Motion Picture Ratings System
Even the most responsible movie-going parent can get confused over what's appropriate. Any film - comedy, horror, drama, romance - can slip from a PG to an R rating with the addition of just a few simple words or one single scene.
It used to be safe to assume that if you selected a Disney film, you'd be guaranteed a family flick with an abundance of warm fuzzies. Not any more. Studios all compete for the same box office dollars, and even Disney has ventured into the PG and R realms.
Movies are rated by a specially selected committee of the Classification and Rating Administration. Movie content is reviewed for language, sex, nudity, and violence. The committee also considers how much of each element is present in the course of the movie.
Current Rating System:G - General Audience. No sex, nudity, bad language or drug use. This film should be suitable for all audiences.
PG - Parental Guidance Suggested. May contain some material not suitable for young children. Could include brief nudity.
PG-13 - Parents Strongly Cautioned. May not be appropriate for children under 13. May contain bad language, brief nudity, sexual overtones, and drug usage.
R - Restricted, under 17 not admitted without parent or adult guardian. Film will definitely contain adult material. Will probably contain bad language, violence, sex, drug usage, or have an adult theme.
NC-17 - No one 17 and under will be admitted. Adult film with explicit sex scenes, sexually-oriented language, or excessive violence.
Interested in finding out the rating of a specific movie? Both of these sites have great resources:
Motion Picture Association of America - This site has the basic rating system plus a searchable movie database.
FilmRatings.com - Searchable ratings database with movies dating back to 1968.