Receiving an 'A' rating (No Children Under 18 Admitted) has been called the cinematic kiss of death.
It curtails how many theatres will show your movie and how much publicity it will receive, pretty much annihilating any chances at box office success.
Most directors cut down their movies to get that coveted and commercially viable A rating, but a brave few refuse in protest against fixation on sex and nudity... and utter indifference to violence.
Called "the worst movie ever made" by some and overlooked perverse genius by others, Showgirls is the only NC-17 movie to ever receive a wide release. Raunchy sex scenes, pole dancing and even a full-frontal shot of star Elizabeth Berkley earned it the stamp of death.
An attempt at classy costume drama kink, the R-rated dud starring Angelina Jolie, Antonio Banderas and Thomas Jane was called a "disaster of a soft porn movie." At least its steamy sex scenes between Banderas and a fully nude Jolie, which earned an early cut of the film an NC-17 rating, make it an enjoyable guilty pleasure.
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR
The rare NC-17 movie to do good business at the box office, this Palme d'Or winner from France starring Bond girl Léa Seydoux featured a graphic seven-minute-long lesbian sex scene. Many critics said it went too far; some audiences wanted more.
The premise of this arty movie from director Bernardo Bertolucci—an American kid shacking up with two borderline incestuous French siblings in Paris—was probably enough to earn an NC-17. Full-frontal shots of Eva Green and sadomasochistic sex scenes definitely sealed the deal.
Director Ang Lee refused to cut down the 10 minutes of sex and full-frontal nudity from this Chinese-language thriller. "[In] America I think they are too loose on violence. I think that culturally they make an NC-17 rating equivalent to a porno movie and bad taste. I think that needs to be worked on," Lee told Coming Soon.
The movie where Magneto plays a sex addict, the critically-acclaimed NC-17 drama featured a lot of actor Michael Fassbender. The size of his co-star even prompted an uncomfortable joke from a jealous George Clooney at the 2012 Golden Globes.
Above, the movies that pushed too far for their puritanical tastes, from the smutty '90s classic Showgirls to the Angelina Jolie starrer Original Sin.