We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Reference and education software Reviews
15,670 Reviews PC Advisor Recommended

BBFC Android app review


Manufacturer: BBFC

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

The free BBFC app for Android and iPhone will be a great help to parents who want to know whether a film or game is age appropriate for their kids.

No-one likes a censor, of course, but over the years the British Board of Film Classification has garnered plaudits for taking an educated and enlightened view when swinging its cutting knife.

More importantly, it is the body that decides what age classification to give movies and games. This is, to an extent, a subjective decision, bound to cause controversy. But the BBFC sets out clearly the rules to which it sticks, and in each case gives a detailed analysis of why a certain film or game is appropriate for children of 12, say, or 15. In doing so it provides concerned parents with enough information to make a decision on behalf of their own young 'uns: after all, one 8-year-old may be able to handle Ghostbusters, and another may make it only as far as the bit with those horrible stone dogs. (And that's okay, right, everyone I grew up with?)

This information is published on the BBFC website. But that's not a great deal of use when faced with an excited, Kia-ora-stuffed child, desparate to get in to see The Exorcist. Happily, the BBFC app - available for iPhone and Android - places this information at your fingertips. We tested the Android app.

Like all good reference services, the BBFC app is very simply laid out. It's not unpleasant to look at, but there's nothing fancy. And nor should there be. It's designed principally for smartphone-sized screens, but it's not jarringly wrong on our 10in tablet.

When you open the app by default you get a list of out-now and coming-soon films, listen alphabetically. You can refine this down to just current releases, or those that are upcoming. The same options are available for DVDs, and Games. We must report, however, that we had some trouble getting those options to load.

UPDATE: These issues have now been fixed.

See also: Best Android Apps

If the film you need to check out is no longer available in the cinema, you can check through a huge database of films listed in the A-Z section. In essence, if a film has been released in the UK, there will be some detail about its classification, although only more recent films get the full treatment.

And what a treatment it is. By default, you get a cast list and the bare details of the film, as well as the classification, and a single sentence, such as what you'd see on the poster 'Contains mild scenes of danger', etc. But you'll probably want more, and under the 'Extended Classification Information' tab you can find a reasoned explanation of the categorisation, explaining in detail problem areas such as swearing, sexual references and drug taking. Be warned, these descriptors are very descriptive. It's strictly reading for the parent making the choice rather than the child who is the subject of it. Things are explained in detail, and bad language is faithfully reproduced.

It's all the information you are ever likely to need in order to make a decision about the age appropriateness of a film or game, in an easy to access and digest format. And, weirdly, we've started turning to the BBFC app rather than IMDB to get information about what movies to go see, as the information provided in some ways offers a perfect review of each title. We started off by describing what the BBFC does as subjective, but you'd be hard pressed to find a more objective and useful guide to the multiplex, in a more accessible form.

BBFC Android app Expert Verdict »

Android 2.1 and up
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

Excellent information provided in a clear, concise way. The BBFC app is a must for all movie fans, especially those with children of a cinema-going age.

  • IMDb app for Android review

    IMDb app for Android

    The IMDb app for Google Android gives Android smartphone owners access to the site's comprehensive film information on the go.

  • Android News 1.1 review

    Android News 1.1

    Android News is an app for Google Android smartphones and tablets that collects information from web articles and Android-related message boards, and displays several topics for you to browse.

  • Google Movies app review

    Google Movies app

    With Google Play, the Android entertainment options have taken a large step forward. The slick interface and good choice of titles, plus a sensible pricing structure ensure Android users will be won over by the natively available video on demand option.

  • Vimeo for Android review

    Vimeo for Android

    Vimeo is a free Android app that lets you enjoy all the features of the popular video-hosting and -sharing website, but in a neatly designed package and with a few added features for Android devices.

  • Wikipedia Android app review

    Wikipedia Android app

    The Wikimedia Foundation has launched a dedicated, official Wikipedia app for Android phones and tablets. It's free, and it contains all of Wikipedia's content. Read our Wikipedia for Android review to find out more.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model