The Motion Picture Association of America says the rating is based on the film's "violent and disturbing images and for language." But Lions Gate Films Releasing President Tom Ortenberg termed the rating unjustified.
The Hollywood Reporter said Ortenberg has asked MPAA head Jack Valenti for an emergency appeal because the film is scheduled to open June 25. Cuomo told reporters in New York Tuesday he has already started talking with the MPAA appeals board.
Spike Lee told the New York Daily News he thought the MPAA put an R rating on the movie because they do not want young people to see it.
"Giving it that rating was slick," said Lee. "But teens should still go to see this movie."
Lee said the ratings board was "hung up on the violence."