It’s very unusual for everyone to be unanimous about someone or something, especially in the media. The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) face many complaints over their ratings of films in cinema and home release. Here is a blog post about which have had the most complaints through all of time and more recently, both big and small productions.
Spectre (2015) –
The 24th instalment of the famous 007 franchise was handed 40 complaints over 2015, the most of any film in that year. According to the BBFC’s annual report, published on Friday, Spectre’s distributor sought advice on how it could secure a 12A classification during the film’s post-production.”One scene involving an eye-gouging was slightly too strong for the company’s preferred 12A classification,” the report said. “We therefore suggested reductions to this scene. What remains in the classified version of the scene is a brief implication of what is happening, with only limited visual detail.” Another scene, showing the bloody aftermath of a suicide, was similarly reduced. The BBFC added that a separate torture scene involving a “larger-than-life hero” like Bond contained a “lack of detail” that made it acceptable for a 12A rating.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) –
This film that was also released in the same year as Spectre gained 38 complaints. Many concerned the level of violence in the 15-rated comedy spy thriller, particularly during a fight scene in a church. The BBFC said it saw a version of the film before it was complete and “offered advice” on how to achieve the distributor’s desired 15 rating. Otherwise, it pointed out, the film would have been classified 18. “While there are some strong moments of violence in the film, they are relatively brief and do not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury to the extent they require an 18 classification,” the BBFC said.
Minions (2015) –
The kids action/adventure film that achieved a U-rating received 16 complaints. The animated film that was a follow up towards the two films in the Despicable Me series, had the audience mainly concerned about a scene set in a medieval-style torture dungeon. “The Minions are stretched on a rack, where it is apparent that they do not come to any harm, and this develops into them slipping unharmed through a noose and playing with the gallows,” the BBFC said. “The scene takes place in an unrealistic, comic and slapstick manner which is likely to be familiar to young viewers, who expect the Minions to survive. “The realistic risk of harmful imitation is very low indeed.”
2013 saw a record number of movies being handed the 12A certificate, are they handing it out too easily?
Jack Reacher (2013) –
The film received 26 complaints about its 12A certificate for cinema and how the character was almost promoting violence. Tom Cruise played a character that was pretty awesome, this could be have seen as promoting physical violence towards children.
The Dark Knight (2008) –
The highly rated film was controversially handed a 12A certificate in 2008 received just under 400 complaints eventually. The BBFC say that “An analysis of these complaints showed that less than 10% of those who complained about the film’s unsuitability for children had actually accompanied children to screenings of the film.” They continued to say that “It was also clear that many had not seen the film but were responding to press stories about it. A further trend was noted that once the interest ceased, the complaints significantly declined though the film continued to be screened nationwide.” This will always be regarded as one of the most unexpected certificates.
Manhunt 2 –
was a video game created by Rockstar Games, also creators of the Grand Theft Auto series, was rejected for a certificate by the BBFC. They stated that the game had an “unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying”. Because of this initial ban the BBFC received over 700 complaints from the gaming community over its rejection. The game went through several appeals before it was finally granted an 18 certificate in March 2008, 5 month after the worldwide release. The BBFC believed that the content was too extreme, especially as when playing the game you are effectively controlling the violent act, you are the character.