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Why is white noise rated R?

January 2, 2023

The message Why is white noise rated R? first appeared on Ready Steady Cut.

Why is Netflix’s White Noise movie rated R? We discuss the popular streaming movie and the reasons for its R rating.

The highly anticipated Noah Baumbach adaptation of Don DeLillo’s seminal work in postmodern literature, White noisehas generated a lot of controversy since its world premiere at the 79th Venice International Film Festival.

It was slapped with an R rating by the Motion Picture Association (MPA). After seeing Bambauch’s take on what some might call unfilmable source material, I can only understand such a high rating because the MPA is offended by the absorbing price tag.

I mean, why a movie with a train wreck scene, army tents, a production design you can see at any Raley grocery store in California, a wardrobe you could find at Goodwill and a post-credits dance scene would cost $250 million? Unless it’s the original station wagon of the original National Lampoon’s Holidaythere seems to be something fishy with white noise accounting methods.

Let’s explore why such a film would receive an R rating, which seems to be the equivalent of schools banning books in the classroom.

What is the Netflix movie White Noise about?

The official synopsis of White noise is as follows:

“At once hilarious and horrifying, lyrical and absurd, ordinary and apocalyptic, White Noise depicts a contemporary American family’s attempts to come to terms with the mundane conflicts of everyday life while grappling with the universal mysteries of the love, death and the possibility of happiness in an uncertain world”.

By comparison, here is the Good reads synopsis of the classic Don DeLillo novel:

“White Noise tells the story of Jack Gladney, his fourth wife, Babette, and four ultra-modern descendants as they navigate the difficult passages of family life to the background babble of branded consumerism. When an industrial accident triggers an “airborne toxic event”, a deadly black chemical cloud hovers above their lives. The threatening cloud is a more urgent and visible version of the “white noise” engulfing the Gladneys – radio transmissions, sirens, microwaves, ultrasound devices and the whispers of television – throbbing with life while suggesting something sinister.

Why is white noise rated R?

According to the MPA, white noise is rated R, and this includes the following concerns:

“Contains adult material. Parents are encouraged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.

The MPA also provides a link to understand the film’s rating, which takes you to a website called Movie ratings. If you follow the link and type the title, the information provided is as follows for White noise:

“Rated R for brief violence and language.”

However, if you are looking for a movie of the same name, the 2005 horror film starring Michael Keaton of the same name receives a PG-13 rating “for violence, disturbing imagery, and language,” a film that includes cheap and gratuitous scares. Do you have a lower rating for a film made 17 years ago? At a time when the world has become more progressive, the MPA claims to protect children with parental approval in a world that equates to Don DeLillo’s vision of the world spinning off its axis in the first place.

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Unfortunately, the MPA does not justify the scenes they found so reprehensible. Yes, the film has a strong language. The script honors the source material’s themes of a disturbing outlook on life and a family stressed out due to a “rocky” home life. There is a scene of brief violence where a train crashes and causes a chemical event and a toxic cloud. The other possibility of brief violence is when Adam Driver’s Jack shoots and kills a man called Mr. Gray. However, before he does, he gets a shot that misses Jack and shoots his wife, Babette, in the leg.

I would challenge the MPA to cite the scenes they find so objectionable in the future.

Is White Noise on Netflix Worth Watching?

Currently, rotten tomatoes has White noise with a 63% rating and over 200 reviews. When you apply “top reviews”, the rating is slightly better at 67%. The critical consensus for the website states:

“White Noise can sometimes struggle with its supposedly unfilmable source material, but Noah Baumbach manages to find the humorous heart of its surprisingly timely story.”

ABC News’ Peter Travers praises the film:

“Noah Baumbach honors Don DeLillo’s virtuoso novel about the comically absurd chaos of consumerism with overly cautious respect. The result is his most restrained film, which only breaks free when costars Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig strike out on their own.

K. Austin Collins of The Rolling Stones objects, stating the director:

“…exceeds the limits of white noise. The film fails because its various energies eventually start to feel mismatched.

Jacob Throneberry from Stable cut ready proclaims:

“From top to bottom, White Noise is a hypnotic and engaging look at a deeply human fear: death. Noah Baumbach’s best direction yet, coupled with a fully engaged cast – the most notable being Adam Driver – makes White Noise not only one of the most entertaining and best films of the year, but also the one of the most compelling.

Based on the overall critical consensus, positive Rotten Tomatoes scores, themes relevant to today’s modern world, and the accolades the film garners, White noise worth watching on Netflix.

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The message Why is white noise rated R? first appeared on Ready Steady Cut.