MPAA slaps 'Shame' with NC-17 rating


Shame, the dark and erotic drama starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, was slapped with an NC-17 rating, an expected move considering the film’s explicit nudity and sex. Fassbender plays a successful single New Yorker who is a compulsive sex addict. The film premiered at September’s Venice Film Festival, where Fassbender was named Best Actor, and Fox Searchlight picked it up after it screened at the Toronto Film Festival. It opens in theaters Dec. 2. Watch the trailer below:

Read more:
Meet Your Next Obsession… Michael Fassbender


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  • Billy

    The movie ratings system is a joke. The NC-17 rating is usually something to be avoided at all costs, yet when a movie is released on DVD there are frequently unrated editions that you can even get at Walmart..
    This movie won’t play in many locations because of the NC-17 rating but they’ll be able to release an unrated version on DVD that they can sell anywhere.

    • The Devil

      You’re absolutely right.
      And actually, I’ve never heard of this movie until now because of the NC-17 rating. Now I’m curious and will probably rent it.

    • Quirky

      It’s not the rating system that is a joke (except for the whole sex is much worst than violence BS). It’s the fact that most movie theatre chains are too scared to show NC-17 films. It’s the middlemen that are preventing NC-17 movies not the ratings boards.

      • Snackbar

        Theaters generally won’t play NC-17 because the studio can’t support the film with advertising because very few media outlets will accept advertising for an NC-17 film. And in some areas the public will protest or give the theater owner/manager a hard time for showing an NC-17 film. Fox Searchlight films usually play at art houses so this one should not have a hard time playing you just won’t hear about it because Newspapers and TV won’t run the ads.

    • ST

      They should have done this with Carey Mulligan’s other movie Drive. Sheesh. If i would have known it was that violent, I would have skipped.

      • Hv

        The double standard we have in this county about sex and violence is asinine. Stroke a breast and you get an NC-17 rating. Cut one off and you get an R.

      • CameronJ


      • Abeera

        Exactly ??? Don’t know under which base they rely for their stupid ratings? Did you see ” immortals” how provocative and filled with scary violence? Yet was a PG-13 movie? How strange? Michael Fassbender deserves an Oscar for his uplifting performance? Something like Kate Wenslit’s role in the “Reader,” was very nudity free, but yet she had her Oscar ? Men seem very jealous from Fassbender’s private stuff, don’t want to be embarrassed infront of each other!!?

    • DRG

      Absurd. Sex? Give that thing an NC-17. Lots of violence and gore? Meh, R, or even PG-13 is fine.

  • Stacie

    That means full frontal MALE, right? Yay!

    • kate

      Full frontal male and female, many, many, MANY times. Trust me.

    • kari

      gorgeous fassbender

  • Jerry

    Movies can avoid the problem simply by not having actors engage in actual sex on camera.

    • Josh

      You don’t understand movie ratings.

    • Snackbar

      There is a huge difference in NC-17 and X. You are talking about X rated or porno films. A film can receive an NC-17 for full frontal nudity, simulated sex and excessive violence. That is not real sex you see in a mainstream film.

      • itsthatobsessivefilmcritic

        The NC-17 rating used to be X. The MPAA didn’t copyright it though, so porn distributors stamped two or three Xs to emphasize the explicit nature of their porn films. As for legitimate X-rated films, they do exist (ie: A Clockwork Orange, Midnight Cowboy, The Last Tango in Paris (now NC-17))

  • Barry

    An NC-17 rating means more theaters available for 3D crap & kiddie films like the chipmunks crap.

  • J L

    Just knowing about this movie, now I think I am going TO get it DVD.

  • Aris

    Americans… as always, afraid of nudity. But chopping off someone’s head is ok and gets a PG rating. Nice!

    • the_girl


    • Abeera

      Specially Immortals! How contradictory ? Makes no sense what so EVER???

  • RayT

    So excited for this. McQueen’s first film “Hunger” was so amazing.

    • punch drunk fool

      Same! It’s f-cking exciting! hopefully the theaters near me won’t be too p-ssy to play it

  • Vince

    NC 17 which back when was “X” was NOT such a big deal at first back in the late 1960s, and most of the 1970s, Newspapers did take ads for them etc.
    But since the fool Reagan was president that changed for whatever silly reason.

    • DRG

      @Vince — you are 100% spot on. It is amazing how the prudes have taken over this country over the past 30 years.

  • LOL

    GOP fears Shame.

  • DJ Wood

    I just wanna see Fassbender naked :D

  • Mark

    The problem with the NC-17 rating is that many newspapers won’t advertise the film and many theatres will not play it. The solution is to FORCE – Yes, Is said FORCE – newspapers and theatres to advertise and show NC-17 films. I am fed up with the prudishness of the rating board. We all should be.

  • Levi

    I’m even more excited to see something not scared to show it’s initial vision, which is what is important in films.

    • Paul Newman

      No its not. You’re an idiot.

      • Tallulah

        Wow. Eloquent argument. “No it’s not. You’re an idiot.” I’m almost sure that was your self talk, you just got the pronoun wrong.

  • Paul Newman

    Paul Newman’s not my real name but if a director can steal Steve McQueen’s then I can steal Paul’s. Wow, I slept through most of the trailer. If the only thing going for it is sex and nudity I can get that on-line. Now. The reason they don’t care it gets an NC-17 is because the only hope the film has for an audience is at an art-house theater marketing to those that go see every NC-17 movie in the same way slower kids go see every 3D movie.

    • craig

      Steve Mcqueen is his real name you idiot. And as for the only thing going for it is sex and nudity. Its a character study about sex addiction not Piranha 3D, which by looking at your comment is the exact kind of movie you love. I dont understand why someone as unintelligent as you about movies reads movie news.

  • Jim

    I love how EW uses the word “slaps” in it’s headline as if no one expected the film to get an NC-17 rating in the first place. Of course, they don’t mention that Fox Searchlight has embraced the rating due to the subject matter and not looking to make any cuts….but you don’t want to print that, do you? Then, it’s not a sexy headline.

  • Jose

    There goes Fassbender’s chances of an Oscar nomination.

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