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Fences, Why Him? and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

View Chris Kavan's Profile

By Chris Kavan - 11/30/16 at 09:25 AM CT

I'm pretty certain this is the shortest MPAA Ratings Bulletin I have had the pleasure to process yet. Luckily, out of the entire four, whole movies receiving their ratings, two are big enough to warrant further discussion. One, directed and starring Denzel Washington, is a probable Oscar contender, the other, with Bryan Cranston, James Franco and Zoey Deutch isn't going to win any awards, but looks like a crowd-pleaser none-the-less. In any case, it could have been a lot worse this week.

MPAA Official Logo

There has been a lot of early Oscar buzz surrounding films like Manchester By the Sea, Moonlight and Loving. While those three has proven themselves in limited release - another film on the horizon looks to join them. Denzel Washington both directs and acts in the upcoming Fences. Based on the Tony award-winning Broadway production, Fences follows an African-American family in the 1950s with the father (Washington) trying to do best for his family while dealing with race relations and his own past. Washington starred in the 2010 revival of the play, also coming back is Viola Davis as his wife. Mykelti Williamson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby and Stephen Henderson help round out the cast. Along with Moonlight and Loving, it looks like we shouldn't have any problem with an "Oscars So White" controversy, as all three are strong contenders and feature a largely African-American cast. Fences looks to join them and rightfully so. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some suggestive references.

But, let's face it, not every film and be an Oscar contender - and most filmmakers probably realize this. There's nothing wrong with having a little fun and Why HIm? is all about fun. Bryan Cranston is a long was from Breaking Bad, playing an uptight, overprotective father visiting his daughter (played by Zoey Deutch) at Stanford only to come face-to-face with his potential future son-in-law, tech billionaire and socially awkward Laird Mayhew (James Franco). He soon forms a bitter rivalry, enhanced by his disconnect to the current world of technology that Laird is entrenched in. So what if this is yet another take on the Odd Couple or another fish-out-of-water comedy - there's a reason this type of comedy continues to be reinvented - because it works. I'm not saying Why Him? is going to break the bank, but it looks pleasant enough and Cranston is always a treat. Rated R for strong language and sexual material throughout.

That's half of what you get this week, but check out the other two for the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:


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


Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including brief war violence.


Rated R for pervasive language and some violence.


Rated R for strong language and sexual material throughout.


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