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THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED

THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATEDUnrated

(Disclaimer: this is an uncensored trailer.)

I'd like to start by saying that This Film Is Not Yet Rated (henceforth to be called TFINYR) is actually the title of this documentary. Director Kirby Dick decided to make a film that takes on the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) rating system, with which all film-goers are familiar. I mean, we've all seen the ratings: G, PG, PG-13, R and the occasional NC-17. Kirby Dick hired a private investigator in order to learn as much as he possibly could about the people who actually grant the films their ratings, spending much of the time focusing on why certain films are deemed R or NC-17 ratings. At the same time, we get a bit of a historical background for the ratings system as it was designed and created by Jack Valenti, showing the conflicting reports he has given over the years.

Now, if you're as avid of a film fan as I am, you probably already know that the MPAA ratings system is a little bit screwy. Fortunately for the American public, the ratings system has been thrown into the media spotlight in the past few months with the very public appeal from the creators of the Oscar-nominated Blue Valentine. After receiving an NC-17 rating, the filmmakers successfully attempted an appeal, dropping the movie's rating to R, which is one of the biggest successes a movie can have in the early going, in my opinion.

Back to TFINYR. It's not a bad movie by any means, but considering I already knew that the system was a bit messed up, it didn't really hit me as hard as I thought it might. I think that Kirby Dick and his private investigator established themselves and their credibility moderately well, but something about the movie just seemed a little exhausted. It couldn't really find a way to hook me into what they were doing. I think a huge part of it comes down to the massive amounts of information that's constantly being thrown at the audience. After a while, it gets to be a little too much to digest, and your mind just has to shut down a little bit.

That's not to say that they didn't get their point across, but I just think it's a little bit of a tired complaint. There's never been a unanimous love for the MPAA's rating system, as is evidenced by the massive amount of big-time interviewees we see during the film. With the likes of Kevin Smith (director of Clerks.), Matt Stone (co-creator of "South Park"), Mary Harron (director of American Psycho) and Maria Bello (actress from The Cooler) - as well as many more - we get a very personal look at some people who have been hurt by the system. In a way, we get to see and hear from the victims, and I think it's a fascinating look at the struggles that filmmakers have to overcome in order to have their sensitive and provocative films reach a larger audience.

All in all, it's an effective documentary, but it's not really shedding any light on a problem that I feel like everyone already knew about. Don't expect any shocking revelations.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: B
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