10 Movies That Should Have Been NC-17, According to Reddit (2024)

The highest rating a film can receive is NC-17, which indicates that it contains explicit violence, sexual and drug abuse scenes, or other elements that are inappropriate for anyone under the age of 18. Needless to say, movies with such content must be labeled appropriately so that audiences have an idea of what to expect.

On Reddit, moviegoers have discussed, under different threads, which are the movies that should have been NC-17 rated given their strong content, which should naturally be off-limits to younger audiences. From The United States vs Billie Holiday to Bone Tomahawk, these are some of the most popular picks.

Content Warning: This article discusses graphic content. Reader discretion is advised.

10 'The United States vs. Billie Holiday' (2021)

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This fictionalized biography based on a chapter from the bestselling book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs tells the story of one of the most legendary jazz musicians of all time, reflecting on her personal life and career and examining the artist's struggles with addiction, fame, and heartbreak.

RELATED: Andra Day on Why She Tried Turning Down Playing Billie Holiday Multiple Times

Although The United States vs. Billie Holiday is rated R given the several drug use scenes and strong language, some believe that it should've been NC-17 instead: "One of my main takeaways outside of how god terrible the editing was, is how extremely graphic the sex scenes are for a mainstream modern movie like this," a now-deleted user explained in their own discussion.

9 'Cruising' (1980)

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Starring iconic movie star Al Pacino, William Friedkin's controversial Cruising is about a police Detective Steve Burns' quest to stop a psychopathic serial killer hunting men. As such, he goes undercover in the underground S&M gay subculture in New York City.

Featuring lots of nudity as well as graphic violence and gore, Cruising is far from being a light-hearted and fun watch. According to the user No-Emotion9318, "it'd be an NC-17" if it was released today. Additionally, the user also shone a light on the movie's explicit sex scenes and the "overall theme of the film."

8 'The Wolf of Wall Street' (2013)

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Initially rated NC-17 (The Motion Picture Association of America demanded that scenes featuring sex and drug use be cut to win a lower R rating), Martin Scorsese's hit film starring Leonardo DiCaprio tells the real-life story of Jordan Belfort, chronicling the rise and downfall of his career as a stockbroker in New York City.

"I feel that the most popular example would be Wolf of Wall Street. But it [was] cut down to avoid that rating, which really makes me question a lot," the user Person884 wrote. "I think Wolf of Wall Street would have gotten it if Scorsese wasn't the director," another user, BusinessTransactions, commented in a different thread.

7 'The Harder They Fall' (2021)

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Inspired by true life events and directed by Jeymes Samuel, this 2021 revenge flick is not for the faint of heart. With a strong star-studded cast, The Harder They Fall tells the story of an outlaw (Jonathan Majors) who learns that his enemy (Idris Elba) has been released from prison and reunites his gang to seek vengeance.

Featuring a generous dose of strong violence and language, the Western movie is, according to the user ReplacementNo6837, "not even appropriate for adults." In their opinion, the film "definitely should have been NC-17." They added in a different post, "It's about everything realistic that happened during the 1800s."

6 'Evil Dead' (2013)

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On Reddit, many people seem to agree that Evil Dead's 2013 remake deserved an NC-17 rating, given the hardcore gore it featured. The movie follows five friends heading to a remote cabin to discover the infamous Book of the Dead. Needless to say, it does not end well.

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"I was surprised with the amount of blood and gore they were able to get away with in the theatrical cut," the user Turok1134 commented. In a different discussion, the user poland626 admitted they were "shocked that was shown in theaters and still holds the record for most blood on screen ever."

5 'Eyes Wide Shut' (1999)

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Considered an essential holiday classic by some, Stanley Kubrick's twisted final feature stars Tom Cruise in the lead role and tells the story of a doctor whose life takes a wild turn after learning that his wife (Nicole Kidman) has contemplated having an affair some time ago. Then, he takes part in a dark adventure involving a masked orgy of a secret society.

"I think I heard once that if Kubrick had still been alive when Eyes Wide Shut was released, it would have been NC-17," a deleted Redditor replied when another user mentioned the film. It is safe to say that Kubrick's last movie is a very mature one, fit only for adult audiences.

4 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' (2011)

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It is no news to anyone that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, based on the acclaimed crime novel by Swedish author and journal Stieg Larrson, is not the ideal kid's film. The neo-noir thriller follows journalist Mikael Blomkvist, brought to life by Daniel Craig, as he enlists the help of a computer hacker (Rooney Mara) to help him investigate the 40-year-old case of a wealthy tycoon's granddaughter's disappearance.

Rated R by the MPAA for brutal violent content — including sexual assault and torture — and language, David Fincher's film can be extremely hard to watch at times. "McQueen's Shame gets an NC-17 while Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo manages an R," a now-deleted user argued, noting that both have equal nudity, yet Fincher's movie has graphic sexual abuse.

3 'Suspiria' (2018)

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Although several people favor the original 1970s version over the 2018 remake, Luca Guadagnino's horror film Suspiria is undoubtedly a scarring film that will linger on the audience's minds even after the credits roll. It narrates the story of an American woman (Dakota Johnson) who enrolls at a prestigious dance academy only to learn that it is run by a coven of witches.

Due to extreme blood, gore, and body horror, Suspiria got an R-rating from the MPAA, but viewers are still (understandably) shocked that it didn't get the NC-17. "The entire climax of this movie is completely [redacted] up in tone, themes, emotions, and graphic content," a now-deleted account argued. "Occult ritual including full nudity of female and male, gruesome violence including disembowelment, head explosion, and more. I'm absolutely stunned this got away with an R rating."

2 'Antichrist' (2009)

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Antichrist tells the story of a grieving couple (Willem Dafoe and CharlotteGainsbourg) who escapes to a cabin in the woods after their child accidentally dies. There, the father has bizarre visions while the mother engages in progressively violent sexual behavior and sadomasochism.

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Lars von Trier's deeply disturbing and heavy film also makes it to the list. "Antichrist didn't get NC 17, but Mysterious Skin get one?" Riverstale asked on the platform. It is worth noting that the film was not submitted to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), was released unrated in the United States, and released uncut in the UK.

1 'Bone Tomahawk' (2015)

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When it comes to films that deserved such a rating, S. Craig Zahler's 2015 movie set in the Old West is about an elderly sheriff who goes on a quest to rescue their town's doctor from cannibalistic cave dwellers was one of the most mentioned on the website.

"I think Bone Tomahawk should have for that one gory scene alone. It was too much for me," the user Taossmith commented, with many agreeing. "That scene in Bone Tomahawk was pretty brutal," another user highlighted in a different post. Like Antichrist, the brutal Western was not submitted for rating. However, were it to go to the MPAA, it would be an infallible NC-17.

KEEP READING:8 Movies That Narrowly Avoided the NC-17 Rating

10 Movies That Should Have Been NC-17, According to Reddit (2024)
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