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'Bully' Movie Rating And Other Questionable MPAA Ratings

 |  By   |  Posted: 03/15/2012 5:34 pm Updated: 03/16/2012 11:16 am

Bully Mpaa Rating

An R rating for the powerful new documentary "Bully" means that fewer teens will be able to see it. After watching the film, Common Sense Media (a nonprofit resource for information about kids and media) argues this is a lost opportunity for parents and their kids to discuss a very important issue. Their rating for 'Bully': Pause for 13+, which is very different from the MPAA's, only 17 and over.

This instance isn't the first time Common Sense has disagreed with the MPAA. The group always recommends age-appropriateness ratings based on child development guidelines. The idea is to offer parents guidance while trusting that moms and dads know their own kids’ strengths and sensitivities when deciding which movies to see. Below are nine more films where CSM's assessments didn't match the MPAA's.

A Guide To Common Sense Media Ratings:
For every title we rate, we indicate the age for which it's either appropriate or most relevant (as in, most likely your kids will see it) and assign an ON (age appropriate), PAUSE (somewhat edgy for the age), or OFF (not age appropriate) rating.

ON: Content is appropriate for kids this age.
PAUSE: Know your child; some content; may not be right for some kids.
OFF: Not appropriate for kids this age.
NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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R (MPAA) / Common Sense Media Rating: Pause for 13+

This powerful documentary is a heartbreaking, no-holds-barred portrayal of bullies and their victims. The MPAA rating is based on some strong profane language, but Common Sense Media believes that "Bully" presents this timely and important topic in way that teens and middle-schoolers can manage, as long as there's an adult present to guide discussion. "Bully"'s most challenging material isn't just the language, but the suicides. Seeing grieving parents and friends could potentially be upsetting to teens and preteens, so they should definitely watch with adults. "Bully" also addresses the concepts of cutting, physical abuse, and more, but in a way that presents the consequences as well as the behavior itself. Victims' parents are generally portrayed as supportive and loving, while school administrators come off in a much less positive light. Ultimately, "Bully" encourages kids to stand up to bullies, not stand by, and reinforces the fact that everyone can make a difference when it comes to this essential issue.

Full review here.