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  1. #1

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    The Dark Knight - UK Rating problem

    I've seen The Dark Knight twice now, and as some of you may now, it's rated 12A in the UK, but does anyone else kinda think it should have been a 15? I mean, we're dealing with a high level of intensity and a psychopathic terrorist in clown make-up as the villain, is this really 12A material? What are people's thoughts?

  2. #2

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    Re: The Dark Knight - UK Rating problem

    Ok you guys have a totally different rating system than we do here in the States. I'm assuming your 12A is like our PG-13 and your 15 is our R.

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    Re: The Dark Knight - UK Rating problem

    Uh, maybe. 12A means if you're under 12 you have to have someone over 18 with you. 15 means that no-one under 15 can enter the film, full-stop. 18 means the same as 15 but obviously it's a different age.

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    Re: The Dark Knight - UK Rating problem

    This debate has been going on in the US with PG-13 vs. R.

    The arguments just keep going in circles.

    Yes, it's a violent movie, but as the filmmaker stated most of the violence is implied and not shown. For instance, we don't see a pencil go through someone's eye. For all we know the pencil fell of the table and the guy's head go bashed in the table. We don't see a guy get his mouth cut open, he could have just passed out from fear (that was a really sloppy scene IMO).

    Just goes to show that violence is A-OK, but sex and naughty language is a big no no.
    What an idiot....

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    Re: The Dark Knight - UK Rating problem

    I think R has different implications to 15 though, R is the top, 15 is middle, and I think that's where The Dark Knight belongs.

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    Re: The Dark Knight - UK Rating problem

    Quote Originally Posted by fizzog View Post
    I think R has different implications to 15 though, R is the top, 15 is middle, and I think that's where The Dark Knight belongs.
    NC-17 is the top of the ratings list here in the US given by the MPAA. This rating means no children 17 or under can see the movie. The R-rating (or Restricted) means children under 17 MUST be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian to see the movie.

    The board of the MPAA usually agree that movies that contain strong language, excessive blood, gore, heavy violence, excessive drug use, strong or constant sexuality, and/or nudity in a sexual nature or excessive nature requires an R-rating. Any one of these can give a movie the R-rating. The Dark Knight contains none of these things. The movie does contain violence but in moderation and is not too heavy.

    The movie here in the states was given the PG-13 rating, which is only a suggestive rating to the parents. Anyone of any age is allowed to be sold a ticket to movies baring the rating G, PG, or PG-13. The Lord of the Rings movies were PG-13, as well as the recent James Bond films. I believe all of these movies are of the same caliber of violence. None of these films I mentioned really contained much harsh language or sexuality (sans James Bond).

    Fun Fact: The NC-17 rating's former label was X. This rating was changed to separate the MPAA's role with motion pictures from the rating's growing identity with pornography and the producers who self implied the X-rating on their adult movies. The MPAA never rated none motion pictures and so changed it to NC-17 in the yearly 90's to end the confusion.
    Last edited by MagicWDI; 08-20-2008 at 12:09 PM.

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    Re: The Dark Knight - UK Rating problem

    In Canada it's 14A (kids under 14 must be accompanied by an adult). I think that's about right, but 12A seems a bit low.
    I like The Happiest Millionaire. What's wrong with that?

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    Re: The Dark Knight - UK Rating problem

    Fizzog, I agree with you, it should be rated higher, both in the UK and in the US.

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    Re: The Dark Knight - UK Rating problem

    Thanks for your support! The Dark Knight doesn't exactly tick the boxes but that's just it, it's an intense psychological thing (I actually think I teensy bit of gore couldn't have hurt the film but hey). I wouldn't want an 8 year-old seeing that. I think a big reason the studio will have wanted a 12A is that it loses much of its potential market if it's a 15, but that's not really the point. Look at Sweeney Todd, in my opinion it should have been a 15 not an 18, as the gore was unrealistic and totally necessary to the plot, not gratuitous, just right. Has the BBFC gone mad? Well, on two movies...

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    Re: The Dark Knight - UK Rating problem

    Is the United Kingdom system regulated by law? In the United States it is all a suggestion. I think the suggestion of PG-13 is a good one. Not only is a lot of the violence implied, as was stated, the cold violence is being done by a clear evil who is being countered by a clear good. A lot different than something like Sin City, where everybody is violent and the good and bad are not as clearly defined. The only rating with any sort of legal restrictions would be NC-17, for adult [sexual] content.

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicWDI View Post
    Fun Fact: The NC-17 rating's former label was X. This rating was changed to separate the MPAA's role with motion pictures from the rating's growing identity with pornography and the producers who self implied the X-rating on their adult movies. The MPAA never rated none motion pictures and so changed it to NC-17 in the yearly 90's to end the confusion.
    Are you saying the MPAA never gave a film the rating of X? A Clockwork Orange received an X and was released to theaters with that rating.

  11. #11

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    Re: The Dark Knight - UK Rating problem

    Although I don't think I can actually cite one, I'm pretty sure the MPAA does in fact rate movies NC-17 if the violence is bad enough. I still think the MPAA is absolutely ridiculous. I can't necessarily say it's a fair view, but for a good informational briefing on the MPAA, go watch This Film Is Not Yet Rated. It's interesting to see what kinds of movies get what kinds of ratings and for what they get them for. There's some interesting side by side comparisons of movies that got NC-17s and those that got R ratings.

    I found it very informative. As for The Dark Knight, I can't really say for certain about what it should be rated in the UK. I hear their content is kind of reversed: In other words, it's graphic violence that's going to get you a high rating, not nudity and sex.

    NC-17 isn't just about legal restrictions. There's all kinds of bad stuff that comes about with an NC-17 rating. Theater chains usually won't carry you, rental stores won't rent out your movies, some retailers won't carry your home releases, and sometimes it completely evaporates all marketing.

    I would say that I guess 12A sounds okay, but I think, comparitively speaking with other movies, PG-13 is a great rating for The Dark Knight. It doesn't deserve to be among ultraviolent films like Shoot 'Em Up, Death Sentence, any of the Saw movies, etc. etc.

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    Re: The Dark Knight - UK Rating problem

    Quote Originally Posted by lazyboy97O View Post
    Is the United Kingdom system regulated by law? In the United States it is all a suggestion. I think the suggestion of PG-13 is a good one. Not only is a lot of the violence implied, as was stated, the cold violence is being done by a clear evil who is being countered by a clear good. A lot different than something like Sin City, where everybody is violent and the good and bad are not as clearly defined. The only rating with any sort of legal restrictions would be NC-17, for adult [sexual] content.
    Any rating given by the MPAA caries no legal enforcement and is all voluntary, including the NC-17 rating. The MPAA is not a government or state agency. They are a board of members who rate movies due to their content and labels them with a rating that is voluntarily carried by the studios. Some films have been released with no rating because they choose to not want the R or NC-17 rating. It is usually theater policy to not admit minors under the age of 18 into these movies, but there is no law enforcing this decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by lazyboy97O View Post
    Are you saying the MPAA never gave a film the rating of X? A Clockwork Orange received an X and was released to theaters with that rating.
    No no no. I am saying the former label for NC-17 was indeed X. The board members of the MPAA changed it to NC-17 to further separate themselves from pornography, which is not rated by the MPAA. These movies are not rated at all, as a matter of fact. However, because of their sexual nature (which is considered pornography by a legal description) most state laws prohibit the sale of these movies to minors, which is usually under 18. In some states these films cannot be sold to minors under the age of 21.

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    Re: The Dark Knight - UK Rating problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Twist_of_Fate View Post
    Although I don't think I can actually cite one, I'm pretty sure the MPAA does in fact rate movies NC-17 if the violence is bad enough.
    Many movies that get the NC-17 rating for violence were trimmed down to get an R. These films include Saw 1 and 3 (possibly 2 and 4 also), and Hatchet. Many of the 1980s Friday the 13th movies were given an X for violence originally, but were edited to get an R. The film Frontiers was Rated NC-17 for sadistic violence (or something like that) and the film makers refused to edit it. Movies get an NC-17 for violence, just as much or more than they do for sex.
    I really don't think TDK is that violent. The violence is psychological and would fly over most kid's heads. Limiting it only to persons 15 and over would be quite ridiculous IMO. It's stronger than most films rated PG-13 in terms of violence, but that's because many very tame films get PG-13 like Harry Potter 4 and 5, Indiana Jones 4, Spider-man trilogy, and Superman Returns. The violence in Casino Royale and Beowulf were far worse than what was in TDK (ecspecially Beowulf and the torture scene from Casino Royale). To put Superman Returns and Beowulf in the same ratings category (PG-13) shows how heavilly flawed the system is.

  14. #14

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    Re: The Dark Knight - UK Rating problem

    Alot of PG-13 films in America get usually get PG ratings here in Canada (including the ones you mentioned GhoostHoost2, plus thee Pirates trilogy). Guess the system is slightly less flawed here.
    I like The Happiest Millionaire. What's wrong with that?

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    Re: The Dark Knight - UK Rating problem

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicWDI View Post
    Any rating given by the MPAA caries no legal enforcement and is all voluntary, including the NC-17 rating. The MPAA is not a government or state agency. They are a board of members who rate movies due to their content and labels them with a rating that is voluntarily carried by the studios. Some films have been released with no rating because they choose to not want the R or NC-17 rating. It is usually theater policy to not admit minors under the age of 18 into these movies, but there is no law enforcing this decision.
    I wasn't talking about the actual rating, but the content that would cross lines. It is possible for a film rated NC-17 to contain content that minors cannot legally view.

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