The Ratings Board

Latest MPAA Ratings: BULLETIN NO: 2195

Shame gets its NC-17 rating...

Today Steve McQueen's Shame officially received its NC-17 rating from the MPAA for "some explicit sexual content," which is to say I guess all they saw was the sex because that isn't all that should be mentioned in that rating. Nevertheless, a few days ago The Hollywood Reporter ran a fascinating article regarding Fox Searchlight's decision to distribute the film with an NC-17 rating, a decision that will result in some theaters not showing it, some newspapers not advertising it, etc. So how does Searchlight plan on getting beyond the film's rating? By embracing it...

Fox Searchlight president Steve Gilula told the Hollywood Reporter the following:

I think NC-17 is a badge of honor, not a scarlet letter. We believe it is time for the rating to become usable in a serious manner. The sheer talent of the actors and the vision of the filmmaker are extraordinary. It's not a film that everyone will take easily, but it certainly breaks through the clutter and is distinctive and original. It's a game changer... I think Shame's profile will pique people's curiosity. I'm optimistic this will be a significant film and change the attitude of people toward this kind of subject matter.

The film is certainly up for awards consideration and will hit theaters on December 2 and it will be interesting to see it all play out.

And with that said, here are the new MPAA ratings from BULLETIN NO: 2195.

About Fifty
Rated R For language, some sexual content and drug use.
Alien Armageddon
Rated R For some disturbing violent images and gore, and language.
The Assailant
Rated R For some violence, sexuality, nudity and brief language.
The Assault
Rated R For violence.
Rated R For language, sexual content, some drug use and brief violence.
Release Date: TBA 2012
Fortress
Rated R For some bloody war violence and pervasive language.
Rated PG For some rude humor and mild peril.
Release Date: November 18, 2011
Rated R For some violence.
Release Date: January 20, 2012
NOTE: INTENDS TO APPEAL TO THE C.A.R.A. APPEALS BOARD.
InSight
Rated R For violent content and brief language.
Rated PG-13 For some violent images and brief nudity.
Release Date: December 16, 2011
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Rated PG For mild thematic elements and brief smoking.
Rated R For some bloody images, sexuality, drug use and language.
Release Date: TBA 2012
Rated NC-17 For some explicit sexual content.
Release Date: December 2, 2011
Tales Of An Ancient Empire
Rated R For some violence and nudity.
Youngstown Shakedown
Rated R For violence and language.

You can always stay up-to-date on all the latest updates to our database right here.

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  • Stephen

    Good for Fox Searchlight!

  • http://moviekid-zach.blogspot.com Film Wizard

    Let's see if fox can pull of releasing a green band trailer for Shame!

  • ckybltz

    Brad,MPAA descriptions are based on the rating thats assigned...thats why movies(such as Haywire or Disturbia) will be rated R for "some violence", because SOME of the violence was too strong for a PG13 and when theyre appealed(or edited), the content that would make the difference between a PG13 and a PG rating is listed...same goes with NC-17 and R. Hope that makes sense.

  • ckybltz

    Another example is Blue Valentine which went from an NC17 for a scene of explicit sexual content to an R for strong graphic sexual content, language, and a beating

    • Joe

      ckybltz is right. The content listed in the rating only lists the content strong enough to warrant the actual rating. So to apply it to Shame (which I haven't seen, so I'm just making up hypothetical examples): If Shame has NC-17-worthy sex scenes, a scene in which Michael Fassbender slits a guy's throat that's worthy of an R-rating, five f-words, and a scary scene, then the movie will only be rated NC-17 because of the sex scenes--one throat-slitting, five f-words, and a scary scene aren't worthy of an NC-17 rating, so they're not listed. However, if the producers edited down the sex scenes to make them R-level, then the movie will be rated for something like "strong sexuality, a scene of violence, and language," because all of those are at the R-level. If the producers went back and cut out all of the sex and all of the violence and all of the language (which is impossible to do for Shame, I'm guessing, but again, this is just hypothetical), then the movie will get a PG rating for "a scary scene." The scary scene didn't come out of nowhere; it just wasn't worth mentioning.

  • MajorFilmFan

    Fox Searchlight has SERRIOUS guts distributing "Shame". I respect them for doing this!

    • MKing

      Agreed!

  • Joe

    It's kind of ridiculous that the ratings board has a rating that they don't even use. Why even have NC-17 if no films get released under this rating.

    • mfan

      Films usually get the rating they want. NC-17 is what replaced the X rating. Few filmakers want their film rated X. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III was the last film rated X. I think that's why some people call it torture porn.

  • Alex G

    I'm sorry, I've still got to laugh at the rating for Shame. I've seen it, and what I really want to know is what they count as "SOME explicit sexual content." The whole movie is explicit! Let's face it: Shame deserves its rating, so it makes me glad to hear that Fox is taking it with pride, even it will unfortunately smash its Oscar chances. It may not do as well at the box office now because major theaters won't take Shame, but then again, it was going to have a limited release anyway. And besides, who would take their child to see Shame?

    • Matt C

      Why would they take their kids to see it anyway? The NC-17 rating ensures no kids at all, but that doesn't stop some smart and sneaky kids from doing so anyway.

  • Winchester

    Good, what appears to be a a grown up film for grown ups gets a rating that reflects that. By all means give it a rating that keeps out the annoying teenagers who just end up getting in the way of the adults in the sittings.