These are brief summaries of recent classification decisions.
For more detailed classification information on selected titles see our Featured classification decisions page.
24/08/2020 - R18: Graphic violence, cruelty and offensive language.
What is it? Becky is a US film in which a young teenager deals with a home invasion at her family lake house. Becky is still grieving the loss of her mother to cancer and is dealing with the news that her father (Jeff) wants to marry his girlfriend (Kayla) when four prison escapees (led by the white supremacist Dominick) arrive. They are hunting for a mysterious oversized key. Becky has the key and proceeds to deal with the situation in a resourceful and gory fashion.
What to expect? Becky is a gruesome home invasion revenge thriller. The purpose of the white supremacist themes are to add colour to the villains but the effect is vague and confusing. The film is notable for having a young teenager as its violent protagonist – a choice that lends the film an exploitative tone. It is clearly unsuitable for children. The gratuitous imagery and cruel tone are also likely to shock and disturb teenagers. The home invasion premise is likely to be unsettling for younger viewers. The presence of highly offensive language also supports a restriction.
30/07/2020 - R13: Violence, horror and cruelty
What is it? Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul is the third movie in the Japanese anime series, charting Reg, a humanoid robot, and Riko’s journey into the abyss to find Riko’s mother, Lyza. The film starts as they arrive at the fifth layer. Together with their friend Nanachi, who has lost part of their humanity to the abyss and resembles a rabbit, they must confront Bondrewd, a cave raider who can transfer his mind between bodies, in order to make it down to the sixth level. The film is in Japanese, with subtitles in English.
What to expect? Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul is an engaging high-fantasy anime feature. Its protagonists are both plucky and worthy; the painted style and world building contribute to its epic adventure feel. However, it deals with body horror and cruelty to an extent and degree that the unrestricted availability of the publication would be injurious to the public good. While the animated medium limits the overall impact, occasional gore and scenes of juvenile characters being dismembered while alive are still striking and highly affecting. Both the depiction of cruelty and the ideas behind the horror are likely to shock and disturb children. Teenagers are more likely to be able to contextualise the content within a fantasy narrative without being adversely affected.
30/07/2020 - R16: Contains graphic violence and horror
What is it? Resident Evil 3 (2020) is a remake of a game originally released in 1999, reimagined as a third-person action game. The game is set in Raccoon City, a fictional American metropolis overrun by a zombie virus. Players assume the role of Detective Jill Valentine as she finds herself the target of a humanoid bioweapon known as Nemesis. Jill had been investigating the operations of the secretive Umbrella Corporation, who had developed the zombie virus, and are now focused on erasing any evidence that the viral outbreak was their fault. As she works to escape the city and the clutches of the seemingly unstoppable Nemesis, she is helped by Carlos Oliveira, a private military contractor who is working for, but increasingly suspicious of, the Umbrella Corporation. As players progress through the game, players will control both Jill and Carlos as the story requires.
What to expect? Resident Evil 3 (2020) is a linear, story driven game with regular combat sequences, occasional puzzle solving and constant horror themes. The violence is gory, but somewhat mitigated by being directed towards clearly undead or mutated enemies. Nonetheless, the gory violence and the horror players encounter throughout the game are likely to shock and disturb younger audiences. However as older teenagers and adults have the requisite maturity to reconcile this high degree of violence in the context of thrilling zombie fiction, Resident Evil 3 (2020) is best classified as restricted to those aged 16 and over.
30/07/2020 - M: Violence, offensive language and sexual references
What is it? Bait is a UK feature film that focuses on Martin, a Cornish fisherman who is struggling with the gentrification of his working class fishing village, and resents the loss of his family home and livelihood. Martin’s grievances are captured in his ongoing discord with the Leighs, a family of stereotypical bourgeoisie outsiders, as he attempts to re-establish his family’s role in the community.
What to expect? The dominant effect of Bait is a stylistically unique film that examines the effect of change on a working class community. The film repeatedly juxtaposes the old with the new, locals with outsiders, and haves with the have-nots. It has been commended for its social commentary and filmic style. The restrained pace and visual style is unlikely to appeal to younger viewers.
The unrestricted availability of the film is unlikely to be injurious to the public good. The sexual references, moderate spikes of violence and fleeting depiction of drug use are low in extent and impact. They are unlikely to leave a lasting impression on younger audiences. Although the highly offensive language is well contextualised, it may, at times, be startling to younger viewers. However, it is unlikely to lead to long-term or serious harm.
19/03/2020 - R13: Violence, offensive language and sex scenes
What is it? Queen and Slim is a crime drama and unlikely romance. After an unexceptional first date a young black couple are pulled over by a racist white cop. When the encounter goes badly wrong, Slim ends up shooting the cop and the two almost-strangers go on the run, travelling cross-country in an attempt to keep their freedom.
What to expect? Queen and Slim is a nuanced exploration of the effect of police brutality in the wake of the “black lives matter” movement. Both a love story and a road movie, it blends genre and characterisation to create a narrative which manages to voice anger at injustice without being didactic.
While the film’s portrayal of police brutality and gun violence is well-contextualised and of low extent, children are still likely to be shocked by it. The moral ambiguity of the crime presented requires some maturity to appreciate. Children are also unlikely to have the maturity to process the relatively frank sex scene and associated nudity. Furthermore, the extent of offensive language is likely to inure younger viewers to such language, increasing the likelihood of imitation, to the detriment of their socialisation.
16/03/2020 - R13: Contains violence and horror scenes
What is it? Nioh 2 is an action role playing game set in a mythic version of feudal Japan. Players assume the role of a warrior imbued with the power of a supernatural spirit – whose prowess at demon slaying calls him to battle with a growing horde of supernatural foes. Amidst this burgeoning threat, the warlords of the day battle for supremacy. Played from a third person perspective, players explore each level – battling demons of various shapes and sizes, until they culminate in a more challenging opponent and the level is complete. Dialogue that bookends the missions gives players context for their task, and there are cinematic cutscenes to propel more dramatic moments forward. Along the way, players will be able to find and upgrade new weapons, armours and skills to help them tackle ever more difficult foes.
What to expect? The combat in Nioh 2 is fast paced and bloody but somewhat mitigated by the mythic-historic setting. Most of the opponents the player faces off against are either supernatural creatures from Japanese folklore, or humans influenced by demonic spirits. During the game's frequent martial combat there is blood spray, as well as some decapitation. Whether the necks spurt blood or gas depends on the creature being fought. Ultimately, while this is a frequently bloody game, the mythic-historical setting considerably lessens the realism of the physical harm depicted. Nonetheless, the bloody violence and persistent but limited horror themes are likely to prove disturbing to younger audiences. Therefore Nioh 2 is best classified as restricted to those aged 13 and over, as teenagers have the maturity to properly contextualise this violence and horror in its supernatural setting.
05/03/2020 - R16: Contains graphic violence, drug use and offensive language
What is it? Guns Akimbo is an American action film about ‘Skizm’ an illegal-but-popular game of kill or be killed, which is broadcast on the internet. Set in contemporary times, it follows office worker Miles Harris as he spends an evening trolling the watchers of the Skizm stream, baiting them in chat for his entertainment. Unfortunately for Miles, a Skizm admin takes an interest in his online exploits and sends a team around to sort him out. Knocked out and taken away, Miles wakes the next day to discover he has had pistols bolted onto his hands, and he must face a fight to the death against Skzim’s reigning champion, Nix.
What to expect? Prepare for an entertaining mix of kinetic violence and dark comedy. Guns Akimbo is both ludicrous and bloody, stylishly shot with a high energy soundtrack. However there is a high extent of strong, and at times cruel, violence which is likely to disturb younger audiences. Alongside the frequent use of highly offensive language, and some drug use and sexual content, this strong violence ensures Guns Akimbo is best restricted to those aged 16 and over.
21/02/2020 - R13: Violence, horror scenes and offensive language
What is it? Bhoot Part one: The Haunted Ship is a Bollywood supernatural horror film about a deserted container ship that strands on a Mumbai beach. Customs officer Prithvi discovers that the ship is haunted by Meera, a girl who has been stuck on the ship for 11 years and is possessed by a tormented spirit. With the help of his friends, Professor Joshi and agent Riaz, Prithvi must find out what the spirit wants before the ship is towed out to sea.
What to expect? The film is a slick, well-paced supernatural horror, which creates a low-level atmosphere of fear and a sympathetic hero. While none of the horror-violence is gratuitous or gory, the consistent use of sound to enhance jump scares and the imagery of possession mean that the film is not suitable for young children, especially in a cinematic setting with surround sound. More importantly, it is the scenes of domestic violence, implied torture and a bloody murder, while brief, are likely to shock and disturb younger audiences.
21/02/2020 - R16: Violence, cruelty, sexual material and content may disturb
What is it? The Lighthouse is a psychological thriller feature about two men keeping a lighthouse in the 19th century. It is set on a small, rocky, isolated island in rough seas. A taciturn former lumberjack (Ephraim) arrives on the island to help the salty, grizzled lighthouse keeper (Thom). Ephraim begrudges Thom’s garrulous and bossy tendencies, unhappily submitting to the hard physical chores his boss sets for him. Thom is steeped in the folklore and ways of seamen, and finds Ephraim lazy, entitled and mean-spirited. A storm arrives, resulting in the two being stranded together without relief.
What to expect? The dominant effect is of a boutique psychological horror about the nautical mystique and mythos of lighthouse keeping in a bygone era. The style and subject matter will appeal to mature audiences. Children and younger teenagers will be shocked and disturbed by the level and nature of the horror, violence and cruelty. The sexual content supports a restricted classification, as it is likely to disturb children.
21/02/2020 - R16: Contains graphic violence and horror
What is it? Doom Eternal is a first person shooter that presents an adrenaline rush of brutal-but-slapstick violence set to a ripping metal soundtrack. With Earth in the grip of a demonic invasion, Doom Guy – an angry man in an armoured suit – works on wiping the demons out. Through destroyed cities, huge space ships and the sanctums of ancient civilisations, the player tears through the demonic horde, guns blazing and chainsaw revving. As players progress through a story that is both self-serious and self-aware, they can explore the various levels to find secret items which grant lore details, weapon and ability upgrades. In this way the game encourages exploration and repeat play. Alongside the single-player campaign, Doom Eternal has a challenge system, and a three-player adversarial multiplayer mode.
What to expect? Doom Eternal presents one of the more detailed gore systems in video games, mitigated by its use on fantastical creatures. Under the sustained gunfire of Doom Guy’s sci-fi arsenal, demon flesh gives way to muscle, meat, and bone, blasted away in lurid chunks. This is a fast way to recognise damaged enemies, and also results in a mechanic where players can target enemy weapons to destroy them and limit their available attacks. In further examples of the game’s over-the-top tone, players can execute finishing moves, where the Doom Guy punches, pulls and stomps on his victims in an exaggeratedly amusing fashion. One of the highlights is where the Doom Guy pulls out the large green eyeball of a floating cacodemon – the accompanying stretch-and-pop sound effect turns what could have been a more gruesome act into a sequence of amusing but violent slapstick. In this way, despite the scattered corpses and bloody violence found throughout the game, Doom Eternal clearly veers away from the inherent cruelty which can easily accompany depictions of graphic violence. This is violence against exaggerated, almost-cartoonish demons, with the piñata-like bursts of health, armour and ammunition pickups which herald the demise of each opponent further adding to the arcade-like tone. As a result, Doom Eternal deals with its frequently gory violence in a manner which remains likely to shock younger audiences, but which can be properly contextualised by older teenagers and adults.
18/02/2020 - R16: Graphic violence, drug use, offensive language, sexual references
What is it? Once Upon a Time in Hollywood follows aging actor Rick Dalton, former star of a popular 1950s Western television series. It is 8 February 1969. Rick’s best friend and stunt double, Cliff Booth, drives Rick around and relies on him for work due to rumours that he killed his wife. Rick finds that his cultural capital is diminishing and he struggles to find meaningful work for himself. When Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate move into the house next door, Rick dreams of befriending them to restore his status. This story is set against the backdrop of the “Tate murders” committed by followers of serial killer Charles Manson.
What to expect? Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a well-paced but long film that pays homage and draws from old Western films and television series, as well as vintage film and television more generally, to recursively look at the role violence plays in entertainment media. The publication has artistic and cultural merit associated with the technical strength of the film, and as a film by a notorious and popular director. While the length and style of the film (long scenes of dialogue with minimal action) may moderate its more impactful scenes, their intensity means that the film still warrants restriction. The intense and graphic depictions of violence, in particular, are likely to shock and disturb children and younger teenagers. The film treats violence as entertainment, and while this is contextualised as such through the lens of media history, the depictions are still likely to inure younger viewers to violence and its consequences more generally. The frequent use of highly offensive language, frank sexual discussion, and inclusion of drug use in the film also indicates a mature intended audience.
18/02/2020 - R16: Violence, cruelty and offensive language
What is it? Joker is a US feature film that presents the origin story of the iconic villain from the DC Comics universe of characters. The film is set in the fictional city of Gotham but the gritty real-world tone is reminiscent of crime thrillers and dramas from the 1970’s. Psychologically damaged Arthur Fleck is a clown-for-hire by day who aspires to be a stand-up comic like his idol, late night TV host Murray Franklin. Unfortunately for Arthur the joke always seems to be on him and the seemingly never-ending episodes of indignities he experiences lead to the violent birth of his alter ego – Joker.
What to expect? The dominant effect of Joker is a predictable but stylish origin story that is notable for a strong central performance. The film re-imagines the iconic villain as a sympathetic disenfranchised loner, and whilst it touches on serious issues such as mental illness, social isolation, childhood trauma, and suicidal ideation it never explores them in any meaningful way.
The unrestricted availability of the film is likely to be injurious to the public due to its depiction of violence, cruelty, crime and offensive language. The regular depictions of cruelty and the spikes of realistically depicted violence, including one scene that is particularly bloody and graphic, are likely to shock and disturb younger viewers. Exposure to the extent and degree of this material which is presented in a manner intended to be entertaining is also likely to have a desensitising effect. The presence of highly offensive language also supports a restriction to older audiences.
A high level of maturity is required to understand the sympathetic presentation of Arthur and the problematic glorification of his conduct. Young and impressionable viewers may interpret the film as condoning violence in certain circumstances. Older teenagers and adults are likely to have the maturity to recognise the film as a reinvention of an iconic comic-book villain as a traumatised and psychologically disturbed individual who finds solace in violence.
07/02/2020 - R13: Graphic war violence, content that may disturb
What is it? 1917 is a 2019 war film that follows two young British soldiers during a single mission in World War I. The two close comrades, Blake and Schofield, must deliver a message which will warn of an ambush during one of a planned skirmish soon after the German retreat. They have to cross the ‘no-man’s-land’ created by a recent German withdrawal to get a message to Sergeant Mackenzie. This is to call off Mackenzie’s company’s attack, so that they will not be drawn into a massacre. They face dire challenges as they try to deliver their message.
What to expect? 1917 is a high quality, major production by a well-regarded contemporary filmmaker, for global release. The high resolution film with high-fidelity sound is likely to increase the viewer’s immersion and the impact of the realistically depicted material dealing with the horrors of war. This is done sensitively and in a balanced way, with the dominant effect being an affecting, sensitive and measured insight into a soldier’s struggles, endurance and success during a World War I mission. Although realistic, much of the film has a calm and contemplative tone, with a well-crafted, somewhat epic musical score and slick styling that prevents it from being overly gritty. The style, subject matter and dialogue indicates a mature intended audience.
There are a number of depictions of realistically gruesome corpses, serious physical harm and suffering caused by people. Most children are likely to be significantly shocked and disturbed by this horrific content, some of which is violent in a way that realistically and unflinchingly shows the infliction of serious physical harm and the attendant cruelty that is a feature of war.
07/02/2020 - R16: Violence, cruelty, offensive language, sexual references
What is it? Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is a superhero film based on the DC comics of the same name. The recently single Harley Quinn narrates a twisted tale about Gotham's most nefariously narcissistic villain, Roman Sionis, and his zealous right-hand, Victor Zsasz. When the crime lords put a target on a young jewel thief named Cass, the city turns upside down looking for her. Harley decides to join forces with Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya to take Sionis and Zsasz down.
What to expect? Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is set against the DC comic fictional universe. The film is laden with violence and contains elements of cruelty, including graphic depictions and sequences of assault and murder. Although the feature breaks up the action through Harley’s comedic commentary, the relentless violence could be frightening, shocking and disturbing to children and younger teens. The sheer extent of it in the film is also likely to have an inuring effect on them. The moral ambiguity is likely to negatively affect the attitudes of children and younger teens to real-life crime. Some sexual material and use of highly offensive language is moderate in impact.
31/01/2020 - Unrestricted M: Violence
What is it? Detective Chinatown 3 is the third film in a comedic series featuring mismatched detective duo Tang Ren and Qin Feng. In this instalment Tang Ren and Qin Feng head to Tokyo to team up with Japanese detective Noda Hiroshi who needs their help to prove the innocence of a Japanese Yakuza (Watanabe Masuru) who has been framed for the murder of a rival gangster (Su Chaiwit).
What to expect? Detective Chinatown 3 mixes a slapstick buddy comedy with a murder mystery. The film is meant to appeal to a large audience of all ages and its unrestricted availability is unlikely to be injurious to the public good. The ways in which the film deals with matters of sex, cruelty and crime are low in impact and unlikely to lead to serious harm to younger viewers. Whilst the violence in the film has stronger elements that may momentarily startle some viewers, the comedic tone tends to mitigate any serious impact. Nevertheless, the presence of bloody violence indicates the film is more suitable for a mature audience.
31/01/2020 - R13: Violence, offensive language and sexual references
What is it? The third film in the Bad Boys series, Bad Boys For Life is a fast-paced, buddy-cop film continuing the adventures of detectives Mike Lowry and Marcus Burnett. Now in middle age, Marcus wants to retire from the violence of cop life but after an assassination attempt on Mike fails and a string of people connected to them are murdered, Marcus is drawn into the investigation. Joined by a younger team, Mike is challenged to curb his extreme methods in order to conduct a safer investigation.
What to expect? Bad Boys For Life is a fun, fast-moving and action-packed film in the buddy-cop genre. As the third and supposedly last instalment in the Bad Boys franchise (17 years after Bad Boys 2) it is likely to appeal to both fans of the previous films as well as Martin Lawrence and Will Smith fans. The extent and the general tone of violence as entertainment means that unrestricted access to the film is likely to have an inuring effect on children. The execution-style murders and moments of cruelty are likely to shock children, as they are abrupt and set outside of the context of traditional fight scenes. However, given the details of injury are not lingered on, teenagers and adults are better able to contextualise these scenes as plot devices.
21/11/2019 - R13: Violence, cruelty and offensive language
What is it? An American crime drama that follows the story of real life gangster Frank Sheeran, nicknamed ‘The Irishman’. Frank is a Second World War veteran who becomes a part of the mob and a high official in the labour union, working alongside some of the most notorious figures from the 20th Century.
Spanning decades, an elderly Frank recounts his life, starting from after the war and details all the key moments in his mob career. He talks about how he progresses up the ranks as he is highly recognised for “painting houses,” code for carrying out mob hits. He also details the strong connections he makes with the various members of the mob. In particular, he focuses on his relationship with the Bufalino crime family. Later, the film highlights Frank’s connection to the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, his close friend and the former president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
What to expect? The film is an epic saga of organised crime, highlighting mob dynamics and relationships. It includes gun violence and fistfights. The film is long and slow paced, but manages to remain compelling with a thought-provoking ending. It is intended for a mature audience due to its slow pace and high-art cinematic style.
Although infrequent, the violent spikes are likely to shock and disturb children. They are well spaced through the film’s runtime of over three hours, and the main focus of the film is on Frank’s personal relationships and the dynamics in the mob. While children are likely to be adversely affected by the violence, teenagers and adults are likely to be able to contextualise it within its context of 1950s-70s organised crime, which they are likely familiar with. The film also contains the frequent use of highly offensive language.
08/07/2019 - R16: Violence, offensive language and horror.
What is it? Crawl is a horror film from the United States. It follows Haley, an elite swimmer, who has a conflicted relationship with her father Dave. During a massive hurricane, Haley’s sister tells her that she cannot get in contact with her father. Haley, worried about her father, goes against the town's orders of evacuation in order to find her father. She manages to find her father unconscious in the crawlspace of her childhood home. With absolutely no chance of rescue, Haley and Dave have to survive rising waters and marauding alligators in order to escape from the hurricane.
What to expect? A simple, yet effective and tightly-paced horror film that is set in a claustrophobic environment. The realistic and graphic scenes of body horror are likely to seriously shock and disturb younger audiences, especially in combination with the deliberately threatening and danger-filled tone of the film.
Older teenagers and adults are likely to have the experience and critical literacy to place these gory scenes as part of a horror film which lessens the impact for these groups.
14/06/2019 - R13: Contains violence, offensive language and sex scenes.
What is it? Parasite is a dramatic and engaging South Korean film from director Joon-ho Bong. It follows the Kim family of con artists as they integrate themselves into service of the wealthy Park family. Beginning with son Ki-woo Kim’s recommendation as an English tutor for the Park’s daughter Da-hye, he in turn recommends an ‘acquaintance’ – the Kim’s daughter Ki-jung as an art therapist for the boy Da-song Park. Then both the father Ki-taek and mother Chung-sook are hired on as a new driver and housekeeper once the Kim’s frame their predecessors as no longer suitable for the Park household. However, maintaining their positions prove to be an increasingly difficult task.
What to expect? The film is an entertaining and characterful film which deals with the social conspiracies of a family of con artists. It contains the use of highly offensive language, some frankly discussed sexual themes, and a clothed-but-relatively-strong sex scene which ensure the film is not suitable for younger audiences. However it is the mix of cruelty and bloody violence which marks the film’s dramatic conclusion which is particularly likely to shock and disturb younger viewers.
19/03/2019 - R16: Violence, offensive language and sexual material
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
10/09/2018 - R16: Contains violence, sexual references and offensive language
What is it? The Predator is the fourth instalment in the Predator science-fiction film franchise. Captain McKenna, when on an army mission in Mexico, stumbles across an alien spaceship. He finds that the creature from the ship has brutally murdered two of his team. As evidence, he sends a mask and piece of equipment from the vessel back home. Rory, McKenna’s young son, accidentally triggers the tracking devices embedded in the equipment, unintentionally making him the alien’s biggest target. Captain McKenna teams up with other disgraced military men and Dr. Casey Bracket, a biologist, to try and kill the Predator that is after his son.
What to expect? The film is a well-made, exhilarating production from a popular franchise, depicting battles against aliens. The high extent of gruesome violence is likely to be frightening to younger teens and children, who are also likely to be shocked and disturbed by it and the depictions of dead bodies. The level of offensive language and sexual references may be harmful to younger viewers, as the casual and repetitive use may have a normalising effect or encourage young viewers to emulate it.
Older teenagers and adults will be able to place the material into a fictitious context contrived as entertainment.
06/09/2018 - R16: Horror and deals with suicide
What is it? The Nun is a supernatural horror film, set in the Conjuring universe. The film explores the origin story of Valak, an evil entity featured in The Conjuring 2. Set in Romania in 1952, the story centres around the remote and sprawling Abbey of St Carta, where two nuns find themselves at the mercy of a dark force that lurks deep within the bowels of the castle. One nun is dragged bloody and screaming into the depths, while the other runs to an upper storey, ties a noose around her neck, and throws herself from the window. News of the suicide reaches Rome, and Father Burke, a priest, and Sister Irene, a young novitiate, are sent to investigate. The two uncover the castle’s dark history and the demonic entity that haunts it.
What to expect? Firmly embedding the horror narrative within a religious context that features the symbolism and iconography of both Catholicism and witchcraft, The Nun maximises the inherent tension between the holy and the profane, to entertainingly creepy effect. Though restrained in its depiction of gore, the scenes of decomposing bodies and reanimated corpses, combined with the jump scares, aggressively evil entities, and overall atmosphere of foreboding, would be shocking and disturbing to children and younger teens. Younger viewers are also likely to be disturbed by the scenes of suicide. Though fantastical in nature, they are dark in tone.
Older audiences are mature enough to adequately contextualise the supernatural imagery without adverse effect.
17/07/2018 - R16: Bloody Violence
What’s it about? Quake Champions is a multiplayer arena first-person shooter for PC. It collects a pantheon of characters from previous Quake games together in mortal combat, adding abilities and custom stats to differentiate each character’s playstyle. The game is still being actively developed, and currently features familiar competitive multiplayer modes of Free For All, Team Deathmatch and Instagib, as well as a round based version of the series’ renowned Duel. While the game will evolve over time, with more characters, maps, and cosmetic items, as well as an upcoming Capture The Flag mode, the classifiable content is not likely to significantly change from this version examined.
What to expect? Quake Champions is a frenetic and fun multiplayer first person shooter. Its sci-fi setting involves low level horror, and in its near-continuous combat gameplay, there is copious blood and gore. While kills with a lightning gun leave corpses sparking with residual energy, use of explosives and bullets can separate head from shoulders, limbs from torso, and if the opponent is particularly low on health explode in a burst of bleeding chunks and bones. Yet the pace of gameplay means there is rarely time to dwell on the details, indistinctly meaty as they are, with the gore systems primarily used as satisfying feedback for successful play. Nonetheless, this frequent and gory violence is likely to disturb younger players, particularly where recognisably human characters are dismembered and cloven. Quake Champions is therefore restricted to persons who have attained the age of 16 years.
15/06/2018 - R13: Violence, sexual references and content that may disturb
What’s it about? Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition is a high-fantasy role playing game set in a vibrant world of magic and mystery. From a 3/4 overhead perspective the player controls a party of up to four characters as they complete quests, defeat enemies and collect loot. The turn-based combat is enhanced by a unique system of physical interactions, where elemental spells and environmental effects combine in logical and at times explosive ways.
What to expect? The game is a lengthy and engaging fantasy role playing game which is highly reactive to player choices. It contains frequent depictions of tactical combat, which may result in bloody gore. While this is limited by the overhead perspective and fantasy setting, coupled with scenes of cruelty and horror, these are likely to prove disturbing to younger players. Alongside some flowery but rather suggestive sexual references, the game is clearly intended for a mature audience. All things considered, Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition is best restricted to those aged 13 years and over.
07/06/2018 - R16: Violence and cruelty
What’s it about? Inuyashiki is a superhero action film set in contemporary Tokyo. Ichirō Inuyashiki is a middle-aged office drone with incurable cancer who is constantly disparaged by his family and his boss. One evening he is blinded by a bright light in a park and wakes up to find he has become a weaponised cyborg. Empowered, he also discovers he can cure people of terminal afflictions, which gives him a new lease on life. However, that same night a teenager (Hiro Shishigami) was also in the park, and has undergone the same transformation. But Hiro decides he is no longer human, devolving into a cold blooded mass murderer who exacts revenge on anyone who provokes him. With Japan’s citizens under threat, meek and mild Inuyashiki becomes a reluctant hero.
What to expect? Inuyashiki is a superhero action film with a strong emphasis on character development. It contains scenes of moderately graphic violence which are likely to disturb younger viewers, particularly where they involve a high degree of cruelty such as the murder of an innocent family. The frequency of the violence, and the manner in which mass murder is treated rather casually, are also likely to desensitise younger viewers. However, older teenagers and adults have the maturity to put these elements of the publication into the context of a superhero action thriller in which the viewer has some sympathy for the villain.
01/06/2018 - R16: Horror and content that may disturb
What’s it about? This is a psychological horror film which follows the Graham family after their mysterious matriarch, Ellen, passes away. Mother Annie is surprised at how little she feels after her mother’s passing, but Charlie, Annie’s disheveled, birdlike 13-year old daughter, is distraught. Annie’s husband Steve gets an eerie phone call in the aftermath — Annie’s mother’s grave has been desecrated. Meanwhile, their son Peter smokes himself into oblivion when not verbally sparring with Annie, with whom he shares a deep, unnerving resentment. Apparitions emerge, strangers stare at Charlie with a haunting sense of knowing, and tragedies continue to unfold, yanking away the veil that only barely masks the horrific history of this family.
What to expect? Hereditary is a slow-burning psychological horror that focuses on grief and the dark secrets that family members keep from one another. It contains a high extent of horror and gore which, when combined with its occult imagery and tense atmosphere, are likely to shock and disturb children and younger teenagers. Older teenagers and adults are likely to have the maturity to put these elements into their filmic and generic contexts without being negatively affected. As such the film is classified R16.
30/05/2018 - R16: Violence, domestic violence, sexual material, drug use and offensive language
What’s it about? Detroit: Become Human is a cinematic science-fiction videogame which follows three androids as they encounter ideas of sentience and perhaps become sentient themselves. Connor is an android that works with the police to investigate the uptick in androids who are acting irrationally, often harming humans. Kara is a housekeeping android, owned by Todd and his young daughter Alice. Todd frequently flies into violent rages, and mistreats Kara and Alice. Markus is a caretaking android who helps an elderly artist, Carl. Carl believes that androids are capable of sentience and treats Markus with dignity. However, Carl’s human son Leo resents their close relationship.
What to expect? Gameplay consists of a series of quick-time events and dialogue options. The story moves between the three characters, with each scenario branching apart through player choices. How these diverge depends on the conversations and events which the player chooses to engage in (or not engage in).
Emotionally driven and dramatic, Detroit asks players to contemplate the nature of humanity and other searching questions. Across its story it contains many scenes of violence which are likely to shock and disturb younger audiences. There are references to sex and the use of highly offensive language, as well as depictions of suicide and drug use, which indicate that it is intended for a mature audience, and further support a need for restriction. A scene of domestic violence, and Todd’s abusive treatment of Kara and Alice generally, is likely to trigger a strong reaction from those who have lived or are living through abusive situations. However, a descriptive note which plainly warns potential players of the domestic violence content in the game is far more likely to prevent this sort of harm than a higher restriction. Within this slow-burning, dialogue driven videogame, older teenagers and adults have the critical ability to place this challenging content within a wider narrative about artificial intelligence, and what it means to be, or not be, human.
24/05/2018 - R16: Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb
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
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
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
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
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
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.
20/12/2017 - Unrestricted M: Violence and content that may disturb
What's it about? Planet Of The Apes: Last Frontier is an interactive narrative game focused on the cinematic presentation of its branching story. The game tells the story of a tribe of apes driven to a remote mountainside by human soldiers. While looking for food, they find a herd of steers guarded by humans. In their attempt to make off with some livestock a confrontation leaves one man dead, sparking a conflict between the species. Playing out from the perspectives of human leader Jess, and the ape Bryn, the choices players make during the story will ultimately shape whether they can survive in this Last Frontier.
What to expect? Planet Of The Apes: Last Frontier is a highly cinematic, branching story of species trying to survive. Whether they overcome each other, or learn to live together, is up to player choices. In the course of the story, there is low-level bloody violence, and a sequence of moderate cruel violence. However, as player interaction is limited to occasional prompts of binary choices, the game largely plays out in the manner of a film.
While the violence and cruelty depicted is unsuitable for younger audiences, it is well contextualised and is unlikely to cause them lasting harm.
20/12/2017 - Unrestricted M: Violence and suicide
What's it about? Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds is a Korean fantasy film about Ja-Hong, a firefighter who dies saving a child’s life. After his death, he is told that he is the 48th paragon, having lived and died selflessly, and is destined to reincarnate. In order to do so, however, he is first required to face seven trials in the seven Hells: betrayal, violence, filial impiety, murder, indolence, deceit, and injustice. The publication draws heavily on Korean folklore and Buddhist scripture in order to present a fantastical vision of what happens after death, and carries strong moral messages about the meaning of living a truly ‘good’ life.
What to expect? Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds lifts the veil and explores the trials facing the souls of those in the afterlife. In doing so, it makes a strong moral argument about what it means not only to live a good life but to face a good death. The interwoven elements of Buddhism, Christianity, and folklore combine to create a distinctly Korean film, and offers insight into Korean cultural values.
There are elements of horror and violence that may momentarily disturb children but the overall tone is light and fantastical, and the images are not likely to cause serious harm. There is an attempted suicide in one scene, however this scene is not especially distressing, and neither is it likely to inspire imitation.
06/11/2017 - R16: Violence, offensive language, sexual material and other content that may offend
What’s it about? The DVDs contain the seventeenth season of the American animated television series Family Guy. Each episode is around 21 minutes in length. The show satirises contemporary American society and focuses on the dysfunctional suburban family of Peter Griffin, his wife Lois, children Chris, Meg, and Stewie, talking dog Brian, as well as their neighbours Joe, Quagmire, and Cleveland.
What to expect? The series contains heavy slapstick and innuendo-laden humour, often involving crass sexual references. Each episode contains rapid-fire references to popular culture, including parodies of well-known actors, politicians, and celebrities. The publication extensively features subversive and transgressive humour, including gags about coprophilia and bestiality. This material is likely to adversely affect the development of impressionable children and younger teenagers who are still in the process of forming attitudes and behaviours towards sexuality. The regular use of highly offensive language supports the need for a restriction.
Older teenagers and adults are likely to have the necessary maturity to appropriately contextualise this material as subversive satirical comedy.
06/11/2017 - R18: Torture and sadistic violence
What’s it about? Jigsaw is a sadistic horror film directed by Michael and Peter Spierig. It is the eighth instalment in the Saw franchise. The film’s narrative picks up over a decade after the death of the infamous Jigsaw killer, John Kramer, during the police investigation of a series of murders that fit his modus operandi. The group of victims (Anna, Ryan, Mitch and Carly) are abducted and subjected to puzzle-like “games” that force them to confront their past decisions in life and make a choice on whether to harm themselves or other captives in order to survive. Detectives Halloran and Keith investigate the murders across the city and are assisted by medical examiners Eleanor and Logan to uncover evidence that may lead to Kramer’s apprehension.
What to expect? The dominant effect of Jigsaw is a graphic but highly contrived psychological horror, focussing on gratuitous depictions of torture. The extent and degree to which violence, torture and cruelty are depicted means that the film is likely to be injurious to children and teenagers. These younger viewers are likely to be shocked and disturbed by the brutal presentation of torture, sadistic violence and coerced self-mutilation, especially given the film’s moral underpinning of the killings as a means of making the victims suffer for harm they have caused to others. There is also a real concern that repeated exposure to this kind of cruel violence is likely to have a desensitising or inuring effect on children and teenagers.
Adults have a better ability to distance themselves, and appreciate that the material is unrealistic and contrived, and intended to thrill and horrify.
06/11/2017 - R16: Drug use, sexual references and offensive language
What’s it about? A Bad Moms Christmas, the sequel to Bad Moms, is an American comedy that follows three mothers in their thirties – Amy, Kiki and Carla. In this instalment, the women must deal with their own mothers coming to stay in the lead-up to Christmas. Amy’s mother Ruth is a critical over-achiever who embarrasses Amy with over-the-top Christmas festivities. Kiki’s mother Sandy is overly adoring and clingy, and Carla’s hard-living mother Isis only shows up when she wants money. Amy, Kiki and Carla decide to rebel against the challenges and expectations of Christmas and celebrate it their way, which for Amy is a low-key event. The story follows the highs and lows of each mother/daughter relationship as they reach breaking point, then reconnect for Christmas.
What to expect? A Bad Moms Christmas bases its comedy around the dynamics of mother/daughter relationships. It contains crude sexual material and frequent use of highly offensive language. There’s some casual drug use and other petty crime as well. Some sophistication is required to understand the sexual vocabulary and humour. The film clearly targets an older audience. This content would be harmful to children and younger teens, who are likely to be negatively affected by the casual way that characters project profanity and attitudes which are socially dubious.
The fact that this is presented in a context of comedy is likely to cause more harm to younger viewers because they are likely to interpret people enjoying the film as wider social endorsement to copy or emulate the behaviours and language it contains.
06/11/2017 - R13: Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb
What’s it about? Conor McGregor: Notorious is a documentary about the celebrated Irish mixed martial arts fighter. In mixed martial arts opponents fight in a fenced octagonal ring and wrestle, kick-box, and employ jiu-jitsu techniques to overcome their rivals. Bouts are highly structured and bound by rules that allow potentially damaging moves such as kicks and choke-holds. The resulting injuries can be serious. In Notorious, Conor McGregor’s meteoric rise to fame as is tracked through well-edited archival footage, recordings of fight sequences, pre- and post-fight interviews, training regimes, and candid clips of him at home with family and friends. The documentary culminates in three fights for world champion status.
What to expect? The documentary is characterised by regular sports violence and therefore intended for teenagers and adults, primarily those who are mixed martial arts fans. The main concern for classification are the clips of real violence presented as a means of entertainment. Children are likely to be shocked and disturbed by many of the images which at face value are strong. The fact that the sport is regulated and controlled and that the violence is allowable, and indeed encouraged, will be difficult for younger audiences to understand. Such material may encourage emulation of potentially dangerous strikes and holds by impressionable children, boys in particular.
Teenagers and adults are considered to have the ability to contextualise the violence within the skills and abilities and personal qualities (including the drive for fame) required to participate in a sport to such a high level.
27/09/2017 - Unrestricted M: Contains violence, sexual references and offensive language
What’s it about? Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony is a visual novel from Japan. It follows Kaede Akamatsu and Shuichi Saihara, who have been kidnapped and taken to the Ultimate Academy for Gifted Juveniles. They find that they are trapped with 14 other students and are threatened by Monokuma, a black-and-white robotic teddy bear, and his children, the Monokubs, into participating in a killing game. The objective of the game is to successfully kill another student and mask their identity as the killer in a ‘Class Trial’. Initially the 16 students band together, refusing to kill each other, but when Monokuma threatens to kill all of them if nobody dies, students begin turning up dead.
What to expect? A darkly humorous murder-mystery visual novel. There are occasional depictions of death but they are highly stylised and unlikely to shock and disturb audiences. Furthermore the static images and text-heavy nature of the medium, as well as the limited gameplay, means that young children are unlikely to seek the game out, as such lessening the potential harm to those groups.
Nonetheless the cynical premise of the game, the inclusion of sexual references and its use of highly offensive language suggest it is more suited for a mature audience.
25/08/2017 - R16: Graphic violence, offensive language and cruelty
What’s it about? Wolfenstein II returns to an alternate history where the Nazis won World War II. Following that game’s explosive ending, hero B.J. Blazkowicz is found broken and bleeding. Saved by his friends and family of resistance fighters, B.J. recovers and the team set out to foment revolution in the United States of America. During the course of the game, players control B.J. to sneak and fight through the ruined cities and military complexes of the Nazi Empire. Pistols, machine guns, laser guns, shotguns and explosives all feature, alongside quieter weapons like an axe. Bookending the violent gameplay, are stylish cutscenes where the story of revolution and camaraderie unfolds.
What to expect? An entertaining, emotive and very bloody take on repetitive Nazi killing. Due to the degree of bloody violence depicted, the unrestricted availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good. The regular use of highly offensive language also presents some potential for harm. The frequent blood and gore of decapitation and dismemberment, alongside a threatening scene of domestic violence, are particularly likely to shock and disturb younger audiences.
The larger than life sci-fi setting means the violence against heavily armoured Nazis would be able to be contextualised by older teenagers, and is unlikely to cause them serious harm.
07/08/2017 - R16: Violence and offensive language
What’s it about? The Hitman’s Bodyguard is an action comedy about a bodyguard who is hired by his ex-girlfriend, an Interpol agent, to protect a hitman who is about to testify in the International Criminal Court against a murderous Belarussian dictator. The bodyguard is a highly-strung perfectionist named Michael Bryce (played by Ryan Gosling), who lost his “triple A” rating as a professional bodyguard two years ago when an important client was assassinated on his watch. As it turns out, the client was assassinated by Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), the hitman who needs protecting. The pair are suddenly thrown together after Darius’ Interpol protection squad are killed, and have to overcome their mutual animosity while surviving countless attempts on their lives by hired Belarussian soldiers and thugs.
What to expect? The film is a big-budget action comedy starring two well-known Hollywood actors. Much of the film’s appeal comes down to the ridiculously over-the-top action set-pieces and humorous interplay between two very dissimilar characters. The film is likely to have wide appeal, but is unsuitable for children and young teens given the amount of violence, cruel elements, and widespread use of highly offensive language. The violence, which is quite bloody at times, is likely to be disturbing to young viewers, and may desensitize or inure some to violence more generally by presenting it as entertaining and exciting, and consequence-free.
Older teens and adults can place this material in the context of an entertaining but violent piece of fictional entertainment.
20/07/2017 - M: Contains violence
What’s it about? The Black Prince is a film with a running time of around 120 minutes. The film tells the story of Maharajah Duleep Singh, the last king and a tragic hero of the once-prosperous Sikh kingdom that spread across the northern plains of India’s Punjab until British soldiers annexed the territory following two wars in the mid-19th century. Singh became a spoil of war, and was moulded into a proper English gentleman, made to renounce his Sikh faith and baptized a Christian. He became an exotic favourite in the court of Victoria, who nicknamed him “the black prince.”
What to expect? The film is a historical biopic about a man torn between two cultures, and his journey to regain his identity and the freedom and autonomy of the Sikh people. There are very few, brief, depictions of violence. These depictions and the threat of other violence may momentarily shock some children. However, children and younger teenagers are also unlikely to engage in the storyline which is very slow and complex.
It would be unreasonable to restrict the availability of the film. The violence means that a recommendation that the film is more suitable for mature audiences is appropriate.
07/07/2017 - R13: Violence and content that may disturb
What’s it about? Based on a manga of the same name, it follows 29 year old Satoru Fujinama as he is subjected to a mysterious power he calls ‘Revival’. This sends him back a few minutes in time, allowing him an opportunity to avert disaster and save lives. However when he finds his mother Sachiko lying murdered in his apartment, Satoru is sent back eighteen years, returning to his childhood to unravel the mystery around a shocking crime.
What to expect? Erased Vol 1 presents some disturbing and violent content in its intriguing tale of time-travel and criminal investigation. As the crimes and cruelty dealt with are directed towards children, they are likely to prove disturbing to most audiences, particularly children. As a result the unrestricted availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good. The degree of violence depicted also supports a need for restriction.
10/07/2017 - R16: Violence, offensive language, sex scenes and content that may disturb
What’s it about? An Australian series made for television by New Zealand writer/director, Jane Campion. The season follows on from the acclaimed 2013 Top Of The Lake which saw Detective Robin Griffin solving the case of a missing youth before uncovering a grim sex trafficking circle in a small southern New Zealand town. In Season 2, Robin begins work in Sydney on a case that begins with a corpse washed ashore in a suitcase. The mysterious victim is given the case name of China Girl. Robin also reconnects with her daughter Mary who was born 17 years earlier as the result of a brutal rape, explored in the first season. The season works with themes of misogyny, the sexual politics involved in relationships, maternal conflicts, dominance and power, solidarity, socio-economic issues, illegal immigrants, sex-work, and the desperate yearning for parenthood. Commercial surrogacy is a crucial storyline.
What to expect? Top of the Lake: China Girl weaves stories about women into a unique detective drama. It is ambitious, beautifully cinematic, and thoughtful. The plot construction is clever, the writing sharp and the high profile cast present believable characters and fine performances. There are layers of sexual, psychological and socio-political honesty that stir thought and that have the capacity to influence attitudes in positive ways. Nevertheless, there are images and incidents that mean the publication requires restriction. Much of the sexual content will disturb and confuse younger audiences and the issues and difficulties arising from the sex-work, surrogacy and adoption require a level of maturity that children and young teenagers are unlikely to have to have reached. There are also images of cruelty and violence that are likely to shock and disturb.
The series targets older audiences who will be able to make sense of the many complexities presented.
03/07/2017 - Unrestricted M: Violence, offensive language and sex scenes
What’s it about? Orlando is a man in his mid-fifties who has recently shifted from a heterosexual marriage with children to dating a younger transgender woman, Marina. She is an aspiring singer who works as a waitress. They are very much in love. After a night out celebrating her birthday, Orlando falls sick and dies of an aneurysm. Marina finds herself under suspicion due to bruising on Orlando’s body. She is forced to suffer humiliating physical exams by the police and is treated with contempt by Orlando’s ex-wife Sonia.
What to expect? The dominant effect of the film is of a well-made film which focuses on discrimination and inequality in a poignant manner, and encourages the viewer to engage in considerable reflection. There is one scene of startling cruelty and violence that is likely to frighten and disturb most audiences – however, the threat of violence remains largely implied and does not reach a level that could justify a restriction. There are mild instances of sex and drug use. Younger audiences would be unlikely to recognise this as drug use. The language is strong at times. The film is solemn, and the topics covered and the pace and style of conversations are clearly intended for mature audiences, but there are messages that would be beneficial for any younger people interested in the film.
The risk of injury to the public good is low, so when balanced with the right to freedom of expression, a restricted classification would be unreasonable.
30/06/2017 - Unrestricted M: Contains offensive language, sexual references and drug use
What’s it about? Set mostly in Bangkok and a remote northern region of Thailand, Bangkok Nites is about a young sex worker named Luck and her relationship with a Japanese customer named Ozawa. The pair discuss going into business together, and travel north to Luck’s hometown to spend time with some of her family members; Luck supports many of them with the money she earns in Bangkok.
What to expect? The film is a lengthy and narratively-loose meditation on the inter-generational harms caused by sex work in Thailand. It has considerable artistic merit, even though it is not easily accessible because of its length and meandering structure. The drug use, offensive language and sexual material, and the world of Thai sex work in general, all point to the film being intended for older audiences.
However, this material is dealt with in a restrained manner and is unlikely to actually harm young viewers.
28/06/2017 - R16: Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb
What’s it about? It Comes At Night is a creeping psychological thriller from the USA. From the outset there is a sense of looming peril. Bud, his daughter Sarah, her husband Paul, their teenage son Travis, and his dog Stanley, are in a state of self-imposed exile in a house in the woods. It becomes clear in the earliest scenes that they are avoiding some kind of a plague when Bud, who has been exposed somehow, is reassured by his gas-mask wearing daughter that everything will be ok before he is shot through a pillow and his body incinerated.
What to expect? Coupled with an atmospheric soundtrack, this film contains jump scares and fosters a high degree of unease in the viewer. It Comes At Night is a creeping, paranoid thriller that focuses on the psychology of characters in an extreme situation. It was clearly created with an audience of older teenagers and adults in mind. Although there are sequences of impactful violence, much of it is fast paced and is not graphically depicted on screen. It is the complex violence of survival however, and the film does contain a higher degree of cruelty than is generally seen in more straight-forward horror films.
This content has the potential to be highly disturbing to younger viewers.
27/06/2017 - R13: Strong violence and offensive language
What’s it about? The film follows a young man named Baby, who works as a getaway driver for a crime boss known as Doc. Baby only works for Doc to repay his debt after stealing Doc’s car some time ago. He is otherwise a quiet character who lives with his ailing foster father and makes music in his bedroom. Baby falls for a waitress named Debora and sees a chance to leave the crime world and start anew. However, Doc blackmails him into one more heist, working with thieves known as Bats, Buddy and Darling.
What to expect? Baby Driver is an exciting crime-action thriller with an impressive soundtrack. It is well made, relatively light-hearted, and likely to appeal to a wide audience of action fans, including younger teenagers. The crimes and violence are balanced by the threads of Baby’s backstory, his music-making and his positive relationships with Debora and his foster father. There is a clear message that crime is wrong. The violence however is at times hard-hitting and moderately impactful, which is likely to shock and frighten children, and potentially inure them to violence. The use of offensive language is also inappropriate for children.
A restriction to teenagers and adults is therefore required.
26/06/2017 - Objectionable (banned)
What's it about? Criminal Girls: Invite Only is a Japanese role-playing game for the PlayStation Vita and Microsoft Windows. In the game the player controls an unwitting job seeker brought into hell to reform the spirits of seven ‘delinquent’ girls, so they might be reborn without sin. As failure will condemn them to hell, the girls must follow the player through the game’s levels to uncover and defeat their inner demons. In the course of the game, up to four of the girls engage in turn-based battles with the various monsters and boss creatures of hell’s numerous areas. Their combat skills are levelled up by defeating monsters and getting ‘motivated’ by the player in a series BDSM-themed mini-games. These Motivation scenes present the girls in a range of highly sexualised poses, as they react to the player’s success in each mode. The overall impression is of a simplistic and repetitive RPG with a salacious theme.
Why was it banned? Firstly, the Classification Office called the game in due to concerns that the sexual content found within the game focuses on young persons and involves elements of sexual violence. However the Motivation sequences themselves do not encourage the player to focus on the girls as ‘young persons’, and instead concentrates on presenting their embarrassment, powerlessness and humiliation in a sexualised manner. The dialogue clearly establishes that the girls are either unwilling to participate, or naïve about the player character’s intentions. Then, once the Motivation is finished, the girls’ reaction is positive. The lack of consent presented here - and the idea that “Even if you have to force her – she’ll end up enjoying it” - is a narrative that justifies rape and is presented solely for titillation.
This game requires players to engage with the female characters in sexualised situations where consent is not only absent, but where the protestations of the female characters are part of the attraction. There is a strong likelihood of injury to the public good, including to adults from the trivialisation and normalisation of such behaviour, so the game is banned.
For the full decision and the legal criteria that Criminal Girls: Invite Only has been assessed against, please contact the Information Unit.
09/06/2017 - R13: Contains violence and horror scenes
What's it about? A sequel to 2014’s Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor, the game resumes the story of Gondorian Ranger Talion and his ghostly friend Celebrimbor as they forge a new Ring of Power in an attempt to repel the invasion of Gondor by the dark lord Sauron. With an army of Orcs on the doorstep of the city Minas Ithil, Talion joins the fight, raises a force of his own and assaults Mordor.
What to expect? Shadow Of War presents frequent fantasy violence towards a horde of largely humanoid creatures, featuring repetitive bloodshed, including decapitation. However the fantasy setting, black Orc blood, and distant third-person camera mitigates the impact. Nonetheless the bloody violence and horror themes are likely to shock and disturb children, while the repetitive bloodshed and injury is likely to have an inuring effect on an impressionable audience.
Teenagers have the maturity and media literacy to deal with this extent of fantasy violence.
09/06/2017 - R16: Contains violence and horror
What's it about? Twelve years after the tragic loss of their young daughter, a kindly couple, Sam and Esther, invite a group of orphans and their minder into their large home. Esther remains bedbound due to ill health and isolates herself from the girls. The girls soon become the target of a possessed doll. Supernatural elements abound; doors slam, furniture and objects move by themselves, people levitate and fear dominates.
What to expect? A formulaic supernatural horror film with numerous jump scares. The film deals with horror in a manner that would be greatly disturbing and shocking to young viewers who lack the maturity to instinctively know that such events cannot happen. The frightening supernatural tone and pervasive sense of threat have a high degree of impact as the central characters are children. The gory and bloody killings and acts of cruelty are likely to have a strong and negative impact on younger viewers.
Older teenagers and adults have the experience and maturity to place in the context of a supernatural horror film without being negatively affected.
25/05/2017 - R13: Violence, offensive language and sexual references
What's it about? After being fired from her job and dumped by her boyfriend, self-centred Emily (Amy Schumer) convinces her ultra-cautious mother, Linda (Goldie Hawn), to join her on a pre-paid vacation to Ecuador. Soon after arriving at their resort, Emily is approached by a charming conman; the women are abducted, held for ransom and taken to Columbia. An adventure ensues when the women escape the kidnappers and set out for the US consulate in Bogota.
What to expect? A comedy about a mother and daughter who are abducted in Ecuador but thwart their kidnappers and make their way to safety with the help of unlikely allies. The antics and situations featured are far-fetched and this offsets the stronger material for those mature enough to process it. In saying this, the regular sexual material and offensive language are unsuitable for children. The violence, rape jokes and the somewhat promotional presentation of binge-drinking also support a restriction. Considering these factors, a restriction to teenagers and adults is required.
05/05/2017 - R16: Violence, offensive language and horror
What's it about? A sci-fi film centring on the crew of the spaceship Covenant, who are in search of a new planet to colonise. Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise on a planet close to their location and decide to change their course. After encountering a vicious storm on entering the new planet’s atmosphere, members of the crew suddenly fall sick due to a foreign parasite attacking their bodies.
What to expect? A big budget, spectacular science fiction thriller that contains spikes of strong and, at times, graphic violence and cruelty that is likely to shock and disturb children and younger teenagers. Exposure to such violence may trivialise the depictions as entertaining, or have a desensitising effect. An ambiguous scene suggesting sexual violence is also likely to negatively affect younger audiences. Mature audiences, particularly those who have seen the other films in the Alien series, are likely to expect this level of horror and violence within the context of its science fiction narrative, and are unlikely to be negatively affected.
03/05/2017 - R16: Offensive language, sex scenes and sexual references
What's it about? Disgraced poet Ted Wallace is summoned by his god-daughter (and daughter of his ex-girlfriend) Jane Swann to his friends Lord and Lady Logan's country manor, Swafford Hall, to investigate a series of unexplained miraculous healings. Ted tracks down the perpetrator of the phenomena, attractive teenager David Logan, whose parents believe has healing hands. Unaware that David is using some rather unorthodox methods, the Logans are set on sharing their son’s gift with the world.
What to expect? A witty, dialogue-heavy adult comedy. The film sporadically touches on strong sexual content, including taboo subjects such as bestiality, as subjects of adult humour. If taken out of this context the brief, but frank, images of sex, and strong sexual references will disturb younger audiences, unlikely to have the sexual experience or understanding to deal with them. The extensive use of highly offensive language is also inappropriate for an impressionable younger audience.
03/05/2017 - R16: Violence, nudity, sex scenes, offensive language and content that may disturb
What's it about? Alejandra (Ale) is a young mother married to the chauvinistic Angel, who is secretly cheating on her with her openly gay brother Fabian. Veronica, a mysterious young woman, arrives at the hospital with a wound she claims is a dog bite and makes friends with Fabian, an ER nurse. From this point things descend into the surreal as characters are taken to a cabin in the woods where a mysterious alien resides.
What to expect? A bizarre storyline that mixes toxic relationships and social issues in Mexican society with a creepy alternate reality of animal instinct and ‘body horror’ images. It has a high extent of fairly explicit sexual content, including scenes portraying the abusive relationship of Angel and Fabian, and one scene where an alien creature is shown pleasuring a woman. Violence, including the infliction of serious physical harm, largely takes place off-screen but Angel’s treatment of Fabian, and his attack on his wife, are similarly likely to disturb young viewers. Adults, and teenagers 16 years and over, are unlikely to be adversely affected.
03/05/2017 - Unrestricted M: Contains offensive language
What's it about? A game where players act as a newly hired digital investigator for a fictional country known as The Nation. Using a computer operating system known as Orwell, players sift through news reports and blogs, intercepted chat logs, emails and phone calls, and even access people’s computers and smart phones for information on their activities and opinions.
What to expect? An engaging, low key thriller game about conspiracy and surveillance. The game is well crafted and intriguing, presenting both social and political commentary as the player unravels its story. Within the transcriptions, logs and blogs are themes of crime, cruelty and threats of violence that are unsuitable for children and may be disturbing. The regular use of offensive language also presents a risk of imitable social harm. However the game presents itself as a piece of functional software rather than an entertainment product, it is therefore less likely to appeal to children and so the overall risk of harm is reduced.
03/05/2017 - R16: Graphic violence and suicide
What's it about? An action thriller film that centres on John Wick, a former assassin who is forced out of seclusion to fulfil a debt to an Italian mobster. When the mobster asks John to kill his sister so that he can claim her seat on the ‘high table’, John refuses to honour the request, setting off a chain of events that ends in him being chased down by numerous assassins.
What to expect? A slickly produced violent action film with sophisticated special effects and skilled choreography. The sustained violence and elements of cruelty in this film are likely to shock and disturb children and younger teens. The film also requires restriction to older audiences due to a graphic depiction of suicide detailing a method that could potentially be emulated by vulnerable viewers. Mature audiences are likely to interpret the fantasy elements of this scene and contextualise it within its over-the-top narrative.
12/04/2017 - R18: Violence, horror, sex scenes and content that may disturb
What's it about? A coming-of-age horror drama about a young vegetarian woman who, after being subjected to a university hazing ritual, develops a taste for cannibalism. The young woman, Justine, follows her older sister Alex to veterinary college where she undergoes a series of vicious hazing rituals, during which Justine is forced to eat a raw rabbit’s liver, despite her protests of devout vegetarianism. Justine’s reaction to these incidents is extreme and physical – she develops an angry, red rash all over her body, and a newfound taste for blood and meat.
What to expect? A dark, coming-of-age/cannibal horror film exploring issues around gender, bodily appetites and sexuality. It is technically very well-made, in particular with regard to realistic prosthetics and physical effects. The film contains a high level of bloody imagery that is likely to shock and disturb children and teenagers. This material, which includes instances of cannibalism fused with elements of sex and horror, is clearly aimed at adults and intended to stimulate and provoke strong reactions in its audience.
12/04/2017 - R13: Contains violence, offensive language and sexual references
What's it about? Mitch, a lifeguard, solves crimes alongside his fellow lifeguards (much to the dismay of local law enforcement). Brody, a disgraced Olympic swimmer, is assigned to Mitch’s team in order to fulfil a community service assignment. The two instantly clash as they are both used to being the ‘alpha’. Soon, the team is drawn together by a conspiracy involving a new drug called ‘flakka’.
What to expect? Baywatch is an action/comedy remake of the popular 1980s/1990s television series, full of crude sexual gags, innuendo, and humour. Some mid-level violence occurs towards the end of the film. Much of the humour in this film is derived from sexist and homophobic attitudes. The inclusion of highly offensive language adds to the need for a restriction. Teenagers and adults are more likely to have the experience and maturity to put these elements of the film into its comedy context without being negatively affected.
12/04/2017 - R16: Contains violence, sexual references and offensive language
What's it about? A third-person multiplayer shooter developed for the PlayStation 4. Sporting a punk-inspired drawn aesthetic, it has a unique visual style of ballpoint pen on lined paper. In the course of gameplay, players engage in bloody over-the-top combat with other characters from the pages of a high school students’ notebook. The game will be freely available at launch for a month to subscribers to the PlayStation Plus service, but will otherwise be sold as a digital purchase.
What to expect? A bloody and aggressive multiplayer shooter with a uniquely punk, hand-drawn aesthetic. It contains crass sexual references, regular highly offensive language, and revolves around the constant depiction of bloody, if unrealistic, violence and gore. The game’s encouragement to aggressively goad other players through the game’s integrated taunting system also presents an imitable harm to impressionable audiences, by normalising this type of bullying behaviour.
24/03/2017 - R13: Violence, horror scenes and offensive language
What's it about? A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station on a mission of discovery find a rapidly evolving life form that likely caused extinction on Mars. It quickly evolves from a tiny, wispy and seemingly harmless organism into a malevolent and powerful creature that attacks the crew and becomes a very real threat to life on Earth.
What to expect? It has a tense atmosphere throughout, and uses a strong soundtrack to emphasise the suspense and sense of impending doom. The setting of the film has been artfully constructed to be as isolating and as frightening as possible. The dominant effect of the publication is of a slick horror science-fiction film about the discovery of malevolent extra-terrestrial life. The strongest depictions of violence and serious physical harm lack realism but are still of a level likely to disturb and frighten children. There is also casual use of offensive language.
24/03/2017 - R16: Graphic violence, offensive language and cruelty
What's it about? The film follows the aging and ill Wolverine (known in this film as Logan) living a hardscrabble existence near the Mexican border. He lives in an abandoned, derelict factory, where an overturned water tower houses his long-time mentor and founder of the X-Men, the psychic Charles Xavier. Xavier is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, which has thwarted his abilities and made him dangerously unpredictable as, without medication, he suffers from mind-bending seizures that distort the atmosphere around him and can kill people.
What to expect? The film contains many instances of serious physical violence and harm which are consistently graphically depicted – bloody and hard hitting, but also over-the-top and cinematic. The dominant effect of the publication is of a well-made and emotional film that presents the redemption of two well-known Marvel characters who are humanised by their vulnerability. It contains a high extent of graphic and bloody violence, often by or against children. This is likely to shock and disturb children and younger teens and in some cases may inure them to real life violence and suffering.
24/03/2017 - R16: Violence, sexual violence, offensive language and content that may disturb
What's it about? A young and ambitious American executive who is known only as Lockhart is sent to retrieve the CEO of his corporation, Roland Pembroke. Roland takes leave at a health spa in Switzerland and refuses to return to the corporation. The spa is located in a castle on top of a mountain over a small village and there is bad blood between the villagers and the inhabitants of the castle. Doctor Volmer, the director of the spa, refuses to let Lockhart interview Pembroke. Frustrated, Lockhart attempts to make the return journey by car down the mountain, when a brutal accident lands him back at the castle with a broken leg.
What to expect? The film contains a number of stylised shock/horror set pieces. Some have sexual undertones. Elements of the film are coloured by disturbing, and at times beautifully constructed, set-pieces. There is a disturbing scene of sexual violence, but, in conjunction with the other scenes it is presented as cruel and reprehensible, and is contextualised by its overblown and deliberately shocking manner. Older teenagers and adults should have the critical capacity to put this material into perspective without being adversely affected.
16/03/2017 - R18: Graphic violence, offensive language and content that may disturb
What's it about? A group of policemen respond to an emergency callout on the fringes of Istanbul but their van plunges into a river while they are making their way to the callout. The officers are unharmed, and a short time later arrive at a dilapidated mansion, the site of the callout. The officers enter the mansion and soon fall victim to its inhabitants – a grotesque society of Satanists bent on creating hell on earth.
What to expect? A gory Turkish horror film with Satanic themes. It is surreal and disturbing, containing elements of horror, violence and sexual coercion. The film is well-made and builds from a slow start to a gruesome and bloody climax. Nightmarish scenes of torture, violence, sexual coercion, and degrading sexual and physical conduct have a high impact, and would be greatly disturbing and shocking to most people but particularly children and young persons. Adult audiences are likely to have the maturity and life experience to place this material in the context of a dark horror film without being negatively affected, and they are clearly the target viewers.
08/03/2017 - R16: Violence, offensive language and sexual material
What's it about? Two middle-aged California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers, Jon Baker and Francis “Ponch” Poncherello, are partnered up to tackle highway crime and uncover corrupt police officers within the force. Ponch is an undercover FBI agent and Jon is a rookie officer with extraordinary motorcycle handling abilities. Together the duo spend their days in pursuit of a crime ring headed by a corrupt police officer, Lieutenant Ray.
What to expect? The film’s comedy comes from the interactions and camaraderie between Ponch and Jon as they build trust with one another and work as a team to apprehend criminals. High-octane motorcycle chases and over-the-top action dominates the film. The overall effect of CHIPS is a wildly over-the-top buddy cop film laden with sexual gags and puerile humour. The sexual material and adult humour is beyond the maturity of younger viewers, especially children, who will instead be prematurely exposed to adult sexuality. Older teenagers and adults are more likely to have the experience and maturity to put these elements of the publication into its comedy context without being negatively affected.
03/03/2017 - R13: Violence, sexual material and nudity
What's it about? The game opens with massive colony ships arriving in Andromeda, a new galaxy. The player's customisable avatar (a human known as Ryder) is awoken from cryo-sleep. As a Pathfinder, they must search this new galaxy for habitable planets suitable for colonisation. However, Andromeda is unwelcoming to the colonists, with its planets rendered uninhabitable by a massive energy cloud, and a warlike alien race proving hostile to the intruders.
What to expect? The dominant effect of Mass Effect: Andromeda is of a grand space-faring adventure filled with spectacular vistas, memorable characters and plenty of firefights. There are regular sequences of sustained violent combat.
Alongside some limited elements of cruelty, references to crimes and some low-level sex scenes, which all occur in the course of the story, the game is clearly intended for a more mature audience.
27/02/2017 - R13: Violence, horror scenes and offensive language
What's it about? The player assumes the role of Morgan Yu, a crew member on board the space station Talos I, which is conducting scientific research. During a routine examination, the station is overrun by Typhons – ethereal, shape-shifting aliens – which kill most of the crew. Morgan must find a way to survive the alien threat and escape the Talos I, all the while uncovering the moral ambiguity of the research that was being performed within it.
What to expect? The dominant effect is that of a thoughtful first-person shooter in a science-fiction setting, with a restrained approach to combat and a heavy focus on exploration and puzzle-solving. The level of horror and stronger instances of violence (such as where players attack human characters with the laser-gun) are likely to shock and disturb children, but are unlikely to be injurious to teenagers and adults.
27/01/2017 - R13: Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb
What's it about? Patriots Day is a US drama/thriller based on events surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, and the city-wide manhunt in the days afterwards to catch the men responsible. The film follows Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg), a Boston police officer who is on the ground at the time of the bombings, and helps the FBI piece together surveillance footage leading to identification of the bombers.
What to expect? The film is an effective action thriller/drama based on a recent real-life tragedy. It contains scenes and subject matter that would be greatly disturbing and shocking to children, in particular the shots of bodily injury and focus on terrified victims and families affected by a mindless terrorist attack. The aftermath, which includes a car-jacking, a violent street battle and the execution of a police officer in his car at point blank range, also has a high degree of impact.
Teenagers and adults will have the maturity and life experience to place this material in its dramatic and historic context.
12/01/2017 - Objectionable (banned)
What's it about? Gal*Gun: Double Peace is a Japanese rail shooter for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Microsoft Windows. The player assumes the role of Houdai Kudoki, a high-schooler who has no luck with girls. A cupid-type angel accidentally shoots Houdai with a laser that condenses all of Houdai's romantic opportunities (for the rest of his life) into the next day. Houdai must use a "pheromone shot" to give the girls 'euphoria' which subdues them and allows him to confess to his true love.
Why was it banned? The game tends to promote and support the sexual exploitation of children and young persons, and the use of coercion in relation to sexual conduct. It depicts young female high-school students in a way that emphasises their sexual availability. For example, doki-doki mode involves the player touching and rubbing the girls to bring them to a state of 'euphoria', essentially a sort of orgasm. The game also continuously frames high school students as sexually compliant objects to be fetishized and touched regardless of their consent.
The game's lack of difficulty further supports the idea that the intention of this game is for the titillation and arousal of the player, rather than gameplay mastery. It is therefore likely not only to attract people with a prurient interest in young persons, but also to reinforce the belief that a sexual interest in young persons is acceptable, which contributes to their sexual exploitation in wider society.
For the full decision and the legal criteria that Gal*Gun: Double Peace has been assessed against, please contact the Information Unit.
13/01/2017 - M: Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb
What's it about? The film takes in the present, near-past and distant-past to follow Jackie Bouvier Kennedy's (Natalie Portman) grief and trauma as she struggles with her Catholic faith, the responsibility for her children, leaving her home, and how she defines her husband's legacy by the funeral she demands for him - one to rival Abraham Lincoln's.
What to expect? The film is an immersive psychological portrait of the First Lady in the immediate days after her husband was assassinated. It is an art-house production that is unlikely to have mass appeal. In a shifting timeline, it delivers an emotional record of a high-profile public figure coping with not only family tragedy, but a nation's grief and the world's sorrow.
While the bloodied images and senses of tragedy and grief are likely to momentarily disturb and shock younger viewers, they are unlikely to have any lasting effect.
14/12/2016 - R16: Violence, offensive language and sex scenes
What's it about? Joe Coughlin (Ben Affleck), the son of a Boston police captain, decides to cross the wrong mob boss when he begins an affair with Emma Gould (Sienna Miller), the mistress of powerful bootlegger Albert White (Robert Glenister). After a bank robbery goes awry and three policemen are killed, Joe is sent to Charlestown Penitentiary. Upon his release from prison, Joe visits Italian mobster Maso Pescatore (Remo Girone) and asks to work for him in order to get his revenge on White.
What to expect? Live By Night is a slickly produced violent gangster film. It contains extensive and strong violence and cruelty, which is likely to greatly shock and disturb younger viewers. The film also contains non-explicit sex scenes and highly offensive language.
The narrative's moral ambiguity requires a mature understanding to contextualise.
08/12/2016 - R16: Violence, offensive language, drug use, and sexual material
What's it about? Carol (Jennifer Aniston) and Clay (T. J. Miller), two siblings who have inherited their father's data storage company, are at odds with each other over keeping the Chicago branch of the business open. As the CEO, Carol threatens to close down the branch if Clay is not able to secure a lucrative business deal with client Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance) before the end of the day. Clay stages an extravagant Christmas party to win Davis over.
What to expect? The dominant effect is an over-the-top Christmas-themed comedy incorporating silly sex gags. There is a high extent of drug and alcohol use which is especially troubling as it is shown in combination with driving. There is a moderate extent of highly offensive language.
Older audiences will appreciate the humour and contextualise the stronger sexual material within a light-hearted comedy.
02/12/2016 - R18: Violence, sexual violence and offensive language
What's it about? A Parisian videogame executive (Isabelle Huppert) is raped in her home by a masked assailant. The film then delves into her complicated interpersonal relationships as she becomes increasingly suspicious of the men in her life.
What to expect? Scenes containing nudity, violence, sex, sexual violence, and offensive language. The film is a genre-defying and transgressive comedic character study that deals with the complex interaction of sexual violence, psychopathy and masochism.
Children and teenagers are unlikely to understand the complex sexual politics that run throughout the film, and the highly detailed and realistic nature of the rape scene may be triggering for some survivors of sexual violence.
28/11/2016 - R16: Graphic violence and horror
What's it about? Vampire death dealer Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is called back to her coven by Semira (Lara Pulver) to train vampires against an imminent Lycan threat. However, most of the vampires in the coven still treat Selene with suspicion for killing one of their vampire elders.
What to expect? A slickly produced gothic action film that focusses on well-choreographed fight scenes while maintaining a gothic horror atmosphere. Extensive scenes of serious physical harm that depict gore and viscera, which is likely to be greatly disturbing and shocking to young viewers.
Older teenagers are likely to place the film within its generic and fictional context.
08/11/2016 - R16: Violence, sexual violence, offensive language and nudity
What's it about? A thriller that oscillates between the reality of successful L.A. art gallery owner, Susan's (Amy Adams) life and a manuscript she reads written by her first husband, Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal). As both stories unfold it becomes clear that Edward has written the novel and sent it to Susan in order to take revenge on her.
What to expect? The dominant effect is a smart and stylish thriller focused on the theme of revenge. It contains some strong scenes of violence and cruelty and deals extensively with sexual violence, all of which have a strong impact on the viewer.
This includes extensive scenes containing the threat of sexual violence, callous taunts, and a brief rape scene. There is periodic use of highly offensive language in an aggressive context.
08/11/2016 - R16: Violence, offensive language, sexual material and other content that may offend
What's it about? Billy Bob Thornton returns as the foul-mouthed alcoholic anti-hero Willie Soke. Willie is lured to Chicago by his angry side-kick Marcus (Tony Cox), to crack a safe and rob a large Christmas charity.
What to expect? Strong sexual references throughout, and several sex scenes which are all over-the-top and intended to be comical in the manner of black humour, but are unsuitable for younger viewers who may not have the maturity or experience to deal with sexually explicit references.
The dominant effect is of an acerbic, crass black comedy. Most of the humour presented is intended to be shocking and satirical. There is an attempted suicide scene at the start of the film but the depiction is not considered to carry any risk of emulation due to the context. It is intended to be darkly humorous, and illustrates the sorry state of Willie's life.
08/11/2016 - R16: Violence and offensive language
What's it about? A divorced father (Chris Pine - Star Trek) and his ex-con older brother (Ben Foster - The Program) resort to a desperate scheme to save their family's ranch in West Texas. They rob branch after branch of the bank that is foreclosing on their family land, and along the way attract the attention of a tenacious and soon-to-be retired Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges).
What to expect? Scenes containing crime, cruelty, violence and highly offensive language that would be greatly disturbing and shocking to young viewers. The dominant effect is a well-made, character-driven crime drama with western genre elements.
Toby and Tanner's illegal behaviour, while it eventually has tragic consequences, is also viewed against the predatory lending behaviour of the banks and limited options for an underclass of people just scraping by financially.
This gives the story a moral complexity that younger viewers would struggle with. For these reasons, the Classification Office has restricted the film to viewers aged 16 years and over.
06/11/2016 - R16: Sex scenes, violence, drug use and offensive language
What's it about? Bob Bolero and Terry Monroe are corrupt New Mexico cops. These hard-drinking, wise-cracking anti-heroes relish in brazenly blackmailing, robbing and beating up all the criminals they encounter. After they come up against criminal kingpin, James Mangan, things get very, very personal.
What to expect? The film has a fast-paced Tarantino-style aesthetic and lurches from one frenzied violent set piece to another knowingly referencing cop-movie conventions in a tongue-in-cheek manner.
The quickly-edited but frequent depictions of assault and murder, as well as occasional torture scenes, are likely to shock and disturb children and younger teenagers, or otherwise have an inuring effect on them. The film is saturated with highly offensive language, and candid but brief depictions of drug use and sexual intercourse and sexualised nudity.
Younger audiences are not likely to have the life experience or maturity to understand the black humour permeating through these scenes. Older teenagers and adults are likely to put these strong scenes of violence and sexual material into the context of a satiricial, over-the-top narrative.
04/11/2016 - R15: Depicts graphic and realistic war scenes
What's it about? Hacksaw Ridge dramatises the real-life experiences of World War II American soldier, Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield - The Amazing Spider-Man), the first conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Doss went to war but refused to fire a bullet, choosing to enter the battlefield without a weapon.
What to expect? The film has a high extent and degree of violence, which initially touches on domestic violence and bullying, and progresses to explosive gut-wrenching war combat in the second half.
The most significant element of the dominant effect is the way the film shows the futility of war. The extent and degree of violence and cruelty in the second half of the film, although highly edited and contextualised in the dominant effect, has the potential to disturb and distress children and younger teenagers.
The graphic nature of violence warrants restriction, and a higher restriction may have been necessary. However, the Classification Office has balanced the high impact of these depictions against the film's artistic merit, and cultural and educational value.
01/10/2016 - 16: Violence, offensive language, sex scenes and content that may disturb
What's it about? The Girl On The Train is set in the outskirts of New York City and has a running time of just under 112 minutes.
The film is based on British author, Paula Hawkins' 2015 bestselling neo-noir, psychological thriller about a troubled woman, Rachel Watson, who takes the train every day. The journey passes the street where she used to live with her ex-husband, Tom. She spends her commuting time creating fantasies about a new couple who also live on the street, and whom she sees in glancing intimate moments. One morning, she notices something that shocks her and soon becomes embroiled in mystery and murder. Addiction and trauma have clouded her memory and she becomes obsessed with finding the truth.
What to expect? This feature targets viewers who are older teens and adults, those are more likely to have the analytical ability and measures to make sense of the complex storyline and distance themselves from the stronger material. There is subject matter to do with sex, violence, horror and cruelty which builds as the narrative plays out. Rachel's character is often confronted and deliberately confused. There are scenes of domestic violence and some psychological cruelty. Many of the images that convey these themes are glancing and difficult to put into a meaningful context until the final scenes.
The likelihood of this material being confusing and disturbing for younger viewers is high. For these reasons, The Girl On The Train is restricted to an audience aged 16 years and over.
18/08/2016 - R13: Contains violence
What's it about? Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade is a sci-fi multiplayer shooter set on the war-torn planet of Arkhona.
From a third-person perspective, players control a sci-fi warrior from one of four factions and battle against the other player-populated armies. These factions are the power-armoured Space Marines, a 'Chaos' variant of the Space Marines, a race of space-elves known as Eldar, and the entertainingly goofy Orks. A fifth AI-controlled faction of insect-like aliens known as the Tyranid are used for purely co-operative gameplay.
What to expect? With skirmishes of around 30 players a side, two factions battle across large maps, attacking and defending zones and fortresses.
The effect is of continuous sci-fi combat which, while not realistic, requires players to engage in repetitive bloody violence. As a result, the game is restricted to persons aged thirteen and older.
16/08/2016 - R16: Sex scenes, violence, drug use and offensive language
What's it about? Sausage Party is an animated comedy that stars an ensemble voice cast including Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton and Salma Hayek.
The film turns a simple supermarket into a microcosm of human society. It centres on anthropomorphic food items and other consumer products that are convinced that their destiny is to be purchased by "gods" (humans) and then taken into the "great beyond". Frank (a hotdog) and Brenda (a bread bun) are placed next to each other on the supermarket shelf and long to be together.
All of the happy beliefs of the food are called into question when a jar of honey mustard is returned to the supermarket. Shaken by the horrors he witnessed in the outside world, he tries to tell his fellow products that the world outside the supermarket is not what they imagine.
Frank and Brenda end up on an odyssey in the supermarket trying to unravel the truth about the outside world. On their journey they meet a bickering pair of breads (Bagel and Lavash), a lesbian taco shell (Teresa Del Taco) and encounter an angry bottle of douche. Frank and his friends are enriched with knowledge when they meet Firewater, a bottle of Native American-themed alcohol, who helps them answer the existential questions that plague them.
What to expect? The film contains animated violence, crass sexual references, sex scenes, drug use, and highly offensive language. Older teenagers and adults are more likely to have the maturity to comprehend the film's stronger elements without being negatively affected. For these reasons, Sausage Party is restricted to persons 16 years of age and older.
09/08/2016 - M: Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over. Offensive language, sexual references and content that may offend.
What's it about? Ricky Gervais returns as David Brent, his old character from the BBC series, The Office.
Set 15 years after the events of the TV show, David Brent is now a sales rep and still an aspiring musician.
In this mockumentary, Brent uses his pension and vacation time to tour with his band, Foregone Conclusion - his one last crack at becoming a rock star.
The film follows the band as they play small venues and end up involved in a Battle of the Bands contest. Unsurprisingly, Brent oversteps the mark with his politically incorrect sense of humour, providing plenty of cringe-worthy moments and awkward conversations.
What to expect? Brent's typically offensive, sexist, homophobic and racist comments manage to offend everyone, including his fellow band members.
It contains the occasional use of sexual references and juvenile innuendo.
Our examiners said this about the film: "The offensive language and intentionally offensive and mildly degrading content require a degree of maturity to understand in context. Therefore the film is classified as unrestricted but recommended as more suitable for mature audiences."
09/08/2016 - R18: Graphic violence, drug use, offensive language and sexual material
What's it about? The film Hardcore Henry, available on Blu-Ray and DVD, is based on the first person shooter genre of games. It is filmed entirely in the first person perspective using GoPro cameras, with the viewer effectively seeing what Henry sees through the entire length of the film.
What to expect? Hardcode Henry is a frenetic, immersive, and violent action film about a man who wakes up in a Moscow laboratory to learn that he's been brought back from the dead as a half-human, half-robotic hybrid. With no memory of his former life, a woman who claims to be his wife tells him that his name is Henry. Before she can activate his voice, armed thugs storm in and kidnap her. As Henry starts to understand his new abilities, he embarks on a bloody rampage through the city to save his spouse from a psychopath (Danila Kozlovsky) who plans to destroy the world.
Our examiners had this to say: "This film has been restricted to adults because of its strong and extensive scenes of violence and cruelty. This material is likely to greatly shock and disturb children and teenagers. Similarly the use of violence and cruelty with a hyped up tone in the context of entertainment is likely to inure and desensitise children and teenagers to such depictions of violence. The film also contains a considerable amount of sexual material, scenes of drug use, and offensive language - all of which contributes to the R18 classification."
09/08/2016 - R13: Contains violence
What's it about? Dragon Blade is an historically-themed blockbuster from China, an epic bloody tale of warring nations and friendship, loosely inspired by history.
Set on the Silk Road in 50 BC, it follows General Huo An (Jackie Chan) as he and his Silk Road Protection Squad keep the trading nations from breaking into war. But it is a tenuous peace, shattered by the arrival of a Roman legion.
What to expect? The bloody battle violence and themes of cruelty ensure the DVD/Blu-Ray is unsuitable for younger viewers.
There are some strong action sequences, involving spectacular scenes of martial arts and melee combat, with glimpses of blood and stabbings to imply stronger violence than is typically shown. However some characters are seen coughing up blood or with bloodied faces as the result of cruel injury.
Our examiners agreed that the impact of these stronger sequences are tied into climactic or dramatic scenes and as such are well contextualised.
Teenagers have the maturity to deal with this stronger content, especially as it is distanced by its historic setting. As a result the film is restricted to 13-year-olds and over. This ensures children are protected from the violence and cruelty of the film while allowing teenagers to enjoy its thrilling spectacle.
28/07/2016 - R16: Violence, offensive language and sexual themes
What's it about? Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a globe-trotting first-person action adventure game set in a cyberpunk 2029. Due for release in August, it follows cyborg Adam Jensen as he investigates domestic terrorism and international conspiracies in a world where the mechanically augmented are no longer trusted.
What to expect? To progress through the game, players involve themselves in a seedy world of crime and violence. However players are allowed the freedom to move stealthily through each level or to go in guns blazing. To this end, the game presents a varying extent of otherwise bloody and violent combat. But with the use of firearms and bladed weapons against human opponents, the effect remains impactful.
This violence is at a level that is likely to shock and disturb children and younger teens or could have the effect of desensitising them to real life violence. Due to the way the game deals with violence, crime and sexual themes, the game is restricted to those aged 16 and older.
24/06/2016 - R13: Violence, sexual violence and content that may disturb
What's it about? India's Daughter is a 2014 documentary from the United Kingdom about Jyoti Singh, the 23-year-old medical student who, on 16 December 2012, was gang-raped and tortured on a Delhi bus and left for dead. The ensuing outrage reverberated around the world with large demonstrations beginning in Delhi the day after. The narrative digs into the culture that allowed this heinous crime to occur by seeking out and listening to Jyoti's friends and family, police, medical staff, one of the jailed rapists, and families of the rapists. Defense lawyers are also given time as are other officials in the judiciary.
What to expect? The documentary uses a straightforward approach allowing the subjects to speak for themselves which makes for often unsettling confrontation for the viewer when attitudes and beliefs view Jyoti as the transgressor.
The diminished status of girls and women and the discrimination towards them in areas of Indian society is given high profile. There are men interviewed who are adamant that it was Jyoti's fault she was raped. These men come from not only the judiciary, but also from lower caste men who are relatives of the rapists. Their comments are revealing and offer chilling insight into the minds of men who are taught to view women with contempt. "A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy" a man declares, implying that Jyoti gave up her right to be treated with respect when she went outdoors at night with a male non-family member. The film includes comments from a number of academics who ably point out how the oppression of women is often rooted in numerous smaller, everyday prejudices.
The treatment of the subject matter is not gratuitous and there is no imagery of the violence or the rape. There is significant merit in the way such an horrific set of acts are presented in a careful manner without denying the realities. These also need some maturity to rationalise and put into context. Children are lesser equipped to make sense of such complexities such as this and are likely to be shocked and disturbed by the stronger material. Therefore the documentary is classified R13 with a note for violence, sexual violence and content that may disturb.
13/07/2016 - R18: Explicit sex scenes and offensive language
What's it about? Paris 05.59 is a French film due to screen at the International Film Festival. It's about Theo and Hugo, two gay men who meet during the film's opening 20-minute sex scene in a sex club. The camera follows them as they get to know each other during the rest of the feature, biking and walking the streets of Paris, going to hospital, riding the subway, and visiting Hugo's apartment. Hugo realises that Theo did not use a condom - and has to tell Theo that he is HIV positive. They do the responsible thing by visiting the A&E department. The film ends at 05.59am - the moment the men fall in love.
What to expect? The film begins with a lengthy and explicit sex scene that involves a large group of men. It is clear the men are engaging in intercourse and fellatio with one another. Although the remainder of the film is largely uneventful and dialogue heavy, this is clearly a love-story for adults due to the high level and impact of this sexual material. It is not intended for teenagers or children, who are not at an age to negotiate such sexual content and the context in which it is shown. Therefore, the availability of the publication requires restriction to adult viewers.
11/07/2016 - R16: Violence, offensive language, sex scenes and content that may disturb
What's it about? The Sound And The Fury is an adaptation of a novel by William Faulkner published in 1929. This movie, coming soon on DVD, follows a conservative old Southern American family falling apart as the world enters the 20th century.
What to expect? The film is directed by, and stars, James Franco, and features Seth Rogan and Danny McBride in minor roles. The narrative provokes thought about the darker side of the human condition and draws attention to issues of the time. It is emotionally harrowing and best suited to those who have the maturity to comprehend the historical context. The narrative is tense and often gives a sense of unrest but is slow moving with a focus on voiceover and dialogue.
Younger viewers are likely to be disturbed by the depictions of violence and the threatening and cruel behaviours. The sexual content, although brief, is inappropriate for younger viewers, as is the use of highly offensive racist language. The disturbing treatment of the mentally challenged and the racist attitudes of some of the characters support a restriction as younger viewers lack the maturity and life experience to place these elements into an historical context. For these reasons the film is classified R16 with a note for violence, offensive language, sex scenes and disturbing content.
06/07/2016 - R16: Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb
What's it about? Colonia is a gripping historical thriller based on actual events. The story follows a young couple, Daniel and Lena (played by Emma Watson), who become entangled in the 1973 Chilean coup d'etat. Daniel is abducted and detained at Colonia Dignidad, an oppressive commune where political prisoners are taken to disappear. Lena joins the commune and subjects herself to harsh treatment in the hope of rescuing Daniel.
What to expect? The pervasive sense of threat and tension, combined with the aspects of sexual threat, torture and cruelty, leaves a lasting impression on the viewer. The film is especially haunting because it is based on true events. Ominous music and the bleak aesthetic of the Colonia contribute further to the unsettling atmosphere.
Older teenagers and adults are more likely to have the analytical ability to appreciate the story and distance themselves from the stronger material.
30/06/2016 - R13: Content that may disturb
What's it about? Beware The Slenderman is a documentary exploring the circumstances of a 2014 stabbing in Wisconsin. The film follows the families of two twelve-year-old girls who plotted to kill their friend, in the hope of gaining the favour of the urban-horror figure known as the Slenderman.
What to expect? A chilling but sympathetic look at the impact of a real-world violent crime. Through interviews, news reports, court sessions and professional opinions, the film unravels the mix of urban legend, mental health and social circumstances which led two young girls to attempt murder. The film intersperses the discussion of violent crime with horror imagery.
Younger audiences may be negatively impacted by these revelations, undermining their trust in their family, friends and society. As a result, the film is restricted to teenagers and adults.
29/06/2016 - R18: Graphic violence, drug use and offensive language
What's it about? Green Room is an American survival thriller. It centres on a struggling punk band who travel to a remote location to play a gig for what turns out to be a group of violent right wing rednecks. When they become witness to a murder they are held against their will in the Green Room. When the owner of the club hears of what has happened, he immediately arranges to cover up the murder by killing the band members and frame them for the murder. The band members are forced into a vicious fight for survival against their captors.
What to expect? The dark, suspenseful film contains numerous spikes of cruel, graphic, high impact violence that is likely to shock and disturb all but an adult audience. Adding to the need for a restriction is the highly offensive language which is used in a threatening and aggressive way. Brief depictions of drug use also support a restriction.
The film is intended for adult audiences who are likely to have the maturity and experience to contextualise the violent and cruel elements of the publication into the framework of an intense survival thriller without being negatively affected.
25/06/2016 - R18: Sex scenes, offensive language
What's it about? Fifty Shades Of Black is a parody of the erotic thriller Fifty Shades Of Grey. Bookish college graduate Hannah Steale embarks on a relationship with wealthy businessman Christian Black. Their relationship is based on BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism) and the film contains extensive depictions of BDSM conduct that have a strong impact on the viewer.
What to expect? This material is likely to greatly shock and disturb children and teenagers who are likely to not have an understanding of BDSM relationships. Regular use of highly offensive language, sexual references and sex scenes are similarly likely to cause harm to this audience. This material is likely to adversely affect the development of children and teenagers who are still in the process of forming sexual attitudes and behaviours.
Adults have the necessary maturity to view this material in the context of a parody of a well-known erotic thriller.
25/06/2016 - M: Suitable for mature audiences 16 years of age and over. Contains sex scenes and offensive language.
What's it about? Tallulah stars Ellen Page in the title role of this Netflix movie. It's an emotional drama highlighting social divisions and perspectives through the eyes of three women.
Tallulah is a free-spirited young woman who encounters an intoxicated Carolyn. Rich and distraught, Carolyn leaves her toddler with Tallulah to go partying. Tallulah makes a rash decision to take the baby to Margo, the mother of her former boyfriend, claiming it is her grandchild. Carolyn and the police frantically scour New York searching for the toddler. Tallulah is eventually caught and arrested.
What to expect? The film contains highly offensive language, crimes such as kidnapping, and a low-level sex scene. These are contained within a dialogue-bound, character-driven film that is unlikely to engage a younger audience. However the presence of this brief material means that while the publication is classified as unrestricted, it is more appropriate for a mature audience.
22/06/2016 - R13 and R16
Some episodes within Season Four of Orange Is The New Black on Netflix have been classified as R13, while other episodes containing stronger material have been classified as R16.
What's it about? Orange Is The New Black is an American comedy/drama series which is set in a women's prison. The series is about Piper Chapman, a woman in her thirties who is sentenced to fifteen months imprisonment for transporting money for her drug dealing ex-girlfriend, Alex. The series centres on the day-to-day happenings inside the prison as friendships are formed and relationships are tested. There are flashback sequences in each episode which explore several of the more prominent characters' pasts.
What to expect? The publication is an intelligent and funny drama, focusing on the individual stories of a range of diverse women as well as the relationships between them in prison. Episodes which have been classified as R13 are likely to contain offensive language, along with less strong depictions of sexual material and violence. Some of these episodes include nudity. Episodes which have been classified as R16 contain stronger sexual material, including sex scenes, along with stronger scenes of violence and cruelty. These episodes are also likely to include drug use.
22/06/2016 - R16: Sexual references and offensive language
What's it about? Ali Wong: Baby Cobra is a bold and crass recorded stand-up comedy routine, performed by comedian Ali Wong and currently screening on Netflix. She discusses her pregnancy, sex, her husband, differences in her body as she has aged and her use of pornography. She also discusses her perspective on miscarriage and the way male comedians use babies as leverage for their careers.
What to expect? There are many strong references to sex. Wong's honesty around sex is intended to be bawdy and shock the audience, particularly as she performs while pregnant in a male dominated industry.
The show contains a considerable amount of highly offensive language that is likely to cause harm to children and young teenagers as its use in a comedy context may lead to young viewers thinking that such language is socially acceptable.