The Suicide Squad Slapped With Dreaded R18+ Rating In Australia

The Suicide Squad Slapped With Dreaded R18+ Rating In Australia
Image: DC / Warner Bros.

DC’s The Suicide Squad has become the first modern DC or Marvel superhero movie to be hit with the dreaded R18+ rating in Australia, according to a new listing from the Australian Classification Board.

While exact details have not been revealed, the reason for the rating is “high impact violence” — and when you have King Shark ripping people in two in the trailer, you can see why.

Drug use, language and themes all place the film squarely in the bracket for an MA15+ rating, but it appears the film’s violence is what pushed the rating over the edge. But this will be appealed when the Australian Classification Review Board meets to reassess the film on July 19.

While R18+ ratings aren’t bad per se, they do limit the box office appeal of films. And after the year we’ve had, no doubt DC/Warner Bros. will want a win. In Australia, the film will only launch in cinemas, meaning strict age limiting could reduce the film’s local box office.

An MA15+ rating means anyone over 15 can see the film unaccompanied — but it also means people under 15 can see the film with parent or guardian supervision. So while it also restrict age, anyone who really wants to see an MA15+ film can. Having an R18+ rating means The Suicide Squad will be restricted to an adults-only audience.

The classification applicant (which appears to be Universal Pictures, in this instance) has already lodged an appeal to change the rating, which could mean a few things going forward. If the decision is overturned by the Classification Board, the film could simply be re-rated without issue. But if the same R18+ conclusion is reached, The Suicide Squad may need to be censored to fit the desired MA15+ rating.

It could be a simple matter of a single scene being removed, but if the violence rating was earned by consistent high impact violence, the version of The Suicide Squad we get in Australia could look different to the global release.

Alternatively, Warner Bros. could accept the rating and take the subsequent hit to the box office.

The results of the July 19 appeal will be posted on the Australian Classification website post-discussion — and further action will take place following this decision.

The Suicide Squad is currently scheduled to release in Australian cinemas on August 5.

Gizmodo Australia reached out to the Australian Classification Board, Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures for comment. This article will be updated as we hear back.


  • If the Deadpool movies, Watchmen and Logan can sneak by with MA15+ classifications, then surely this can. I mean Deadpool 2 literally also has a scene where Deadpool is ripped in half. I have a hard time imagining this could be more violent than those movies. How much more violent do you need to get to jump from MA to R?

      • I dunno, I’m only thinking of some superhero movies that were rated MA but definitely walked the tightrope between MA and R imo. I can’t imagine this could be worse than any of those.

        • Going through whats on Disney+ and I’m honestly surprised that pretty much everything that got slapped an R rating in the US is only MA over here.

          Which makes the disconnect between vidya game ratings and movie ratings even more ludicrous.

          • The R rating in the US isn’t the same as ours. In the US it means 17+ unless with a parent or guardian. It’s more or less the equivalent of our MA15+ except it’s 17 instead of 15.

            The US’s R18+ equivalent is called NC-17. That’s the restricted category.

    • I feel like I’m in crazy-ville as I thought all those films were rated R18+ here just like in the states. But no, they’re all actually MA15+…

      That pesky Mandela effect strike again.

      • Yeah same, I could have sworn they were all R18+, but I looked them up and they were all MA15+.

        They were rated R in the US but as I explained above replying to akeashar, the US R rating is different to ours, and is in fact closer to our MA15+ category. Their adult restricted rating (the equivalent of our R18+) is called NC-17.

        • isnt NC-17 more of a cross between our R18+/X18+ and RC though? i often hear US people talking about how NC-17 basically means a movie or game cant be made or sold, Like the South Park Movie and Team America World Police had lots of way out there shit put in on purpose because they knew they would be told to remove it but allow them to save every thing else.

          • Nah. Restricted adult films actually used to carry the X rating, but over time, porno films self-adopted the X rating for their marketing and as a result “X” was soon associated with porn. The MPAA realised they needed a new rating to classify adult but otherwise general public films under, so they created NC-17. Since 1996, this has meant exactly the same as our current R18+ rating in that “No one 17 and under admitted”.

            It should be noted that in the US, films can still be unrated, but unlike Australia, there are no laws in place that state that a film actually needs to be rated, so cinemas can still choose to show unrated movies if they want to.

  • Releasing a censored version would not help their box office either, me thinks. It would just drive disgruntled viewers to either access if via vpns or straight to piracy.

    I know it’s a money game, but surely we are allowed to have some entertainment for adults only. The kids are certainly not lacking in content.

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