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17 Films Rated NC-17: Did They Deserve The 'Certificate Of Doom'?

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by The Playlist Staff
October 24, 2013 4:01 PM
70 Comments
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"Shame" (2011)
What's It About? Michael Fassbender plays a sex addict living in New York City whose life is further complicated when his sister (played by the usually quite wholesome Carey Mulligan) comes to visit. It's basically an addiction drama, except it's an extreme hankering for sex instead of booze or drugs that our main character is fighting against.
Why Did It Get The Rating? There is a whole lot of sex. Like, a whole lot. The opening sequence of the movie is Fassbender walking around his apartment completely nude and pissing on screen (and for real). Mulligan also shows full frontal nudity (in the most unflattering way possible), and there are various partners that come into Fassbender's life who fully disrobe. The most disturbing sequence, and the one in where the possibility for an R-rating flew out the window for good, involved Fassbender hitting bottom and going to a crazily sleazy underground sex club. It's there that he engages in raw, unprotected gay sex. (A similar sequence happened in "Rampage," a movie that opened around the same time. It goes to show you can't keep a good sex dungeon down.) There's also a graphic sequence where Mulligan tries to commit suicide. Ugh.
Did It Deserve Its NC-17? Eh, maybe. Americans are notoriously squeamish about sex, so it's not a surprise that the hammer came down on "Shame." The question, if we discount the importance of the attempted suicide factoring into the rating, is if there was enough sex and whether or not that sex was hardcore enough. And it's hard to feel like either apply. Maybe the nonstop sex and nudity on cable TV shows has dulled us to such things, but we're not entirely sure that with "Shame" the punishment did fit the crime.
How Good Is It? The movie is absolutely wonderful—moving, disturbing and sad. Fassbender is a compelling addict and director Steve McQueen, whose newest movie "12 Years a Slave" was released in limited release last week, shoots the film beautifully. It's McQueen who allows you to experience the deep sadness and the kind of propulsive kick of each new sexual encounter, in a truly incredible way. [A-]

"Crash" (1996)
What’s It About?: Car accident survivors convene to learn about an entire subculture of victims sexually aroused by automobile accidents in this J.G. Ballad adaptation.
Why Did It Get The Rating?: While there are no radically graphic moments of sexual intercourse in the film, the pervasive undercurrent of sexual tension was enough to alert the MPAA that this is a film dealing almost entirely with sex. And also, let's be honest, the kind of sex it deals in plays a part here.
Did It Deserve Its NC-17?: Honestly, this is a film about sexual experimentation beyond standard expectations, so the material is only going to be understood and appreciated fully by the truly sexually adventurous, which excludes those less experienced with physical intimacy, i.e. a large majority of those under the age of seventeen. “Crash” is erotic, but in a fairly abstract sense, and should the material fall into the hands of a younger audience member, it’s likely to be immensely confusing. Also, James Spader was in this, “Sex, Lies And Videotape” and “Secretary,” so we feel confident saying that you really should be of a certain age to see Spader on the big screen (making his casting in 2015’s “The Avengers: Age Of Ultron” even more amusingly perverse).
How Good Is It?: “Crash” is a hyper-specific movie about a hyper-specific concept, and as per director David Cronenberg’s standards, its focus is at times surgical, suffocatingly clinical. His trademark black humor is in short supply as he focuses on those fatalistic enough to test the boundaries of their mortality by continuing to flirt with car accidents. It furthers Cronenberg’s fascination with the growing connections between man and machine as well as the idea of danger being the ultimate aphrodisiac, and though these concepts are borrowed from Ballard’s work, “Crash” never feels like anything less than Cronenbergian through and through. Despite its self-serious nature, registering as one of the more academic entries in a rigorously fascinating filmography, “Crash” is worth a look to see this elaborate, fascinating subculture brought to life, complete with boundary-pushing moments of lust that no doubt tickled the sensibilities of the kinkier cinephiles in the audience turned on by major actors playing out some of the stranger kinks captured onscreen: what happens with amputee Holly Hunter’s stump is something that is quite possibly burned onto your retina. [B+]

Bad Lieutenant” (1992)
What’s It About?: Harvey Keitel plays a strung-out NYC plainclothes cop who has a crisis of faith when tracking down the murderer of a nun.
Why Did It Get The Rating?: Probably something combative director Abel Ferrara said. “Bad Lieutenant” has a pervasive amount of foul language, and a couple of moments of suggestive sexuality, including a lewd moment when Keitel masturbates as he instructs a couple of girls to perform suggestive, relatively benign (for an NC-17 movie) clothed sexual acts. Though it mostly earned its notoriety for the extended scenes of Keitel naked, feral, hairy and decidedly unaroused.
Did It Deserve Its NC-17 Rating?: A movie like “Borat,” which features significantly more full-frontal male nudity, skated by with an R-rating more than a decade later. So no. Even with that full-frontal material, “Bad Lieutenant” feels a bit more explicit because of the presence of Keitel, who somehow makes foul language seem more harsh than intended. When he breaks down in a church, his sweeping, vulgar condemnation of God feels like genuine full-stop blasphemy even to agnostic audiences: when Keitel drops an “F” bomb, he means it. The MPAA probably thought they were penalizing this film with the restrictive rating, but chances are Ferrara openly courted such controversy, given his outspoken defiance of industry “etiquette.”
How Good Is It?: Put “Bad Lieutenant” in a 90s time capsule, and open it in a couple of decades, and you’ll give audiences a good idea of where independent filmmaking was at the time. Despite the significantly higher profile for this film compared to Ferrara’s other material, it still feels like an intimate picture, a small character piece about one man coming apart at the seams. While the Werner Herzog-directed remake has a funny, surreal, more humanist side, this is a dark, psychologically complex film with a rougher, uglier edge. It may not be one of the dirtier films ever made, whether or not it lives up (or down) to its NC-17 rating, but it's surely one of the angriest. [A-]

"A Dirty Shame"

A Dirty Shame” (2004)
What’s It About?: A sheltered suburban housewife responds to a bump on the head by becoming a nymphomaniac and leading a small-scale sexual revolution in her tiny neighborhood.
Why Did It Get The Rating?: Various scenes of sex-based gags and references, and the severely swollen breast implants carried by a promiscuous girl played by Selma Blair.
Did It Deserve Its NC-17?: Absolutely not. John Waters has done nastier things and pursued much dirtier storylines. “A Dirty Shame” feels more like the envelope being slightly pushed in accordance with an era permissive not only of “South Park” but also filmmakers like the Farrellys reaching the top of the box office. Waters had eluded the ratings board with some of his smaller, under-the-radar efforts: it’s possible slapping one of his more commercial films with the restrictive rating is some sort of childish payback.
How Good Is It?: While there’s no Divine to spice things up, and it does seem like Waters is holding back, it feels he has two spiritual companions with the film’s stars, Tracey Ullman and Johnny Knoxville. As the newly liberated libertine, Ullman gives a performance of cheeky abandon, seemingly game for a series of elaborate dick-and-vagina yucks requiring a performer who can thrust herself into onscreen sex tricks while maintaining an innocent enthusiasm. And as a traveling sex fiend, Knoxville captures the lawless debauchery of Waters’ id run wild, in one of the funnier screen turns from the lead blunt object of “Jackass.” Much of “A Dirty Shame” feels recycled from bad standup and rejected cable softcore debauchery: at times, the low-rent titillation is less John Waters and more Jim Wynorski. It’s Ullman, Knoxville, a dimly sarcastic Blair, and spirited character actress Jackie Hoffman who provide the film with the sort of spark that makes it mildly appealing mall-crowd Waters, more of a poppy cover song than a real-deal album cut. [C]

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70 Comments

  • leavemeoutofit | July 16, 2014 10:26 PMReply

    Yes. Yes. No. Yes. No. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. Yes. Yes. No. No.
    (In no particular order.)

  • leavemeoutofit | July 16, 2014 10:26 PMReply

    Yes. Yes. No. Yes. No. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. Yes. Yes. No. No.
    (In no particular order.)

  • leavemeoutofit | July 16, 2014 10:26 PMReply

    Yes. Yes. No. Yes. No. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. Yes. Yes. No. No.
    (In no particular order.)

  • leavemeoutofit | July 16, 2014 10:26 PMReply

    Yes. Yes. No. Yes. No. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. Yes. Yes. No. No.
    (In no particular order.)

  • leavemeoutofit | July 16, 2014 10:25 PMReply

    Yes. Yes. No. Yes. No. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. Yes. Yes. No. No.
    (In no particular order.)

  • leavemeoutofit | July 16, 2014 10:25 PMReply

    Yes. Yes. No. Yes. No. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. Yes. Yes. No. No.
    (In no particular order.)

  • Daniella Isaacs | July 16, 2014 10:13 PMReply

    POISON does have a quick shot of a penis, actually, and more controversially for the ratings board, it's erect.

  • Daniella Isaacs | July 16, 2014 10:13 PMReply

    POISON does have a quick shot of a penis, actually, and more controversially for the ratings board, it's erect.

  • Jamaica Knauer | November 7, 2013 10:11 AMReply

    Actually I *would* mistake "Lust, Caution" as top-tier Ang Lee. Only it's not a mistake. Westerners rarely ever connect with this haunting picture.

  • Jamaica Knauer | November 7, 2013 10:11 AMReply

    Actually I *would* mistake "Lust, Caution" as top-tier Ang Lee. Only it's not a mistake. Westerners rarely ever connect with this haunting picture.

  • Jamaica Knauer | November 7, 2013 10:10 AMReply

    Actually I *would* mistake "Lust, Caution" as top-tier Ang Lee. Only it's not a mistake. Westerners rarely ever connect with this haunting picture.

  • Tom | November 6, 2013 8:02 PMReply

    What about Caligula?

  • Tom | November 6, 2013 8:02 PMReply

    What about Caligula?

  • John | November 5, 2013 7:35 PMReply

    No mention of Y Tu Mama Tambien?

  • John | November 5, 2013 7:35 PMReply

    No mention of Y Tu Mama Tambien?

  • John | November 5, 2013 7:35 PMReply

    No mention of Y Tu Mama Tambien?

  • john Coffman | November 4, 2013 6:05 PMReply

    Maybe there needs to be a new classification, for example - MAWC, 'Material for Adults Without Children'. Or, how about - AGTEWDM, 'Adult Graduates of a Tertiary Education Without Dependent Minors'?

  • john Coffman | November 4, 2013 6:05 PMReply

    Maybe there needs to be a new classification, for example - MAWC, 'Material for Adults Without Children'. Or, how about - AGTEWDM, 'Adult Graduates of a Tertiary Education Without Dependent Minors'?

  • john Coffman | November 4, 2013 6:05 PMReply

    Maybe there needs to be a new classification, for example - MAWC, 'Material for Adults Without Children'. Or, how about - AGTEWDM, 'Adult Graduates of a Tertiary Education Without Dependent Minors'?

  • john Coffman | November 4, 2013 6:04 PMReply

    Maybe there needs to be a new classification, for example - MAWC, 'Material for Adults Without Children'. Or, how about - AGTEWDM, 'Adult Graduates of a Tertiary Education Without Dependent Minors'?

  • Greg W. Locke | November 3, 2013 3:50 AMReply

    You forgot the biggest one, In the Realm of the Senses? And how about Michael Winterbottoms 9 Songs?

    Also, Werner's flick is not a remake of the original Bad Lieutenant.

  • Timoteo | October 30, 2013 1:01 PMReply

    You were spot on with your assessment of Last Tango In Paris. A cinematic masterpiece. I made the mistake of renting the R-rated version once, which is a total abomination. I did purchase a pristine "X" or NC-17 DVD of it recently, but still I wondered if anything would be deleted (having seen the film at least 25 times.) The only thing missing from the original was in the subtitles. They took out the line, "Go shit in Africa." Being non-PC is now worse than any sex or violence you can throw out there.

  • Timoteo | October 30, 2013 12:59 PMReply

    You were spot on with your assessment of Last Tango In Paris. A cinematic masterpiece. I made the mistake of renting the R-rated version once, which is a total abomination. I did purchase a pristine "X" or NC-17 DVD of it recently, but still I wondered if anything would be deleted (having seen the film at least 25 times.) The only thing missing from the original was in the subtitles. They took out the line, "Go shit in Africa." Being non-PC is now worse than any sex or violence you can throw out there.

  • Timoteo | October 30, 2013 12:59 PMReply

    You were spot on with your assessment of Last Tango In Paris. A cinematic masterpiece. I made the mistake of renting the R-rated version once, which is a total abomination. I did purchase a pristine "X" or NC-17 DVD of it recently, but still I wondered if anything would be deleted (having seen the film at least 25 times.) The only thing missing from the original was in the subtitles. They took out the line, "Go shit in Africa." Being non-PC is now worse than any sex or violence you can throw out there.

  • Caleb Donnie Chadwick | October 27, 2013 4:24 PMReply

    actually, "Lust, Caution" is my favorite Ang Lee film.

  • Caleb Donnie Chadwick | October 27, 2013 4:24 PMReply

    actually, "Lust, Caution" is my favorite Ang Lee film.

  • Caleb Donnie Chadwick | October 27, 2013 4:24 PMReply

    actually, "Lust, Caution" is my favorite Ang Lee film.

  • Caleb Donnie Chadwick | October 27, 2013 4:24 PMReply

    actually, "Lust, Caution" is my favorite Ang Lee film.

  • Caleb Donnie Chadwick | October 27, 2013 4:24 PMReply

    actually, "Lust, Caution" is my favorite Ang Lee film.

  • Caleb Donnie Chadwick | October 27, 2013 4:23 PMReply

    actually, "Lust, Caution" is my favorite Ang Lee film.

  • Caleb Donnie Chadwick | October 27, 2013 4:23 PMReply

    actually, "Lust, Caution" is my favorite Ang Lee film.

  • Caleb Donnie Chadwick | October 27, 2013 4:23 PMReply

    actually, "Lust, Caution" is my favorite Ang Lee film.

  • Ivana | October 26, 2013 7:56 PMReply

    I happen to think that Lust, Caution is in the top tier of Ang Lee films.

    It's also much better than the overrated Last Tango in Paris.

  • Ivana | October 26, 2013 7:56 PMReply

    I happen to think that Lust, Caution is in the top tier of Ang Lee films.

    It's also much better than the overrated Last Tango in Paris.

  • Ivana | October 26, 2013 7:55 PMReply

    I happen to think that Lust, Caution is in the top tier of Ang Lee films.

    It's also much better than the overrated Last Tango in Paris.

  • Ivana | October 26, 2013 7:55 PMReply

    I happen to think that Lust, Caution is in the top tier of Ang Lee films.

    It's also much better than the overrated Last Tango in Paris.

  • Ivana | October 26, 2013 7:55 PMReply

    I happen to think that Lust, Caution is in the top tier of Ang Lee films.

    It's also much better than the overrated Last Tango in Paris.

  • Ivana | October 26, 2013 7:55 PMReply

    I happen to think that Lust, Caution is in the top tier of Ang Lee films.

    It's also much better than the overrated Last Tango in Paris.

  • Ivana | October 26, 2013 7:54 PMReply

    I happen to think that Lust, Caution is in the top tier of Ang Lee films.

    It's also much better than the overrated Last Tango in Paris.

  • Ivana | October 26, 2013 7:54 PMReply

    I happen to think that Lust, Caution is in the top tier of Ang Lee films.

    It's also much better than the overrated Last Tango in Paris.

  • Rick | October 25, 2013 10:00 AMReply

    NC-17 is dumb, just dumb. I mean, I could be wrong, but I thought the MPAA's whole thing was they are not a censorship group but an educational tool. Their motive is to educate guardians to determine whether their kids are mature enough to see any given movie, but you take away a guardians ability to approve with a rating designed to exclude children (how different was your 16 year old self from your 17 year old self really?) no matter what. If the idea of an R-rating means if your under 17 but a parent permits you to see said movie that seems like the most restriction needed.

    Although I probably wouldn't care so much if the general public didn't treat NC-17 movies as if they were porn. Some theaters won't show them. Some media outlets won't allow them to advertise. People definitely think of it as gratuity for the sake of gratuity which is completely unfair for movies like Shame or Crash.

  • Cranky Grandpa | October 25, 2013 12:16 PM

    NC-17 is censorship albeit not in a overt sense. It's economic strangling by design coming from a board connected to powerful interests. They are basically saying to all those filmmakers out there, "You want to continue making movies then you have accept our values, assumptions, and political goals." They'll let all the gore and military might into the margins while restricting raw emotion and real sex and humanity by either giving it a higher rating than they'd normally give or slapping it with an NC-17. It's an ingenious system for spreading political agendas, and keeping the mainstream, mainstream..... all while giving the illusion that it's not censorship. People who actually care not only about movies but about humanity, justice, and freedom of speech should be opposed to the MPAA.

  • Cranky Grandpa | October 25, 2013 12:16 PM

    NC-17 is censorship albeit not in a overt sense. It's economic strangling by design coming from a board connected to powerful interests. They are basically saying to all those filmmakers out there, "You want to continue making movies then you have accept our values, assumptions, and political goals." They'll let all the gore and military might into the margins while restricting raw emotion and real sex and humanity by either giving it a higher rating than they'd normally give or slapping it with an NC-17. It's an ingenious system for spreading political agendas, and keeping the mainstream, mainstream..... all while giving the illusion that it's not censorship. People who actually care not only about movies but about humanity, justice, and freedom of speech should be opposed to the MPAA.

  • Cranky Grandpa | October 25, 2013 12:16 PM

    NC-17 is censorship albeit not in a overt sense. It's economic strangling by design coming from a board connected to powerful interests. They are basically saying to all those filmmakers out there, "You want to continue making movies then you have accept our values, assumptions, and political goals." They'll let all the gore and military might into the margins while restricting raw emotion and real sex and humanity by either giving it a higher rating than they'd normally give or slapping it with an NC-17. It's an ingenious system for spreading political agendas, and keeping the mainstream, mainstream..... all while giving the illusion that it's not censorship. People who actually care not only about movies but about humanity, justice, and freedom of speech should be opposed to the MPAA.

  • Cranky Grandpa | October 25, 2013 12:16 PM

    NC-17 is censorship albeit not in a overt sense. It's economic strangling by design coming from a board connected to powerful interests. They are basically saying to all those filmmakers out there, "You want to continue making movies then you have accept our values, assumptions, and political goals." They'll let all the gore and military might into the margins while restricting raw emotion and real sex and humanity by either giving it a higher rating than they'd normally give or slapping it with an NC-17. It's an ingenious system for spreading political agendas, and keeping the mainstream, mainstream..... all while giving the illusion that it's not censorship. People who actually care not only about movies but about humanity, justice, and freedom of speech should be opposed to the MPAA.

  • Cranky Grandpa | October 25, 2013 12:15 PM

    NC-17 is censorship albeit not in a overt sense. It's economic strangling by design coming from a board connected to powerful interests. They are basically saying to all those filmmakers out there, "You want to continue making movies then you have accept our values, assumptions, and political goals." They'll let all the gore and military might into the margins while restricting raw emotion and real sex and humanity by either giving it a higher rating than they'd normally give or slapping it with an NC-17. It's an ingenious system for spreading political agendas, and keeping the mainstream, mainstream..... all while giving the illusion that it's not censorship. People who actually care not only about movies but about humanity, justice, and freedom of speech should be opposed to the MPAA.

  • Cranky Grandpa | October 25, 2013 12:15 PM

    NC-17 is censorship albeit not in a overt sense. It's economic strangling by design coming from a board connected to powerful interests. They are basically saying to all those filmmakers out there, "You want to continue making movies then you have accept our values, assumptions, and political goals." They'll let all the gore and military might into the margins while restricting raw emotion and real sex and humanity by either giving it a higher rating than they'd normally give or slapping it with an NC-17. It's an ingenious system for spreading political agendas, and keeping the mainstream, mainstream..... all while giving the illusion that it's not censorship. People who actually care not only about movies but about humanity, justice, and freedom of speech should be opposed to the MPAA.

  • Cranky Grandpa | October 25, 2013 12:15 PM

    NC-17 is censorship albeit not in a overt sense. It's economic strangling by design coming from a board connected to powerful interests. They are basically saying to all those filmmakers out there, "You want to continue making movies then you have accept our values, assumptions, and political goals." They'll let all the gore and military might into the margins while restricting raw emotion and real sex and humanity by either giving it a higher rating than they'd normally give or slapping it with an NC-17. It's an ingenious system for spreading political agendas, and keeping the mainstream, mainstream..... all while giving the illusion that it's not censorship. People who actually care not only about movies but about humanity, justice, and freedom of speech should be opposed to the MPAA.

  • Cranky Grandpa | October 25, 2013 12:15 PM

    NC-17 is censorship albeit not in a overt sense. It's economic strangling by design coming from a board connected to powerful interests. They are basically saying to all those filmmakers out there, "You want to continue making movies then you have accept our values, assumptions, and political goals." They'll let all the gore and military might into the margins while restricting raw emotion and real sex and humanity by either giving it a higher rating than they'd normally give or slapping it with an NC-17. It's an ingenious system for spreading political agendas, and keeping the mainstream, mainstream..... all while giving the illusion that it's not censorship. People who actually care not only about movies but about humanity, justice, and freedom of speech should be opposed to the MPAA.

  • Cranky Grandpa | October 25, 2013 12:15 PM

    NC-17 is censorship albeit not in a overt sense. It's economic strangling by design coming from a board connected to powerful interests. They are basically saying to all those filmmakers out there, "You want to continue making movies then you have accept our values, assumptions, and political goals." They'll let all the gore and military might into the margins while restricting raw emotion and real sex and humanity by either giving it a higher rating than they'd normally give or slapping it with an NC-17. It's an ingenious system for spreading political agendas, and keeping the mainstream, mainstream..... all while giving the illusion that it's not censorship. People who actually care not only about movies but about humanity, justice, and freedom of speech should be opposed to the MPAA.

  • Cranky Grandpa | October 25, 2013 12:15 PM

    NC-17 is censorship albeit not in a overt sense. It's economic strangling by design coming from a board connected to powerful interests. They are basically saying to all those filmmakers out there, "You want to continue making movies then you have accept our values, assumptions, and political goals." They'll let all the gore and military might into the margins while restricting raw emotion and real sex and humanity by either giving it a higher rating than they'd normally give or slapping it with an NC-17. It's an ingenious system for spreading political agendas, and keeping the mainstream, mainstream..... all while giving the illusion that it's not censorship. People who actually care not only about movies but about humanity, justice, and freedom of speech should be opposed to the MPAA.

  • Cranky Grandpa | October 25, 2013 12:15 PM

    NC-17 is censorship albeit not in a overt sense. It's economic strangling by design coming from a board connected to powerful interests. They are basically saying to all those filmmakers out there, "You want to continue making movies then you have accept our values, assumptions, and political goals." They'll let all the gore and military might into the margins while restricting raw emotion and real sex and humanity by either giving it a higher rating than they'd normally give or slapping it with an NC-17. It's an ingenious system for spreading political agendas, and keeping the mainstream, mainstream..... all while giving the illusion that it's not censorship. People who actually care not only about movies but about humanity, justice, and freedom of speech should be opposed to the MPAA.

  • Cranky Grandpa | October 25, 2013 12:15 PM

    NC-17 is censorship albeit not in a overt sense. It's economic strangling by design coming from a board connected to powerful interests. They are basically saying to all those filmmakers out there, "You want to continue making movies then you have accept our values, assumptions, and political goals." They'll let all the gore and military might into the margins while restricting raw emotion and real sex and humanity by either giving it a higher rating than they'd normally give or slapping it with an NC-17. It's an ingenious system for spreading political agendas, and keeping the mainstream, mainstream..... all while giving the illusion that it's not censorship. People who actually care not only about movies but about humanity, justice, and freedom of speech should be opposed to the MPAA.

  • Jarod Rebuck | October 25, 2013 2:02 AMReply

    All of this rating business is, of course, subjective. However, there are times in which a film is obviously too much for children, or pre-adults 17 and below; this seems like a safe and sound number. Past this age, it only becomes adults censoring adults, which is ridiculous. In the process of rating a film for children, the most we (as parents) can do is use our best judgement and reasoning skills. Put ourselves in the shoes of our children and make a sound assessment of content suitability. This assessment can be reached by asking ourselves a series of important questions regarding the child's maturity, proclivity to act out perceived actions, history of vulnerability towards things which bear a keen likeness to content displayed in the movie, etc. I find that making such decisions is far easier by carrying this out.

    Now moving on to the controversial MPAA. Let me first explain why I think the R rating is absurd and the NC-17 rating is helpful, yet, also absurd in the end. How many times have you attended an R rated film, say, of the SAW or HALLOWEEN slasher series in the presence of a mindless parent(s) with their youngster wailing out at the sight of every decapitation, disembowelment, and hacked off body part? I have. This is when the MPAA can be justified in stamping the film with an NC-17. No children 17 and under -- with or without the accompaniment of an adult. No fu*king R (too many dumb as* parents out there, sorry) -- just a fat fu*king NC-17. When the content of a film is that conspicuously intense, there should be no argument. And, no, I'm not ignorant to the fact that there are "some" kids out there who have the fortitude for such things extreme in nature. Sure, I was one of them. However, my perception rests on the notion that no film bearing the indubitable earmarks to probably inflict psychological damage is THAT worth seeing, anyway. So fu*king what if they have to wait a few years. It ain't gonna kill 'em.

    Now the dismal news. Having said all of this, I must confess that censorship is ultimately pointless. Any child with access to a computer and the knowledge to bypass their parent's blocked site mode, if need be, can reap access to anything he or she desires.

    Yes... this.... is... the... VILLAGE... OF... THE... DAMNED!!!

  • Adam | October 25, 2013 12:07 AMReply

    You've imagined the raw, unprotected gay sex in Shame. It's just a none too graphic blowjob.

    There's also no male frontal in Borat. There's the nude wrestling scene, but the frontal a are blurred.

  • Gabe Toro | October 25, 2013 11:57 AM

    There's frontal. Some of us CAN'T forget.

  • Gabe Toro | October 25, 2013 11:54 AM

    There's frontal. Some of us CAN'T forget.

  • Gabe Toro | October 25, 2013 11:54 AM

    There's frontal. Some of us CAN'T forget.

  • Cranky Grandpa | October 24, 2013 10:19 PMReply

    The fact you are even accepting the MPAA's parameters is so fuccking lame.

    How about a whole article challenging the cabal of corrupt ass motherrrfucckas that sit on the board of MPAA? Or is that ruffling too many feathers for you?

    Until that article appears, you are legitimizing an illegitimate body by caving to their rules. It's about the future of movies here....not giving in to reactionary forces trying to tame the power of film.

  • Cranky Grandpa | October 24, 2013 11:48 PM

    Thanks man. After reading about the MPAA quite a bit and seeing Kirby Dick's movie as well, they just piss me off. So any kind of catering to their shadowy wtf practices tick me off in turn. Who even sits on that board? Some religious crusaders, hypersensitive soccer moms, and slime-ball extraordinaire Chris Dodd? Fucck em'. Good movies matter more.

  • Gabe Toro | October 24, 2013 11:34 PM

    I'm with this guy, actually.

  • Alex | October 24, 2013 5:13 PMReply

    Great list! But "Whore" is by Ken Russell, not Michael Winner.

  • Liz | October 24, 2013 4:27 PMReply

    I saw Henry & June for the first time recently, and I'm at an absolute loss as to what could have qualified it for an NC-17. According to the movie's Wikipedia page:

    "The inclusion of the postcard Nin views at the start of the film (which is of Hokusai's The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife), and some scenes of le Bal des Beaux Arts contributed to the NC-17 rating."

    If that's true, it's ridiculously lame reasoning.

  • Daniel | October 24, 2013 4:19 PMReply

    What about Salo? Definitely deserved the NC17.

  • JamesK | October 30, 2013 12:51 AM

    Salo was released Not Rated in the US.

  • JamesK | October 30, 2013 12:51 AM

    Salo was released Not Rated in the US.

  • JamesK | October 30, 2013 12:51 AM

    Salo was released Not Rated in the US.

  • JamesK | October 30, 2013 12:51 AM

    Salo was released Not Rated in the US.

  • JamesK | October 30, 2013 12:51 AM

    Salo was released Not Rated in the US.

  • JamesK | October 30, 2013 12:51 AM

    Salo was released Not Rated in the US.

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