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By: James Emery

When it comes to movies for adults and movies for children, the distinction is pretty clear. Age restrictions apply to ensure that certain content is not seen by anybody who is too young for themes or images present in the movie.

However, the advent of the 12A certificate back in 2002 has muddied the waters somewhat.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) describes 12A films as ‘cinema release suitable for 12 years and over’. However, ‘an adult may take a younger child if, in their judgement, the film is suitable for that particular child’. Therefore any child under the age of 12 is allowed to see a 12A film so long as they are supervised by someone over 18.

But will the movie be suitable for such a child? The decision is placed in the adult’s hand to judge whether or not the child they are taking is ready for the content of the movie in question, but ambiguous tags such as ‘sustained threat’ or ‘mild peril’ aren’t particularly helpful and most movie reviews are focused on whether or not the movie is good, not whether it will be suitable and trawling the internet to find this information can lead to accidentally reading spoilers, thus imparing your own enjoyment.

This leaves accompanying adults in a difficult position. Should they just take the under 12s with them and hope for the best? This is potentially risky because the child could be exposed to content which isn’t suitable for them. Or should the adults go to see the movie first? This is probably the most recommended route to take but that means paying to see the film twice, not counting travel costs, babysitting arrangements or food charges etc, and with spiralling everyday costs, who has money to spare these days?

We at Is This Movie know that many adults are concerned about the possible desensitising effects of violence or sexual content and so we strive to write reviews that will ensure you are happy with the content seen by any child you take to the movies.

We therefore wish to provide you with the information we think you will need in order to help you make the best decision as to what is suitable for any children you may take to the movies with you. Although this is likely to be most applicable to parents, we believe that anyone who is thinking of taking a child to the cinema will find this website helpful.

Our aim is to write entertaining but insightful reviews that, most importantly, do not pass any sort of judgements. We won’t tell you not to take children to these movies, but we will let you know if there is anything in them that you might not be happy with a child seeing. The decision of whether or not a movie is suitable is always yours and with the help of Is This Movie we aim to ensure you have all the information you need to make that decision, saving you both time and money and helping to relieve the stress of something which should be a simple family day out!

If you have any comments or questions please feel free to read our Frequently Asked Questions page. Or, if you want to know more about the people behind Is This Movie Suitable then please do visit our About Us page.

Alternatively, if you would like to get in touch with us directly with any thoughts or feedback about ITMS then please drop us a line, we will do our best to help.