Why is 'Central Intelligence' Rated PG-13? - An Insight into Film Ratings and Its Impact on Audiences

Why is ‘Central Intelligence’ Rated PG-13? – An Insight into Film Ratings and Its Impact on Audiences

Why is ‘Central Intelligence’ Rated PG-13?

Ratings play a crucial role in determining the appropriate audience for a film, providing guidelines for parents and viewers to make informed choices. ‘Central Intelligence’, a popular action-comedy film directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, was given a PG-13 rating by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). But what factors contributed to this rating? Let’s take a closer look.

Understanding Film Ratings

Film ratings serve as a helpful tool for audiences, enabling them to decide whether a movie is suitable for their age group and personal preferences. The MPAA assigns ratings based on several factors, including language, violence, nudity, drug use, and thematic elements. These ratings range from G (General Audiences) to NC-17 (No One 17 and Under Admitted).

When determining a film’s rating, the MPAA carefully weighs the content and its potential impact on different age groups. However, ratings can sometimes be subjective, leading to debates and discussions among filmmakers, critics, and viewers.

The MPAA Rating Guidelines

The MPAA provides general guidelines for each rating category, helping viewers understand the content they can expect. These guidelines are:

  1. G (General Audiences): All ages are admitted. No content that could offend parents if viewed by children.
  2. PG (Parental Guidance Suggested): Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents are urged to provide “parental guidance.”
  3. PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned): Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious and determine if the content is suitable for their child.
  4. R (Restricted): Restricted to viewers over 17 or accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.
  5. NC-17 (No One 17 and Under Admitted): No one 17 or under is admitted.

The Considerations in the Film’s Rating

Now, let’s delve into the specific factors that influenced the PG-13 rating of ‘Central Intelligence’.


The film contains moderate to strong language, including some profanity and occasional crude humor. While the language is not excessive, it may not be appropriate for young children.


‘Central Intelligence’ includes intense action sequences and some violence. While it is not excessively graphic, the stylized violence and confrontations might be overwhelming for younger audiences.

Thematic Elements:

The movie tackles themes of espionage, betrayal, and friendship, often in comedic and lighthearted ways. Although suitable for older children and teenagers, it may not resonate with younger viewers who may not fully understand the nuances.

The Impact on Audiences

The PG-13 rating aims to strike a balance, allowing teenage viewers to enjoy the film while advising parents to exercise caution. It ensures that parents have the necessary information to decide whether the content is appropriate for their children.

The rating system also helps theater owners and distributors determine the target audience for a particular film, providing them with a clearer marketing strategy. This way, audiences can make choices based on their own preferences and sensibilities.

In Conclusion

‘Central Intelligence’ received a PG-13 rating due to its moderate language, violence, and thematic elements. The rating system ensures that viewers can make informed decisions about the content they consume. While film ratings are not without controversy, they serve as a valuable tool to guide audiences and protect younger viewers from potentially unsuitable material. As viewers, it is important to understand and respect these ratings in order to make responsible choices.


1. What is the reason behind the PG-13 rating for the movie ‘Central Intelligence’?

The PG-13 rating for the movie ‘Central Intelligence’ is due to its content, which includes some suggestive material, violence, and language.

2. What does the PG-13 rating indicate about the movie?

The PG-13 rating indicates that the movie is suitable for audiences aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised due to the content.

3. How are film ratings determined?

Film ratings are determined by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and its Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) based on content analysis and discussions among a panel of raters.

4. What are the different film ratings used in the United States?

The different film ratings used in the United States are G (General Audiences), PG (Parental Guidance Suggested), PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned), R (Restricted), and NC-17 (No One 17 and Under Admitted).

5. How does the PG-13 rating differ from an R rating?

A PG-13 rating suggests that some material may be unsuitable for children under 13 and requires parental guidance, while an R rating restricts admission to viewers under 17 unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

6. Did ‘Central Intelligence’ receive any other ratings apart from PG-13?

No, ‘Central Intelligence’ only received a PG-13 rating and did not receive any other ratings like R or NC-17.

7. Can individuals under 13 watch ‘Central Intelligence’ with parental guidance?

Yes, individuals under 13 can watch ‘Central Intelligence’ with parental guidance due to its PG-13 rating, which indicates that some content may be inappropriate for children without adult supervision.

8. Does the PG-13 rating affect box office success?

The PG-13 rating can have an impact on box office success since it allows a wider audience range, including teenagers, who represent a significant portion of moviegoers.

9. Are there any specific guidelines or criteria for assigning the PG-13 rating?

The MPA provides the CARA with general guidelines to help raters determine appropriate ratings, but there are no set criteria. Raters consider elements such as language, violence, sexual content, and theme intensity.

10. Can film ratings influence audience expectations and movie choices?

Yes, film ratings can influence audience expectations and movie choices as they provide an indication of the movie’s content and help viewers decide which movies align with their preferences and values.