The Movies Rating System and its Impact on Contemporary Audiences

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Rating System’s Evolution and Challenges

Movies have been a favorite pastime for most of the world for decades. Short films began in the 1890s, with several pictures pieced together to make a small movie. Film studios were starting to be built in 1897, so it is truly a thing that has been around for a while. However, as movies started to grow in popularity, there was concern about how appropriate a movie was for different Audiences. The first rating system started in 1968, but the current system of rating was begun in 1996 by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). They have been a great tool for helping parents determine what their children can and cannot watch. However, most think it is a bad system and should be changed.

Our current system of rating is a good way to show the appropriateness of a movie for a child; however, a few improvements can be made to make it better. The current rating system is the result of countless attempts to have to censor movies. It is the best made in all these years, but it could use some improvements. Most parents cannot just look at the rating and already know about it. They have to go into critic reviews and other ratings to see if it is appropriate for their child. For example, younger audiences can watch some PG-13 movies with no problems, but not every PG-13 movie. Some are more unsuitable because of different content. This can be confusing to most people.

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Controversies and Trends in Movie Ratings

When the current version came out, it required that each letter rating has its meaning and what specific things are in the movie to cause it to be censored. According to a chart by, 74% of users have found the system to be useful. That other 26% found it not useful and would change it. The majority is for the current system. In fact, the NYTimes claim the system has been becoming lenient with their movies. This makes sense because children are getting more mature and younger. Many kids who are young watch PG-13 movies. For example, many young children watch Marvel movies even though most are PG-13.

Also, today most PG and PG-13 movies have more sexual and violent scenes in them. Twenty years ago, there would have been no way they would include any of that without putting an R rating. America and its people have constantly been changing, and this has definitely shown in the American movie rating system. With all the films being put out today with the growing hours of them, it has become mathematically impossible to rate the movie to its full extent. The movie rating system has been a conflict ever since its birth. In my opinion, the system is fine. It’s true that children are getting more mature, and parents are getting more lenient. It would be nice to make another rating for movies that are not quite R but too much for PG-13. The current is adequate, and with few changes, it could be a great system.


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The Movies Rating System and its Impact on Contemporary Audiences. (2023, Aug 18). Retrieved from

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