And the rating is…


Caitlin on March 28, 2022

It’s Oscars season - that fabulous time of year where we all sit glued to our screens admiring the dazzling red carpet outfits, groaning at the host’s jokes, and finding out which films come out on top.

The Academy Awards are an exciting time here at Te Mana Whakaatu - Classification Office. We love films, and we’ll be tuning in on Monday with millions of other people from around the world to find out who the winners and losers are.

A big shout out to the New Zealanders representing Aotearoa this year – we have some of the best film-makers in the world, and it’s great to be represented on the world stage.

Whenever I want to watch a movie but can’t figure out what to watch (which, like most people, is ALL THE TIME), I go through the list of Oscar nominees. It’s a great way to find movies that are both popular and critically-acclaimed.

But before I put my amateur movie critic hat on and dive in to the year’s greatest films, I check out their classifications. Because although the Oscars bring people together to celebrate the art of cinema, it’s not all glitz and glamour.

Great art deals with challenging subjects, and the films that are nominated each year reflect that. Just because a movie is popular doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for you. Everyone has a line and it’s important to know what you can expect before you watch.

Take this year’s Best Picture nominees for example: all are rated M or above. They feature graphic violence, sex scenes, offensive language, nudity, cruelty and other content that may disturb. So, it’s important to slow down and check out the ratings for each film.

One of the important jobs we do here at the Office is provide classification information to make it easier for New Zealand audiences to make good decisions about the content we watch.

Best Picture nominees and their NZ classification ratings

Belfast: M | Offensive language

Don’t Look Up: M | Sex scenes, drug use, nudity and offensive language

Drive My Car: M | Nudity and sex scenes

Dune: M | Violence

King Richard: M | Violence and offensive language

Licorice Pizza: M | Offensive language, sexual references and drug references

Nightmare Alley: R13 | Graphic violence, cruelty, offensive language and content that may disturb

The Power of the Dog: R13 | Animal cruelty and content that may disturb

West Side Story: M | Violence

Apple TV has rated CODA: M for strong content and language, and drug use, infrequent language, moderate sex reference, drug misuse, scenes involving sex, sexual conduct or sexually – related activity, scenes of substance (drugs and alcohol) abuse, use of bad language.

Further reading

Streaming providers are now required to display NZ ratings


Classification labels

How we classify content in New Zealand

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