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For their eyes only

The forbidden list of NC-17 rated films
By PAUL BABIN  |  September 14, 2006

WHAT WAS THAT LAST ONE?: Click the image to watch the clip of Randall ordering pornography in Clerks
Movie:Henry & June (1990)
Studio: Universal
MPAA Objection: Nudity, profanity and graphically depicted sexual behavior
Naughty bits: The sex scene beneath the bridge
Sex or Violence?: Two words: three way
Critical Judgement: “The film's sex scenes, photographed delicately by Philippe Rousselot and directed with great intensity by Mr. Kaufman, are particularly lofty. These sequences, often tinged with symbolism (a hand playing a guitar juxtaposed with a hand on a woman's breast), tend to be self-consciously bold.”- Janet Maslin, New York Times
US Box Office Bang: $11,567,449

Movie:Clerks (original version) (1994)
Studio: Miramax
MPAA Objection: Sexually explicit dialogue
Naughty bits: Randall’s phone order for porno films
Sex or Violence?: No sex or violence here. Just talk
Critical Judgement: “Cheap, touching, and downright nasty, Kevin Smith's first feature still remains the ultimate cinematic tribute to slackers”- Chris Barsanti, Slant Magazine
US Box Office Bang: $3,151,130

Movie:Showgirls (1995)
Studio: United Artists
MPAA Objection: Nudity and erotic sexuality, graphic language, sexual violence
Naughty bits: Nomi’s $500 lap dance
Sex or Violence?: Even when there’s violence, it’s sexual
Critical Judgement: “First off, this nominally risque story of naked ambition among Las Vegas showgirls has somehow managed to make extensive nudity exquisitely boring.”- Kenneth Turan, LA Times
US Box Office Bang: $20,350,754

Movie:Crash (1996)
Studio: Fine Line Features
MPAA Objection: Numerous explicit sex scenes
Naughty bits: The couple’s first sexual encounter pressed against an airplane fuselage
Sex or Violence?: In Crash car accidents aren’t tragedies, they’re foreplay
Critical Judgement:Crash doesn’t extend beyond its most immediate sensationalism. When the movie does attempt to find a theme, it slams into a brick wall of mumbo-jumbo.”- Desson Howe, Washington Post
US Box Office Bang: $2,038,450

Movie:Orgazmo (1998)
Studio: October Films
MPAA Objection: Explicit sexual content and dialogue
Naughty bits: The close-up of the hairy ass. Yikes!
Sex or Violence?: It’s called Orgazmo, remember?
Critical Judgement:Orgazmo, a comedy by South Park co-creator Trey Parker, is the very soul of sophomorism. It is callow, gauche, obvious and awkward, and designed to appeal to those with similar qualities.”- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
US Box Office Bang: $602,302

Movie:Eyes Wide Shut (original version) (1999)
Studio: Warner Brothers
MPAA Objection: Strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug-related material
Naughty bits: The orgy scene
Sex or Violence?: The last line in the movie is “fuck”. Nuff said
Critical Judgement: “Kubrick's great achievement in the film is to find and hold an odd, unsettling, sometimes erotic tone for the doctor's strange encounters.”- Ebert
US Box Office Bang: $55,691,208

Movie:A Dirty Shame (2004)
Studio: Fine Line Features
MPAA Objection: Pervasive sexual content
Naughty bits: Tracey Ullman dancing “The Hokey-Pokey.” And what the heck is “felching?”
Sex or Violence?: It’s called A Dirty Shame for a reason
Critical Judgement: “I object to A Dirty Shame not because it is offensive — to do so would be another way of congratulating Mr. Waters for his bogus daring — but because it is boring.”- A.O. Scott, New York Times
US Box Office Bang: $1,339,668

Movie:9 Songs (2005)
Studio: Tartan USA
MPAA Objection: Explicit sex
Naughty bits: Matt and Lisa’s makeup sex after a failed romantic dinner
Sex or Violence?: Oddly, the only position missing is “69.”
Critical Judgement: “The filmmaker has said he wants 9 Songs to be drama about real sex that's not erotic. As if an admission of erotic intent somehow cheapens the aesthetics. And so a viewer's question might reasonably be, Who are ya kidding?” - Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
US Box Office Bang: $66,853 

Movie:Shortbus (2006)
Studio: ThinkFilm
MPAA Objection: Explicit sex
Naughty bits: The guy getting it on with himself in the opening scene.
Sex or Violence?: Let’s call it vile sex.
Critical Judgement: “Unfortunately, the characters lack dimension when removed from the arena of sex. All problems, goals and desires are sexual in nature.”- Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter
US Box Office Bang:?????

Movie:This Film is Not Yet Rated (2006)
Studio: IFC
MPAA Objection: Some graphic sexual content
Naughty bits: The tallying of the number of pelvic thrusts in a graphic sex scene
Sex or Violence?: Politics.
Critical Judgement: “Kirby Dick's indispensable guerrilla attack on the film-ratings system gives Hollywood a swift, smart and hilarious kick in its institutional, hypocritical ass.” - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
US Box Office Bang:?????

Related: Eric Rohmer 1920 - 2010, Let's talk about sex, Review: Date Night, More more >
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