Why One Theater Chain Is Ignoring The MPAA And Letting Teens See An R-Rated Movie

Michael Moore’s latest film, Where To Invade Next, made a poor start to its box office tenure when it was released earlier this month. The documentarian’s journey across the globe to borrow traits from different countries for America to use had Moore’s lowest opening per-theatre average ever. But, Michael Moore now has a helping hand from the Alamo Drafthouse, which has decided to “relax” its R-rating policy for the film. 

Rather than this being a blatant attempt to assist Where To Invade Next’s underwhelming box office start, it’s actually because the chain can’t believe it was ever rated R in the first place. Alamo Drafthouse, which has cinemas across 13 states, made this announcement on Friday, with their CEO Tim League releasing a statement, via Entertainment Weekly, that highlighted why they feel it is important to be more lenient regarding Where To Invade Next.

For the first time ever, we are relaxing our 18-and-up age policy for one film. Why? We simply don’t believe Where to Invade Next should have received an R rating from the MPAA. We don’t want that rating and our own age policies to get in the way of teens and their parents seeing this film. So, for the run of the Where to Invade Next we will allow teens age 15 and up on their own — yes, it’s that important.

Tim League, who is also one of the distributors for Where To Invade Next, insisted that this decision wasn’t about selling tickets. Instead, it's about making sure that young American voters get to see the film’s message. 

Michael Moore had previously gone above and beyond in his attempt to get Where To Invade Next’s R-rating rescinded. He wanted it to receive a PG-13 so that it had a better chance to succeed at the box office. However, last year, he lost his appeal after he refused to make any cuts to the film, which the MPAA decreed were necessary. 

The MPAA decided to provide Where To Invade Next with an R-rating because of its use of “language, some violent images, drug use and brief graphic nudity.” But Tim League decided to elaborate on these offences, revealing that Where To Invade Next includes some use of swear words, students enjoying free college education, children eating healthy food in school, Italians on holiday, bloody violence in American prisons, and a naked German man leaving a hot tub. 

If you think you can stomach the above, you can go and check out Where To Invade Next now, as it’s currently in cinemas across the U.S. 

Gregory Wakeman