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Assassin's Creed, A Dog's Purpose, Collateral Beauty and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bullletin

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By Chris Kavan - 10/12/16 at 11:19 AM CT

Last week brought a veritable avalanche of new ratings and this week, the good times keep rolling. We have yet another films that is going to attempt the unenviable feat of successfully transferring from a video game to the big screen (a feat that more often than not ends in failure). We also have a tear-jerker about seeing life through the eyes of man's best friend and a likewise emotional journey starring Will Smith about moving on from a tragic event. Hopefully you're in the mood to get all the feels this time around - but as long as the ratings keep coming, I'm always in a good mood.

MPAA Official Logo

Now, the history of trying to bring video games to the big screen is long and sordid. I mean, Super Mario Bros.? Really!? So many misses (Silent Hill, Prince of Persia, Doom, Street Fighter, Wing Commander) and few hits (Tomb Raiders and... sigh Angry Birds). Even Warcraft was only a success thanks to China - it pretty much was a non-entity in the U.S. That brings us to Assassin's Creed. Starring Michael Fassbender as the modern-day man transported back in time into the mind of his ancestor (the assassin Aguilar), the film takes place mostly in 15th Century Spain and looks to have plenty of action. Now, I haven't played the Assassin Creed series at all, but I do know it has quite the interesting mythology going for it. It's hard to say how this is going to transfer to the big screen, but it also stars the likes of Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Michael Kenneth Williams and Callum Turner among others. I have a sneaking feeling this is going to end up much like Prince of Persia - in both scope and box office receipts. It won't be an utter failure, but I also don't think it's going to be that memorable. Rated Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, thematic elements and brief strong language.

If you like heart-warming tales that will make you cry (yes, even you the manliest of man), well, Lasse Hallstr÷m (who is no stranger to emotion or dogs - Hachi: A Dog's Tale, Dear John, What's Eating Gilbert Grape) has crafted A Dog's Purpose. The film follows the life of a dog, trying to find his true purpose over several lifetimes and different owners. Britt Robertson, Dennis Quaid, Logan Miller, Juliet Rylance, Peggy Lipton and Pooch Hall play the owners while Josh Gad voices the dog. The dog inhabits everything from a K9 cop to a lovable street mutt - and I guarantee it will open the floodgates to anyone who has a hint of empathy. This would be a fantastic date movie, a wonderful family film and, in general, just an overall good all-around choice. It's not the kind of movie that will be up for awards, but if it pulls the heartstrings, isn't that good enough? Rated PG for thematic elements and some peril.

Another film going after your emotions is going to be Collateral Beauty. Will Smith plays an advertising executive who suffers an immense personal tragedy and retreats from life. Though he thinks he is alone, there are others in his life looking to bring him back - and it will affect him in a deeply profound and surprising manner. The cast looks fantastic. Aside from Smith, you have Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Naomie Harris and Michael Pe˝a - pretty much all-around a winning combination. Now, the big question is going to be if the film can be emotional without succumbing to schmaltz (ala The Soloist or Reign Over Me). Given the talent involved, I will lean towards this turning out just fine, but it might be a bit on the depressing side for a huge audience, but it will probably turn out just dine at the box office. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language.

Those are the big three for this week, but make sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:


Rated PG-13 for mature thematic issues, language, some sexuality and violence.


Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, thematic elements and brief strong language.


Rated R for language, sexuality/nudity and some accident images.


Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language.


Rated PG for thematic elements and some peril.


Rated R for bloody horror violence, language throughout and some drug use.


Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, and language throughout.


Rated R for violence, language and some drug use.


Rated R for sequences of disturbing violence, brief strong sexuality, nudity and language.


Rated PG for some mild action/peril.


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


Rated R for language throughout.


Rated R for disturbing content and behavior involving drug use and addiction, some sexual material and language.


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