The Fabelmans

NZ release: 05 January 2023

Offensive language Rated on: 17 November 2022

The Fabelmans

What’s it about?

A coming-of-age story about a young man’s discovery of a shattering family secret, and an exploration of the power that movies have to help us see the truth about each other and ourselves.

The facts

  • Director: Steven Spielberg (Jaws, Jurassic Park)
  • English language
  • Runtime: 150 minutes

Why did it get this rating?

This film was cross-rated by the Film and Video Labelling Body. You can find out more about cross-rating here.

Offensive language

Swearing and offensive language such as cruel racial slurs happen during key moments of the story.

There is a build-up of tension between mother and son, which results in the mother calling her son a “sh*t”. The scene is emotional and shocking, and portrays a relatable and challenging time for rangatahi and their parents.

Schoolyard bullying is shown through racial slurs about Sam being Jewish. The tormenting comes as a shock for both the character and the audience. The bully is not portrayed in a positive way and it is clear the character is wrong to be using such cruel language.


Early in the film the young Sam is taken to see The Greatest Show on Earth at the movies. Within that movie, there is a train crash scene and a character throwing punches. The audience is heard audibly reacting to the violence and drama. The young Sam is spellbound, possibly traumatised, by what he has seen.

In one memorable scene a character slaps another on the back in a fit of anger. There is immediate remorse but the stinging pain of the slap is both a physical and emotional moment for the characters.


Bullying at a new high school is shown in several scenes. A bully challenges Sam and reacts with anger, punching him with force in the face, when Sam embarrasses him by revealing a secret. Blood is briefly shown.

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