After much speculation, it is now official that the upcoming Ryan Reynolds ‘Deadpool’ movie will be Rated R, defined by the Motion Picture Association Of America as “Restricted: Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.”  I have already seen frustrated parents upset with this situation online, complaining that a superhero experience MUST be child-friendly by definition.  As a comic book fan, part of me grates at this expectation, but in practice, movie-makers have long supported this theory, creating big, dumb popcorn-movie superhero experiences like ‘Batman Forever’, leaving the dark side of such stories to science fiction films like ‘The Chronicles Of Riddick’ or ‘Inception.’  Certainly, fans of comic books know that there is a near-infinite array of tone in the comics themselves, whether the movies have correctly reflected it or not, leading to today’s PG-13 query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) still doesn’t want to see an adults-only Batman movie, if only because there’s enough ‘Dark Knight Returns’ idolatry already, asking: Should a superhero film being Rated R (or an R18 certificate, or any similar adult-only or restricted rating) even be an issue?


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Of course not, not in super hero or in any kind of movie, if that’s what the creators went for. There’s plenty of PG stuff for everyone to see and enjoy. I don’t like censorship in any form, self regulated, from outside pressure or by some committee. If we treat something as an art form, it will have to be above censorship. No reason is good enough, no matter how many people you risk to offend or annoy. That said, creators of offensive material have to accept any and all criticism they might get for it, that’s the price you have to be willing to pay, but nothing should be censored or forced in certain mold.

  2. I don’t really understand why no one else can have an R Rated movie because YOU (hypothetical YOU, not Matthew YOU) want YOUR child to be able to watch it. I applaud you for doing your due diligence as a parent and deciding what is and is not suitable for your child but you don’t reserve the right to dictate what is and is not suitable for everyone else. If your child continues to enjoy Deadpool as they get older than the movie will still be their waiting for them.

    I don’t really get why this is an issue for this movie but was never an issue for any of the Punisher movies. Could you imagine War Zone as PG 13? Yuck.

  3. While not about a superhero movie, there was a woman throwing a HUGE fit in the theater a few years back when I went to see a movie with a friend. Apparently this woman and her young child went to see another movie showing that was a “violent” fantasy themed film (I cannot recall which one it was, maybe one of the Lord of the Rings movies) and the woman was screaming that all fantasy movies should be kid friendly because Harry Potter was.

    It is actually one of my biggest pet peeves when people assume all comic book based movies or series should be kid friendly or that all cartoons should be kid friendly. They might as well say any movie based on any book ever should be kid friendly because Doctor Seuss books were kid friendly.

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