Motion Picture Association of America film rating system

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The Motion Picture Association of America's film-rating system is used in the U.S. and its territories to rate a film's thematic and content suitability for certain audiences. The MPAA system applies only to motion pictures that are submitted for rating. Other media (such as television programs and video games) may be rated by other entities. A voluntary system not enforced by law, it is one of various motion picture rating systems used to help parents decide what movies are appropriate for their children.

In the U.S., the MPAA's rating systems are the most-recognized guide for parents regarding the content of movies, and each rating has been trademarked by MPAA so that they are not used outside of motion pictures. The MPAA system has been criticized for the secrecy of its decisions as well as for perceived inconsistencies.[1]

Contrary to popular belief, MPAA ratings carry no force of local, state, or federal law anywhere in the United States. The MPAA's rating system is administered by the Classification & Ratings Administration, which is not a government agency. MPAA ratings only serve as a consumer suggestion by a group of corporate analysts. After screening films, their personal opinions are used to arrive at one of five ratings. Theater owners voluntarily agree to enforce corporate film ratings as determined by the MPAA, which in turn facilitates their access to new film releases.

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