As 'Blue is the Warmest Color' gets an NC-17, 10 notable films to have received the rating
From 'Shame' to 'Showgirls,' why the MPAA's highest rating is no badge of dishonor
7. "Shame" (Steve McQueen, 2011)
"Rated NC-17 for some explicit sexual content," ruled the board rather vaguely on this potent but tastefully sombre study of sex addiction, though many will assume that's code for extended (ahem) exposure of Michael Fassbender's rather formidable penis. The stars anatomical gifts prompted a steady stream of pop culture memes, quips and commentary that proved the MPAA aren't the only ones who tend to over-react to male nudity -- though co-star Carey Mulligan also goes full-frontal, and the sex scenes are pretty racy. The film emerged from the festival scene two years ago with a head of critical steam and media buzz that was hardly discouraged by the restrictive rating -- though we'll never know if it cost the film some Academy votes, as Fassbender lost out on a widely anticipated Best Actor nomination.