Why is 'The Rental' Rated R: Unraveling the MPAA Rating System

Why is ‘The Rental’ Rated R: Unraveling the MPAA Rating System

When it comes to determining the suitability of a movie for different age groups, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has been using its rating system for decades. This system provides valuable information to audiences, allowing them to make informed decisions before watching a film. One recent example of a movie that received an R rating is ‘The Rental,’ a thriller directed by Dave Franco. Let’s explore the reasons behind this rating and unravel the MPAA rating system.

The MPAA Rating System: An Overview

The MPAA rating system is designed to guide parents and audiences in selecting suitable movies for their children or themselves. It aims to provide information about the content of the film, such as violence, nudity, language, or drug use, allowing viewers to make informed choices. The system includes the following ratings:

  • G – General Audiences
  • PG – Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13 – Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R – Restricted
  • NC-17 – No one 17 and under admitted

‘The Rental’: What Led to the R Rating?

‘The Rental’ received an R rating, which means that children under 17 are required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian to watch the film. The factors that contributed to this rating include:

  • 1. Strong Language: The movie contains frequent use of profanity and strong language, which may not be suitable for younger audiences.
  • 2. Violence: There are intense and violent scenes in the film that may be disturbing or inappropriate for some viewers.
  • 3. Sexual Content: ‘The Rental’ includes sexual situations and nudity, making it unsuitable for younger viewers.
  • 4. Drug Use: The movie depicts drug use, which is another factor contributing to the R rating.

Why Ratings Are Important

The MPAA ratings serve as a valuable tool for parents and audiences, helping them make informed decisions about the content their children or themselves are exposed to. These ratings are not meant to censor or restrict artistic expression, but rather to provide guidance and information about a film’s content. They allow viewers to choose movies that align with their personal preferences and values.

Understanding the MPAA Ratings: A Guide for Parents

Parents play a crucial role in ensuring their children watch movies and TV shows that align with their values and age appropriateness. Understanding the MPAA ratings can help parents make informed decisions about the films they choose for their children. Here are a few guidelines:

  1. 1. G – General Audiences: Suitable for all ages, with no objectionable content.
  2. 2. PG – Parental Guidance Suggested: May contain some material that parents might find unsuitable for young children.
  3. 3. PG-13 – Parents Strongly Cautioned: Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
  4. 4. R – Restricted: Restricted to viewers over 17 years old or accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.
  5. 5. NC-17 – No one 17 and under admitted: For adult audiences only.

It’s important to note that the MPAA ratings are subjective and can vary depending on cultural norms, societal expectations, and individual interpretations. Therefore, it’s essential for parents to consider their own values and preferences when making decisions about which movies are suitable for their children.

In Conclusion

The MPAA rating system provides valuable information for audiences, helping them make informed decisions about the movies they watch. ‘The Rental,’ directed by Dave Franco, received an R rating due to strong language, violence, sexual content, and drug use. Parents should familiarize themselves with the MPAA ratings and use them as a guide when choosing movies for their children, while considering their own values and preferences.


1. What is the MPAA rating system?

The MPAA rating system, also known as the Motion Picture Association rating system, is a system used to categorize and inform parents and viewers about the content and suitability of films for different audiences.

2. How does the MPAA rating system work?

The MPAA rating system uses a set of guidelines to determine the appropriate rating for a film based on its content. A film is typically evaluated by a group of raters who watch the film and discuss its content before deciding on a rating.

3. What do the MPAA ratings signify?

The MPAA ratings signify the age appropriateness of a film and provide information about its content, including themes, language, violence, and sexual content. The ratings help parents and viewers make informed decisions about which films are suitable for them or their children.

4. Why is “The Rental” rated R?

“The Rental” is rated R due to its content, which includes strong language, violence, drug use, and some sexual content. The MPAA has determined that this film is suitable for viewers who are 17 years of age or older.

5. What is the significance of the R rating?

The R rating signifies that the film contains content that may be unsuitable for viewers under the age of 17. It allows parents and viewers to be aware of the film’s potentially mature content and make informed decisions about whether it is appropriate for themselves or their children.

6. Can children under 17 watch an R-rated film?

Children under 17 can watch an R-rated film, but they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The MPAA strongly encourages parents to take an active role in determining what is suitable for their children to watch.

7. Can parents override the MPAA rating?

Parents have the authority to override the MPAA rating for their own children. The rating system is merely a guide and it is up to parents to judge whether a film is appropriate for their children based on their own values and beliefs.

8. Are the MPAA ratings legally binding?

No, the MPAA ratings are not legally binding. They are voluntary guidelines that movie theaters and distributors choose to follow. However, many theaters enforce these ratings and may not allow underage viewers to watch films without the required age restrictions.

9. Is the MPAA rating system perfect?

No rating system is perfect, and the MPAA rating system has faced criticism for various reasons. Some argue that it is subjective, inconsistent, and lacks transparency. However, it still serves as a valuable tool for providing information about a film’s content to help viewers make informed choices.

10. Can films be re-rated by the MPAA?

Films can be re-rated by the MPAA if the filmmakers make changes to the content and submit the revised version for a new review. A film may receive a different rating after being re-evaluated by the MPAA.