SUCKER PUNCH | British Board of Film Classification
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SUCKER PUNCH <span>[IMAX]</span> artwork


Type of media Film

Approved Running time 110m 40s

Release date 01/04/2011

Ratings Info Contains moderate violence, threat, language and sex references

Genre(s) Action, Fantasy, Thriller

Director(s) Zack Snyder

Cast includes Michael Jay White, Vanessa Hudgens, Jon Hamm, Scott Glen, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Jamie Cheung

Cut This work was passed uncut.

  • Cinema release suitable for 12 years and over icon12A

Ratings info

Ratings info publication date 22/03/2011

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

SUCKER PUNCH is an action fantasy film. A young adult woman is incarcerated by her stepfather in an institution for the mentally insane. Aware that she has information that might incriminate him, he bribes a corrupt mental health nurse to ensure she is given a memory-destroying lobotomy. However, it will be five days before a suitably qualified medical practitioner is available to carry out the procedure. The young woman is aware of the fate that awaits her and, as a coping strategy, she withdraws into a fantasy world in which she devises an elaborate escape plan. The film was classified '12A' for moderate violence, threat, language and sex references.

In the central fantasy world to which the young woman escapes, she and her fellow patients become burlesque performers in a club which also offers sexual favours. Other than establishing the fact, little more is made of this latter point. In the club the women are frequently seen in leotards and fish-net stockings as they train for their routines. We also see the young women in corsets and stockings in preparation for performances. In other fantasy worlds, the lead character is dressed in a stylised Japanese sailor outfit. However this does not suggest she is of school age, or serve to make her look younger. Her costume is a reflection of the evident anime influences in the film, with the character also wielding a Samurai sword in these fantasy environments. The BBFC's Guidelines at '12A'/'12' state 'Sex references should not go beyond what is suitable for young teenagers. Frequent crude references are unlikely to be acceptable'. Despite the club setting and burlesque trappings the focus is on the fantasy worlds the women escape to and the battles they engage in, rather than the dance routines the women are understood to perform. Their lives in the club are not presented as attractive, but rather something they wish to escape from so they can return to a normal life outside. In the context of the heroines finding strength within themselves and fighting to overcome adversity, the references within the club and associated with the burlesque routines are neither a primary focus of the feature nor do they go beyond what is suitable for young teenagers.

The Guidelines at '12A'/'12' state 'Moderate physical and psychological threat may be permitted, providing disturbing sequences are not frequent or sustained' and 'Moderate violence is allowed but should not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood but occasional gory moments may be permitted if justified by the context'. The film includes occasional moderate threat. In particular, the opening of the film is quite dark and menacing but is mitigated by the extensive fantasy sequences that follow. Within this opening sequence the younger sister of the lead character is approached with menace by her step-father who has just learnt that the two sisters are the sole recipients of his late wife's will. His intentions are not clear. But there is some implication they may be sexual. Before the threat leads to action, the step-father is interrupted by the lead character who comes to rescue her sister. In another scene a doctor, with medical instruments in hand (a stainless steel mallet and orbitoclast), approaches the young woman with a view to carrying out the proposed lobotomy. The point of the orbitoclast is brought close to her eye but the scene immediately switches to a much less threatening fantasy sequence. The film also includes spectacular fight sequences that take place in one or other of the fantasy worlds invented by the young woman. Her fantastical opponents include giant Samurai warriors, slightly demonic WW1 era German soldiers, knights in armour, orcs, and futuristic robots. The various opponents are shot or stabbed with a Samurai sword but very little is seen in terms of blood injury detail. Indeed, the German soldiers emit steam when wounded and this merely reinforces the fantasy nature of the violent encounters. The only occasion on which blood is seen is when the young woman stabs the corrupt mental health nurse in the shoulder with a concealed knife. A little blood is seen on his shirt but there is no injury detail.

The moderate language in SUCKER PUNCH includes infrequent use of the terms 'bitch' and 'whore', delivered aggressively by male to female characters.

Parents can find additional information about the content of this film if they visit


Title Information
Warner Brothers Entertainment UK Ltd
Classified date(s)
Main language
Submitted run time
110m 40s
Approved footage
BBFC reference
Registration number
Note to parents
This version of the film is displayed in the 3D or IMAX format and some younger children may find this a more intense experience

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