Ratings Explained

What Our Ratings Mean

Alberta film classifications consist of 2 components: the age-based category and any attached advisories.

G - General General (G) Suitable for viewing by all ages.
More information on the G rating...
PG - Parental Guidance Parental Guidance (PG) Parental guidance is advised. Theme or content may not be suitable for all children.
More information on the PG rating...
14A 14A Suitable for viewing by persons 14 years of age or older. Persons under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. May contain violence, coarse language, and/or sexually suggestive scenes.
More information on the 14A rating...
18A 18A Suitable for viewing by persons 18 years of age or older. Persons under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. May contain explicit violence, frequent coarse language, sexual activity and/or horror.
More information on the 18A rating...
R - Restricted Restricted (R) Admittance restricted to persons 18 years of age and older. Content not suitable for minors. Contains frequent sexual activity, brutal/graphic violence, intense horror and/or other disturbing content.
More information on the R rating...

Commonly Used Advisories

Alberta Film Classification uses 17 advisories that may accompany an age-based category as an official part of a film classification. The purpose of these advisories is to provide additional information to film patrons about film content. The 17 advisories are:

Brutal Violence: Contains visually explicit portrayals of violence that may be characterized by extreme brutality, bloodletting or tissue damage, or both, and may include images of torture, horror or war.

Coarse Language: Contains profanity, threats, slurs, sexual references or sexual innuendo.

Crude Content: Contains the presence of material or humour that is unrefined or coarse and that may be seen as harsh, rude or offensive.

Disturbing Content: Contains elements pertaining to distress, suffering or other disturbing elements.  This includes the implication or threat of physical or psychological violence, or both, even when violence is not depicted.

Explicit Sexual Content: Contains the presence of sexual acts, shown in full, clear, unequivocal and realistic detail, that may or may not be gratuitous to the film.

Frightening Scenes: Contains the presence of images that might shock or frighten a person.  These scenes might be found in the thriller, suspense or war genre.

Gory Scenes: Contains the presence of graphic images of bloodletting or tissue damage, or both, and includes horror or war representations. The degree, frequency and intensity of these images will be factors in the classification decision.

Language May Offend - Contains language that may be offensive to some groups.  For example, sacrilegious language such as goddamn.  This advisory is also used for PG films that contain expletives.

Mature Subject Matter: Contains the presence of images or storylines that may be disturbing or incomprehensible to minors.  The film may contain portrayals of domestic violence, racism, religious matters, death or controversial social issues.

Not Recommended For Children: May include scenes that reflect a more mature situation, such as drug use or abuse.

Not Recommended For Young Children: May be inappropriate for young children.  For example, the subject‑matter could include the death of a family pet, a complicated family breakdown or images considered frightening or disturbing for the very young.

Nudity: Contains the presence of images of full frontal, partial or rear nudity.  May be an advisory in several film classifications, depending on the context of the nudity, clarity, detail, repetition, and whether the nudity is in a non‑sexual or sexual context.

Sexual Content: Contains the presence of images of, or verbal references to, sexual themes, sexual innuendo, fondling, implied sexual activity or simulated sexual activity, depending on the classification category to which it is affixed.

Sexually Suggestive Scenes: Contains scenes that imply rather than depict that sexual activity is taking place or has occurred.

Sexual Violence: Advises of the degradation of an individual in a sexual manner, and may contain images of non‑consensual acts with the intent to inflict harm, for example, simulated sexual assault or the use of threat to force compliance in sexual activity, or both.

Substance Abuse: Contains descriptive scenes depicting the use of illegal substances, the excessive use of tobacco or the use of alcohol resulting in impairment.

Violence: May refer to restrained portrayals of non‑graphic violence, portrayals of violence with some bloodletting or tissue damage, or both, and frequent more prolonged portrayals of violence resulting in bloodletting or tissue damage, or both.  The degree, frequency and intensity of the acts of violence will be factors in the classification decision.

NOTE:   The words “Crude” and “Gory” may be applied in combination with other advisories, such as “Crude Sexual Content”, “Crude Coarse Language” or “Gory Brutal Violence” to indicate a higher level of sexual content, coarse language or violence, as the case may be.