Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.

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This Film is Not Yet Rated

Film #39

THE PLOT

Kirby Dick’s exposé about the American movie ratings board.

Year 1, Day 38

BEFORE: This Film is Not Yet Rated rounds out the film subchain of the documentaries. This was made in 2006 so it won’t include some of the more recent debates (such as The King’s Speech, Bully, or many other Weinstein films), but I’m very interested to learn more about the system that Roger Ebert says needs a big overhaul.

AFTER: There were many times in this documentary that I thought, “I remember learning that in film history class.” There were many more times where I found myself thinking, “I never knew that before.”

This Film is Not Yet Rated uses a combination of interviews with filmmakers and former MPAA raters in addition to several animations and an ongoing private investigation to discover the identities of the secret MPAA raters. It’s a perfect mix of all these elements that keeps the pacing and the flow of the documentary upbeat and entertaining. The interviews served as a way to get lots of information and opinions across to the viewer. But before the interviews had a chance to seem long and dull, it would cut to the investigation, or a clip of Jack Valenti (the president of the MPAA) to make the film exciting.

Before watching this documentary, I thought I had known a lot about the MPAA and the ratings system. It turns out that I didn’t know as much as I thought. This Film is Not Yet Rated was both entertaining as well as informative. While the interviews were thought-provoking and entertaining in their own right, watching the director Kirby Dick take part of the private investigation or the animation of the ratings system served as a way to break up what would most likely end up being a monotonous drone of people talking (cough Tales From the Script cough).

RATING: 5 out of 5