Motion Picture Association of America
It has a budget of nearly $100 million and studio heads expressed "a rare sense of unanimity" when Democrat and former U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd was chosen in March 2011—only about two months after he left the U.S. Senate—to be its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
G: General Audiences
PG: Parental Guidance
PG-13: Parental Guidance for those under 13
R: Restricted for children under 17 without an adult
NC-17: No children 17 or under.
The MPAA has been criticized for its overly liberal tone towards violence in movies. Dick Kirby argues in his documentary This film is not yet rated that the MPAA is harsher on independent films than mainstream Hollywood films. He also argues that the MPAA is more likely to award an R or NC-17 for sexual content than for violence. Especially non gory violent films, which can get away with PG or PG-13 (such as The Dark Knight, which portrays gruesome violence but did not get the R rating).