SAVAGES | British Board of Film Classification
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SAVAGES (2012)

SAVAGES <span>(2012)</span> artwork

SAVAGES (2012)

Type Feature

Approx. Running minutes 131

Release dates 21/09/2012

Ratings Info Contains strong bloody violence, strong sex and drug use

Genre(s) Drama, Thriller, Action

Director(s) Oliver Stone

Cast includes Aaron Johnson, Salma Hayek, Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Benicio Del Toro

Cut All known versions of this work passed uncut.

  • Suitable only for adults icon18

Ratings info

Ratings info publication date 11/09/2012

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

SAVAGES is a US drama-thriller directed by Oliver Stone and based on the novel by Don Winslow. It tells the story of a pair of Californian marijuana growers and dealers who become embroiled in a spiralling conflict with a brutal Mexican drug cartel. The film was originally rated 15 for cinema release in a version that had been reduced by the company in line with advice provided by the BBFC during post-production. This 'extended' version reinstates all the material that was removed from the 15 rated cinema release, as well as adding some additional footage that had not previously been presented to the BBFC, and is therefore rated 18 for strong bloody violence, strong sex and drug use.

The film contains some scenes of strong bloody violence, including grainy video footage showing people being threatened by members of the Mexican cartel and subsequent sight of their severed heads and decapitated bodies. Elsewhere in the film, there is sight of people being shot with sight of blood splatter and a scene in which a man is tortured and set on fire by his cartel colleagues, who believe he has betrayed them. There is sight of the man's eye hanging out of its socket after he has been hit in the face with a whip. In another sequence a woman is sexually threatened by two men before she is murdered.

There are a number of scenes showing drug use, including the smoking of marijuana joints and the use of bongs. However, the film clearly shows the negative consequences of involvement in the drugs trade and does not encourage or promote drug use, taken as a whole.

There are scenes showing sexual activity between the Californian drug dealers and their mutual girlfriend. These include images of thrusting and some nudity. Later a Mexican woman is briefly seen riding a man during sex.

In one scene, a woman is shown video footage of a man having sex with her when she was unconscious. However, the scene is brief and little detail is shown.

There is frequent use of strong language throughout.

No-one younger than 18 may see an 18 rated film in the cinema. No-one younger that 18 may rent or buy an 18 rated video or DVD.

Precuts information

During post-production, the distributor sought and was given advice on how to secure the desired classification. Following this advice, certain changes were made prior to submission

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive an 18 rating but that their preferred 15 rating could be achieved by making changes to a number of scenes. These were to reduce various moments of strong bloody violence, sadistic violence, strong sex and some focus on drug use. When an edited version of the film was submitted for formal rating, changes had been made to satisfactorily address these issues and the film was consequently rated 15.


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DVD, Cinema
Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd,Universal Pictures Int (UK)
Classified date(s)
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