After 20 years, School Of Rock now has a tougher certificate in the UK

School Of Rock
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The Jack Black-headlined School Of Rock has been moved from a PG to a 12A by the BBFC. More here…

It’s fairly well known that over time, the British Board of Film Classification – the BBFC to its chums – changes the certificates that it previously awarded to films. After all, times change, attitudes alter, and society becomes more resistant to levels of cussing, fruity stuff and violence that previously saw 15 and 18 certificates dished out.

As such, we’ve seen films such as Die Hard and Aliens reclassified as 15 from their original 18 certificates. But also, on the other side of things, we occasionally see tougher ratings dished out for films. Watership Down – thank god – is no longer a U in the UK, and those who’ve seen the film may well wonder how it got the softest possible rating in the first place. Meanwhile, as we chatted about here, The Empire Strikes Back was upgraded to a PG from a U.

The latest round of changes has seen Jurassic Park go from a PG to a 12A, and Return Of The Jedi lifted to a PG. And in the midst of it all, one title has been pretty much overlooked: Richard Linklater’s School Of Rock, a firm family favourite from all the way back in 2004.

Starring Jack Black, the film was originally classified in the UK as The School Of Rock, and awarded a PG certificate. For those not-UK-ey, this means Parental Guidance, and that basically anyone could walk into a cinema and see it. However, turns out that towards the end of 2023, the BBFC has taken another look at the film and – after 23 years – changed the rating to 12A.

The original PG rating was given for “mild language and sex reference”. The new 12A guidance is for “moderate bad language, discriminatory terms, rude humour”.

Specifically, “bad language includes ‘slut’, ‘crap’, ‘pissed’, ‘ass’, ‘butt’, ‘hell’, ‘God’, ‘jerk’, ‘screwed up’ and ‘damn’. There is also a mouthed use of the term ‘bitch’, and an implied use of the ‘middle finger’ gesture, when a man holds up three fingers and tells others to ‘read between the lines’.”

The sex references observed “include references to ‘getting lucky’, ‘sex gods’, and groupies ‘sleeping with’ people”.

The phrase ‘pig rectum’ also pops up in the film. In fact, the detailed breakdown on the movie can be found here.

None of this really stops the target audience for School Of Rock from seeing it. Just interesting how things change over a couple of decades…

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