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Michael Moore sounds off on MPAA upholding R-rating for 'Where to Invade Next'

Michael Moore sounds off on MPAA upholding R-rating for 'Where to Invade Next'
Filmmaker Michael Moore speaks at the after party for the Centerpiece Gala Premiere of' "Where to Invade Next" during AFI FEST 2015 on Nov. 7,2015, in Hollywood. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images For AFI)

The R-rating of Michael Moore's latest documentary, "Where to Invade Next," will stand — and the outspoken director isn't happy about it.

The MPAA's Classification and Rating Administration's Appeals Board upheld the R-rating of the film on Thursday after the director tried to overturn the initial rating by the MPAA.

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"Where to Invade Next" is rated R for language, violent images, drug use and brief graphic nudity.

The film, slated for release in theaters on Dec. 23, is the provocative documentarian's first outing in six years and follows him as he humorously "invades" other countries "to steal their great ideas" for the U.S, particularly those dealing with domestic policy, not war, as the title would indicate.

Moore would have needed the CARA board to vote with a decisive two-thirds majority affirming that the rating is "clearly erroneous," said the MPAA, whose appeals board reviews 800 to 900 films a year. It's rare that an initial rating gets overturned.

Not surprisingly, the filmmaker didn't take the decision lightly, taking to Twitter on Thursday to voice his frustration.

"The MPAA just denied my appeal to overturn their R rating for WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. What are they afraid of? Sex, Drugs, Truth. My 6th R doc," he wrote, adding, "When they gave Bowling for Columbine an R, they didn't want 'teens to see images of school shootings.' 13 yrs later, that's worked out well."

Because of the mass shootings in San Bernardino, Moore didn't want to get more deeply into his complaints about the MPAA. But he did promise a forthcoming Twitter tirade. "I'll make my real appeal 2 u Mon," he wrote.

"Where to Invade Next" premiered to strong reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and was recently named to the academy's short list for best documentaries of the year.

"A lot of the things in that film are things I've been saying and thinking about for a long time," Moore told The Times in September talking about "Where To Invade Next." "Maybe I just decided to put it all into one movie."

Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.

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