In The Heights


mild bad language, sex references

Based on the award-winning stage musical from Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, In The Heights is a celebration of community and identity during a period of change and challenge for the predominantly Dominican residents of Washington Heights in New York City.

In The Heights is centred around the son of Puerto Rican immigrants, Usnavi, who works in a small convenience store at the heart of his community. We follow the ensemble of characters around him as they chase their dreams and hope to find love, while the impact of gentrification makes it increasingly difficult for them to make ends meet.

Key classification issue: sex references

A core classification issue for the film is occasional sex references and innuendo. These are often incorporated into the lyrics and physicality of the musical numbers. In the opening number, for instance, Usnavi introduces us to his daily routine and the various things he sells in his store by rapidly listing the items – including condoms. Later, there is a scene set in a salon in which a group of women sing about the gossip and hearsay circling the neighbourhood, including who slept with whom, and whether a handsome employee of the local cab company has a “big taxi”.

According to our Classification Guidelines, sex references at PG should be mild and undetailed. While stronger material may be alluded to, it should be done in a manner that is unlikely to be understood by younger audiences, such as through the use of innuendo. The rapid pace of In The Heights’ lyrics – drawing on rap and hip-hop – alongside the near-constant movement of the camera, performers and dancers means the sexual material is rarely dwelt upon. The moments of innuendo are comic but not crude, and the overwhelmingly positive, feel-good nature of the film means these moments come across as cheeky rather than sleazy. We classified the film PG for mild bad language, sex references.