ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

Entertainment Media Analysis Report

The Apostle (1998)
CAP Score: 89
CAP ID: 0.19

Thomas A. Carder
CAP President

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The Apostle (1998) CAP Thermometers Earlier, I posted that Titanic (PG-13) should have been rated R and gave justification for this finding. I have just last night (January 30, 1998) completed review of another contemporary PG-13 movie, The Apostle (1998) on opening night.

Should The Apostle have been rated PG-13? I don't think so. Many of you know of our entertainment media analyses by now and know that our analysis model is brutal with Hollywood tripe. Well, regarding The Apostle, let me tell you...

The Apostle was quite probably the finest Holy Ghost, evangelical, on-fire-for-Jesus movie I have ever seen! There are a few Hollywood snipits that I suppose are to give the movie some kinda age-restricted appearance, but there was no nudity, no "kiss my [backside], Mom/Dad", no guts/gore, and foul language did not happen every three to five minutes as are typical of PG-13 movies. There was adultery (between the preacher's wife and a youth minister) and a baseball bat murder (by the preacher) in The Apostle, which are most of the reasons why this movie earned a CAP score of 89 instead of a much higher score, but daytime soaps and after-school sitcoms make this movie look like Charlie Brown(tm). This is the kind of high [positive] influence movie we need! While little tykes will not likely be able to connect with the movie, late pre-teens and up should understand it well. Below provides a listing of additional little Hollywood snipits for you to determine further whether to take your kids to see The Apostle.

Wanton Violence/Crime suffered significant loss of points due to manhanding of kids. Murder/Suicide lost several points due to a baseball bat murder by a Pastor. Other examples of unacceptable programming included:

  • a multi-car wreck with injuries
  • excessive vehicle acceleration (by a Pastor, nonetheless)
  • somewhat militaristic praising of Jesus
  • adult heterosexual couple in bed together/adultery/adult underwear (two scenes in bed and three scenes of adult underwear, but no nudity)
  • throwing a rock through a window
  • contemplation of using a firearm with firearm visible (a firearm was visible three times but never discharged or pointed at anyone)
  • three/four letter word language (three examples)
  • manhandling of a woman
  • questioning God: "Are you foolin' around with me?"
  • drinking to ease sorrows (and booze in car) and as relaxation drink (two occurences of alcoholic beverages)
  • faking suicide and praising God for it's implied success
  • implication of an adulterous affair by suggestive talk
  • illegal flight to avoid lawful prosecution
  • one use of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive
  • fighting to settle differences
  • talk of "being human" to excuse sexual desires
  • an open casket at a funeral (though this issue is certainly not non-Christian, such viewing is not typically available to small children)
  • holding up a baby and asking the congregation to imagine nails through its hands and feet

  • In accordance with the comparative baseline data of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model, The Apostle (1998) presented no material at all equivalent to R or PG-13 programming. And it presented PG-rated material in Wanton Violence/Crime only -- all other Investigation Areas revealed material equivalent to G-rated programming. Thus, Apostle was equivalent to 17% PG-rated programming and 83% G-rated programming.

    As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impunity/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name is incorporated into the Impunity/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the three/four letter word vocabulary is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication. As required of the Holy Scriptures, unless God's name is used with reverence to His glory and praise, its use is considered in vain, whether literal or euphemistic.

    Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Presentation of attempts to commit murder or suicide, deaths by police action, and deaths by war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

    Please remember we believe that if even one of the six Investigation Area scores for a movie is equivalent to the CAP comparative baseline database scoring range for R, PG-13, or PG material, the entire movie should be regarded as so rated.  For example, if only Wanton Violence/Crime earns a score equivalent to R but all other Investigation Areas earn a score equivalent to G, THERE IS R-RATED MATERIAL IN THE MOVIE AND YOUR KIDS WILL SEE IT AND HEAR IT IF THEY WATCH THE MOVIE!

    Additional reviews of this movie may be located at "Movie Review Query Engine at Telerama."

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    In the name of Jesus:
    Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.

    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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