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Desierto, Divergent Series: Allegiant, Pete's Dragon and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings

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By Chris Kavan - 02/17/16 at 05:43 PM CT

I have been bemoaning the somewhat lackluster offerings (for the most part) over the last few weeks. This week, we have a winner as there is a rather robust offering from the ratings gods. From teenage angst to a gritty immigration horror story to a a family-friendly reboot - there is a lot to look forward to. There is is also a large offering from the second-tier family of limited release films. All told, a very nice update and I hope if bodes well for the weeks ahead.

MPAA Official Logo

Although it never caught on like The Hunger Games or Harry Potter, The Divergent series has made plenty of bank and has proven a good choice for stars Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort and Theo James. Unlike seemingly every other YA adaptation - Divergent isn't trying to split up the last film. The Divergent Series: Allegiant is the final film in the trilogy and will hopefully wrap up the series with a nice bow. This time the film goes beyond the wall - as we see what the rest of the world has been up to - and find out our merry band of divergents are all one big experiment to see if the world can move on - and Tris is the key. Of course, nothing is quite as it seems and soon enough our friends are on the run once again. Coming back to the fol are Zoë Kravitz, Naomi Watts and Maggie Q joined by Jeff Daniels and Bill Skarsgård. The first two films were fine on their own - not spectacular, but watchable - we'll see if this finale stays the course or maybe even raises the bar. Rated PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements, and some partial nudity.

For film with a bit more grit and drama, we turn to Desierto. The film follows a group of trying to cross the border from Mexico to the U.S. who come across a a self-proclaimed border patrol agent who is willing to do anything to prevent illegal immigration - no matter who has to die. Gael García Bernal leads the charge with Jeffrey Dean Morgan (soon to be playing another villain) as the violent agent. The setting plays a big as part as the characters, as the unrelenting desert is as harsh as the man hunting them down. Now, I have a feeling certain political implications may keep this from being a huge draw at the box office, but it still looks pretty intense. Rated R for strong violence and language.

On the remake front (because when is there not something on the remake front?) we have Disney's updated live action/animated film Pete's Dragon. This one is bit down the pipeline (August to be exact) and thus details are a bit scarce at this time. What is there to know? Young boy, magic dragon friend - as long as you have that, at least you have a solid foundation. Apparently this one features both a young and adult Pete (Oakes Fegley plays the young while Craig Hall is the elder) and Oona Laurence (from Southpaw) is the new kid on the block. Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Karl Urban and Wes Bentley round out the cast. I don't know if there's any music this time around, but we'll see how audiences respond to the update. Rated PG for action, peril and brief language.

Finally we have an epic meeting of two huge personalities that led to one of the most iconic pictures in American history. I'm, of course, talking about the meeting between Elvis & Nixon. Michael Shannon takes on the role as the King of Rock while Kevin Spacey (no stranger to playing evil presidents) takes on the role Richard Nixon. Based on the two actors alone, the movie should be a riot. And Johnny Knoxville (who portrayed this exact event on an episode of Drunk History) co-stars with Alex Pettyfer, Colin Hanks, Evan Peters, Sky Ferreira and Tate Donovan. Rated R for some language.

Check out the full MPAA Bulletin Below:


Rated PG-13 for disturbing content involving trafficking of children, and some sexual references.


Rated R for disturbing content involving drugs and alcohol, sexual references and language.


Rated PG for action/peril including gunplay, some thematic elements and rude humor.


Rated PG for action, mayhem and rude humor.


Rated PG-13 for language, some suggestive references and brief teen partying.


Rated R for strong violence and language.


Rated PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements, and some partial nudity.


Rated R for some language.


Rated R for some sensuality/nudity and language.


Rated R for violence and some language.


Rated R for language and brief sexuality.


Rated R for sexual content, nudity, violence and language.


Rated R for brief graphic nudity and sexual content, and a scene of drug use.


Rated R for drug and alcohol use, pervasive language, sexuality/nudity and disturbing behavior - all involving teens.


Rated PG-13 for language and some suggestive material.


Rated PG for action, peril and brief language.


Rated PG-13 for some partial nudity and suggestive material.


Rated R for violence, some disturbing sexual content, and language.


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