Australian Council on Children and the Media

Spectre

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Not recommended under 14; parental guidance recommended 14-15 (Violence; Disturbing scenes; sexual content)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Spectre
  • a review of Spectre completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 30 November 2015.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 14 Not recommended due to violent and disturbing scenes and sexual content
Children 14-15 Parental guidance recommended due to violent and disturbing scenes and sexual content
Children aged 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Spectre
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Action violence
Length 148 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Spectre is the fourth James Bond film starring Daniel Craig. The story follows on from Skyfall and the death of the original M. A message from the original M (Judi Dench) sends Bond on a rouge mission across Europe, Mexico and Africa. He discovers the existence of criminal organisation known as SPECTRE. In London, C (Andrew Scott) is trying to close down the spy program and form a new centre of national security. Bond convinces Q (Ben Whishaw), M (Ralph Fiennes) and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) to defy orders and help him uncover and eliminate the head of SPECTRE. In his travels, Bond meets Dr Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) who teaches him the secrets of this criminal organisation.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Terrorism; crime; death; death of a parent; suicide

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is frequent bloody and brutal violence including torture throughout the film. It is sometimes glamourized and shown as a way to solve problems. Examples include:

  • Bond shoots and kills several people throughout the film and there are several big shootouts in the film involving Bond and his opponents
  • There are also several brutal fight scenes where Bond and his enemies punch and kick each other. Blood and cuts are often shown during these scenes.  
  • A woman slaps Bond across the face
  • A man has his eyes gouged out out by another man using his thumbs and then has his neck broken
  • In a very disturbing and gruesome scene, Blofeld tortures Bond by strapping him into a chair and drilling needles into his brain. Bond screams in pain.
  • Bond blows up Blofeld’s facility and as a result,  Blofeld  loses an eye and is badly disfigured  with a big scar across his face
  • Dr Swann’s father commits suicide by shooting himself in the head. Blofeld shows Dr Swann a video of her father’s suicide as a way of torturing her

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that willwill scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The film starts at a ‘Day of the Dead’ parade where everyone is dressed in masks and skeleton costumes
  • Bond frequently undertakes death-defying acts such as walking along the ledges of tall buildings and crashing cars.
  • The criminals talk about blowing up a stadium full of people
  • A building explodes and Bond is almost crushed when it collapses
  • In the film, two helicopters almost crash into crowds of innocent people
  • The film is full of dark, shadowy locations to build suspense. People often jump out of the shadows to attack each other
  • There are many explosions in the film, when cars or helicopters crash
  • Throughout the film, the criminals try to kidnap Bond, Dr Swann and Q
  • Blofeld ties Dr Swann to an explosive device and hides her in a building. Bond must find her in time. This scene is very tense and scary.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group will also be disturbed by the scenes described above

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the scenes described above

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by some of the scenes described above

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Aston Martin, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Range Rover, Omega watches, Sony and Heineken

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Bond flirts with several women throughout the film
  • Dr Swann wears a sexually revealing dress. When she catches Bond staring at her he suggests that if she didn’t want him staring she shouldn’t dress like that.
  • There is a man in Moneypenny’s bed

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Bond passionately kisses three women in the film. Two of these women, Bond begins to undress and it is implied that they are about to have sex. However, the sexual act is never shown.
  • The opening sequence is Bond and a woman naked and kissing while an octopus wraps itself around them. The opening sequence also includes naked women dancing around Bond. Because of the blurry style of the sequence the audience does not see explicit nudity but it is obvious by the outlines of their bodies that they are nude.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Adults frequently drink in social situations throughout the film
  • Bond requests his classic “shaken not stirred” martini
  • When a doctor asks Bond how much he drinks, Bond replies “too much”
  • Adults drink as a way of dealing with their problems

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • shit; damn; arsehole; hell; bastard; moron

 

In a nutshell

Spectre is a fast paced action movie that continues with the James Bond tradition of fast cars and violent thrills. Because of violent and disturbing scenes, which include torture and eye-gouging, and the sexual content, this film is not recommended for children under 14 and parental guidance is strongly recommended for slightly older teens.

The main messages from this movie are that loyalty is rewarded and that governments shouldn’t have absolute power.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include bravery and loyalty.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the real-life consequences of solving problems with violence as Bond does in the movie.

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