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MPAA Launches New Film Ratings Site

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 17, 2010 at 6:30AM

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has launched a rejiggered film ratings website for its Classification and Ratings Administration (CARA). Outgoing MPAA chairman Dan Glickman wants the site to provide parents with more "clear and concise information about the content of a film in order to help them determine whether a movie is suitable for their children,” he said.  The new site boasts FAQs, ratings definitions and an expanded printable and searchable database of films rated as far back as 1968, when then MPAA-chairman Jack Valenti devised the ratings system to stave off local censorship of movies. Parents can also sign up for a free weekly email service ("red carpet ratings") with ratings info on current films, and if they're interested, check out the way the MPAA rates and monitors showings of trailers, too.
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Thompson on Hollywood

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has launched a rejiggered film ratings website for its Classification and Ratings Administration (CARA). Outgoing MPAA chairman Dan Glickman wants the site to provide parents with more "clear and concise information about the content of a film in order to help them determine whether a movie is suitable for their children,” he said.
 
The new site boasts FAQs, ratings definitions and an expanded printable and searchable database of films rated as far back as 1968, when then MPAA-chairman Jack Valenti devised the ratings system to stave off local censorship of movies. Parents can also sign up for a free weekly email service ("red carpet ratings") with ratings info on current films, and if they're interested, check out the way the MPAA rates and monitors showings of trailers, too.

The site may function as more of a promotional vehicle for the oft-beleaguered MPAA (which filmmakers and the media, more than parents, tend to attack for its ratings policies) than a user-friendly site for parents. What do they need to know? A rating is a rating.
 

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.