G -- "General Audience - All Ages Admitted": To gain a "G" rating, a film must not contain nudity, sexual content, drug use or strong language. Portrayal of violence in the film must be minimal and the movie's topic must be appropriate for young children. According to the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), a G rating is not indicative that the film is a children's movie.
PG -- "Parental Guidance Suggested. Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Children": The MPAA gives a movie this rating when it is believed that the film contains topics or content that parents may find inappropriate for younger children. The film can contain some profanity, violence or brief nudity, but only in relatively mild intensity. A PG film must not include drug use.
PG-13 -- "Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13." This rating was added in 1984 to designate that some films that contain violence, profanity or sexual content are intense enough that many parents would not want to expose their younger children to the film. The films are not intense enough to warrant an R rating. Any movie featuring drug use will get at least a PG-13 rating. A PG-13 movie can include a single use of what the board deems a "harsher, sexually derived word," as long as it is only used as an expletive, not in a sexual context.
R --"Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian": The MPAA applies this rating to movies they believe contain a high level of adult content, such as harsh profanity, intense violence, explicit sexual content and extensive drug use. In some states, the minimum age to see an R rated movie unaccompanied is 18.
NC-17: "No One 17 And Under Admitted": Originally called X, this rating is applied to films the board believes most parents will consider inappropriate for children. It indicates only that adult content is more intense than in an R movie; it does not imply any sort of obscenity. As with films rated R, the minimum age to see a NC-17 movie is 18 in some states.
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