughout and a scene of torture in which the main character is nearly defeated but manages to just get away in the nick of time to save the girl”.

So while some bemoan the MPAA and how they, along with the FCC, attempt to become the The American Anti- Swearing and Jerking Off Committee, let’s take a look at some of their great moments. Here are twenty of the best MPAA ratings. And in case you think I’m making this up, you can visit the MPAA website and verify these actual ratings.

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Twister (1996)

Rating Reason: Rated PG-13 for intense depiction of very bad weather.
Distributor: Warner Bros., A Division Of Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P.

Let us start off with a true classic rating. No mention of airborne bovine, and they passed up the use of the phrase of intense tornado action. But at least they warn you of the depiction of very bad weather. You got to protect your kids from this stuff people.

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Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (2005)

Rating Reason: Rated PG for quirky situations, action and mild language.
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.

It’s not Tim Burton’s first dance with the MPAA. But what may I ask is a quirky situation? Is it really worth mentioning? Really? Better just tag all Burton movies with that while we are at it.

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Blue Crush (2002)

Rating Reason: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, teen partying, language and a fight.
Distributor: Universal Studios
Alternate Titles: Contact Point; Surf Girls; Surf Girls Of Maui

Gotta love a movie about teen partying involving hot surfer babes somehow involved in sexual content. Oh yeah, and also that one fight that was in there.

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Dead Alive (1993)

Rating Reason: Rated R for an abundance of outrageous gore.
Distributor: Trimark Pictures
Alternate Titles: Brain Dead

This one is funny, since anyone who has seen the R rated version knows there is no gore in that version at all. ;)

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Batman & Robin (1997)

Rating Reason: Rated PG-13 for strong stylized action and some innuendos.
Distributor: Warner Bros., A Division Of Time Warner Ent. Co

Sadly, no warning on Joel Schumacher raping your childhood. But I must ask, do Bat-nipples equal innuendo? You know, its that whole Batman and Robin are actually gay thing again? As Hooper X would say, they took your intellectual property and turned it into one 90-minute long gay joke.

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Ice Age (2001)

Rating Reason: Rated PG for mild peril.
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

This one just makes me think of Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
Sir Lancelot: “We were in the nick of time. You were in great peril.”
Sir Galahad: “I don’t think I was.”
Sir Lancelot: “Yes, you were. You were in terrible peril.”
Sir Galahad: “Look, let me go back in there and face the peril.”
Sir Lancelot: “No, it’s too perilous.”
Sir Galahad: “Look, it’s my duty as a knight to sample as much peril as I can.”
Sir Lancelot: “No, we’ve got to find the Holy Grail. Come on.”
Sir Galahad: “Oh, let me have just a little bit of peril?”
Sir Lancelot: “No. It’s unhealthy.”
Sir Galahad: “I bet you’re gay.”
Sir Lancelot: “Am not.”

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3 Ninjas Knuckle Up (1995)

Rating Reason: Rated PG-13 for non-stop ninja action.
Distributor: Tri-Star Pictures
Alternate Titles: Three Ninjas III

Just to be clear, this is not the Hulk Hogan movie (that was 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain). And no, I haven’t seen it. But non-stop ninja action? Where do I sign up?

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Teenage Space Vampires (1999)

Rating Reason: Rated PG for mild alien vampire violence.
Distributor: Full Moon Releasing
Alternate Titles: Space Vampires

I love how the MPAA can quantify the broad field of alien vampire violence in to both mild and non-mild varieties.

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Alien vs. Predator (2004)

Rating Reason: Rated PG-13 for violence, language, horror images, slime and gore.
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Alternate Titles: “AVP”

The sequel, Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, was rated R. But its rating was only for violence, gore and language. Apparently, not enough slime. Must have saved that for the unrated cut.

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Tombstone (1993)

Rating Reason: Rated R for strong western violence.
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.

Gotta love that good ‘ole western violence. It is what America was built on! It puts eastern violence to shame, that’s for sure.

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Flightplan (2005)

Rating Reason: Rated PG-13 for violence and some intense plot material.
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

An intense plot material warning is almost in the realm of the ever popular “thematic elements.” What? The movie could present elements of an underlying theme?? Ack!

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Sphere (1997)

Rating Reason: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action including some startling images.
Distributor: Warner Bros., A Division Of Time Warner Entertainment Company

Do any of the startling images involve Sharon Stone and acting?

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The Indian In The Cupboard (1995)

Rating Reason: Rated PG for mild language and brief video images of violence and sexy dancing.
Distributor: Paramount Pictures Corporation

I was sold at sexy dancing, even if it is rated PG.

MPAA ratings

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The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Rating Reason: Rated PG-13 for irreverent humor throughout.
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

No explanation needed.

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The Skateboard Kid II (1995)

Rating Reason: Rated PG for brief mild language and an adolescent punch in the nose.
Distributor: Concorde Pictures

Not just a fight, but a punch in the nose. And not among just anyone, among adolescents. Soon we’ll get warnings of wedgies, wet willies, or even the dreaded rear admiral!

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Shrek The Third (2007)

Rating Reason: Rated PG for some crude humor, suggestive content and swashbuckling action.
Distributor: Paramount Pictures Corporation

Swashbuckling action in movie that’s way too light on the pirates. Something ain’t right here.

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The Viking Sagas (1995)

Rating Reason: Rated R for brutal and bloody Viking combat, and for some sexuality.
Distributor: New Line Cinema

As if the title did not give it away, the MPAA wanted to make sure you were aware that indeed there was Viking combat.

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Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door (2006)

Rating Reason: Rated R for sadistic torture and sexual abuse, nudity, language and strong sexual dialogue – all involving children.
Distributor: Modern Girl Productions, LLC
Alternate Titles: Girl Next Door, The

No, not the Elisha Cuthbert version. Watching this one pretty much guarantees you’ll have to register as a sex offender and introduce yourself to the neighbors.

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Jefferson In Paris (1995)

Rating Reason: Rated PG-13 for mature theme, some images of violence and a bawdy puppet show.
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.

Tell me more about this risqué puppet show. Speaking of which…

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Team America World Police (2004)

Rating Reason: Rated R for graphic crude and sexual humor, violent images and strong language – all involving puppets.
Distributor: Paramount Pictures Corporation
Alternate Titles: American Heroes; Team America; Untitled Trey Parker/Matt Stone Project

An all time classic in the MPAA world.

We discussed this article at length in an episode of the Gunaxin Podcast, along with other good stuff. The podcast is rated “E” for Explicit due to graphic language and extreme sarcasm. You can listen by clicking below :