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Why Is Sound Of Freedom Rated PG-13?

"Sound of Freedom" might just be the biggest breakout hit of the summer. While Hollywood tentpoles like "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" and "The Flash" are struggling to make an impact at the box office, "Sound of Freedom" has grossed north of $85M on a budget shy of $15M. A rarity in the modern day, the film has only managed to grow as the weeks have gone on, raking in over $27M during its sophomore weekend — a 39% increase from its debut. If all goes well, "Sound of Freedom" could become the most financially successful film of the year, making it a true enigma in a sea of IP and reboots.

"Sound of Freedom" fictionalizes the efforts of Tim Ballard, played by Jim Caviezel in the film, a Homeland Security Investigator who embarks on a mission to rescue trafficking victims. Despite the criticism the film has accrued, audiences around the nation are invested in Ballard's efforts, giving the "Sound of Freedom" a rare CinemaScore of A+. As the film's presence continues to grow, both at the box office and in the news cycle, parents and concerned audience members might be curious to know why "Sound of Freedom" is rated PG-13. The MPAA (Motion Picture Association) has given the film a PG-13 rating because of "thematic content involving sex trafficking, violence, language, sexual references, some drug references and smoking throughout."

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

Sound of Freedom features triggering subject matter

Seeing as the film deals with mature subject matter, such as child and sex trafficking, it shouldn't surprise audiences that "Sound of Freedom" is rated PG-13. The MPAA says that PG-13 films feature material that "may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers." The film, directed by Alejandro Monteverde, features imagery and themes that could potentially upset younger audience members. In "Sound of Freedom," viewers can expect explicit visuals that showcase the horrors surrounding child trafficking. "Let me be clear – no children are abused on screen and negative content is carefully minimized – but there are repeated scenes of terrified children huddling on beds as predatory adults loom over them," writes Kirsten Hawkes of Parent Previews

Viewers will also see trafficked children being verbally abused by their abductors, per Common Sense Media. In addition to footage surrounding child trafficking, the film also showcases several situations of escalating violence, where gunfights break out. Audiences should remember that this is an action movie, and violence is one of the key reasons why "Sound of Freedom" is rated PG-13. The film also features coarse language and references to drug use. Note that the film also features references to child pornography, though no details are discussed and no visuals accompany any references or mentions. There are also mentions of pedophilia. 

"Sound of Freedom" is a complicated film, wrapped up in controversy in more ways than one. While it's a commercial success and a fan favorite at the box office, its complex subject matter may trigger viewers. Ultimately, it's up to parents to decide if "Sound of Freedom" is right for their children. Common Sense Media suggests that the film is best suited for those 16 and older. 

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.