Michael Bay’s Transformers Slapped with R-Rating, Spielberg Bails Him Out

It’s always nice to have friends in high places, and in Hollywood, there are few higher than Steven Spielberg. It seems that when the MPAA got a look at Michael Bay’s first cut of Transformers, they delivered a rating of “R” for intense action and violence. Not wanting to cut the film, Bay called on executive producer Spielberg to plea with the ratings board to reconsider their decision… which they did, after some fast talking from Spielberg. Now they have settled on a PG-13 rating for the film instead.

This all sounds like great news for anyone who was hoping for massive robot battles and all out carnage in this movie, and while I agree that a Michael Bay movie without “intense action and violence” is not really worth much at all, I have to wonder… was this just a PR stunt? Did they just release this tidbit of news to reinforce the idea that this is not going to be a kiddie flick? Bottom line: it’s still rated PG-13, which it had to be if they wanted to reach their target audience of kids and young teens. I remain suspicious of the motives here, but I suppose at the very least it can’t be interpreted as bad news per se. Your thoughts?

» Related Link: /Film

  • Henrik

    This seems like the most ridiculous news story. Does Steven Spielberg have the power to control the ratings board? If this is true, the integrity of ratings are forever compromised.

    I think you’re right when you are not focusing on “THIS PROVES SPIELBERG CARES ABOUT THE PROJECT AND IT WILL RULE!! FU BAY HATERS! TF 4EVER!” but rather that the bottom line is that it’s a PG-13 movie like everybody expected.

  • Only NOW are the integrity of ratings forever compromised? ;-)

  • Henrik

    Well they may be ridiculous, but at least they were sincere before.

  • I don’t know if that’s necessarily true either. If you watch This Film Is Not Yet Rated it talks about how the MPAA is in tight with the major studios, and as a result often give them more leeway than indie films.

  • Henrik

    I haven’t seen the movie – obviously is not released here – so I don’t know how it plays out, but I imagine it’s coming from a point of view. Doesn’t it have tons of interviews with people who don’t like what the MPAA did to their movies etc?
    I’m sure there are good and bad cases. While I do think there are some ridiculous things involved with the rating of movies, usually I think the rating is pretty accurate, especially when it comes to expectations of a movie. You know what you’re getting with a PG-13 movie as well as an NC-17 movie, right?

    This case just seems blatantly corrupt though.

  • Sure, the movie has an obvious bias but it gives some interesting examples of movies that were rated R versus those that were NC-17, with negligible differences. As a general rule, the ratings work, but there are always grey areas.

    Plus the issue is not so much what you see in the final movie, but what the filmmaker was forced to cut in order to avoid an NC-17 (because there aren’t many venues for an NC-17 film to be shown in the U.S.).

  • Henrik

    I do think that the ratings people are sincere in their decisions though. The fact that some studio movies may seem to get away with more than indie movies could have alot of reasons.

    For instance, From Dusk Till Dawn has a sister
    shooting her brother in her head. But it also has tons of outlandish things. A scene in an indie movie that has a sister shooting her brother in the head, would probably be perceived in an extremely different way, right?

    I guess that is what you refer to when you talk about grey areas, but I do think that there is a tendency on these ‘edgy’ filmmakers part to whine a bit about the ratings board not ‘getting their movie’.

  • Nick


  • Goon

    “If this is true, the integrity of ratings are forever compromised.”

    seconded, this is hyperbole. the ratings board has always been a joke with different standards for different people. they make exceptions for people a lot lesser than Spielberg so long as a studio is talking for them.

  • Deiders

    I used to watch TF with my brothers when I was a kid. Yeah, I enjoyed it! Now I’m all grown up and a mommy with a six year old boy who love the action figures. I got him some for his birthday a few days ago. I have been so looking forward to this movie and now I find out that it is PG13! Great for all of us grown up fans, but what about the kids that are being marketed to?! My kid wants to see the movie! But I’m not going to take him to a movie that is inapproiate for him! I’m getting sick and tired of all these movies that are marketed to our small children and then have them rated for the older kids!

  • Sam

    An ‘R’ movie getting reduced to PG?
    why was it R in the first place?
    Its not that violent

  • Netbug

    But apparently nobody cares about the huge amount of sexual humor. Sad to see the fall our generation is taking. >.>

  • Bob

    What is this shitty things rating you know the movie

  • matthew

    i seen transformers and i left because of when that girl was crawling on him like the were about to have sex and when i went tot the theater the movie rating was just pg please don’t see this movie

  • Camille

    Good for Matthew for walking out. I wanted to a couple of times and should have. I was very dissapointed with all the crap throughout the film…swearing and all the other above mentioned stuff. I wish I would have done my research first and then been able to make a decision to not see it in the first place.

  • Lindsey

    My Husband and I both enjoyed the 1st one previewed it ourselves and didn’t think it was too bad for the kids, but when part 2 came out we didnt even know it was PG-13 We actually went to the midnight release! We asummed it would not be bad considering the 1st one wasn’t but we were wrong. It was a good movie but very very inappropriate for small children. ALOT of cussing and sexual humor. So yet again great movie..but wait to let the kids see it!