Why is ‘About Time’ Rated R: Unveiling the Controversial Rating of this Film

‘About Time’ is a romantic comedy-drama film that was released in 2013. Despite its heartwarming storyline and positive reception from critics and audiences, the movie carries an R rating. This article aims to delve into the reasons behind the controversial rating of ‘About Time’.

The MPAA Rating System

Before delving into the reasons for ‘About Time’ being rated R, it is important to understand the MPAA rating system. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) assigns ratings to movies based on specific criteria, including language, violence, sexual content, and drug use. These ratings are meant to guide viewers and help them make informed choices regarding the content they consume.

1. Language and Explicit Dialogue

One of the main reasons ‘About Time’ received an R rating is due to its language and explicit dialogue. The film includes several instances of strong language and adult dialogue that may not be suitable for younger viewers. The use of profanity and sexual references throughout the movie contributes to its rating.

2. Sexual Content and Nudity

‘About Time’ explores the romantic relationship between the main characters, and as such, contains sexual content and nudity. While the scenes are portrayed in a tasteful and non-exploitative manner, the explicit nature of the content warranted the R rating. The movie tackles intimacy and sexuality in a realistic and relatable way, which may be uncomfortable for some viewers.

3. Themes of Death and Loss

Although ‘About Time’ is primarily a romantic comedy, it also incorporates themes of death and loss. The film explores the concept of time travel and its impact on the protagonist’s relationships and personal growth. The emotional depth and introspective nature of these themes contribute to the film’s rating, as they may be too heavy or difficult for younger viewers to fully comprehend.

4. Alcohol Use and Drug References

Throughout the movie, ‘About Time’ portrays characters consuming alcohol and makes references to drug use. While these elements are not depicted in a glamorized or excessive manner, they still contribute to the film’s R rating. The MPAA takes into consideration the promotion or glamorization of substance use when assigning ratings to films.

5. Mature Themes and Emotional Complexity

Finally, ‘About Time’ encompasses mature themes and emotional complexity that may not be suitable for younger viewers. The movie deals with the concept of making the most of each day and cherishing the moments we have. It explores the complexities of relationships, family dynamics, and personal growth, which may be more appreciated and understood by adult audiences.

In Conclusion

‘About Time’ is rated R due to its use of language, sexual content, nudity, themes of death and loss, references to alcohol and drugs, and its mature themes and emotional complexity. While the rating may deter younger audiences, it does not diminish the film’s value or impact. The R rating ensures that viewers are aware of the content and can make informed decisions about whether or not it aligns with their preferences and maturity level.

Despite its rating, ‘About Time’ remains a beloved film that resonates with audiences of all ages, reminding us to cherish every moment and appreciate the beauty of love and family.


1. What is the rating of the film “About Time”?

The film “About Time” is rated R.

2. Why does the film “About Time” have an R rating?

The film “About Time” has an R rating due to its adult content, including strong language and sexual references.

3. What does an R rating mean?

An R rating is a classification given by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) that signifies the film is intended for adults. Children under 17 require accompanying parent or adult guardian to watch an R-rated film.

4. What are the specific reasons for the R rating of “About Time”?

“About Time” received an R rating primarily because of profanity, including strong language throughout the film. Additionally, it contains sexual references and brief nudity.

5. Is the R rating of “About Time” suitable for teenagers?

The R rating of “About Time” indicates that it is not suitable for teenagers under 17 years of age without parental or adult guardian supervision.

6. What should parents consider before allowing their teenager to watch “About Time”?

Parents should consider the mature content in “About Time,” including strong language, sexual references, and brief nudity, before deciding whether it is appropriate for their teenager to watch.

7. Are there alternatives for viewers who prefer films with lower ratings?

Yes, there are several alternative films with lower ratings that offer similar themes or genres as “About Time.” Viewers can explore movies with PG-13 or lower classifications to find alternatives more suitable for their preferences.

8. Can parents use the R rating to gauge the content of “About Time” accurately?

The R rating provides useful information about the general content of “About Time,” but parents should also consider reading reviews or researching specific aspects of the film to get a better understanding of its suitability for their children.

9. Is the R rating of “About Time” solely due to adult language?

No, the R rating of “About Time” is not solely due to adult language. It also includes sexual references and brief nudity, which contribute to the film’s classification.

10. Can viewers under 17 watch “About Time” with parental consent?

Yes, viewers under 17 years old can watch “About Time” with parental consent or when accompanied by an adult guardian, as the R rating allows for such arrangements.