British Board of Film Classification

Quick search of releases

Advanced search


LOVE & MERCY artwork


Type of media Video

Approved Running time 116m 8s

BBFCInsight drug use, references to child abuse, infrequent strong language

Genre(s) Drama

Director(s) Bill Pohlad

Cast includes John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti, Kenny Wormald, Jake Abel, Joanna Going, Graham Rogers, Dee Wallace

Cut This work was passed uncut.

BBFCinsight publication date 28/08/2015

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

LOVE & MERCY is a drama based on the life of musician Brian Wilson, showing two key periods in his life, during the 1960s and 1980s.


Several scenes of drug use, including musicians smoking marijuana in the recording studio, and a sequence in which Wilson takes LSD. The latter is shown to be an ultimately upsetting experience for him: at first he is calm and enjoys its effects, but he then breaks down while describing it to his wife, clearly distressed. The film as a whole does not endorse or promote drug use, and it is shown to be one of several factors contributing to Wilson's mental health issues later on.


Several verbal references to child abuse as Wilson describes being hit by his father when he was a child, and deafened in one ear as a result. In a flashback sequence, we see this blow being dealt.


One use of strong language ('f**k') as Wilson is frustrated and says this to himself. Milder bad language includes 'shit', 'piss', 'bitch' and 'slut'.

There is also the suggestion that a couple have had sex when we see them talking in bed, covered by sheets, but with a brief glimpse of the woman's bare buttocks as she gets up.


Sony DADC UK Limited
Classified date(s)
Main language
Submitted run time
116m 8s
BBFC reference

Components List

This work is made up of a number of separate components. Note that since February 2001 the BBFC has measured each component separately, but older works may not have the exact details, only a list of titles


Rating information

The version of this work detailed above is rated by the BBFC under the Video Recordings Act 1984 for use on any Packaged Media format (including DVD, Blu-ray and VHS). This classification may also be used when the same work is made available on Digital Video Platforms (including Video On Demand) provided that the platform is licenced to use BBFC ratings.

Share this!

Facebook logo Twitter logo