Why is When You Finish Saving The World rated R? Parents guide explored

Danny Munro January 17, 2023
Why is When You Finish Saving The World rated R? Parents guide explored
Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images

The highly anticipated A24 release, When You Finish Saving The World, is finally set to be shown in theatres, though some parents want to know why the movie is rated R.

When You Finish Saving The World tells a coming-of-age tale of a son who struggles through his teenage years, armed with a sizeable online following and a tricky relationship with his mother.

The new release is a snapshot of the high school experience, and the stress of raising a child in the modern age – but is it a suitable watch for all the family?

We’ve delved into the movies MPAA rating in order to help you understand exactly what is meant by an R rating, which movie ratings are deemed family friendly and explained who it is that gets to make that decision.

When You Finish Saving The World set to release on January 20

Having debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2022, When You Finish Saving The World is finally set for its official in-theatre release, one year on.

Written by Jesse Eisenberg, in what is also his directorial debut, the movie was originally released as an audio drama in August 2020, shortly before being commissioned as a feature-length film.

Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard stars as teenage protagonist Ziggy Katz, with decorated actress Julianne Moore of Jurrasic Park fame playing Ziggy’s mother, Evelyn.

At the time of writing, When You Finish Saving The World has obtained a 68% score on Rotten Tomatoes, having received 98 official reviews.

Why is When You Finish Saving The World rated R?

When You Finish Saving The World has been rated R for “language”, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) has officially confirmed.

Like every major movie, the decision to grant the release an R rating was made by The MPA’s Classification and Ratings Administration, whose latest ratings are released on Twitter by FilmRatings.com.

Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images

The IMDb Parent Guide, which helps track new releases and evaluate if they are family-friendly, confirmed that the title had been rated R, but does not currently have any notes on any additional adult themes in the movie.

Another concern for families wishing to go to the theatre is movie length. Clocking in at a speedy 88 minutes though, When You Finish The World is significantly shorter than a lot of major movie releases of late (see Avatar 2, for example).

What does it actually mean if a movie is rated R?

According to The MPA’s Rating Guide, a movie is considered R, for restricted, if it contains “some adult material” which, in this case, would be bad language.

The board responsible for movie rankings, The Classification and Ratings Administration, is made up of an independant group of parents and has existed as a recognised rating system since 1968.

The MPA advise don’t explicitly state that families should not attend screenings of R rated movies, but isntead suggest that “Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.”

Therefore, if you wish to take your family to see When You Finish The World, you are allowed to do so – but be prepared for the use of strong language.

The full list of movie ratings

The R rating is the second highest rating on the scale. The ranking of the ratings, from everbody is welcome to adults only, is as follows:

  • G – General Audiences: “Nothing that would offend parents for viewing by children.”
  • PG – Parental Guidance Suggested: “May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.”
  • PG-13 – Parents Strongly Cautioned: “Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.”
  • R – Restricted: “Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.”
  • NC-17 – Adults Only: “Clearly adult. Children are not admitted.”

If there is a film that you wish to watch with your family but are unsure of the rating, you can check it using the Film Ratings Guide.

The guide has a search filter that allows you to look for a specific year, meaning you can check what ratings the movie was awarded even if it is an older release.

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Danny Munro is a Freelance Entertainment Reporter at GRV Media sites HITC and The Focus and is currently in his third year of a Journalism and Politics degree at the University of Strathclyde. From Twitter to TikTok, his finger is constantly on the pulse of the latest online trends and a typical shift will see him write about anything from The Kardashians to politics and everything in between. He is also passionate about all things music and edits the music section in his university paper, The Strathclyde Telegraph. Danny can be contacted at [email protected]