In 1968, the Motion Picture Association of America or MPAA under the term of Chairman Jack Valenti established the parent-focused Motion Picture Rating System replacing the older censorship rating system known as the Hays Code in order to guide the movie going public in determining which movies are appropriate to watch by certain audiences. Through this information, advice and guidance are given to the people providing them an idea or glimpse of what they expect to see in the movie. The Classification and Ratings Administration (CARA) is responsible in assigning the rating system.
The Rating Board
The Rating Board is composed of a Chairperson who heads the board that assigns a group of Raters and Senior Raters. Senior Raters are selected by the Chairperson from among the Raters. Each member of the Rating Board must be a parent and one who is not connected or affiliated with any film or entertainment industry what-so-ever. Both the Chairperson as well as the Senior Raters can have children of any age while Raters must have children between the ages of 5 to 17 at the time of their appointment and must leave the Board when their children reach the age of 21. The identity of both the Chairperson as well as the Senior Raters are made known to the public while the identities of the Raters are kept private. The Rating Board take into consideration factors such as the sensitivity of the content to the movies like sex, violence, language and drug use to designate the rating for a movie.
Understanding the Rating System
1. G Rating - For General Audiences, All Ages Admitted
Movies under the G Rating has no scenes of nudity, drug-use or sex scenes. Absolutely nothing. Scenes of violence are very minimal. Though some use of language might go beyond the intensity of what is considered polite, they are taken into consideration as everyday language expressions.
2. PG - Parental Guidance Suggested - Some Materials May Not be Appropriate For Younger Audience
With a PG Rating, there are still no appearance of any drug use. Although there might be some scenes of violence or brief nudity, they are not considered as intense and parental guidance to the younger audience is just advised.
3. PG - 13 - Parents are Strongly Cautioned - Some Materials Might Be Inappropriate to Children Below 13 Years of Age
A movie with a rating of PG-13 by the Rating Board connotes a stronger message to parents that said movie might not be suitable for their children. Movies that show any drug-related use, scenes with brief nudity, scenes of violence, continual use of sexually-derived words, all would generally require a rating of PG-13.
4. R - Restricted - Children Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian
The Rating Board require parents to take caution with movies under this rating for they contain scenes of adult themes and activity, nudity, continuous violence, drug-use, as well as the use of foul and hard language. Children whose age is under 17 years old cannot enter the premise unless accompanied by an adult or guardian. Generally, the Rating Board advises parents not to bring with them their children to movies with an R-Rating.
5. NC - 17 - No One Aged 17 and Under is Admitted
Although movies with an NC-17 rating does not necessarily mean obscene or pornographic in nature, the Rating Board simply states that such movies is deemed fit only for adult audiences and not for children viewing. The theme of movies with an NC-17 rating simply suggest that the film is based primarily on violence, use of drugs or other related elements and substances, sex, unusual or odd behavior, or related themes, that most parents would deem unfit for viewing by their children. In its simplest term, movies are definitely not for children viewing, only for adults.
Rating A Film
Ratings of films give the movie-going public an idea of what the film has to offer to its audience. It gives them a better understanding of the content of the film. It gives people guidance as to whether a film is worth seeing with their children or not. Film ratings does not determine if a movie is good or bad or if it will perform well in the box office. That is the work of film critics and the general audience. Movie ratings gives parents advance guidance as to what is the content or the theme of the film is. Although some movies are not rated, most movies are and most film makers and every member of the Motion Picture Association of America of the MPAA submit their movies for rating.
Before considering of taking the children to the movies, it is best for parents to look very well into the ratings given by the Rating Board that is accompanied in all the posters, trailers, billboards and other movie paraphernalia. Movies are meant to give pleasure and enjoyment, a nice family bonding moment. It is well to use them wisely and use them with care.