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This Film Is Not Yet Rated

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Jan
This Film Is Not Yet Rated
from Film Forum, 09/07/06

Who decides whether a film will be rated PG or PG-13?

What must be cut to bring an NC-17 film down to an R-rating?

In Kirby Dick's new documentary, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, we are brought along as a team of curious investigators turn their binoculars toward the secretive MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), and try to understand just how the current film-rating system works.

Just how secretive is the MPAA? Dick had to hire private detectives to learn who works there. And as we follow his progress, we also hear from several disgruntled filmmakers who believe their work has been treated unfairly.

Harry Forbes (Catholic News Service) calls it "a lively if disjointed and ultimately unconvincing documentary. … Dick's premise is undermined by most of the illustrative clips used here, which, if anything, seem to prove that the movies from which they derive … well deserve their restrictive ratings in terms of sex, violence and/or language, artistic matters notwithstanding."

Often frustrated by the MPAA's inconsistencies, mainstream critics are celebrating the way this film raises important questions.