10 Rated-R Films that Should’ve Been PG-13
Simply put, some films get an R when they aren’t really meant for adults. These aren’t about ones that have a family friendly message, yet 50 eff words. The goal is to point out ones that genuinely don’t follow the standards the MPAA tries to follow. Some of these ride the line between ratings, so I expect some disagreement, but let’s not let that stop us!
10.) Deuce Bigalow
Most everything with Rob Schneider tends to ride between ratings. To paraphrase Roger Ebert on The Hot Chick, everything Schneider does is a bit too crude for kids, but immature enough to make kids the target audience. In truth, movies like Deuce Bigalow and The Hot Chick (PG-13 on appeal) should just get the PG-13 rating. No eff words, but a lot of crude, immature humor, and perhaps a second of a guy’s ass being shown. They were clearly filmed to be PG-13, whereas material like Big Stan or Deuce 2 wasn’t.
9.) The Frighteners
This one got an R simply on the scary factor. Some gunshots into a door were “too loud” and the reaper figure was creepy. As a matter of fact, images of Hell and a theme involving serial killers is the worst of it. Still, it’s minimal blood and mild language for the concept. In fact, the original cut is aired on TV uncut as a TV-14. Once Jackson got an R, he added an exploding head to justify the rating.
8.) The Good Son
Culkin is menacing and says an eff word. He is cruel to animals and becomes homicidal, yet we never genuinely see it. This is another case of the theme making the rating, not the content.
7.) Army of Darkness
Intended as a PG-13, this one got an NC-17 and underwent minor cuts to get an R. The worst image is blood spewing from a well in a comical fashion. Demons and possessed people are killed, yet with the impacts off-screen. Seriously, the primary enemies are skeletons. This is tamer than Pirates of the Caribbean. I will grant there was 1.5 seconds of topless nudity, which was barely in the frame in a busy scene and easily missed by all except the keenest of viewers. It’s miles below Titanic and far from sexual. Chances are the mild cuts wouldn’t even have made it a reasonable R.
This is an interesting case, as the original rating was PG-13. Either Lionsgate inexplicably pushed for an R or they added a few frames of gore, such as blood spraying on a rock. The film has a light, comical tone for having a zombie theme. There is some shooting, but usually bloodless. Out of all the scenes, the most intense had two children being zombified by an off-screen gunshot wound. Sounds depict the other child being attacked by a zombie, but it wasn’t disturbing and the scene actually was about the protagonist being saved.
Other than some mild violence, this is a tame movie. Actually, the commentary track breaks down the cuts that were made for the PG-13 version and they were petty, like using the word Lolita, someone squeezing a donut, etc. The most graphic scene involved green blood with a monster battle, which the MPAA approved uncut for the PG-13 version.
4.) Lost in Translation
The unquestioned reason this got an R was a brief scene with topless nudity. However, we need to keep in mind how many PG-13 movies have exactly the same. The PG-13 Don Juan DeMarco had much more extended sequences with far more exposed people. Actually, on rare occasion, a PG will get by with similar to Lost in Translation, such as Weekend at Bernie’s 2. Yes, I made the comparison.
3.) Match Point
Sex scenes without nudity got this one an R for sensuality. In fact, the movie culminates in an intense, yet non-graphic murder scene. It’s scary as hell, but was acceptable for the UK’s 12A rating. Let’s look at the trend: 11+ in Finland, 6+ in Germany, 12+ in Japan, 11 in Norway…it just doesn’t scream for an R. Some places did give it a high rating, like 18 in South Korea, but we’re talking about countries with unusually stringent systems.
Compare this to any action movie based on a comic book released in the last 30 years. This is so clearly a PG-13. A lot of action and some people getting shot, but it’s in a world where anything is possible and it’s not graphic in the least.
There is a man-whore. No nudity, but a lot of promiscuity. Let it ride.