Black Panther, Ready Player One and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

By Chris Kavan - 01/24/18 at 09:42 AM CT

While the board, once again, hasn't delivered a huge number of wide-release ratings this weekend, at least the quality more than makes up for the quantity. The two films getting their ratings due happen to be two of my most anticipated films of the year. First up, Marvel looks to hit another home run with Black Panther. Second, and a bit more divisive among people, is Steven Spielberg's homage to 80s pop culture (and beyond), Ready Player One. Those two are right up there with Solo and Avengers: Infinity War for me. So at least I'll have a lot of fun looking into these two.

MPAA Official Logo

Disney has rarely stumbled with their Marvel Cinematic Universe, and even when their deliver a sub-par entry, it's still usually better than the vast majority of superhero films out there. One things is for certain, given the buzz surrounding Black Panther, it's not to join the rare misstep - in fact, it may very well join the ranks of some of the best. You would think a film that features a mostly African American cast in the superhero genre may face an uphill battle, but Black Panther is capitalizing on that fact and, much like Dr. Strange, looks unique in the Marvel films. Chadwick Boseman reprises his role as the leader of the technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda, T'Challa aka Black Panther, and he is joined by some big names: Michael B. Jordan plays his nemesis, while Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright are members of the Dora Milaje, the Wakandan female special forces unit. There's more - Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis are back as CIA Agent Everett K. Ross and the evil Ulysses Klaue while prominent actors Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Sterling K. Brown and breakout star of Get Out, Daniel Kaluuya, are also on board. I mean, can the cast get any better? From the setting to the music - this is going to be a different kind of Marvel film and I, for one, can't wait to see how it turns out. Rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action violence and a brief rude gesture.

Not everyone is a fan of Ernest Cline's ode to 80s pop culture, which is now being turned into a film by 80s icon Steven Spielberg, Ready Player One. I, however, really enjoyed the book (warts and all), because I liked the references and I'm a big gamer. For the uninitiated, Ready Player One takes place in the near future where the world has become so chaotic and depressing, most people spend their time in the virtual world of Oasis. Oasis was created by a man named James Halliday (played by Mark Rylance in the film) who, upon his death, created a scavenger hunt based upon said 80s pop culture with the prize being a digital Easter Egg - no less than ownership of Oasis itself - worth billions. A corporation named Innovative Online Industries (IOI), run by the ruthless Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) will stop at nothing to win this prize, though despite the prize, years have gone by without anyone finding the first clue. Enter Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), whose online avatar Parzival discovers the first key - and puts in motion a race to discover the rest, even Sorrento is willing to take lives in real life in order to control Oasis. The whole story is steeped in 80s pop culture (as it was the favorite of creator Halliday) but it looks like the film will explore more modern gaming culture as well. Olivia Cooke, Simon Pegg, T.J. Miller, Lena Waithe, Letitia Wright and Hannah John-Kamen help round out the cast. Much like the book, people have been divided on the trailers for the film but I, again, am excited to see this one. Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence, bloody images, some suggestive material, nudity and language.

That's all for the big films - and what big films there are - but be sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:


Rated R for bloody violence, nudity/sexuality and some drug content.


Rated R for language throughout, and some violence.


Rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action violence, and a brief rude gesture.


Rated R for language throughout, and some nudity.


Rated R for drug material, language, some sexual references and nude sketches.


Rated R for strong crude sexual content and language throughout, drug use, drinking, and some nudity.


Rated R for strong sexuality/nudity, and for language.


Rated R for language and drug use.


Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence, bloody images, some suggestive material, nudity and language.


Rated G


Rated PG for rude humor, language, and some thematic elements.


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- wrote on 08/15/18 at 05:25 PM CT


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