We worked with youth health expert Dame Sue Bagshaw on a quick and easy overview on how our brains grow.
We have tools and advice for parents and whānau to help their rangatahi deal with challenging content.
New research shows New Zealanders are worried about the growing spread of misinformation and the harm it is causing our communities.
09 July 2021
02 July 2021
30 June 2021
18 June 2021
Including updates on the latest research carried out by the Office of Film & Literature Classification, media releases and other breaking news.
30 June 2021
Read our latest research report, The Edge of the Infodemic - Challenging Misinformation in Aotearoa Read More
31 March 2021
Read our latest Youth Advisory Panel report and see what the panel got up to in 2020. Read more
18 April 2020
Read our latest research report, Growing up with Porn - Insights from young New Zealanders Read more
09/07/2021 - R16: Sex scenes, sexual content, drug use and offensive language Read more about Dating Amber
What's it about? Set in a small town in 1995 Ireland, Dating Amber is a romantic comedy-drama that follows high school seniors Eddie and Amber. Eddie is a closeted gay man, still in denial and pressured by his army dad’s expectations and his parents’ rocky marriage. Amber is a closeted lesbian secretly saving to move to the big city and work for a zine. Both get teased at school for not behaving as typical teenagers. To put a stop to the gossip, Amber and Eddie decide to date each other. This works for a time, until Amber meets Sarah and wants to take things to the next level.
What to expect? Dating Amber is a heart-warming comedy-drama about self- acceptance. The film regularly deals with teenage sex, particularly the characters’ experimentation as they navigate their sexuality amidst a homophobic community. There is regular use of highly offensive language, as well as some homophobic slurs. The impact of this intolerance is somewhat limited by regular doses of humour, warm moments between Eddie, Amber and their families, and their ultimate acceptance of who they are. Although the sexual content is inexplicit and light-hearted, this and the cruelty of homophobia require a mature perspective to understand. While of low-level, the violence is likely to have some impact on children due to the young age of the characters. Additionally there is one scene where illicit drug use is presented as fun, which may be misinterpreted as promotional by younger viewers. For these reasons, Dating Amber is restricted to people aged 16 and over.
24/06/2021 - R16: Violence, sexual references and offensive language Read more about The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
What's it about? The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard is big-budget action comedy starring three well-known Hollywood actors. Having lost his bodyguard licence, Michael Bryce decides to take a sabbatical in order to deal with his trauma. Almost immediately, he is thrown back into bodyguard life when hitman Darius Kinkaid’s wife, Sonia, asks him to help her free her husband. They get enlisted to thwart a cyber attack.
What to expect? The film is full of ridiculously over-the-top action sequences intercut with humorous banter. It is likely to have wide appeal, but given the extensive violence, and widespread use of highly offensive language it requires a restriction. There are sexual references, an obscured but comical sex scene, and minor drug references, which are also unsuitable for younger audiences.The humorous tone with the bloody gun violence has a trivialising effect. This is likely to desensitize or inure younger viewers to violence by presenting it as entertaining, exciting, and consequence-free. For these reasons, The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard is restricted to people aged 16 years and over.
17/06/2021 - M: Domestic violence and offensive language Read more about Herself
What's it about? Herself is an Irish drama film about Sandra, mother to two girls who has recently left her violent husband Gary. She juggles two jobs as well as parenting and dealing with the state housing system. She embarks on building a tiny house with the help of friends and family. Gary gets in the way.
What to expect? Herself is an empathetic drama chronicling a woman’s fight to gain stability for her family while dealing with government bureaucracy and an abusive ex. The film has social merit as it highlights the plight of domestic violence victims and their struggle to rebuild their lives. Viewers of any age are likely to find the domestic violence confronting, or even triggering. However, the depictions are brief and reasonably restrained, limiting their impact. The focus on Sandra’s personal growth encourages viewers to sympathise with her predicament, and may prompt conversations about how to more effectively help similarly placed individuals. This subject matter, and the occasional offensive language are unlikely to harm younger viewers but make the film more suitable for mature viewers. Herself is therefore classified as M, an unrestricted classification recommended for mature viewers.
10/06/2021 - R16: Violence, offensive language, and content that may disturb Read more about Deliver Us From Evil
What's is about? Deliver Us From Evil is an action-thriller from South Korea. Former secret agent In-Nam now earns a living as a hitman. Set to retire after killing big shot crime boss Koreda, he receives news that his ex-girlfriend Young Joo has been murdered and her daughter Yoo-min, kidnapped. In-Nam frantically searches for Yoo-min before child traffickers sell her. To complicate matters, deranged killer Ray makes it his mission to avenge his brother Koreda’s death by targetting In-Nam, starting with his family and close associates.
What to expect? Deliver Us from Evil is a gritty action-drama with an engaging plot. It contains close range fight scenes that involve a degree of brutality and callousness likely to shock and disturb younger viewers. Cruelty, although only indirectly implied, is also likely to disturb this audience. The regular depictions of violence and crime may have a normalising and desensitising effect on impressionable young viewers. The film contains regular use of highly offensive language, further supporting the need for a restriction. Older teenagers and adults will be able to contextualise the content as a high-octane but largely implausible action feature.
03/06/2021 - M: Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb Read more about Minamata
What's it about? Minamata is a drama film based on real-life events. Set in 1971, the film follows tortured war photojournalist Eugene (Gene) Smith who goes on a mission to document the devastating effects of mercury poisoning on a coastal Japanese community. Upon arrival in Japan, Gene is met with hostility from the owners of Chisso, the industrial plant responsible for polluting the wastewater with toxins. With the support of local activists and Aileen, a Japanese translator, Gene begins to unmask the devastating effects of corporate greed.
What to expect? The film deals with the horrors of war and the harm to victims of toxic poisoning. Suffering from PTSD, some of Gene's nightmares show haunting imagery of dead bodies in muddy trenches. There are brief images of the effects of mercury poisoning including dead and/or deformed bodies (such as twisted limbs and hands), a father carrying a dead child, and cats and people convulsing. Some scenes of violence may also startle younger viewers. While this content is not strong enough to warrant a restriction, it is more suitable for mature audiences.
27/05/2021 - M: Violence Read more about No Man's Land
What's it about? No Man’s Land is an action adventure film. Border vigilante Bill Greer and his sons Jackson and Lukas are on patrol when Jackson accidentally kills a young Mexican immigrant. Bill tries to take the blame but Texas Ranger, Ramirez, sees through the lie, spurring Jackson to flee across the Rio Grande border on horseback. Jackson journeys across deserts and mountains to seek forgiveness from the dead boy's vengeful father, Gustavo.
What to expect? No Man’s Land provides a humanising perspective on the lives of families who are caught up in the tension between USA and Mexico. It is intended for older audiences who have some understanding of the political and social issues involved. Crime isn’t dealt with in a way that creates any moral ambiguity for younger viewers. The film focuses on the negative consequences of vigilantism and the life changing outcomes for the central protagonists. The film’s few depictions of violence are brief and inexplicit. The more confronting imagery may be briefly startling to younger viewers but is unlikely to cause them lasting harm such as nightmares, nor is it likely to make them fearful of real life situations. However this content makes the film more suitable for older viewers. Considering these factors, No Man’s Land is classified as unrestricted but with a recommendation that it is more suited to mature audiences.