Rating System Wiki

MPAA NC-17 2013.svg

An NC-17 rated film 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 (ages 18 and above). The majority of films rated NC-17 receive this rating due to their explicit sexual content. NC-17 films almost never get a wide release in the United States and are often tied with commercial failure due to the refusal to be stocked by major retailers or have advertisements shown on television. It means: No One 17 And Under Admitted.

The age bar prior to 1996 was 17. It was previously known as X-rated until 1990.


Only 79 total titles have received an NC-17 rating as of 2021.

  • 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.
  • Lust, Caution for some explicit sexuality
  • A Serbian Film for extreme aberrant sexual and violent content including explicit dialogue
  • A Dirty Shame for pervasive sexual content
  • Shame (2011) because the primary theme of the film is addiction to sex
  • Pedro Almodóvar's La mala educación (2004) is rated NC-17, but the same cut is rated MA 15+ in Australia and 15 in the UK.
  • Henry & June (1990)
  • The Evil Dead (1983)
  • The Canterbury Tales (1972)