Why is 'Get Out' Rated R? A Closer Look at the Film's Classification and Controversies

Why is ‘Get Out’ Rated R? A Closer Look at the Film’s Classification and Controversies

Why is ‘Get Out’ Rated R? A Closer Look at the Film’s Classification and Controversies


‘Get Out’ is a critically acclaimed horror film directed by Jordan Peele, known for its thought-provoking storyline and social commentary on race relations in America. The film’s R-rating has intrigued many viewers, prompting them to wonder why it received such a classification. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind the film’s rating, explore the controversies surrounding it, and provide a closer look at the implications of its classification.

The R-Rating Explained

The Motion Picture Association (MPA) rates movies based on their content to inform viewers about their suitability for different age groups. An R-rating means that the movie contains material that is generally not suitable for children under 17 without the presence of a parent or guardian. The rating signifies that the film contains graphic language, violence, nudity, and/or strong sexual content. It serves as a cautionary measure to protect young audiences from potentially disturbing or inappropriate material.

Content Analysis of ‘Get Out’

‘Get Out’ tackles sensitive themes of racism and discrimination through a unique horror lens. The film’s atmospheric tension and use of psychological horror amplify the impact of its social commentary. However, it is the graphic depiction of violence and language that earned the film its R-rating. The intense and disturbing scenes, though integral to the storytelling, might be unsuitable for a younger audience.

Controversies Surrounding the Rating

Despite its critical acclaim and success, ‘Get Out’ faced its fair share of controversies surrounding its R-rating. Some argued that the film deserved a lower classification due to its important social message and artistic merit. Supporters believed that the film’s intended audience, particularly young adults, should have been able to watch and engage in discussions about the film’s powerful themes without any age restrictions.

Others, however, defended the R-rating, acknowledging that the violence and language used in the film were necessary to convey the visceral impact of racism. They argued that a lower rating would have diluted the film’s impact, potentially undermining its ability to evoke the necessary emotional response from viewers.

Implications of the Classification

The R-rating of ‘Get Out’ highlights the ongoing debate about the relationship between mature themes, artistic expression, and age restrictions. While some films may warrant a higher rating due to explicit content, the classification system often raises questions about the subjective nature of judgments and the potential for censorship.

The controversy surrounding ‘Get Out’s’ rating prompted discussions about the need for more nuanced classifications that take into account the cultural, social, and political importance of a film’s message. It also shed light on the role of films in shaping public consciousness and initiating conversations about challenging subjects.

In conclusion, the R-rating of ‘Get Out’ is primarily due to its graphic depiction of violence and language. The film’s classification sparked discussions about the relationship between mature themes, artistic expression, and age restrictions, highlighting the importance of continued dialogue about the impact of media on society. Whether one agrees or disagrees with its rating, ‘Get Out’ remains a thought-provoking film that pushes boundaries and challenges societal norms.


1. Why was ‘Get Out’ given an R rating?

The film ‘Get Out’ received an R rating due to its intense scenes of violence, disturbing imagery, strong language, and mature themes that may be inappropriate for younger viewers.

2. Do all R-rated movies contain explicit content?

While most R-rated movies may contain explicit content, it is not a strict requirement. The rating signifies that the movie may include some elements that are not suitable for audiences under the age of 17 without the presence of a parent or guardian.

3. What specific controversies surround the film’s classification?

The main controversy surrounding the classification of ‘Get Out’ revolves around the fact that some argue it should have been rated PG-13 instead of R. They argue that the film’s violence and language are not excessive enough to warrant an R rating.

4. How does the film’s classification affect its audience reach?

The R rating restricts the film’s potential audience reach, as individuals under the age of 17 cannot watch the movie in theaters without adult accompaniment. This may limit the number of viewers, particularly teenagers, who intend to see the film.

5. Was the controversy around ‘Get Out’ unprecedented?

No, controversies surrounding the rating of movies is not uncommon. Films that push boundaries or explore sensitive subjects often face debates about appropriate classification due to subjective interpretations of violence, language, and sexual content.

6. Are there any instances of ‘Get Out’ being incorrectly rated?

While some argue that ‘Get Out’ was rated too harshly, there have been no official cases or evidence suggesting that the film was incorrectly rated by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) or any other relevant classification board.

7. Can a film’s rating impact its critical reception?

A film’s rating can impact its critical reception to some extent. Certain films may be judged more critically due to higher expectations or because they challenge traditional boundaries. However, it ultimately depends on individual critics and their interpretations.

8. Does the controversy surrounding ‘Get Out’ affect the film’s artistic value?

The controversy surrounding the film’s rating does not inherently affect its artistic value. The level of artistic value is subjective and determined by various factors, such as the film’s storytelling, performances, and thematic exploration, rather than its classification or controversies.

9. How can the rating of ‘Get Out’ impact its box office success?

The rating of ‘Get Out’ can potentially impact its box office success. An R rating may deter some potential viewers, particularly younger audiences, and limit the film’s commercial appeal. However, the film’s strong critical acclaim and word-of-mouth promotion can help compensate for this limitation.

10. How does the controversy surrounding a film’s rating contribute to public discourse?

Controversies surrounding a film’s rating prompt a larger conversation about censorship, artistic freedom, and societal norms. They encourage discussions on the appropriate boundaries for different age groups and the role of ratings in guiding audience choices and protecting younger viewers.