Shutter Island - USCCB rated 0

Being very scrupulous, I went to see Shutter Island and totally enjoyed it - it was not rated before I went to see it - I found nothing offensive and nothing to cause me to sin. I thought I would check the USCCB website confident that it would not be rated O - and there it was -O.
Now I have to confess this next confession (I know it’s not a mortal sin). I just am very obsessed with these ratings and want to be a normal person and just enjoy going to the movies, or buy DVDs that I enjoy and are NOT an occasion of sin for me. Did anyone here see the movie and what did you think?

Do you always check before going to the movies, and if it is not in the USCCB website, do you go anyway? I am a horror buff and many of my favs are rated O - and I spent a lot of money on DVDs prior to my knowing.

What are your thoughts about the reviews? And I also remember they changed a review of either brokeback or million dollar baby.

I find it odd that this would be rated O. It definitely deserved the R rating (I’m not sure if the 14A rating in Canada is high enough). Freaky with some very disturbing scenes, but it didn’t seem like anything was over the line offensive.

I didn’t really like the ending though. Don’t get me wrong the story was excellent, but I didn’t like how it ended.

I’ll still see it.

I probably won’t revisit this thread for fear of a spoiler :wink:

But I had never read Dennis Lehane before I picked up a copy of Shutter Island at a garage sale. Years later, I have read everything Lehane has written. FWIW, I finished Shutter Island in one night. Couldn’t put it down. Handed it off to co-workers; same story. The longest anyone had the book was three days.

I am sorry to hear of the rating, curious why.

Wow. I can’t remember anything offensive about this movie. You have to take those reviews with a grain of salt. They are written fallibly, and sometimes it’s best to use your own judgement.

That said, the movie was disturbing, but good.

I have never heard of movie ratings being a matter that rises to the level of sin. Relax and God Bless.

(haven’t seen the picture but possibly will)


Here’s your answer (taken from the full review–boldface mine):

Even more damaging to the movie’s entertainment value is the unrelenting use of coarse language, which, together with certain elements vital to the plot, necessitates the O classification. Not only does the language offend and detract from the artistic impact, it is arguably anachronistic.

Not that I have any intention of viewing the film, but I know the USCCB website will usually say what the rating is for… just wanted to make sure it did.

Funny, I didn’t even notice the bad language; yet when I started to see The Departed, I had to turn it off within five minutes, they cursed so much, and that movie was not rated O.
very weird.

Here is the USCCB full review.

I just checked out the website, and I don’t think you have anything to get into a tozzy about! The reviews are guidline and warnings, saying, This movie will likely morally offend you. It does not, however, state that having viewed this movie puts you in a state of sin.

For example, several years ago, I don’t think I sinned by watching the Saw movie, but i WAS morally offended. Someone with a huge gore tolerance, however, may not have been. This may speak volumes about their psyche, but I don’t think it’s put their mortal souls at risk! In the same way, another person may be morally offended watching V for Vendetta, a movie I found very moving, thought provocing and exciting. The site itself says that one’s personal taste and tolerances will effect how they view the rating.

Now, if you derived pleasure from the parts that were morally offensive, then we’d have a problem.

I know that they’re trying to be vague in order not to spoil the whole plot, but I wish that they’d be more specific here. Was there a bit of bad language? Sure, I remember a bit of bad language. There was some talk about some probable immoral medical techniques, but there were always presented in a very negative context. Like when I think of a morally offensive movie I’m thinking of something that glorifying immoral things (violence, adultery, criminal activity, that sort of thing), but immoral or of questionable moral ideas were consistently put in a bad light by this film.

Maybe it’s that the movie is from an extremely cynical point of view. Again, I’m not going to say that this movie is horrible or anything, but I just don’t really like cynical movies. There were several disturbing scenes (like I said, I’m not sure if 14A is high enough in Canada), but again they were portrayed as disturbing.

Or maybe they’re like me and just didn’t like the ending :rolleyes:

From my understanding, watching a movie, reading a book ,etc. is never a sin of itself; it’s your response to it that matters.

The website has a very helpful Criteria page, that explains what different hings mean, emphasiing what was said above; that it’s not what’s IN the movie, but how it is presented. I mean, the Godfather wasn’t given an O, because it was merely showing that these acts happened, without glorifying them.

I agree, that a movie or book cannot be sinful in and of itself; it’s what we DO with it. I can read a book starring a gay man without being offended, unless it’s explicit. I am not offended watching a war movie, as long as the war can be justified in some sense.

It is helpful to know what the USCCB movie reviews are and what they are not.

They are written by two of the USCCB’s lay staff. They are the educated opinions of a few lay Catholic professionals.

They are not infallible, conscience-binding statements from the entire body of the U.S. Bishops.

In other words, you are free to agree or disagree with the ratings (and many do! :)). I find them to be a useful for their purpose, but I do not consult them prior to all my movie making decisions.

Further, I would point out that there is a difference between them rating something as containing morally objectionable content and them declaring that it is morally sinful to watch it. They are only speaking to the former, not the latter.

GREAT post! While I do respect those who wish to consult the website, I never really visit myself. I am an actor/artist, and from what I’ve read on that site, I disagree with so many of the opinions that it just frustrates me:banghead:

I do see the value of the site for others who don’t share my artistic views, though.

I agree. I’ve seen The Departed and I can’t believe it wasn’t given an O rating. I’ve checked several other movies on the USCCB website just to see what ratings they were given and was pretty shocked. Movies like A History of Violence, Zombieland and Eastern Promises were given L ratings but Shutter Island was given an O? Come on, there’s something wrong here.

Have you read the book and seen the movie, or just one or the other? I read the book at work, and probably wouldn’t go see the movie due to my feelings about the book (it probably makes great art, but … well, I’m not going to say more on a public forum that doesn’t have a reliable spoiler feature).

I would give it an L rating - it’s not a family movie. Some of the visuals could be horrifying to some. One scene shows the aftermath of American soldiers discovering a WWII Nazi concentration camp. Those visuals are bad, along with a murder scene elsewhere in the movie. The scenes are in service of the plot though - but still disturbing. Given the visuals, I didn’t even notice the language.

I enjoyed the movie overall - but figured out where the movie was going about 10 minutes in. It wasn’t particularly scary, but the movie atmosphere was tense and foreboding. The ride to the end was more interesting than the resolution of the plot.

Just the movie. If I had read the book (assuming that the book is similar) then I probably wouldn’t have seen the move pretty much because of how the whole thing turned out at the end (I don’t really like the cynical type endings).

Maybe we should turn this into a spoilers thread so we can actually discuss instead of using cleverly vague language :shrug:

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