USCCB Movie Reviews: Hellboy II

In case you are not familiar, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has a movie review page which uses the following rating system: A-I (general patronage), A-II (adults and adolescents), A-III (adults), L (limited adult audience), O (morally offensive).

Now, obviously a lot happens in Hellboy II, but I want to point out a few key things for the Catholic readers here: the main character (an adult demon) cohabitates with a woman, impregnates her, and wears a rosary around his wrist while he gets drunk.

The USCCB rates Hellboy II: A-III (adults)

What do you think about the rating?

Also, do you find it odd that Speed Racer is rated A-II (adults and adolescents), only one level below Hellboy II?

Listen to Michael Medved or Ted Baehr on movie reviews. They are typically more sound and conservative than the USCCB.

I guess he’s a “cafeteria Catholic” demon. :shrug:

I’m not sure what you’re going for here. I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t really comment on the context of the things which you are describing. I assume you have seen the movie, so could you give us the broader context of these scenes?

I think you are making too much of the rating being “only one level below” Speed Racer. First of all, the USCCB’s rating system is based on categories, not a sliding scale (with 1 being the most acceptable and 5 being the most morally depraved). If you want to use this sort of misunderstanding of the USCCB’s rating system to make a point, you’re better off pointing out that Hellboy II has the exact same rating as The Passion of the Christ. That would be dishonest, IMO, but probably more effective.

If you look at the USCCB’s rating system, you see that three of the five categories mean that a movie is not appropriate for children. If they rated every movie that contained any element of morally questionable behavior with an “O”, that would basically render their whole rating system pointless (as pretty much every movie would have the “O” rating).

Take the ratings for what they’re worth. If you don’t like them, there are other ones out there. Personally, I don’t pay as much attention to the rating as I do to the review (which usually ends with a litany of the potentially problematic aspects of the movie). That’s where you find out about things like whether or not there is premarital cohabitation.

Ah yes, of course. A “conservative” talk show host is much more reliable than the people employed by the successors of the Apostles.

How silly of us non-Catholics to think that that Apostolic Succession stuff really meant anything to you!

And before you say it–I know that bishops can say and do silly and wicked things. But don’t you think they deserve the benefit of the doubt? Don’t you think it’s just possible that an institution representing the collective voice of American Catholic bishops might have something to say to American Catholics, perhaps precisely when it contradicted their cultural and social prejudices?


Edwin - I found a site that you might like. Your response indicates that you may already know about this, though.

I wouldn’t really judge on the charactor having a rosary on his wrist and getting drunk at the same time. How many tiems has a catholic done something morally wrong and had a rosary in their pocket? I’m not saying it’s write, I’m just pointing out a fact.
I really liked the last movie, especially at the end where it looks like Hellboy is going to go tot eh dark side, and this guy throws him his rosary and yells ‘remember who you are’ and hellboy then snaps out of it.

You realize, of course, your reply fits the bill, too? :stuck_out_tongue:

I would add expand on this that all of the things the OP mentioned as morally objectionable could be considered literary devices to demonstrate the inner struggle of Hellboy. He is trying to be good, but is immersed in this life of sin, which opens him up to be influenced by evil. Now, I’m not saying that is a reason to put those concerns aside, you have to use your own judgment.

PG-13 is only one rating below R

R is only one rating below X

The differences in content are significant but the ratings are only one apart.

Seems the USCCB system is similar. Sorry to hear it is not good enough

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