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Purge: Election Year, Magnificent Seven, Neon Demon and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

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By Chris Kavan - 05/25/16 at 11:31 AM CT

Quite a nice mix this week in the ratings releases. Get ready for yet another Purge (sadly not involving any actual candidates), a remake of a classic western that was already a remake of a classic Akira Kurosawa film and yet another head trip from auteur Nicolas Winding Refn. That's just a taste of the full releases, many of which are only coming out in limited release, but that you should definitely check out as I think there may be a few more winners in there.

MPAA Official Logo

I would be much more excited about The Purge: Election Year if I had watched the first two films. I caught part of the first one on, like TNT or some channel, but I missed both the beginning and the end, so I don't think that really counts. Anyway, Netfilx needs to get this on streaming, stat, so because I am intrigued about the premise. Anyway, the third film Frank Grillo returns to his role two years after he spared the life of the man who killed his son. Now working security for a presidential candidate, Charlene 'Charlie' Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), who is the front-runner due to her anti-Purge platform, of course he finds himself on the streets of Washington DC having to protect her during the violence, annual free-for-all where anything is possible and no help is available. From what I have seen, they have set up to Purge films to be more about class warfare (where the poor and weak are targets of the rich and elite) than violence. Funny this is titled Election Year when, well you know what's going on. Anyhow, most people found the first film to be a bit boring but really seemed to enjoy the second one - we'll see how this third entry compares, but I have a feeling it will do just fine. Rated R for disturbing bloody violence and strong language.

I have mixed feelings on the upcoming remake of The Magnificent Seven. On the one hand, it is directed by Antoine Fuqua - always good for dark action ala Training Day or the Equalizer - and the cast does look pretty impressive, Christ Pratt, Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Byung-hun Lee, Vincent D'Onofrio, Peter Sarsgaard, Matt Bomer, Vinnie Jones, Cam Gigandet and Haley Bennett are all among the big names in this high-powered remake. But a remake it is - one with a long history going back to Akira Kurosawa's 1954 truly classic Seven Samurai. Essentially the story has remained the same - a poor village under attack finds seven disparate mercenaries to protect them. Despite the lack of money or reward the high probability of certain death, these men put aside their differences and history and come together to protect the people with their lives. Lost souls, criminals, fallen legends - the men learn there is much more to this life than money and form bonds that go well beyond the material. This lineup is about the best that I could hope for but westerns in any form are a tough sell to audiences. I'm hoping this turns out like the semi-recent True Grit remake that also benefited from a great cast. I'll be keeping an eye on this one. Rated PG-13 for extended and intense sequences of Western violence, and for historical smoking, some language and suggestive material.

Finally, that leaves us with The Neon Demon, the latest film from Nicolas Winding Refn. Refn was responsible for the excellent Bronson, the even better Driver and the not-quite-as-excellent Only God Forgives. One thing the director has got going is style - from the look to the music, dialogue (or lack thereof) to cinematography - his films certainly look spectacular. Neon Demon follows a young, aspiring model Jesse (Elle Fanning) as she moves to L.A. to make her mark on the world only to run afoul of a group of beauty-obsessed women who literally devour her youth and vitality to retain their own beauty. It co-stars Christina Hendricks, Jena Malone, Bella Heathcote, Keanu Reeves and Abbey Lee among others. This is the kind of film I would love to see - Refn, even when is game is a bit off, is still an amazing filmmaker and if anyone can bring out the best from his actors, Refn would be it. The story looks intriguing, the cast is full of talent and, if everything clicks, it could be a movie that connects with critics and audiences and hopefully finds its way out of the standard limited release. Rated R for disturbing violent content, bloody images, graphic nudity, a scene of aberrant sexuality and language.

Please be sure the check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below!


Rated R for drug use, sexuality/nudity and language throughout.


Rated R for disturbing violent content, language and some sexuality.


Rated PG for some mild rude humor.


Rated PG for violence, peril, thematic elements and rude humor.


Rated R for language throughout.


Rated PG-13 for language including some sexual references and drug material.


Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some suggestive material.


Rated R for a brief violent image and a scene of drug use.


Rated PG for thematic elements, smoking and some language.


Rated PG-13 for thematic elements.


Rated PG-13 for extended and intense sequences of Western violence, and for historical smoking, some language and suggestive material.


Rated PG-13 for thematic content, some disturbing images and language.


Rated R for violent and disturbing content, language throughout, some sexuality and nudity.


Rated R for disturbing violent content, bloody images, graphic nudity, a scene of aberrant sexuality and language.


Rated R for disturbing bloody violence and strong language.


Rated R for disturbing violent content, some language including sexual references and teen partying.


Rated PG for language including a brief drug reference.


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