The NC-17 rating initially given to Killer Joe on March 1 will be upheld, the MPAA said today after its Classification and Rating Appeals Board heard statements from distributor LD Entertainment’s president David Dinerstein and screenwriter Tracy Letts (a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright).The trailer park noir stars Matthew McConaughey as a cop who moonlights as a hitman.

In its decision, the board noted “graphic aberrant content involving violence and sexuality, and a scene of brutality” as the reasons for the rating confirmation. LD Entertainment had brought the appeal to the board when the NC-17 rating was first decided. Killer Joe premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last September and is slated to hit theaters this summer.

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