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

Entertainment Media Analysis Report

Armageddon (1998)
CAP Score: 51
CAP ID: 0.88

Thomas A. Carder
CAP President

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Armageddon (1998) CAP Thermometers Armageddon (1998) was an exciting and very well made movie, much better technologically than Titanic, Asteroid, and Twister. It presented touching human interactions for the good of others. In a couple places, it was a tear-jerker. The color, sound, and computer enhancement pagentry was unequaled by any movie I have ever seen. The minute details of the progression of blast effects was astounding. And acting was mighty fine, too. All in all, a really good movie, but...

Armageddon was a very violent movie! Many series of disaster style deaths with bodies being tossed and twisted like raw meat, threats of death by fire and firearms, graphically violent dangers. To top off the violent nature of this movie was the plethora of foul language including the use of God's name in vain both with and without the four letter expletive. While there was no full nudity in Armageddon, there was partial and nearly full nudity with nude posteriors and private parts buldging through the course weave of scant outfits plus sexual innuendo and references. While there were no instances of drugs and alcohol noted, additional examples of unacceptable programming abounded as shown below.

Compared to movies from just two and three years ago, Armageddon should have been rated R. The final score of 51 is well within one standard deviation of the average score in the R range of the CAP numeric comparative baseline database built by movies from 1996 and before -- another example that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) seems to be lowering their thresholds of acceptability.

Following is a breakdown of the distribution for scoring.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) lost intermediate level points per example twice due to urgent danger from firey deaths and other graphic deaths. This Investigation Area lost the maximum level points per example eight times due to several series of violent and graphic deaths which were exceptionally realistic such as bodies being tossed and twisted like raw meat, and a series of graphically violent dangers.

Impunity/Hate (I)(1) lost intermediate level points per example due to a daughter arguing with her father about the pleasures of sexual freedom. One instance of unacceptable behavior requiring the loss of the maximum points per example was found in the use of the most foul of the three-four letter word vocabulary though presented in a muffled way.

Sex/Homosexuality (S) lost intermediate level points per example three times due to necking with the male removing the shoulder staps of the female, talk of sexual activity outside of marriage as acceptable, and multiple instances of strip tease to nearly nude with private body parts buldging through the course weave of the scant outifts. No examples of behavior requiring the loss of maximum level points were noted.

In Drugs/Alcohol (D), no examples of unacceptable behavior were noted.

Offense to God (O)(2) lost maximum level points per example seven times due to the use of God's name in vain with the four-letter expletive. No examples of behavior requiring the loss of intermediate level points were noted.

Murder/Suicide (M)(3) no examples of behavior requiring the loss of intermediate nor maximum level points were noted.

Additional unacceptable programming which required only the loss of the minimum level of points per example:

  • fifteen additional uses of God's name in vain but without the four-letter expletive
  • forty examples of the three-four letter word vocabulary
  • a woman in the bed of a staff man for sexual purposes (covered) and a prone dressed woman atop a prone dressed man
  • four attempts to murder with a firearm
  • at least seven instances of the use of firearms to threaten or control another human, and a verbal threat
  • sexual references to male anatomy and sexual innuendo
  • posterior nudity
  • talk of satisfaction from sex out of wedlock
  • inappropriate touching
  • barroom fight
  • the aftermath of death (bodies and blood)
  • violent injury and argument, violent aggression
  • one case of suicide (hidden under heroism)

    In accordance with the numeric comparative baseline database of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model, Armageddon (1998) presented programming equivalent to R-rated material in Wanton Violence/Crime, Impunity/Hate, and Offense to God. The movie is equivalent to PG-13 programming in Sex/Homosexuality. It was quivalent to G-rated programming in Drugs/Alcohol and Murder/Suicide. Thus, Armageddon is equivalent to 50% R-rated programming and 17% PG-13 programming, and 34% G-rated programming.

    (1) 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.

    (2) 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.

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

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