91% of American Parents Find Film Ratings Help Make Better Movie Choices, New Survey Shows

April 25, 2023

84% of Parents Believe Film Ratings Are Accurate; 86% Find the Rating Descriptors Accurate

81% of Parents Say the Trailers or Previews They Saw in the Prior Year Were Compatible with Movie They Preceded 

WASHINGTON – American parents overwhelmingly believe the Motion Picture Association’s (MPA) film ratings are accurate and that they help them make better movie choices for their families, according to a new report released today by the MPA’s Classification and Rating Administration (CARA), which administers the rating system.

“For 55 years, American parents have trusted our film rating system to provide them with advance information that helps them decide what movies are appropriate for their children,” said Charles Rivkin, Chairman and CEO of the MPA. “With the post-pandemic resurgence of moviegoing, combined with the dramatic growth in streaming, there are more movie choices today than ever before. Our ratings have never been more important, and as this study shows, we’re continuing to get it right.”

CARA’s survey of American parents’ views on movie ratings was conducted by PSB Insights, a global research and analytics consultancy. The research focuses on parents’ perceptions, attitudes, and expectations regarding movie content and the film rating system. PSB surveyed 1,500 parents of children aged 5-16, where both parent and child have watched a movie within the last six months either in a theater or in their home.

“Our survey of American parents is an incredibly important factor in how film ratings are assigned and the rating system continues to evolve,” said Kelly McMahon, Chair of CARA. “All our raters are parents of school-aged children, and while each brings their diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences to the rating process, these survey results provide valuable insight into the top concerns of a majority of parents across the country and help ensure we’re reflecting their viewpoints. I’m very pleased parents continue to find our work helpful and accurate, and my team is committed to ensuring the ratings remain useful for many years to come.”


  • 86% of American parents are familiar with the ratings, and 77% are familiar with the rating descriptors.
  • 91% find both the ratings and rating descriptors helpful.
  • 84% believe the ratings are accurate, and 86% find the rating descriptors accurate.
  • 81% felt that the movies they had seen in the past year had the appropriate rating.
  • Parents in the South Atlantic (89%), Midwest/West North Central (86%), and the West/Pacific (85%) find the ratings most accurate.
  • 95% of American parents look up information on the ratings when considering a movie for their child to see.


This survey also includes questions related to movie advertising. The MPA’s Advertising Administration is responsible for reviewing all advertising for movies rated by CARA, including trailers, billboards, posters, and social media ads. The Advertising Administration ensures that all advertising content is placed appropriately for the audience that is viewing it. According to this survey, 81% of parents say the trailers or previews they have seen in the past 12 months were compatible with the movie they preceded.

For the complete survey, please click here.

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About The Motion Picture Association:

The Motion Picture Association, Inc. (MPA) serves as the global voice and advocate of the motion picture, home video, and television industries. It works in every corner of the globe to advance the creative industry, protect its members’ content across all screens, defend the creative and artistic freedoms of storytellers, and support innovative distribution models that bring an expansion of viewing choices to audiences around the world.

Its member studios are: Netflix Studios, LLC; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Universal City Studios LLC; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Charles Rivkin is Chairman and CEO.

Media Contact

Tom Zigo, Motion Picture Association