12A/12 – Suitable for 12 years and over

12A/12 – Suitable for 12 years and over

Cinema content classified 12A and video content classified 12 contain material that is not generally suitable for children aged under 12.

No one younger than 12 may be permitted to attend a 12A cinema screening unless they are accompanied by an adult. Adults planning to take a child under 12 to a 12A should consider whether the main feature is suitable for that child. To help them decide, we recommend that they check the BBFC’s content advice for the film in advance.

No one younger than 12 may rent or buy a 12-rated video.

Dangerous behaviour

Potentially dangerous behaviour that children are likely to copy should not be encouraged. Realistic or easily accessible weapons such as knives should not be glamorised. Antisocial behaviour should not be endorsed.


Discriminatory language or behaviour must not be endorsed by the content as a whole. Such behaviour is unlikely to be acceptable if accompanied by violence, unless clearly condemned.


Misuse of drugs or other substances will generally be infrequent. There should be no glamorisation or instructional detail.


There may be moderate bad language. Strong language may be permitted, depending on context and frequency within the content as a whole.


There may be nudity, but in a sexual context it should be brief and discreet.


Sexual activity may be portrayed briefly and discreetly. Moderate sex references are permitted, but frequent crude references are unlikely to be acceptable.

Sexual violence

There may be verbal references to sexual violence provided they are not graphic. The stronger forms of sexual violence, including rape, may only be implied and any sexual threat or abusive behaviour should be brief and negatively presented.

Suicide and self-harm

There may be references to suicide and self-harm, although stronger details are unlikely to be permitted unless justified by context. Portrayals of suicide and self-harm should only be brief and discreet.

Threat and horror

There may be scenes of moderate physical and psychological threat. Although some scenes may be disturbing, the overall tone should not be. Horror sequences should not be frequent or sustained.


There may be moderate violence, but it should not dwell on detail. Occasional blood and injuries may be shown, but gory images should be infrequent and justified by context (for example, medical detail, fantasy).

How can I find out more about a specific film?

Please check the content advice for the film or video you are thinking of watching. Content advice is available on this website, on our free App, as well as on film posters, DVD and Blu-ray packaging, and on some listings. It provides comprehensive information on exactly why a film or video has been given a particular category. All the issues are discussed in detail and parents in particular can use this information to make informed decisions when choosing viewing material for their children.