A series of videos about talking to young people, part of our 'Minds Over Media' campaign.
An online version of Challenging Media, our Parents' Guide.
Our featured decision for 13 Reasons Why: Season 2. See our episode-by-episode guide here.
18 May 2018
18 May 2018
16 May 2018
11 May 2018
Including updates on the latest research carried out by the Office of Film & Literature Classification, media releases and other breaking news.
16 May 2018
Chief Censor David Shanks warns parents and caregivers of vulnerable children and teenagers to be prepared for the return of 13 Reasons Why Read more
09 March 2018
A short film by young filmmakers, part of our 'Minds Over media' campaign. Read more about the short film
04 July 2017
Our research into young people's thoughts and experiences on viewing sexual violence in media. Read more about our research on young people viewing sexual violence
24/05/2018 - R16: Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb Read more about Shadow of the Tomb Raider
What’s it about? Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the third game in the 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise. It follows archaeologist and raider of tombs Lara Croft who, accompanied by her friend Jonah, travels to Latin America in pursuit of Trinity, a paramilitary organization dedicated to investigating the supernatural. In the previous game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, it was revealed that Trinity was responsible for Lara’s father’s death. Lara pursues the group to Mexico, where she discovers that they are looking for a Mayan relic which they intend to use to reshape the world. While trying to prevent Trinity from getting hold of the relic, Lara inadvertently sets off a Mayan apocalypse. She must now stop Trinity from fulfilling their goals while attempting to save the world.
What to expect? Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a fantastical adventure of survival and discovery set in the often hostile Peruvian jungle. While the game focusses primarily on exploration and puzzle-solving, it contains regular acts of bloody combat violence and non-interactive sequences of gore-based horror and cruelty. The pervading sense of physical danger to Lara also adds to the impact. There is frequent use of offensive language. These depictions are likely to inure younger audiences to violence and its consequences more generally, as well as disturb them.
Older teenagers and adults have the ability to contextualise these elements as part of an action-adventure game.
11/04/2018 - R13: Violence and offensive language Read more about God of War (2018)
What’s it about? God of War (2018) marks a new chapter in this long-running video game franchise. A third-person action series originally based on Greek mythology, this entry finds anti-hero Kratos living quietly in the snowy ranges of Scandinavia. But this is the domain of the Norse gods, and they do not appreciate his presence. With his wife’s passing, Kratos and son Atreus set out across these dangerous lands, to scatter her ashes from the highest peak.
What to expect? A spectacular adventure in Norse mythology, players guide Kratos and son through the frequent combat scenarios of their characterful story. With each strike of Kratos’ axe, the blood of mythic creatures sprays in the air and spatters the ground. Yet this combat remains arcade-like, with opponents flung aside or able to be air-juggled – where successive strikes keep them airborne. Stronger injury occurs with combat executions, but these are brief brutalities – likely to disturb children, but able to be properly contextualised by teenagers. While extended boss fights become bloody, the dominant effect is of larger than life, superhero combat. Alongside some use of highly offensive language, the violence ensures that God of War (2018) is best restricted to those aged 13 and over.
09/03/2018 - R16: Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb Read more about Far Cry 5
What’s it about? Far Cry 5 is an open world first-person shooter set in the fictional Hope County of Montana, USA. After an attempt to arrest Joseph Seed, ‘Father’ of the cult Project at Eden’s Gate, the cult begin their doomsday insurrection. Moving swiftly, they take down communications and block roads into and out of Hope County. With no one else to save them, the player helps foment a citizen resistance to take back their lands, and their people. Alongside the singleplayer campaign, which can also be played co-operatively with friends, there is an extensive map-making ‘Arcade’ mode for people to play, create, and share their own scenarios online.
What to expect? The game primarily deals with violence, cruelty, and crime. The Eden cultists rob, murder, torture, and kidnap in the name of religious insurrection. This is to show the brutality and viciousness of the cult members towards those who would oppose their Father, and motivate the player’s own violent intervention. A free-form game, it lets players use a variety of ways to go about engaging the cult, from picking them off with a rifle, to quietly snapping necks, or taking them head on in bloody shootouts and explosions. All told, the game features repetitive bloody violence and scenes of cruelty in real world scenarios, which are likely to disturb younger players. Alongside the frequent use of highly offensive language, the game is clearly not suitable for children or younger teenagers. As older teens and adults have the requisite maturity to deal with the stronger content of the game, Far Cry 5 is best restricted to those aged 16 years and over.
09/03/2018 - R16: Violence, cruelty and offensive language Read more about A Way Out
What’s it about? A Way Out is a cinematic action adventure game for two people to play cooperatively. Players assume the role of either Leo or Vincent as the men first meet in an American prison. United by a desire for revenge on Cartel leader Harvey, they join forces to break out of jail and take him down. The game is unusual for its use of a flexible split screen presentation, resizing to emphasize particular character moments.
What to expect? A characterful crime caper of fisticuffs, daring escapes, and explosive chases. The gunfights, which use traditional third person shooter mechanics, have players diving between cover as they gun down their numerous enemies. Their adventure contains regular scenes of limited violence, and some extended sequences of bloody shoot outs. This violence, and particularly a cruel torture scene, is likely to be disturbing to younger audiences. Coupled with the frequent use of highly offensive language, and some limited sexual content, A Way Out is best restricted to those aged 16 years and over.
28/02/2018 - R16: Graphic violence, sexual violence, rape, cruelty and offensive language Read more about Red Sparrow
What’s it about? A spy-thriller following Dominicka, an injured prima ballerina recruited as a Russian intelligence officer. Once in the field, Dominicka is sent to Budapest to make contact with a CIA agent, Nate, and discover the identity of the mole in the Russian government leaking information to the Americans.
What to expect? Red Sparrow combines the high stakes of espionage with gritty rumination on the power of the state over the individual. Dominicka faces the crushing weight of misogyny at every turn: her life is seemingly controlled by the violence, sexual or otherwise, visited upon her body by the men in her life. This violence is played out on screen in hyper-real detail, and the end result is an emotionally compelling but disturbing film. There is also some minor use of offensive language. Red Sparrow’s intended audience is clearly older teenagers and adults, who have the intellectual and emotional maturity to contextualise its cruelty and violence as part of a wider discourse on bodily freedom and state control.
Younger viewers are highly likely to be shocked and disturbed by the extent and degree of the film’s sexual violence and significant violence and cruelty.
20/12/2017 - R13: Drug use, sex scenes and offensive language Read more about Lady Bird
What's it about? This coming-of-age drama/comedy follows Christine, a senior at a Catholic girls’ high school who prefers to be called Lady Bird, through the cycle of the American senior year: math tests and school plays; the prom; the “admissions process” for university. Along the way, there are extracurricular rites of passage. At the heart of the film is Lady Bird’s need to gain approval from her mother, a difficult task because the standards seem impossibly high and subject to change without notice, while being true to her own desires and convictions.
What to expect? Lady Bird is a well-made coming-of-age comedy with great emotional depth. It deals in a very frank, funny, and candid manner with its main teenage character and her schoolmates and friends. It gives searing examples of the combative mother/daughter relationship and how, with emerging maturity, Lady Bird begins to see the selfless efforts her mother makes for not only her, but the whole family. It deals with the sexuality of teenage girls in a frank manner, sitting in stark contrast to the more common Hollywood treatment of teenagers and sex in teen sex comedies.
Nonetheless some of the material is relatively strong and likely to confuse children who may misconstrue what they are seeing without fully understanding what is occurring, particularly situations to do with drugs and sex. The level of highly offensive language supports a restricted classification.