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Why Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Is Rated R

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Rick Dalton signals with his finger on set

Movie ratings can be a crap shoot at times, with projects presenting themselves as experiences that could straddle key thresholds in some of their earliest trailers. On the other hand, when a Quentin Tarantino film is announced, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be an R-rated extravaganza.

The man just doesn’t do “tame” or “safe” fare for the masses, opting to go over the top with violence, profanity, and gore effects whenever he shows up to the table. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is no exception, as it’s finally gotten an official R-rating, and for the following qualifiers:

Language throughout, some strong graphic violence, drug use, and sexual references

We’ll wait a moment for those of you in the audience who are shocked by this information to control yourselves. Quite frankly, there’s probably none of you out there who were that surprised, especially when both trailers for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood basically snuck in as much innuendo, and key usages of the F-bomb as they could in their short, dazzling timeframes.

Above all of that though is the fact that Quentin Tarantino has never made a film that’s not been rated R. His aesthetic is so drenched in blood and profanity that it’d be hard to even get that sort of thing to a PG-13 level without heavy editing. Even then, the film would probably be thirty minutes, and be comprised of credits and random snippets of dialogue.

If Quentin Tarantino wanted to start trying for a PG-13 rated project Once Upon A Time In Hollywood would have been the worst film to attempt such a result, especially after reading those specific descriptors on Box Office Mojo. Between the story of Leonardo DiCaprio’s depressed/fading actor Rick “Fuckin” Dalton trying to maintain his career alongside his best friend Cliff Booth, played by Brad Pitt, and its crossover into the real-life antics of Charles Manson and his murderous “family”, there is certainly no room for chaste examination in this love letter to a golden era of excess and freedom.

Acting as his ninth out of 10 original films, Quentin Tarantino looks like he’ll keep that streak alive, even past Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’s release. While the man has definitely built in a loophole in his own career to still make that Star Trek movie he’s been wanting to make, we can save ourselves some guessing work on that project right now, as that too is slated to be an R-rated fun fest.

It’s a little over a week until Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is released into theaters, which makes its late game rating reveal all the more surprising. If there was even the slightest chance this film was going to have a PG-13, you’d think there would have been more of an uproar to greet it. In a world where petitions go up at an alarming rate, and crowds can be triggered with a mere mention of “The Snyder Cut” under a person’s breath, it’s nice to know that some of the bread and butter truths of entertainment can be counted on to stay the fucking same.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood hits theaters on July 26th, with all of the language, graphic violence, drug use, and sexual references you could expect from a Quentin Tarantino affair.

Mike Reyes

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.