Our research report, NZ Youth and Porn.
An online version of Challenging Media, our Parents' Guide, now available in Te Reo Māori.
A series of videos about talking to young people, part of our 'Minds Over Media' campaign.
18 March 2019
07 March 2019
21 February 2019
13 December 2018
Including updates on the latest research carried out by the Office of Film & Literature Classification, media releases and other breaking news.
18 March 2019
Read our response to the March 2019 terrorist attacks in Christchurch. Read more
05 December 2018
Read the press release supporting the release of our report: Young people and porn – the real story Read more
05 November 2018
The Chief Censor warns that decisions on the impacts of online pornography must be based on evidence Read more
19/03/2019 - R16: Violence, offensive language and sexual material Read more about Destroyer
What is it? Destroyer is a crime drama film from the United States. It follows LAPD detective Erin Bell, who arrives on the scene of a John Doe murder and informs the responding officers that she knows the identity of the murderer. At the police station, Erin receives a $100 bill stained with dye, in an unmarked envelope. Using a contact at the FBI, she confirms that the bill is from a bank robbery committed by a California gang 16 years prior – the same gang that she and her former partner Chris were embedded in as undercover officers. She believes the bill and the John Doe murder to be proof that the gang's leader, Silas, is once again active. Erin is forced to work her way through the remaining members of the gang in order to find Silas and seek revenge.
What to expect? A slow-burning drama that deals with the main character’s complex emotional life and psychological trauma. It contains spikes of violence and cruelty in emotionally bleak yet intense situations that are likely to shock and disturb children and younger teenagers. A disturbing scene of implied sexual activity is also likely to shock and disturb these groups. Older teenagers and adults are likely to have the experience and critical literacy to contextualise the stronger elements of the film as part of an emotionally heavy crime drama, which mitigates their impacts. The moral ambiguity surrounding all of the characters in the film suggests that the film is intended for a mature audience.
28/02/2019 - R13: Bloody violence and content that may disturb Read more about Greta
What is it? Greta is a thriller film set in New York City. Frances, a sweet, naïve young woman, doesn't hesitate to return a handbag she finds on the subway to its rightful owner. That owner is Greta, a lonely, eccentric French piano teacher with a love for classical music. Having recently lost her mother, Frances soon bonds with the widowed Greta. Their friendship quickly escalates into something far more toxic than Frances could ever have known.
What to expect? Greta is an aesthetically beautiful but slow-paced thriller that functions as an allegory on the dangers of trusting strangers too quickly. The depictions of stalking, coercion, kidnapping and entrapment are unsettling and likely to make children fearful of real life situations. Violence is used sparingly, and is primarily featured towards the climax of the film. However, the short but horrifying spike of bloody violence is likely to shocking and disturbing to children, particularly as it is out of character with the rest of the film.
21/02/2019 - R13: Violence, offensive language, drug use and sexual material Read more about Vox Lux
What is it? Vox Lux is a drama film from the United States. In 1999, in her eighth grade year, Celeste Montgomery is shot during a school shooting. She survives but suffers a spinal injury. During a memorial service for the rest of her classmates, she performs a song that she and her sister Ellie had written about the experience. This is captured by the media, and Celeste is catapulted into stardom. The film traces Celeste's career as she rises to worldwide fame, initially spending time in Stockholm where she is initiated into the music business. In 2017, the now-31-year-old Celeste is mother to a teenage daughter of her own, Albertine. A troubled popstar, she prepares for a massive concert while dealing with the media fallout of a terrorist attack that had used her iconography.
What to expect? A dramatic film that focusses first on a young teenager’s burgeoning stardom, and then documents the adult star as an angry, cynical, out-of-control powerhouse. The most impactful scene is the opening school shooting, with an immediate and startling scene of violence that is likely to shock and disturb children. Teenagers and adults are likely to have the experience and literacy to contextualise the scene within the dramatic genre of film. Furthermore, its restrained and brief depiction mitigates the impact of the scene for these groups. The use of offensive language is also likely to negatively impact on younger audiences’ socialisation. Outside of this there is little classifiable content. The references to sex, drugs and suicide are fairly low-level.
06/12/2018 - M: Violence and sexualised imagery Read more about Dead or Alive 6
What is it? Dead or Alive 6 is a one-versus-one fighting game developed for modern consoles and PC. The main draw is as a competitive fighting game, where players face off against each other in local and online matches, as well as versus computer-controlled opponents for practice. A swathe of quests, consisting of brief battles with completion requirements, further challenge players to complete them and unlock new accessories and costumes. The game also features a somewhat disjointed story mode, with brief cutscenes and mission-selection text gesturing at a wider story.
What to expect? Dead or Alive 6 deals with a high extent of unrealistic and heightened martial arts violence, and some sexualised imagery. The degree to which these elements are dealt with is limited. Instead, the overall effect of the game is more about fast-paced decision making than revelling in violence. As such, the game is unlikely to cause children lasting harm.
19/11/2018 - R16: Violence, offensive language, and sex scenes Read more about Widows
What is it? The film follows Veronica Rawlins, the wife of robber Harry Rawlins, after he and his associates are killed in a botched heist. After she is threatened by crime boss and political contender Jamal Manning (Harry’s final target), she contacts the widows of Harry’s associates, asking them to help her pull off a heist in order to pay Jamal back and start anew. Each of the widows has been left worse off after their husbands’ deaths: Linda Perelli has her business repossessed, Alice Gunner is coerced into prostitution by her abusive mother, and Amanda is left raising a five-month-old child on her own.
Meanwhile, Jamal wants to become alderman of the 18th ward of Chicago. The election battle between him and dynastic incumbent Jack Mulligan becomes increasingly volatile as Jack struggles to navigate the hypocrisy of pretending to care for the people when he simply wants power.
What to expect? Widows is a dark and dramatic film, which uses the disempowered positions of four women to present a unique take on the heist genre and discuss socio-political issues in modern society. Its slow pace and grim tone is unlikely to appeal to children and teenagers. The level of cruelty and violence in the film, as well as its realistic presentation, is likely to shock and disturb young audiences, as well as inure them to violence and its consequences more generally. The throughline in the film around domestic violence – and its lack of resolution in particular – is likely to shock and disturb younger audiences. The level of sexual material (given its juxtaposition against domestic violence), moral ambiguity around crime, and offensive language are also likely to impact younger audiences negatively, as they are unlikely to have the social and critical experience to contextualise these as dramatic and filmic commentary on real-world power structures.
16/11/2018 - M: Contains violence Read more about The Last Sharknado: It's About Time
What is it? The sixth and final instalment of the Sharknado film series. The film depicts Fin and the gang using time travel to stop sharknados from ever happening in history. Fin and his now-adult son Gil travel back 66 million years in order to destroy the phenomenon of sharknados once and for all. The team battle through history and face dinosaurs, knights, cowboys and – of course – sharks, eventuating in a final battle between a futuristic-April-robot and a tired Fin.
What to expect? The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time is a low-budget B-movie with a far-fetched storyline, unconvincing acting and visual effects, but a sense of fun and humour. There are occasional scenes of violence and some images that may frighten very young children (such as exaggerated and unrealistic loss of limbs), but the artificial nature of its presentation substantially reduces the overall impact.