May 28, 2017

“Tillman Story” loses its appeal with the MPAA

By Sean O’Connell Following up on a story we ran earlier this week, it turns out “The Tillman Story” lost its appeal with the MPAA to downgrade from an R rating to a PG-13.

As reported, the film is being penalized for its “excessive” language. Director Amir Bar-Lev said in a statement, “The language in this film is not gratuitous. I think this is how many people would react when faced with the unthinkable. Giving this film an ‘R’ rating prevents young people from seeing this film; the very people who should be exposed to a great American like Pat Tillman.”

The Wrap has reported that the language in question refers to Tillman’s last words as he was being fired on by American troops. He reportedly screamed, “I’m Pat F—ing Tillman!”

While the ratings appeal might have failed, “The Tillman Story” likely will benefit from the free press generated by the process. With masterful publicity generator Harvey Weinstein set to distribute “Tillman,” we’re almost wondering if this was just part of his master plan. If so, well played, Mr. Weinstein. Well played, indeed.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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