We are hiring a new Communications and Media Relations Manager. Find out more here.
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.
13 December 2018
05 December 2018
05 December 2018
06 November 2018
Including updates on the latest research carried out by the Office of Film & Literature Classification, media releases and other breaking news.
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
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
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.
09/11/2018 - M: Contains violence Read more about Thugs of Hindostan
What is it? Thugs of Hindostan is an epic action-adventure film, spoken in Hindi with English subtitles. Set in 1795, the film follows a band of Indian ‘thugs’ who fight back against the British East India Company and their occupation of Indian land. The film has a star-studded cast, and apparently was made with the biggest budget in Bollywood history. Our staff likened the film to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, as it has plenty of humour, period costume and swashbuckling action. Song and dance routines add to the fun.
What to expect? The film depicts a moderate extent of cruelty and violence. For the most part, these depictions are sanitised; however, younger children may be distressed by the violent content, so parental guidance is advised. There are a few instances where prisoners are treated cruelly, including a young boy and an older man. These scenes are brief.
There are several large-scale battle scenes where characters are injured by cannon balls, swords and bullets. Overall there is little blood or focus on injuries but we do see occasional, fleeting close-ups of stabbings. There are two scenes where people briefly flail about as they are caught on fire – these are the strongest scenes of bodily harm.
12/10/2018 - M: Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb Read more about Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
What is it? Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a hybrid turn-based strategy/adventure game that is played from a third-person perspective. Players move freely around the environment until they engage enemies in combat, at which point the game seamlessly transitions into a turn-based tactical strategy game, played out on grids.
The game is set after a nuclear apocalypse occurs. Humans (as we know them) have died out, with those that remain mutated and touched by radiation. The player controls a pair of human-animal hybrids, Bormin and Dux. They live in the Ark, the final bastion of civilisation which is slowly running out of resources. Bormin and Dux are “stalkers”, scavengers who venture out of the Ark in order to collect food, water, and scrap for the town, as well as protect them from Ghouls – aggressive, inhuman wanderers who roam the world. When a veteran stalker goes missing, Bormin and Dux are sent on a mission to find him. They discover that the stalker was searching for the mythical Eden, a paradise where humanity might still remain.
What to expect? Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is an engaging and challenging hybrid turn-based/adventure game set in a post-human society. It contains regular depictions of sci-fi violence and mild elements of horror, however these are unlikely to shock and disturb children to a degree where a legal restriction would be warranted. Outside of this there is the occasional use of highly offensive language; again this is unlikely to harm young viewers and as such restricting on these grounds would be unwarranted.
11/10/2018 - R16: Violence and offensive language Read more about Bad Times at the El Royale
What is it? Bad Times at the El Royale is a mystery thriller film set in 1969. It follows six strangers who find themselves at the El Royale, a rundown hotel on the border of California and Nevada. The characters include Darlene, a struggling singer; Father Flynn, a priest; Laramie, a vacuum cleaner salesman; and Emily, who has just rescued her younger sister Rose from a cult. The guests are looked after by Miles, the hotel’s sole staff member and concierge. However, the hotel has two-way mirrors from which Miles is required to spy through and film his guests. The film follows a non-linear storyline, presenting various events from the perspective of each guest, until Billy Lee, Rose’s dangerous cult-leader boyfriend, shows up at the El Royale.
What to expect? An enthralling mystery film. The film’s treatment of violence is somewhat sensationalised. The realistic, sudden, and bloody deaths depicted are likely to be shocking and disturbing to children and younger teenagers. The use of offensive language also supports a restriction.
Older teenagers and adults are emotionally and intellectually mature enough to distinguish it as fiction.