Rating System Wiki

A restricted rating, as opposed to an advisory or unrestricted rating, is one that legally restricts its audience to a particular group of people, usually to prevent underage children from seeing large amounts of violence, strong language, or sexual content/nudity.

Restricted ratings are strictly enforceable in most (if not all) jurisdictions, which makes it an offense to allow underage audiences in the exhibition (if applicable) without accompaniment. For video releases with restricted ratings, it makes it an offense to supply the age-restricted material to anyone below the age stated in the rating given by the video (sometimes with or without an adult).

Partially restricted[]

A partially restricted rating prevents anyone underage from viewing the content in the cinema unless when accompanied by a parent or guardian for the duration of the film. For example, Australia's MA 15+ rating is partially restricted. This means persons younger than 15 years must be accompanied by an adult guardian who is 18 years and older. The R rating in the US has a similar meaning, but instead of 15 the age is 17.

Fully restricted[]

A fully restricted rating prevents anyone underage from viewing the content regardless of accompaniment. In the MPA rating system, NC-17 is a fully restricted rating, and nobody under 18 may see a picture with this rating, even if accompanied by an adult. The BBFC 15 and 18 are also fully restricted.

Adult ratings may be restricted to make sure that underage children aren't exposed to pornography or graphic violence, as well as coarse or sexually explicit language and drug misuse. Some are often enforced using ID in retail stores, though they are still commonly sold online without age restrictions.

However, it is very rare for a restricted rating to prohibit minors from accessing content with the rating at all (even if supplied to an adult and viewed in private).

Brazil and Sweden's rating systems have no fully restricted ratings at all.


Underage audiences are not admitted at all, and persons between the two stipulated ages must be accompanied by an adult. The MPA does not have a rating like this. For example, Taiwan's 6+ rating allows only those aged 6 and over to be admitted, and 6-11s must be accompanied by an adult.

Adult ratings[]

Works which receive adult ratings can only be shown in licensed premises such as sex shops and/or sex cinemas. For example, the BBFC's R18 classification.

Special restrictions may also apply for these ratings. For example, Australia's X 18+ rating, in which the sale or hire of all X 18+ rated material is prohibited anywhere in the six States, making it available legally for sale or hire only in the Australian Capital Territory and the North Territory.

One unusual case of non-pornographic material receiving such rating is Saw VI by the ICAA in Spain because of extreme violence, which resulted in the release of the film in the country being delayed for nearly one year.

Adult ratings are used primarily for pornographic films.

Table of restricted ratings from various boards[]

Board Partially restricted Hybrid Fully restricted Adult Not to be sold (or shown anywhere)
MPA R (17) none NC-17 (18) none none
ESRB none none M (17) (Canada)


none none
PEGI none none 12, 16, 18 (UK and some other countries, all are advisory in most EU countries) none none
BBFC (UK) 12A (Cinema only) none 12 (Video only), 15, 18 R18 Rejected
IFCO (Ireland) 12A, 15A none 16, 18 none none
ACB (Australia) MA15+ none R18+ (In Queensland, under 2s can be admitted) X18+ (Can only be sold or shown in Australian Capital Territory and North Territory) RC (Means "Refused Classification")
ClassInd (Brazil) 10, 12, 14, 16 18 (16 and 17s are admitted) none none none
FSK (Germany) none 12 (6-11s must be accompanied by adult) 6, 16, 18, Unrated (18+) none none
RCQ (Régie; Quebec) 13+ none 16+, 18+ 18+ (Explicit Sexuality) Refused classification
Kijkwijzer (Netherlands) 6, 9, 12, 14 none 16, 18 none none
Canada (outside Quebec) 14A, 18A (Outside Maritimes and Manitoba) 18A (In Maritimes and Manitoba, under 14s are not admitted at all) R A Prohibited
Eirin (Japan) none none R15+, R18+ none none
CERO (Japan) none none Z (18) none none
RTC (Mexico) none none C D none
BAMID (Taiwan) none 6+ (under 6s not admitted, parental guide required for 6-11s) 6+ (Video games), 12+, 15+, 18+ none none
KMRB (South Korea) 12, 15 none 18 R none
OFNAA (Hong Kong) none none III (18) none none
MTRCB (Philippines) PG-13 none R-13, R-16, R-18 none X
MDA (Singapore) none none NC-16, M18, R21 none Refused classification (Formerly known as NAR)
NFB (Thailand) none none 20 none Banned
FPB (South Africa) none 7-9 PG, 10-12 PG
(under the lower age limits not admitted at all)
13, 16, 18 X18 XX
SMC (Sweden) 7 11 (7-10s must be accompanied by an adult, 15 (11-14s must be accompanied by an adult) none none none
OFLC (New Zealand) RP13, RP16, RP18 none R13, R15, R16, R18 none Objectionable
ICAA (Spain) none none none X none
NMIAH (Hungary) none none none X none
NMC (United Arab Emirates) PG-13, PG-15 none 15+, 18+, 21+ none none