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Early Man, Strangers: Prey at Night and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

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By Chris Kavan - 01/17/18 at 10:14 AM CT

My plea to the board went mostly unanswered as this week is another light release for movies earning their ratings. We have an animated feature from the great Aardman Studio (of Wallace and Gromit fame) along with a horror sequel coming a full decade after the original. Still, it's another rather uninspired entry, and I can once again only hope that the coming weeks bring me a bit more to work with. I guess I can't complain as long as I have something to write about, thus you will have to bear with me as much as I have to bear with the ratings I manage to receive.

MPAA Official Logo

First up is the next film from famed UK animation studio Aardman Animations, Early Man. Aardman Animations, for those unfamiliar (and shame on you!) are responsible for the Wallace and Gromit series, as well as films Flushed Away, Arthur Christmas and Shaun the Sheep. Aardman uses a very distinct animation style that is stop motion and claymation. Early Man follows the story of Dug (voiced by Eddie Redmayne) and his trusty sidekick Hognob who find their primitive, happy life interrupted by a Bronze Age megalomaniac Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston). Dug must unite his tribe in order to have a chance to stop the more advanced madman. The film also features the vocal talent of Game of Thrones vet Maisie Williams along with Miriam Margolyes, Richard Ayoade, Timothy Spall and Rob Brydon among others. Early Man is likely to do well, it's coming out early February, though it will have to fight Peter Rabbit (which comes out a week early) for the family crowd. Rated PG for rude humor and some action.

Horror has been a hot genre of late, with the latest chapter of Insidious opening to good numbers. So maybe it won't matter than Strangers: Prey at Night is coming out 10 years after the original and shares little in common with the first one (other than creepy masks). Once again, the film follows a family in an isolated location who finds themselves terrorized by a group of three creepy-masked people and must fight to survive. The original was okay - nothing outstanding but suitably unnerving. This film has the benefit of a having the excellent Christina Hendricks lead the cast with Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson, Emma Bellomy, Lewis Pullman and Lea Enslin rounding out the cast as family and terrorizing strangers. A lot of people liked the first one, but it's hard to say if this sequel has waited to long to capitalize on it. Apparently the script has been around since 2009 - why it took so long to come out I'm not sure, but horror often finds an audience and if it can live up to the first one, I think it will do just fine. Rated R for horror violence and terror throughout, and for language.

Those are the big two ratings updates for this week, but be sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:


Rated G


Rated PG for rude humor and some action.


Rated R for violence and some language.


Rated PG for brief language.


Rated PG-13 for brief strong language.


Rated PG-13 for thematic material.


Rated R for horror violence and terror throughout, and for language.


Rated R for sexual content including graphic images, nudity, language and some violence.


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