An NC-17 rated motion picture is one that, in the view of the Rating Board, most parents would consider patently too adult for children 17 and under. Nobody under the age of 18 is admitted in any circumstance. NC-17 does not mean "obscene" or "pornographic" in the common or legal meaning of those words, and should not be construed as a negative judgment in any sense. This rating just simply signals that the content is appropriate only for an adult audience. The majority of films rated NC-17 receive this rating due to their sexual content.
NC-17 films almost never get a wide release in North America and are often tied with commercial failure due to the refusal to be stocked by major retailers or have advertisements shown on television.
The age bar prior to 1996 was 16, and then 17. It was previously known as X-rated until 1990.
- Showgirls for nudity and erotic sexuality throughout, and for some graphic language and sexual violence. To date, it is the only NC-17 film to be given a wide theatrical release. An edited R-rated version was released on VHS, primarily for chains that refused to carry NC-17 films such as Blockbuster.
- Monster for graphic violence and sexual content, and for graphic language.
- Lust, Caution for some explicit sexuality
- Henry & June (1990)