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Not suitable under 13; parental guidance to 15 (violence, language, themes, sexual references)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Twist
  • a review of Twist completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 3 May 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to violence, language, themes and sexual references.
Children aged 13–15 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, language, themes and sexual references.
Children over the age of 15 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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Twist
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Violence and coarse language
Length: 92 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Talented graffiti artist and street kid, Oliver (Raff Law), finds himself on the run from a traffic officer after he helps a young mother in a sticky situation. Helped by a band of ruffians who immediately see his potential, Oliver is presented to master thief, Fagin (Michael Caine), who has created a makeshift ‘family’ of orphans who rob from the rich (and from criminals) in order to survive. When Oliver is recruited to help with a daring art heist, retrieving a priceless painting stolen from Fagin years before, he begins to realise that all is not as it may seem. His newfound family, including Red, aka Nancy (Sophie Simnett), Dodge (Rita Ora) and Batesy (Franz Dramen), is in danger of not only being caught by the police but also of being killed by the psychotic and menacing Sikes (Lena Headey), an old associate of Fagin’s who has her own agenda.


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.

Loss of parents; Loss of family; The fight to simply survive on the streets; Child and youth exploitation; Revenge.

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 some violence in this movie, including:

  • Someone is pushed off a building. The camera zooms in on the bleeding corpse lying on the ground. Photos of the deceased are later shown to Oliver.
  • There are many chase scenes where Oliver and others are pursued and items are thrown at them or in their way.
  • Characters wrestle, punch, hit, shove and kick each other while fighting in a bar.
  • An officer punches Oliver in the throat and pins him down.
  • Sikes attacks a group of police officers, head butting, kicking, punching, flipping and strangling all the officers until they are unconscious. She then knocks another character out, punches him in the head and spits in his face.
  • Sikes puts a gun to Red’s head and tells Fagan that all the kids are expendable.
  • Sikes beats Red. The beating is not shown but Red comes back battered and bleeding.
  • Sikes tries to kill Batsey, dumping him in the back of a car.
  • Sikes shoots Fagan in the back and then shoots at Oliver and Red who try to escape.
  • Sikes attacks Oliver and Red and when Oliver clings to the side of a building she smashes his hands trying to loosen his grip and make him fall.
  • Sikes is shot in the chest and falls off a building to her death.

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:

  • Many children in this age group are likely to be disturbed by the scenes mentioned below.

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:

  • Oliver and his mother are very close. When his mother dies, Oliver is left all alone. There is a scene in which Oliver is curled up by his mother’s grave, laying beside her in the dark. From this point on Oliver became a ‘street kid.’ The sadness and loss he is feeling is palpable.

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 scenes in which Sikes is attacking people, especially holding a gun to Red’s head or threatening to hurt or kill Oliver and the others, could be very distressing to many viewers.

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.

Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • There is one reference to having phone sex.
  • Oliver asks Red: “Why didn’t you tell me that you were only into girls?”

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • Police pull Oliver’s pants off while trying to pull him down from a roof. He runs off in his underwear.
  • Sikes kisses Red on the lips against her will, saying that she belongs to her. The notion that they are lovers is implied.
  • Twist tries to kiss Red but she shoves him in the pool. They swim fully clothed and share a passionate kiss before being interrupted. They kiss again later in the film.
  • Red poses as an art student to get access to an art dealer’s gallery but he seems more interested in her than in art. Sidling up close to her and giving off a creepy, sexual vibe.

Use of substances

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

  • Fagin has wine with his dinner and patrons of an art gallery drink wine during an exhibition.
  • Oliver and other young characters brink bottles of beer around a fire. They also drink in a pub where one appears to be drunk.
  • Sikes smoke cigarettes on occasion.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • There is one instance of, “For fucks sake”, and one use of the term, “bastard”.
  • “Shit” is used on occasion as well as, “arse.”
  • The terms: “screwed”, “sod off”, “bloody” and “hell” are also used in the film.

In a nutshell

Twist is a modern-day retelling of the timeless classic, Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens. The plot is fast paced and the characters are well cast, however, the content is primarily geared to older children and adults and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 13–15 due to violence, language, themes and sexual references.

The main messages from this movie are that everyone needs family and a sense of belonging and that sometimes your morals and integrity are the most valuable things you can ever possess.

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

  • Teamwork
  • Loyalty
  • Creativity
  • Courage
  • Kindness.

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

  • Exploiting at-risk teens or children.
  • Lying to the police.
  • Trusting strangers.
  • Trying to live life all on your own.
  • Making unwanted sexual advances or someone being kissed against their will.
  • Destroying other’s property or doing graffiti.