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(2005), PG-13 [R-13*] (1hr 48min)

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
July 22, 2005
30 out of 100

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Christian Long Distance

(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

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

(2005), PG-13 [R-13*] -- ... is indeed bad news. Very bad news.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Geyer Kosinski
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Richard Linklater
Producer(s): Adam Ellison, Sara Greene, Bruce Heller, Geyer Kosinsk, Richard Linklater, Brad Marks, Marcus Viscidi
Screenplay by: 1976 - Bill Lancaster. 2005 - Bill Lancaster, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Cinematography/Camera: Rogier Stoffers
Music: Ed Shearmur
Film Editing: Sandra Adair
Casting: Joseph Middleton
Production Design: Bruce Curtis
Art Direction: David Lazan
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

I am so sorry I could not have gotten this report to you sooner. You'll soon see why. Bad News Bears is indeed bad news. Very bad news. But that's just my opinion. What is not my opinion is the 128 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary saturate the script of this PG-13, err, R-13, 42 of the uses by children. Plus two uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive by an adolescent.

I can hear it now. "So what? That's the way kids talk at school." Well? From where do you think they get it? From you? "They get it from other kids!" From where do you think they get it? No matter from where children get the arrogance to use such language if not by the influence of films such as this, it is sinful to use such language. And it is sinful for they who give children such an example [Col. 3:8]. Did you read that, Mr. Linklater?

While acting on the emboldenment to use foul language this and other such films gives is likely but not certain, such saturation of entertainment with foul language, especially by children with no consequences at all, WILL embolden your children to speak likewise [1 Cor. 15:33]. And if you take your children to see this cinematic cyanide it will tend to give them your non-empirical or implied approval of such behavior, no matter what your words say, especially when you are not present.

After more than 1000 films over more than ten years, I suspect the CAP Analysis Model can be claimed to be credible. Films rated R in the comparative baseline database earned final scores of 54 and below out of 100 (the higher the better) and influence density figures of 0.89 to 2.04 (the lower the better). Bad News Bears earned a final score of 30 (44% lower than the R threshold of 54) and an influence density figure of 3.75 (184% more dense than the most dense R-rated movies in the baseline).

Of the 128 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, 24 were spoken adult to adult, which is bad enough when such chosen behavior is demonstrated before an audience of preteens and early teens. Sixty-two uses are spoken by an adult before and/or to children. Of ultra-significance is the 42 words of profanity spoken by the children themselves. [Luke 17:2, 2 Tim. 2:16 - 17, Matt. 25:40]

Of the four uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive, one was adult to adult, one was by an adult before children and two were by a child. Of the seven uses of God's or Jesus' name in vain without the four letter expletive, five were adult to adult, one was by a adult before children and one was by a child. [Deut. 5:11]

Granted, the use of God's or Jesus' name without the four letter expletive is not typically considered profanity, but it is sin nonetheless. It may be a hard pill to swallow folks, but using God's name at the end of the highly popular three-syllable sentence is using His name in vain.

All in all, 33% of the saturation of this film with profanity is performed and therefore demonstrated and example set by the "just-like-me" camaraderie of adolescents at the direction of adult filmmakers manipulating impressionable children into sin. Almost all of the rest of the profanity is before children. [Again, Luke 17:2]

In addition to the tons of profanity, Bad News Bears presents an adult making lewd sexual comments about a girl on the baseball team, vulgar talk by adolescents, adolescents throwing homosexual insults, sex talk by an adolescent and adults cohabitating for sex overnight with the young son discovering the male perpetrator early in the morning closing the door of what was likely the boy's mother's bedroom. [Gal. 5:19, Eph. 5:4] This film could well have been titled "Violations of Luke 17:2" or "The Millstone About My Neck."

Also prevalent in the film was drinking, smoking and bar scenes. Again Luke 17:2 is violated by the filmmakers presenting drinking and smoking in and as entertainment for children since an undeniable link between the presentation of alcoholic beverages and tobacco in and as entertainment and abuse of them by adolescents has been proven by the American College of Physicians (ACP).

Of the six CAP investigation areas (W, I, S, D, O, M), four (I, S, D, O) found programming to cause the loss of all of the starting 100 points in each, yielding a score of zero in each. Wanton Violence/Crime earned a score of 81 which is equivalent to most PG movies and Murder/Suicide was free of any instance of such behavior, earning a score of 100, the best possible score.

Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa and Friday Night Lights) plays rat killer and drunkard womanizer Morris Buttermaker. While Thornton does well in bringing along his drunkard womanizer from Bad Santa, his ethics portrayed in Friday Night Lights seemed to have escaped him.

Attorney Liz Whitewood (Marcia Gay Harden) levels a lawsuit at the Little League for discriminating against underachievers and ne'er-do-wells. The lawsuit demanded the Little League accept all who want to play. Her son Toby (Ridge Canipe) is one of them. So a team is put together with the underachievers and ne'er-do-wells. This is the Bad News Bears. Non-English speakers. A boy in a wheelchair. A small boy not big enough to even hold the bat. One boy is on the team only because his father wants him there. All are just about equal regarding sporting skills ... and attitude. The team exists only because the lawsuit settlement agreed with Whitewood.

Buttermaker is the one who gets to coach the Bad News Bears ... at the expense of Whitewood. If player performance is a reflection of coaching, the Bad News Bears have a good reason to be apathetic and play pitifully. Until, at least, Buttermaker begins a change of heart and recruits his 12 year old daughter, ace pitcher Amanda Whurlitzer (Sammi Kraft) from a failed marriage and a local "hoodlum" Kelly Leak (Jeff Davies) who has an eye and an arm for baseball -- and Amanda. The poster art does a better job of depicting Leak's caliber of character than Davies does.

That is all the time I am going to spend on this film. Please read carefully the listing in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide whether to take your kids to see this film or let them see it on their own.

May Heaven help the writers of this film just on the other side of their last breath.


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.


  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
  • 2 Tim. 2:16 - 17 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker...
  • 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.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]
  • Gal. 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want 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 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 you], 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 [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] 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 - 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. "Little ones": mikros - little;, small of age; younger which can include at-home teens].
  • 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.

    Bad News Bears (2005) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • reckless endangerment
  • adolescent theft
  • adolescent vandalism, twice
  • physical harassment/manhandling of an adolescent by an adult, twice
  • a brawl

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 128 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, 104 by a child of before children
  • lies, by adults and adolescents
  • hate talk by adolescents to adults, by adolescents to adolescents and adults to adolescents, repeatedly
  • adolescent threat of accusing pedophilia to manipulate an adult
  • coaching adolescents to lie and cheat
  • daughter arrogance to father, repeatedly
  • disrespect of father, repeatedly
  • a lie to mask sexual immoral deed (coach sleeping with player's mother)
  • father's verbal abuse of adolescent daughter, repeatedly
  • adult poor sportsmanlike conduct (condemning losing)
  • racial insult by adolescent
  • adult condemning children and their lack of desired performance
  • coaching children to falsely perform, repeatedly
  • father's physical abuse of adolescent son

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • adult rude sexual comments about teen girl ballplayer, twice
  • vulgar talk about father's private parts
  • vulgar talk by adolescents, repeatedly
  • dressing to maximize the human form and/or skin exposure, repeatedly
  • sexual innuendo on T-shirt
  • adolescent speaking homosexual insults, repeatedly
  • using a "gentlemen's club" as a Little League sponsor
  • women as toys, repeatedly
  • sex talk by teen
  • sexual innuendo before children and adult to adult, repeatedly
  • sex comment by adult at a child
  • adolescent dressing to maximize the human form and/or skin exposure
  • sex comment by an adolescent
  • self touching of privates by adult man to young boys (as a coaching "signal")
  • vulgar gesture by adolescents, twice and by adults twice
  • implied intercourse by overnight stay, discovered by young son
  • adult woman flashing thong nudity before adolescents
  • crotch kick by adolescent
  • women making sensuous moves in scant dress, repeatedly, once to entice an adolescent

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • drunkenness
  • booze, repeatedly
  • adolescent asking adult for booze
  • adolescent serving booze to an adult
  • bar scene, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O)
  • one use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive adult to adult, once by an adult before adolescents and twice by an adolescent
  • five uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive before adolescents and twice by adolescents

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

  • First Impressions and

    Christian Educators Association International



    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 more than eight 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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