MPAA movie ratings Meanings


The Motion Picture Association of America’s film-rating system is designated to classify films with regard to suitability for  audiences with advance information about the content of films, so they can determine what movies are appropriate for their young children to see.

MPAA movie guide

MPAA movie ratings

Movie ratings do not determine whether a film is “good” or “bad.” They simply provide basic information to parents about the level of various elements in the film, such as sex, violence and language so that parents can decide what their children can and cannot see.

By providing clear, concise information, movie ratings provide timely, relevant information to parents, and they help protect the freedom of expression of filmmakers and this dynamic American art form.

If a film is not submitted for rating, the label NR (Not Rated) or UR (Unrated) is often used. Many older films have the label NR or UR, but merely because a film is labeled NR or UR does not always mean that it is unsuitable for children.

Rating symbol Meaning
G rating symbol
G – General Audiences
All ages admitted
PG rating symbol
PG – Parental Guidance Suggested
Some material may not be suitable for children
(1978–present; between 1972 and 1984, the word “children” instead read “pre-teenagers.”)
PG-13 rating symbol
PG-13 – Parents Strongly Cautioned
Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
R rating symbol
R – Restricted
Under 17 requires an accompanying parent or adult guardian.
(1970–present; during 1968 and 1969, the designated age was 16)
NC-17 rating symbol
NC-17 – No One 17 and Under Admitted
(1996–present; between 1990 and 1996, the wording was “No One Under 17 Admitted”)


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