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12A is the new 15

Mon, 21 July 2014

12A is the new 15

The BBFC have reported a record number of films were rated 12A in 2013.

A total of 321 movies were given the 12A classification, including popular teen films like The Hunger Games, and Academy Award winner Gravity. This is a substantial increase from 2012 where only 234 films were given the rating.

12A, the newest rating released in 2001, means children aged 12 and over can go and see a film at the cinema or watch on DVD unaccompanied, with those under this age also able to view the film with an adult.

Despite the BBFC’s new found popularity for the rating, a study in January has shown 27% of cinema-goers were “unable to describe accurately” what 12A meant. Subsequently, Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise was found to be the most complained about film in 2013 with some parents feeling that the film was “too violent, dark and sadistic for 12-year-olds, and inappropriately presented the hero as a vigilante figure”

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said "Especially at that age, children are developing at different speeds, and therefore their own parents are far better placed than us to judge whether a particular film would give their child too intense an experience or not,"

In the annual report, Patrick Swaffer, president of the BBFC, said “more needed to be done to improve understanding” and renewed efforts to explain the 12A certificate will be made this summer with a cinema advertising campaign.

What do you think of the 12A rating? Has the BBFC become too relaxed? We’ll be discussing this and more at our Media Live! question panel in Paris. Join us and take part.


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