‘Isle of Dogs’ and ‘Red Sparrow’ Get Scandalous Ratings from the MPAA

     January 31, 2018

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Filmmaker Wes Anderson’s new stop-motion animated film Isle of Dogs will differ from his first foray into that medium in one significant way: it’ll be more grown up. The brilliant Fantastic Mr. Fox scored a PG rating from the MPAA, but Anderson’s Isle of Dogs has been rated PG-13 for “thematic elements and violent images.” That’s actually a pretty harsh rating for those two identifiers, so I’m now crossing my fingers there are no instances of dog maiming in the film.

The original feature is set in a dystopian future Japan in which dogs have been quarantined on a trash island after an outbreak of “canine flu.” But when a boy named Atari arrives searching for his long-lost companion, the other dogs finally see a means of escape. The phenomenal voice cast is filled out by the likes of Bryan Cranston, Greta Gerwig, Edward Norton, Mari Natsuki, Bill Murray, Ken Watanabe, Frances McDormand, Yoko Ono, Tilda Swinton, Yojiro Noda, and Jeff Goldblum, and the film hits theaters on March 23rd.

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Image via 20th Century Fox

In other MPAA news, the spy thriller Red Sparrow has been rated R for “strong violence, torture, sexual content, language, and some graphic nudity.” That’s a hard-R, folks, but when you’re making a movie about sexy Russian spies, what do you expect? Jennifer Lawrence reteams with Francis Lawrence, the director behind Hunger Games; Catching Fire and Mockingjay 1 and 2, on the project, which revolves around a Russian spy trained from childhood to use her sexuality as a weapon. Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Mary-Louise Parker, Charlotte Rampling, and Jeremy Irons co-star in the film, which hits theaters on March 2nd.

Ex Machina filmmaker Alex Garland’s intriguing new sci-fi film Annihilation has also landed an R-rating for “violence, bloody images, language, and some sexuality.” The adaptation of the Jeff Vandermeer novel is a horror-tinged thriller starring Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, and Oscar Isaac and opens in theaters on February 23rd.

Finally, Tomb Raider gets a far tamer PG-13 rating for “sequences of violence and action, and for some language.” The video game adaptation is led by Oscar winner Alicia Vikander and co-stars Walton Goggins. Tomb Raider hits theaters on March 16th.

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