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BBFC Ratings Explained

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BBFC Ratings Explained

Age ratings on this service are provided by the BBFC unless stated.

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In the UK the BBFC give an age rating to every film shown in UK cinemas or sold on DVD / Blu-ray, and for many films and series available to watch online.

BBFC age ratings allow you to make informed decisions about what you and your family watch, helping to protect younger audiences from inappropriate material.

Each symbol represents a work with a BBFC age rating at a specific category that reflects the age of the audience(s) that the material is appropriate for. Our Classification Guidelines for age ratings are based on large scale public research, involving more than 10,000 members of the UK public and are updated every 4 – 5 years.

More information about the BBFC and their age ratings can be found at http://www.bbfc.co.uk

The BBFC age rating categories are explained below.

Universal - Suitable for all

A U film should be suitable for audiences aged four years and over. There may be infrequent use only of very mild bad language and no overt focus on sexual behaviour, or innuendo. May include brief fight/scary scenes or moments where characters are placed in danger but these scenes will be balanced by reassuring elements, such as comic interludes or music.

Parental guidance

A PG film should not unsettle a child aged around eight or older. In a PG work, illegal or antisocial behaviour, such as bullying, will not be condoned or seen to go unchallenged. There should be no detail of potentially dangerous behaviour if that behaviour is seen as fun. Smoking and drinking will not be promoted or glamorised and if child characters are seen smoking or drinking, there should be a clear message that this is bad. There might be innocuous or passing references to illegal drugs or drugs misuse, but no strong focus on this. Mild bad language and references to sex are acceptable if they are not frequent, and the activity talked about or shown is only implied and lacking in detail.

12 - Video release suitable for 12 years and over

No one younger than 12 may rent or buy a 12 rated video. There may be moderate language. Strong language may be permitted, depending on context. Sex may be briefly and discreetly portrayed and there may be nudity, but nudity in a sexual context should only be brief and discreet. Dangerous behaviour may be present, but should not dwell on detail, and there should be no promotion of any dangerous activity that children are likely to copy.

15 - Suitable only for 15 years and over

No one younger than 15 may see a 15 film in a cinema. No one younger than 15 may rent or buy a 15 rated video. There may be strong violence, portrayals of sexual activity, strong verbal references to sex, nudity in a sexual context, brief scenes of sexual violence or verbal references to sexual violence, discriminatory language or behaviour and drug taking. There may be frequent strong language, and very strong language may be permitted depending on context.

18 - Suitable only for adults

No one younger than 18 may see an 18 film in a cinema. No one younger than 18 may rent or buy an 18 rated video. The 18 rating is for adults only and can contain strong issues such as very strong violence, very strong language, strong portrayals of sexual activity, scenes of sexual violence, strong horror, strong bloody violence and gore, real sex (in some circumstances) and strong discriminatory language and behaviour.