Suicide Squad

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Short takes

Short takes: Not recommended under 14; parental guidance recommended to 15 (Violence and scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Suicide Squad
  • a review of Suicide Squad completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 8 August 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children Under 14 Not recommended
Children 14 - 15 Parental Guidance recommended

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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Suicide Squad
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Fantasy themes, violence and coarse language
Length: 123 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Gotham City is once more under siege and so, in desperation, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) presents a radical solution to the secret government department she works for.  She wants to recruit all of the worst, violent criminals they are holding in custody to defeat the enemy with the reward of a reduced sentence, should they survive.

The Suicide Squad consists of Deadshot Floyd Lawton (Will Smith); Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) the former psychiatrist turned psychopath by lover The Joker (Jared Leto); Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) deadly with said weapon; Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuove-Agbaje)  who looks like a monster and has been treated like one; and El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) the man who can make fire with his fingers.

The Suicide Squad’s mission is to destroy the Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) (who has possessed the body of June Moone) and together with her ‘Brother’ Incubus (Alain Chanoine) is intent on destroying the world. Even with all their combined skills, it is still an almost unwinnable fight for the Squad to defeat the supernatural forces of evil.


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.

Fantasy; Supernatural; Conflict.

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 a lot of violence throughout this movie including shoot-outs with assault rifles and a variety of other guns, and fights with swords, knives, boomerangs and baseball bats. Most of the fights are quite stylised and there is no blood or gore. Some examples include

  • Prison guards beat up Deadshot with a bat and ‘taser’ Harley who goes flying across the cage she’s in.
  • Batman beats up Deadshot who gets up and is about to shoot Batman when his 11 year old daughter intervenes begging him not to.
  • Several of the shootouts include a man dressed in a Panda outfit shooting with an assault rifle.
  • The Joker says he’s going to hurt Harley ‘really bad’ and puts electrodes into her brain, which changes her personality completely.
  • ‘Brother’ transforms into an electronic, giant monster that goes on the rampage killing people indiscriminately and causing chaos.
  • All of the characters in the Squad are injected with electronic tags into their necks and strapped to chairs.
  • The Joker leaves a flower basket with an explosive device, which goes off. He then attacks a facility with his followers and fighting breaks out.
  • An army helicopter is shot down and crashes to the ground. No one is killed however.
  • Several characters appear to be killed but are seen alive later.
  • The Enchantress turns people into men of iron who go on the attack. These men disintegrate when attacked with swords, etc.
  • El Diablo sets a building on fire and a man falls from the top. He also tells how is remorseful about the fact that he killed his wife and two children.
  • Amanda Waller kills all of the workers in her office.
  • The Squad all try to kill Brother in their own ways. Diablo almost succeeds with fire but then the army detonate a bomb underneath him, killing him.
  • The Squad then all try to kill the Enchantress. She’s destroying everything in her power. They decide the only way to stop her is to cut her heart out. Harley does this with a sword.

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 could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  •  Children in this age group would be very scared by the visuals in this movie.

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Many of the characters are scary looking people: Harley has pigtails but has lipstick smeared over her lips: Croc Man has crocodile skin and speaks with a very low, growly voice. The Joker is scary looking with metallic teeth and a painted face. Another character has a ring through his nose and lips and is covered in tattoos.
  • The Enchantress is a very scary looking witch type character with red eyes.


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.

In addition to the above mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • The Joker and Harley’s car crashes into the water. Batman rescues Harley who looks like she’s dead.
  • Dr Moone discovers a cave full of skulls where she inadvertently unleashes a supernatural force. The Enchantress comes to life and takes possession of Moone’s body. She changes from one to the other quite regularly. The Enchantress is evil looking with red glowing eyes. She uses her magic powers to create a machine to kill all humans.
  • The Enchantress pushes a man’s head into a mirror and turns him into her ‘Brother’. They speak in a strange language to each other. Brother has white eyes. He then faints at a railway station and transforms into a huge metallic monster.
  • Deadshot is ordered to shoot Harley, which he reluctantly does. It appears as if she’s dead.
  • Captain Flag crushes the Enchantress’s heart thinking he’s destroying Dr Moone (his girlfriend) but she comes back to life.

Thirteen and overinfo

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.

Children in this age group could still be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes particularly the supernatural powers and the transforming of the Enchantress into June Moone and back.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Harley Quinn is a very provocative character who wears very skimpy, revealing outfits. She pole dances and seductively licks a pole. She says that she sleeps with 'who she wants to'.

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • The Joker and Harley kiss very passionately as do Flag and June.

Use of substances

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

  • Drinking at a meeting and various other venues.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Shit
  • Oh my God
  • Dickhead
  • Arse
  • Arsehole
  • Goddamit
  • Freaking
  • Bitch
  • Crap
  • What the Hell
  • Bullshit

In a nutshell

Suicide Squad is a fantasy, action adventure movie. It is based on the characters from the DC Comic series and uses the Anti-heroes in this movie. It is fast paced and full of action and, as such, will appeal to teens. However, due to the amount of violence and supernatural content, it isn’t suitable for younger viewers.

The main messages from this movie are that even the worse criminals can have some good in them and that they can come together as a positive force for the greater good.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • The bonds between parents and their children
  • Remorse
  • Working together

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • The attitude of some of the men towards women is quite insulting and sexist – young men should know that these are very bad attitudes.