Jury Coordination and Notes

Are R Rated Films Suitable For 15 And 16 Year Olds? by Clayton Pickard

RRatings.jpgAs a new KIDS FIRST! Blogger, I thought for my first blog that I’d be really controversial and write about R rated movies that may be suitable for teens age 15 and up. Many people may disagree with me, but I think many R rated films are important for teens to watch with their parents or another mature adult. They are intelligent, well written and challenging. Often they are coming-of-age movies or about timely subject matter we are studying in school. Fun Movie Fact: Since the 90s, 14 of 21 Best Picture winners have been rated R.

Looking at the Oscar nominees and winners from last year, I have chosen a few films that stand out to me because of their well written screenplays and intelligence. Let us start with last year’s best picture winner, Birdman. It is a very creative and inspiring movie that shows the downside of fame. Then there is Boyhood, which I think should have won Best Picture. It is one of the best movies I have seen in my life! It follows a young boy through his childhood into adulthood. The most amazing aspect of the movie is that the child/adult is played by the same actor. The film took 12 years to make, so the filmmaker could follow this one actor as he grows up. Another great R rated film from last year is Whiplash. The story of a teenage drummer enrolled in a very rigorous music school, Whiplash drives you to the edge of your seat with great suspense and emotional anticipation. The whimsical whodunit, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is the funniest nominee among last year’s Oscars. Being a Wes Anderson film, it is one of the most creative movies on the planet. Teens should see it for its inventiveness, attention to detail and art direction. American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood, is a worthy R rated film for teens because of its historical relevance. It is an incredibly emotional, sad story of an American sniper in Iraq, who has to make dire choices on a daily basis.

Clayton.jpgIn terms of 2015, the only worthwhile R rated film I have seen so far is The Big Short. This film is about the stock market crash of 2008 and the savvy investors who bet against the American housing market. Considered a black comedy, it is a dense, intellectual film that warrants another screening. The other R rated films from this year that I intend on seeing are The Danish Girl, Chi Raq, Macbeth, Spotlight and The Revenant. Stay tuned for my second blog when I will discuss some of these films.

Clayton Pickard, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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