“Thematic Elements”

I notice that some movies, which are rated PG-13, indicate that one of the reasons for the rating is “thematic elements”. Does anyone know what “thematic elements” means? Are stories no longer supposed to have themes? If a movie does have a theme, does that somehow necessitate a stronger rating? If I were a parent, I would think a movie with “thematic elements” was a good thing. Books have thematic elements. A Tale of Two Citites has thematic elements.

What gives? I just don’t get it.

Published by Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.