These kinds of films usually limit your audience. Not a lot of people like hearing multiple curse words fly off a screen and into your ears, sex scenes (though not graphic) can be somewhat awkward, and you usually must leave anyone under seventeen at home unless you want to be their guardian and guide them through the film. For the ones under seventeen, it really sucks.
When making a rated R film, it’s usually not the most financially sound at all. However, it does allow much more freedom and the few rated R films that I have seen feel authentic because they don’t have to tone down on what their showing. It usually has the most realistic feel for me.
Logan for example, the superhero western film made the story much more high stakes and engaging. On YouTube, there’s a video that explains why the opening of Logan is a prime example of how you should open a film. I’m sure some people who read this assume that he’s claiming, ‘A good opening requires a fight scene.’ While a fight scene works and often does get the audience’s attention, this opening fits for the story regarding the world that he now lives in and the main character. Most likely, if you’ve seen at least one X-Men film, you know somewhat of what the protagonist has been through. He’s tired, easily angered, not too hopeful, and old. This stems from what is later discovered to be because of the poison inside him. Not only is it slowly killing him, but he must take care of the leader of the X-Men who’s also really old and can have seizures that are similar to a nuclear weapon. No wonder he killed the X-Men. As one sits through, letting the scenes stack onto one another explaining the whole situation, we are not spared from the voracity and conflict that pursues.
Now into other genres, R rated films minus the superhero worlds and into more of a realistic setting such as criminal thrillers, dramas, and some action one’s. A favorite example of mine is the film with Shia Labeouf, Lawless. It takes place in the 1930’s where the Prohibition of Era was still working it’s ‘magic.’ There are three brothers who run a criminal operation and it doesn’t take more to do damage to others or make a statement to not mess with these siblings. Here we get that same feeling. Since it’s more of a time we’re familiar with (more than a superhero world) we’re shown how brutal people could be in that time which matches how brutal humans can be now.
Some people don’t have to see violence to realize the stakes and pain, usually it’s only implied. Witnessing what’s taking place causes the situation to feel more pressing. If God were to appear, would there be atheists? Of course, not. An experience seen has much more affect than what is heard or implied.