Rated NR

An extremely interesting but ultimately unsatisfying documentary about the Motion Picture Association of America’s ratings system for American films. Filmmaker Kirby Dick talks to a slew of directors who’ve faced NC-17 ratings and tries to get to the bottom of what it is exactly that offends the MPAA. Unfortunately, all he has is anecdotal evidence: It could be man-on-woman oral sex, or it could be that the films that get NC-17 don’t have proper studio backing, or it could be that these films simply piss off the MPAA. If he had done a more careful study, Not Yet Rated would be more compelling. Still, he has some great moments, and the most important questions he raises need no further evidence than what he’s presented: Why is the ratings board anonymous? And why is everyone on the appeals board a big-league Hollywood insider? Some of the funniest stuff comes when Dick tries to find the identity of the pathologically secretive ratings board and hires a private eye. Through the course of the film, her surveillance turns up the names, addresses and family status of everyone involved, and exposes quite a few deceptions in the MPAA’s official statements. Not Yet Rated is definitely fun and eye-opening, but it could have been better researched.


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