Altered Spaces

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Age Restrictions On Movies

with 17 comments

Doesn’t it seem a little messed up that parents aren’t allowed to take their kids to see any movie at the cinema when they can watch any film they like on DVD at home?

Think about it for a moment. We have age restrictions on movies to stop kids seeing images that might disturb them or otherwise have a negative effect on their lives, but this really only applies at the cinema. The moment the movie is released on DVD it’s basically free to be devoured by any child who has access to it. It pretty much makes the cinema restriction redundant.

Now I realise not all parents might not be considered as responsible as others, but surely it is every parents right to choose what their child views? Is it not better that the government simply gives guidance to parents about film content rather than blanket bans.

I would never go as far as allowing children to watch any movie on their own at the cinema and to be honest it disturbs me that they can do that in the comfort of their own home. The system we have today seems to be half-baked. It’s one rule for the cinema and a different one for DVDs.

Given a choice I’d change two things:

  1. I’d allow parents to take their kids to see any film at the cinema, but maintain the restriction on kids seeing films alone. Ideally, there’d be more information at the cinema regarding the specific content of movies (sex, violence etc.), so that parents could make more informed choices.
  2. I’d get DVD manufacturers to be obligated to add an extra restriction on DVD players so that a password is needed to watch films above a certain age restriction. Individual DVDs would then carry an age restriction flag that the DVD player would read.

So what do you think? Are the current restrictions enough or too much? Do you share the same view as me?


Written by wideawakewesley

May 9, 2005 at 11:51 am

Posted in Debatable

17 Responses

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  1. Well i\’m 14 and my mom lets me see whatever i want at the movie theatre, unless its an 18…obviously. But i can get any dvd without her consent like kill bill (18) or something. I agree…i\’m not complaining because the movies i\’m actually \’allowed\’ into are utter crap, but i don\’t see the point in age restrictions, as they don\’t work. If my parents didn\’t let me go see 15 or something, i would still go with my friends anyway, so there is no point, unless you are really young or obey your parents…unlike me, heh heh…


    May 9, 2005 at 12:34 pm

    • its the after affects the thought process that a movie will leave on a child after they have watched a movie the’re not supposed to have watched.
      the age restrictions are there for a reason i believe should be kept in place and followed through with.
      and if a child can get a dvd that is inappropriate for their age then parents should be paying closer attention to what their kid’s are actually getting up to.

      its just how i see it.

      juan-pierre pollen

      June 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm

  2. This is a difficult one. I agree with the concept of age certification, but I also agree with the choice of a responcible parent. I think that the distinction must come if the child is alone or accompanied. On a seporate issue: why are so many films \’sanitised\’ these days. Films are being cut so to allow for a more family friendly certificate. I really annoys me when films are made for a younger market simply because more money is to be made that way. Van Helsing is a perfect example of this – a child friendly version of what could have been a dark and quite disturbing story. See also the Batman series, Tim Burton was hauled off once it became clear how popluar the series could be but no-one seemed to realise that it was his dark and gothic vision that made it popular in the first place!


    May 9, 2005 at 2:46 pm

    • agreed

      its just how i see it.

      juan-pierre pollen

      June 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm

  3. yeah they check sometimes


    May 9, 2005 at 3:42 pm

  4. thx for the comment your site is very cool.


    May 9, 2005 at 7:26 pm

  5. You, my friend, are a genious


    May 9, 2005 at 10:54 pm

  6. As a parent, I take an active role in deciding which films are suitable for my children(10 and 12) to watch. I let them join me in watching DVDs classed above their age group when I feel that they can handle the content. If I\’m unsure, I watch the film on my own first, read reviews or ask around. I\’m very lucky that the kids respect my decisions and don\’t help themselves to my DVDs, even \’My Neighbour Totoro\’.The age restrictions in cinemas do annoy me sometimes because I know better than anybody what content my kids can handle. I was bummed that two of the LOTR trilogy were classed as 12; we were robbed of two nice family days out. Grr.If there were restrictions on unaccompanied children and more information on specific content to help parents decide for themselves I think the world would be a happier place :D There would probably end up being stories about parents taking their 9 year olds to see horror movies though.


    May 9, 2005 at 11:21 pm

  7. hmm im not sure the restrictions would do nething anyway, they just download it off the internet!!well if i were a kid i would :Pi dont think that movies have a effect on childrens behaviour that much… only should films that have deep content be rated… but your suggestions arnt stupid at all…anyway wes what happened to this massive update of yours?


    May 10, 2005 at 5:01 am

  8. I think that (certain) parents like to have age restrictions on films – if only in the cinema. So then they feel they at least have control over the film in their own home. But I agree, it is really crapped up. I remeber being 11 and not allowed to see Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged me. When it came out on DVD we went out and bought it!


    May 10, 2005 at 7:10 am

  9. I\’m actually 13, and I feel I\’m sensible, and my parents trust me. I think that lots of kids mistreat info, and can be distrubed by things. My 10 yr old bro shouldn\’t be trusted with this sort of thing, as he knows far too many words, and too much about everything. I like your idea, but I\’m sure if a password would work?


    May 10, 2005 at 5:42 pm

  10. It is my understanding, that a parent can take a child underage to a movie rated over his age, as long as the parent purchases the ticket….at least that is how it has worked, here in Webster, Tx. ?? Hey do not be a stranger, drop by and say "Hey"….Helen


    May 11, 2005 at 3:49 am

  11. I Had To Write An Essay On This…. Basically The Government Turns A Blind Eye To What Goes On In A Persons Home … But If Something Is Given A Legal Age Certificate By Law Public Places Such as Cinema\’s Have To Abide By It Due To Licence Also!

    Sarah Su

    May 11, 2005 at 2:30 pm

  12. I agree entirely with "the parents should choose whether it is suitable for their children to see or not" statement. I let my daughter watch certain films with me at home that are say 12 rated, Spiderman as an example and the ownership lies firmly with me to have vetted the film first to see whether anything in it would possibly give her nightmares. Some scenes in Harry Potter movies for example scare her such as Aragog or the Basilisk she doesn\’t like, but I\’m on hand with a cushion to hide her eyes! :o)


    May 11, 2005 at 2:46 pm

  13. hi ya. u mention a dvd player with age restrictions pass code. mine has one.. "parental control" u can set it to activate on ony disk. mine is set fror any thing over a pg (as being abbie is only 6).. lol comes in handy for hubby to.. lol if i get a nark on i change it to stop him watching his porn lmfao..qwell wesley hunny i do hope ur well. speak soon. lisa.x


    May 13, 2005 at 12:52 pm

  14. I disagree. The age restrictions at the cinema are reasonable. But to put a lock on the DVD player?This is where trust comes in. Parents should be able to trust their kids enough not to bring home something that they would not approve of. Of course that is up to the parents but i don\’t think they should put a sensor on all DVD\’s. That is simply outrageous! This is a free country and we can make SOME decisions for ourselves. By putting a stupid flag on the DVD\’s the manufacturers would be taking away part of our freedom. That is unconstitutional. Just because some people are not mature adults and cannot make mature choices does not mean that you should hold the rest responsible. Speaking from a teenagers point of view, i very much appreciate the fact that my parents actually trust me and believe that i will listen to what they say because i know they only have my best interests at heart. Thank You.


    May 1, 2009 at 3:10 am

  15. there should not be age limits! it doesnt matter anyway tho because im 13 and my mom lets me watch almost anything….. and the age limits dont hurt me from seeing the movie cause if i want to bad enough, il just buy a ticket to another movie and just go it the movie that has an age limit…… DUHHHHHH!


    November 7, 2011 at 7:10 pm

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