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The BBFC examines and age rates films and videos before they are released.

It does this to protect children from unsuitable and even harmful content in films and videos and to give consumers information they might need before deciding whether or not to view a particular film.

In this section you’ll find out more about these ratings and the work of the BBFC.

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The BBFC classifies films, videos/DVDs, trailers and cinema advertisements and trailers according to its Classification Guidelines, with ratings ranging from ‘U’ for Universal to ‘18’. Learn more about the ratings.

If you’re in doubt about what a rating means, or why a film got a particular rating, check the BBFC’s website. It publishes detailed information about the content of every film it rates called BBFCinsight. BBFCinsight is aimed particularly at parents and gives you a clear summary of how and why a film was rated at any given category.

The BBFC also offers a free App for iPhone and Android phones where you can check age ratings and BBFCinsight for films and videos, including those rated for distribution online.


Since 2008, the BBFC and the home entertainment industry have been working in partnership to bring BBFC age ratings and BBFCinsight to films and other audio visual material being offered online.

Many online platforms such as BT Vision, TalkTalk, Netflix, Microsoft, Picturebox, and Blinkbox and even airlines, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, are working with the BBFC to ensure that material they provide online comes with a BBFC age rating.


Stay informed

Alongside the age ratings the BBFC publishes other information for parents and film fans.

It has guides to the age ratings, education resources for children and a BBFC newsletter, which you can subscribe to.

You can also follow BBFC decisions and other news via twitter @BBFC and listen to regular BBFC podcasts.

Have your say

Tell the BBFC what you think via ParentPort or by emailing [email protected].

You can also take part in the online survey the BBFC uses as part of their work to update the BBFC Classification Guidelines. The next major survey will take place early in 2013 and will seek the views of thousands of parents on what they consider to be acceptable content (for example, violence, sex, language) at the different age categories. The BBFC reviews the Classification Guidelines every 4 years consulting around 10,000 members of the public through focus groups and surveys.

You can write, email or tweet with your views on age ratings generally or to highlight any concerns or views you have about what you have seen in a BBFC-classified film. The BBFC’s information and ratings are there to help you make informed choices to protect your children and ensure you have a happy and safe family viewing experience. You can also get in touch with the BBFC via ParentPort’s Have Your Say section.

Want to find out more?

You can read more about the BBFC on ParentPort’s Find Out More page.

Find out about copyright and where to find films on the internet legally and safely. Childnet