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Thirteen Days (2000), (PG-13)
CAP Score: 53
CAP Influence Density: 1.32
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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie
SUMMARY / COMMENTARY:
THIRTEEN DAYS (PG-13) -- Five minutes from killing 80 million Americans.
The closest we have ever been (that we know of) to coming to nuclear blows and throes. And John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the one making the decisions. Kevin Costner stars as Kennedy's chief advisor, Kenny O'Donnell with Bruce Greenwood starring as JFK. I was too young to really grasp what was going on in October 1962, so I cannot comment on how accurate this portrayal of the real threat of nuclear war was for the people of America. But as with all "based on a true story" flicks, I suggest you take *Thirteen Days* with a grain of salt.
Nikita Khrushchev planted nuclear missiles 90 miles off our Florida coast in communist Cuba. Five minutes from killing 80 million Americans. Kennedy was not about to accept that. Nor were his Chiefs of Staff. I wonder if the military leaders of our country in 1962 were as hot to fight as they were in this movie? And I wonder whether Kennedy was as soft as portrayed? And I wonder whether the "nuclear war" in the oval office actually happened. Schoolyard kids behave better than some of the portrayals in *Thirteen Days*
Once the missile launch sites were discovered, the political wheels were set in motion to get them removed ... at almost any cost. Additional discovery flights were sent with the instructions that no shots will be fired -- by anybody -- whether shots were fired or not. In other words, the pilots and their commander were ordered to lie to their superiors if the plane was fired upon. It was felt that lying was better than the possible repercussions of being fired upon. Lying is a sin. Nowhere does God say that lying is acceptable under these of those circumstances. If lying is forced to cover up one thing, where will it stop [Prov. 6:16, 19]?
After discovering the building of launch sites continued ever after the Cubans and soviet engineers knew we knew, the famous blockade was set up to prevent any further shipment of supplies and arms. This is where the "rubber met the road." If one of the ships were to ignore the blockade, they were to be sunk. And if that happened, Khrushchev would have no choice but to retaliate. And we would counter with superior aggression. Then Khrushchev would do likewise to an inevitable end of launching the now operational missiles. Then we would retaliate. Other countries, being offended by our spitting contest, would get involved. And so on until the end of life as we know it. We are all fairly familiar with the rest of the story.
Apparently in an attempt to be "justified" by history, *Thirteen Days* was an exercise in R-rated language. Much use of the three/four letter word vocabulary thundered from the speakers [Col. 3:8]. The name of God was no more than an expletive [Deut. 5:11]. Language and smoking/drinking were the only significant influential presences in *Thirteen Days*, justified I suppose by the blame-excusing properties of "That's the way it was." So much of an influential presence were these ignominies that if they were deleted, *Thirteen Days* could have be equivalent to a G-rated movie with quality acting and choreography. Foul language, smoking and drinking were the *only* reasons this movie was not equivalent to G movies of the CAP numeric comparative baseline database. And there were a *lot* of them -- enough to place *Thirteen Days* at 53, one point below the top of the scoring range for R movies. The only issue of a sexual nature was the vulgar use of reference to human anatomy. And the only issues of violence (aside from the animated arguments) were a continuous threat of doom and military gunfire resulting in one unseen death. The listing in the Findings/Scoring section tells it all.
Applicable text is underlined and fortification is provided in brackets [ ] for special focus if needed.
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
FINDINGS / SCORING:
NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):