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PG-13 Ratings and Making Informed Decisions

The movie ratings system is intended to give parents advanced information on the content within a film so that they can make informed decisions. According to, the rating of PG-13 isn't tied to a specific age, but simply cautions parents to investigate the content of a film before allowing their children to watch it. The PG-13 rating serves as a guide only, and there are no restrictions that prevent children aged 13 or younger from purchasing a ticket to a PG-13 film .

History of the Rating

While the Motion Picture Association of America established the movie ratings system in 1968, the PG-13 rating is relatively new. According to Chris Klimek at The Dissolve, the PG-13 rating came about after filmmaker Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" featured one violent scene that alone seemed unworthy of causing the film

to receive an R rating. To offer a rating in between PG and R, the PG-13 rating was introduced in 1984. The first film to receive the PG-13 rating that year was "The Flamingo Kid."

Within the PG-13 Rating Box

Within the rating box attributed to each film, not only will you be given the rating, but you'll be offered a rating descriptor, which provides a brief explanation of the elements that caused the film to receive that particular rating. For example, a rating box can feature the PG-13 rating, as well as a rating descriptor that notes, "extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence and frightening images." The rating descriptors associated with PG-13 ratings are beneficial for parents who are concerned about exposing their children to a particular type of content.


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