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(2011), PG-13 [R-13*] (100.2min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
January 22, 2012
January 24, 2012

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2011), PG-13 [R-13*] ... 23 killings with more than half of them murders

Production (US): Lionsgate, Gotham Group, Vertigo Entertainment, Quick Six Entertainment, Mango Farms, Tailor Made, Mango Farms
Distribution (US): Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Director(s): John Singleton
Producer(s): Jeremy Bell, Gabriel Mason, Anthony Katagas, Allison Shearmur, Wolfgang Hammer, Doug Davidson, Ellen Vein, Lee Strollman, Roy Lee, Dan Lautner, Pat Crowley
Written by: Shawn Christensen
Cinematography/Camera: Peter Menzies, Jr.
Music: Edward Shearmur
Film Editing: Bruce Cannon
Casting: Joseph Middleton
Production Design: Keith Brian Burns
Art Direction: Liba Bagley
Viewed on Lionsgate Home Entertainment DVD

Abduction. is a teen flick to be sure. Would you like to know one way how to tell when a film is a teen flick? When teens cuss twice as much as the adults such as in Abduction. It is all in the attitude -- primarily of the filmmakers nut to include the attitude of the performers who utter the profanities the filmmakers want them to utter. We have found that though violence, sex, drugs, etc. in and as entertainment take their toll on the patterns of moral behavioral choices of youthful observers, likely more so than the adult viewer, it is not so much violence, sex, drugs and so on that bear the strongest presence in entertainment and thus the strongest influence on the adolescent viewer but is rather the attitude portrayed. See our ATTITUDE: In Perspective publication for more information.

Yes, this 'teen flick' is another R-13 ... a hard R-13. Of the six CAP content investigation areas, four of them found content to be R-equivalent. Only two of the six investigation areas found content to be PG-13 equivalent. Where R-rated films in the developmental comparative baseline database of films earned final scores of 54 and below a final score of 26 out of 100 cinches the "R-ness" of this film. And 23 killings with more than half of them murders. Goodness!

High school senior, Nathan Harper (Taylor Lautner), son of Kevin (Jason Isaacs) and Mara Harper (Maria Bello) lives under the hard rule of his street-smart survivalist father. But a dream Nathan keeps having and anger issues have led him to psychiatrist Dr. Geri Bennett (Sigourney Weaver). Nathan keeps seeing in the dream a vaguely familiar woman (Elisabeth Röhm) being killed by an unknown assailant. Nathan feels as though he knows the woman but cannot place her nor does he know her name.

Nathan is assigned by Mr. Miles (Roger Guenveur Smithy), a sociology teacher at Hampton High School, to partner with a local girl, Karen (Lilly Collins) -- one of Nathan's heartthrobs -- in a 10-page report project. While Nathan and Karen were working on the project in his bedroom, Nathan discovers on a missing persons website a picture that looks exactly like himself down to the chin when he was five years old. In the photo the boy was wearing a striped shirt. Nathan found an identical shirt in a drawer in his Bridgewater, PA home. The shirt now in Nathan's hands had a stain on the left shoulder identical to the stain on the shirt in the photo.

Shortly after confronting Kevin and Mara with the discovery Karen calls. When Nathan told her of the development she headed for Nathan's house - across the street -- to console him. While she was on her way two men arrived announcing to Mara they have need to talk with Nathan. Mara knows these men are not who they say they are and engages them in a fight which ends with Mara being shot to death. The same fate befell Kevin. Just before Kevin was shot he told Nathan to run. Now Nathan is alone and takes off. But Nathan realizes Karen is at his house with one of the two men still alive. After Nathan beat senseless the man who is still alive he told Nathan and Karen a bomb was in the oven, a bomb which leveled the house but failed to kill Nathan and Karen. Now Nathan and karen, both at the hospital for treatment of Karen's injury, meet Dr. Bennett who informs Nathan that his "parents" Kevin and Mara were CIA agents placed to protect him and that she was herself a CIA agent placed to protect Nathan. All the while criminal operative named Kozlow (Michael Nyqvist) had launched all his resources to capture and kill Nathan for the secret information Nathan had - an encoded list of 25 names.

Now the action gets intense. But I'll not spoil any more of the show. I will, however, get to that which most of our readers come to our pages to discover - the assaults on morality and decency in the film to help mom/dad make an informed decision whether the film is fit.


Following are brief discussions of the content per individual content investigation area. As always the Findings section of this report, the heart of the CAP Analysis Model, is the best source for discovering the full accounting of the content of this film.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
This film is intensely violent. By the Wanton Violence/Crime content investigation area score of zero out of 100 it is clear the violence/crime content of this film is equivalent to the some content in many R-rated films. The line items of violence/crime in this film are so many that it would take up too much space here to even summarize them. Please look to the listing in the Findings section for a full accounting of the violence/crime content.

It would be advisable to mention at this point God's Word about violence. God admonishes us many times from the Old Testament to the New Testament about the properties of violence to proselytize. For example, in Proverb 16:29 God warns that violence can be "catching" and can lead one "into the path that that is not good." Several hundred years later man plagiarized God's Word about violence by four professional public health agencies publishing their findings that state violence in and as entertainment can lead the youthful viewer to real life violence and can lead the viewer to believe violence is an effective way to settle conflict. God has warned us. Man has warned us. But do we listen?

Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
Teens cuss 11 times in this film. Adults cuss five times. [Col. 3:8, Eph. 4:29] It is as much a sin for adults to cuss as it is for teens, but Jesus holds a special place in His heart for the "little ones." That means, as we are warned in Matthew 18:10, that their angels do indeed behold the face of God. By the way, "little ones" is mikros meaning less by birth, younger. All of your children are "less by birth" than you. All of them are younger. So, "little ones" includes at-home teens, the most easily influenced, morally malleable age stratum. It is little wonder what their angels say to God about filmmakers who cause teens to cuss in entertainment (note that "acting" does not excuse sin). And it is little wonder what the angels of other kids say to God about the teens (and filmmakers) who, by their example, teach and/or cause the other "little ones" to cuss. Luke 17:2 warns that s/he who teaches and/or causes our youth to sin would be better off with a millstone tied about his/her neck then cast into the sea.

But cussing is not the only matter of impudence and/or hatred in this film. Lying is the other matter of moral conflict. God is very clear about lying in so many ways in so many places throughout the Bible. One in particular stands out, Rev 21:8 which warns that the [unforgiven] liar will not make it into Heaven. God even hates lying as related in Proverb. 6:16 - 19. Note that He does not hate the liar, just the lying. God hates no one, just some of the things we chose to do.

Sexual Immorality (S) - 63 out of 100
This is one of the two of six investigation areas that the content was found to be PG-13 equivalent. There was no gender-specific nudity found but several matters of innuendo and display stole more than one third of the starting 100 points in this investigation area: dressing to maximize the human form and/or skin exposure; exposure of below navel skin; inappropriate touch; excessive teen chest exposure; talk of sexually immoral behavior; open-face kissing, frenzied co-stripping (interrupted), crotch straddling and more. [1 Thess 4:1 - 5]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 27 out of 100
Teen drinking. A teen drinking party. Teen drunkenness. "Let's go get drunk." "I will drink to that." Teen alcohol poisoning to unconsciousness. These portrayals apparently show us what filmmakers must think of "teen." Do filmmakers not believe the American College of Physicians? Are filmmakers smarter than a college of physicians? Do filmmakers know more than physicians? Apparently so. Do filmmakers value the dollars they garner with such teenage arrogance in and as entertainment higher than the health and safety of teens? Apparently so.

A 2002 study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to abuse of alcohol among underage viewers. The finding entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% of the youths were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted in their entertainment diets. Within the ACP study population, the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was

  • 46% for those with no viewing restrictions
  • 16% for those with partial viewing restrictions
  • four percent for those with complete viewing restrictions. [Eph. 5:18]

    There is nothing to say that viewing smoking in and as entertainment does not carry the same danger of influence as viewing drinking. Actually, the same matter of behavior implantation applies to any behavior demonstrated in and as entertainment, including good behavior.

    Offense to God (O) - 63 out of 100
    As it is with profanity, the attitude in a 'teen flick' leads teen performers to abuse God's name more than adults. In this film adults abuse God's name once. Teens abuse His name four times.

    Murder/Suicide (M) - Zero out of 100
    There are at least 12 murders portrayed in this film. That does not include the 11 defensive killings which are incorporated by the Wanton Violence/Crime content investigation area.



    If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. [The issue is the violence, the 'way that is not good' no matter how "small" or "fantasy" or "justified" the violence might seem, and its "leading" effect on the observer. "A violent man" can be any character of any age, any gender, human or not in the act of committing (demonstrating in the case of entertainment) violent behavior/action whether for good or evil OR the violent behaviors/actions themselves. Such exposure can and does embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. It took years for the American professional health community to finally affirm, probably without knowing it, that which God told us in 1 Cor. 15:33 below. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Their findings include:
    --> Children who see a lot of violence are more likely to view violence as an effective way of settling conflicts. Children exposed to violence are more likely to assume the acts of violence are acceptable behavior.
    --> Viewing violence can lead to emotional desensitization towards violence in real life. It can decease the likelihood that one will take action on behalf of a victim when violence occurs.
    --> Entertainment violence feeds a perception that the world is a violent and mean place. Viewing violence increases fear of becoming a victim of violence, with a resultant increase in self-protective behavior and a mistrust of others.
    --> Viewing violence may lead to real life violence. Children exposed to violent programming at a young age have a higher tendency for violent and aggressive behavior later in life than children who are not so exposed.
    Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off [rid yourself of] all these; anger, wrath, malice [kakia: ill-will, desire to injure, wickedness, depravity, evil, trouble, not ashamed to break laws, etc.], blasphemy [blasphemia: impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty], filthy communication [aischrologia:foul speaking, low and obscene speech] out of your mouth.
  • Eph. 4:29 Let no corrupt communication [unwholesome talk] proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
  • Matt. 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. ["Despise" is kataphroneo {kat-af-ron-eh'-o}: to condemn, despise, disdain, think little or nothing of, to look down upon (which includes abuse, even by influence or bad example, lying to them, enticing/teasing them, seducing them and/or their thoughts, involving them in sin or crime, etc.). What do you want the angels for your kids to say to God?]
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars -their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
  • Prov. 6:16 - 19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look [conceit, impudence, arrogance], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
  • 1 Thess. 4:1 - 5 Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his [or her] own body [which includes control of drives, touching, seeking, lusting (even after images), crude talk, promiscuity, etc.] in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; [Be master of your body and urges, not a slave to them. Be not a seeker of any manner of sexually-oriented imagery or behavior outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage. For any sexual contact (including sight, sound and touch), conduct or activity outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage is sinful.]
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [Since "drunk" is methusko {meth-oos'-ko}: to intoxicate; make drunk; to get drunk; become intoxicated, "wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not abuse the body by intoxicating it [1 Cor. 6:19]. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk OR to drink in defiance such as underage drinking.]
  • 1 Cor. 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

    Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry

  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend what is vile, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it.]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    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.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Abduction (2011) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • speeding
  • reckless endangerment, repeatedly
  • making and using false identification cards, multiple
  • father/so boxing fight
  • reckless driving, repeatedly, some to escape some to pursue
  • breaking and entering
  • beating of a woman
  • wrestling violence
  • killing video game
  • firearm for offensive, repeatedly
  • firearm for defense/protection, repeatedly
  • graphic fight for life
  • defensive killing, repeatedly
  • firearm held to teen girls head with intent to kill
  • defensive beating, repeatedly
  • attempted multiple murders with injury by explosion, graphic
  • falsification of identity
  • intrusive government and illegal practices, repeatedly, some to facilitate murder, frequent
  • pursuit to kill, frequent
  • assault of a teen girl
  • firearm held to teen girls face
  • threat to cut off fingers with fingers in slicing device
  • teen girl bound and gagged
  • beating of teen boy, repeatedly
  • teen boy killing assailant by throwing him off a speeding train
  • gunfire to kill sequence - long
  • dead body, repeatedly
  • threat of mass murder to teen's circle of influence to force compliance
  • police action killing, multiple
  • graphic gunfire killing, defensive, graphic

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
  • 11 uses of profanity by teens, 4 by adults
  • disrespect toward caregivers
  • one use of the most foul of the foul words by an adult
  • lying, repeatedly

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 63 out of 100
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure
  • scant swim wear
  • exposure to below navel skin threatening to expose that which follows
  • inappropriate touch by an adult and by a teen
  • very short skirts/dresses in high school
  • excessive chest exposure, teen
  • teen air spending the night together in the woods
  • admission of sexually immoral behavior
  • teens in open face kissing
  • teens in a frenzied co-stripping with interruption stopping it
  • teen pair in a crotch straddle

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 27 out of 100
  • teen drinking party
  • "Let's go get drunk", teen
  • teen drinking, repeatedly
  • teen drunkenness, multiple
  • "I'll drink to that", teen
  • alcohol poisoning of teen to unconsciousness

    Offense to God (O) - 63 out of 100
  • abuse of God's name four times by teens, once by an adult, all without the four letter expletive
  • psychobabble

    Murder/Suicide (M) - Zero out of 100
  • breaking and entering with two gunfire murders
  • ten additional gunfire murders

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    * CAP Equivalence to MPAA Rating Scale:
    Please note our new manner of indicating a film's Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating in comparison with the CAP equivalence such as "PG-13 [R-13]." The first term is the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) rating. The second term [in brackets] indicates that which the film earned under the CAP analysis model. In the example, "PG-13 [R-13]" indicates the MPAA rated the film PG-13 but the film earned a CAP final score in the scoring range earned by R-rated movies in the comparative baseline database. Other comparative terms used might be "PG [13-PG]", "G [PG-G] or even 'PG-13 [PG]" as was the case for Alien vs Predator. I doubt there will ever be a "G [R]" used, but only time will tell. The CAP analysis model is Rock-solid. The MPAA is not.

    The current CAP to MPAA** nomenclature is:

    For G rated Films with
    G equivalence: G
    PG equivalence: PG-G
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-G
    R equivalence: R-G<
    For PG rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-PG
    PG equivalence: PG
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-PG
    R equivalence: R-PG
    For PG-13 rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-13
    PG equivalence: PG(13)
    PG-13 equivalence: PG-13
    R equivalence: R-13
    For R rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-R
    PG equivalence: PG-R
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-R
    R equivalence: R
    For NR rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-NR
    PG equivalence: PG-NR
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-NR
    R equivalence: R-NR
    ** G, PG, PG-13 and R are registered trademarks of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

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