British Board of Film Classification

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Type of media Film

Approved Running time 131m 34s

Release date 26/09/2014

BBFCInsight strong bloody violence, sex references, strong language

Genre(s) Action, Drama

Director(s) Antoine Fuqua

Cast includes Denzel Washington, Chloe Grace Moretz, Melissa Leo, Martin Csokas, Hayley Bennett, Vladimir Kulich, David Meunier

Cut This work was passed uncut.

BBFCinsight publication date 16/09/2014

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

THE EQUALIZER is a US action feature about a former 'black ops' commander who comes out of retirement to save a young prostitute from some Russian gangsters.


Strong bloody violence includes several action sequences in which the hero kills gangsters. He sometimes uses improvised weapons, for example stabbing a man under the chin with a corkscrew and slamming a shot glass into another man's eye. These sequences are very rapid, with the focus on the hero's skill and ability to think quickly. Other violence includes people being shot, stabbed and repeatedly punched, with brief but bloody images of the bodies afterwards.


Strong verbal sex references, and references to prostitution.


Frequent strong language, including 'f**k' and 'motherf**ker'.

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 certificate but that their preferred 15 classification could be achieved by making cuts to reduce the violence in two scenes. When the finished version of the film was submitted for formal classification, edits had been made to reduce sequences of violence, including detail of a stabbing with a corkscrew and a garroting. The formal submission was consequently rated 15.


Columbia Pictures Corporation Ltd.
Classified date(s)
Main language
Submitted run time
131m 34s
Approved footage
BBFC reference
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