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(2012), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] (77.3min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
June 3, 2012
June 3, 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.

(2012), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] ... overall content is 83% R-equivalent

Production (US): 20th Century Fox, Davis Entertainment Company
Distribution (US): Fox Pictures
Director(s): Josh Trank
Producer(s): John Davis, Adam Schroeder, James Dodson
Screenplay by: Max Landis
Story by: Max Landis, Josh Trank
Cinematography/Camera: Matthew Jensen
Music: Andrea von Foerster
Film Editing: Elliot Greenberg
Casting: Ronna Kress
Production Design: Stephen Altman
Art Direction: Johnny Breedt
Viewed on Fox Home Entertainment DVD

During a teen drinking party a trio of boys: the abused and recluse Andrew Detmer (Leonardo DiCaprio look-alike, Dane DeHaan); the nearly level-headed Matthew Garetty (Alex Russell); politician wannabe Steve Montgomery (Michael B. Jordan), all high school seniors, stumble onto an underground object apparently of extraterrestrial origin. The object does something strange to the boys. It gives them nosebleeds ... and extraordinary telekinetic powers. As the boys experiment with their newfound powers, the powers grow stronger with use. And with the increased powers comes increased ambition ... and aggression.
v The content of this film earned it a final score of 15. Films rated R in the comparative baseline database earned a range of final scores of 54 and below out of 100. This film also earned an influence density (ID) figure of 5.74. R-rated films in the comparative baseline database earned an ID range of 0.78 to 2.04 (the higher the figure the more severe the density of assaults on morality and wholesome ethics).

Of the 717 PG-13 movies we have analyzed so far, 473 of them earned R-equivalent scores (were R-13). Of the 473 R-13 films four earned the same final score of 15 and seven earned final scores less than the 15 earned by this film. Only seven of 717 PG-13 films earned final scores less than Chronicles!

I did not know there could be so much R in a PG-13. By slapping a "PG-13" rating on this film, which tells any 13 year old s/he is old enough to see it no matter what mom or dad says, the MPAA is clearly and indefensibly morally dead. Fortunately the MPAA does not have the authority to say what your kids may or may not watch. YOU do, mom/dad, and only you.

Of particular note regarding the scoring distribution, scores earned by the content found by five of the six CAP investigation areas (W, I, S, D, O) were R-equivalent. That means the overall content is 83% R-equivalent.


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
Most of the violence (with some related to criminal acts) in this film is portrayal of uses of telekinetic powers. While possessing such powers is certainly unholy, portrayal of acts with the powers which were not to do harm to anyone, such as stopping a baseball or sliding a parked car to a different parking slot, were incorporated into the Offense to God content investigation area. But any portrayals of use of the powers to do harm to others were incorporated into this investigation area.

Because of the sheer volume of line items of content applicable to this investigation area it would be counterproductive to even try to summarize them in this space. Please inspect closely the listing in the Findings section before deciding for what age stratum, if any, this film is fit.

God speaks darkly of violence more than 50 times from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Of them all, Proverb 16:29 puts the matter in perspective succinctly. In Proverb 16:29 God warns that violence is enticing: that violence can lead one "into the way that is not good." In addition man has plagiarized God's Word, quite probably without knowing it, by four public health agencies publishing their findings which warn that violence in and as entertainment can, among other things, lead the viewer, especially the young, to real life violence and can lead the viewer to believe violence is an effective way to settle conflict.

Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
Use of profanity is one of the investigation parameters of this investigation area. While the area score shown is zero out of 100, the actual score is much, much less than zero because of the intense saturation of the content with profanity -- 78 uses in the 77.3 minutes of the show, 72 of them by teens. [Col. 3:8, Eph. 4:29] To help you understand, realize the display of scores (the CAP Thermometers) uses if-then-else code delimiters that display any score less than zero as zero. By the equations used, less than zero scores would be mathematically meaningless to the final score.

I suppose some teens actually do talk that way ... every other sentence containing profanity, sometimes in machine gun style. Why might you suppose some teens talk that way when entertainment such as this is poured all over them? [Rom. 5:19] No one thinks up words of profanity on their own. Kids (which includes at-home teens) have to learn them from someone (hopefully not from you, mom/dad). Entertainment such as this is quite possible the best "teaching by example tool" available. Media are very powerful influences.

Since the DVD cover claims this movie is closed captioned a TVGuardian foul language filter should filter out the profanity. The TVGuardian shuts off the audio when a cuss word is spoken and an alternate word is displayed in the captioning (if used). But since there is so much profanity in this film there would be little of the script left.

As with the extent of content findings revealed by the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area listing, because of the sheer volume of line items of content applicable to this investigation area it would be counterproductive to even try to summarize them in this space. Please inspect closely the listing in the Findings section before deciding for what age stratum, if any, this film is fit.

Sexual Immorality (S) - 5 out of 100
While there was no nudity found, a plethora of other sexually immoral matters were found. As with the extent of content findings revealed by the Wanton Violence/Crime and Impudence/Hate investigation areas, because of the sheer volume of line items of content applicable to this investigation area it would be counterproductive to even try to summarize them in this space. Please inspect closely the listing in the Findings section before deciding for what age stratum, if any, this film is fit.

It is not God's Will that we should behave in a sexually immoral manner or embrace or desire such display and talk. [Gal. 5:19, Col. 3:5] God has given us many admonitions against sexually immoral behavior and desires. Rather than try to share all or most of them with you, let me paraphrase His Word about sexually immoral matters: any sexual contact (including sight and sound), conduct or activity outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage is sinful. Whether we believe it or not. Whether we like it or not. Whether we care or not. And in the end there will be no arguing with, denying or changing the Truth of His Word.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - Zero out of 100
Teen possession of alcoholic beverages. Teen drinking of them. Teen drinking parties. Teen drunkenness. They are all there. Fortunately, references to or portrayal of possession of illegal drugs or consumption of them and tobacco were not found. But there is enough content of portrayal of teen irresponsibility with and abuse of alcohol that this film is as severe as many R-rated films.

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 report 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]

    Though use of tobacco was not found in this film 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. [Rom. 5:19]

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
    As explained in the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area discussion, portrayals of the use of unholy power which did not cause harm to others were incorporated into this investigation area. Of the 53 portrayals of telekinetic powers, 28 were incorporated into this investigation area.

    God's name was abused 37 times, seven times with the four letter expletive. Thirty of the abuses of His name without the four letter expletive and two with it were by teens. More "teaching by example." And that (and any other portrayals of sinful behavior by teens) invokes Luke 17:2 on the filmmakers who were party to the teens demonstrating sin. [Deut. 5:11]

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 87 out of 100
    It might seem strange for this genre of action film but there is only one murder portrayed in the entire show - the murder of Andrew, graphically, by Matt by impalement of Andrew with a statue lance to stop Andrew from doing more harm. In fact, Andrew tried to murder his father with his telekinetic powers but Matt saved Andrew's father. Note that attempts at murder or suicide or deaths by acts of war or police action are not incorporated into this investigation area but are incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area. There are aggressive events by Andrew portrayed in which people probably died but do direct evidence that, for example, there were any people in a bus Andrew hurls or of the downed helicopter occupants being killed. While such "behavior" would indeed be murder of the people, not enough visible evidence was available. These acts of potentially murderous actions by Andrew were instead incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime 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 proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
  • Rom. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
  • Gal. 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
  • Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: [Mortify: nekroo {nek-ro'-o} - deprive of power, control, be master of rather than slave to. Members: melos {mel'-os} - members of the human body given up to immoral sexual activity. Upon the earth: while living on the Earth. Fornication: porneia {por-ni'-ah} - illicit sexual intercourse. Uncleanness: akatharsia {ak-ath-ar-see'-ah} - in a moral sense, the impurity of lustful living. Inordinate affection: - pathos {path'-os} - lust. Evil concupiscence: epithumia {ep-ee-thoo-mee'-ah} - desire, craving, longing for what is forbidden. Covetousness: pleonexia {pleh-on-ex-ee'-ah} - greedy desire to have more. Idolatry: eidololatreia {i-do-lol-at-ri'-ah}: the worship of false gods, including the "god" of lust and inordinate desire]
  • 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?
  • 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 in slang or profanity. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or responsible discussion and in praise and prayer is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name or title even if as a euphemism. So, trying to excuse such expressions with "I was talking TO God/Jesus when I said that" or "It's just words" or "I was acting" will not work with Him. Nor will "Everybody says that" excuse the sin of using His name in vain. If everyone on the planet who has ever drawn a breath used His name in vain, it would still be a sin to do so. If no one ever did, it would still be a sin to do so. Whether we believe it or not. Whether we like it or not. Whether we care or not.]

    Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry

  • Jer. 37:9 - 10 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not! Even if you were to defeat the entire Babylonian army that is attacking you and only wounded men were left in their tents, they would come out and burn this city down. [The "destroyers form within" do not have to be army warriors. They can be the ones who destroy through corruption of moral standards as well, such as filmmakers who perpetuate desensitization against wholesome standards. They aren't going anywhere, folks. Not until Jesus comes again.]
  • 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. And remember, mom/dad, "little ones" is mikros, meaning less by birth; younger. All of your children are younger than you and less by birth than you. So, "little ones" includes 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.)

    Chronicle (2012) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • father physical threat to son
  • son beating father using telekinetic power
  • massive trespassing
  • action violence with blood
  • "slapstick" violence, repeatedly
  • violence and/or tormenting by telekinetic power, frequent
  • bloody injuries from car wreck
  • tantrum fight between two teen boys
  • robbery using telekinetic powers
  • teen boy on fire
  • gunfire to kill, twice
  • son attempted murder of father
  • severe burn injuries, repeatedly

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
  • 78 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, 72 of them by teens
  • father-son friction, repeatedly
  • lying, repeatedly
  • vicious bullying
  • father beating son, repeatedly
  • dangerous risk-taking by teens
  • mischief using telekinetic power, repeatedly
  • racial insult
  • teens harassing a woman
  • offensive driving
  • trying to keep another from calling police for injured man
  • father insulting son, repeatedly
  • teen jeering at another teen on stage
  • father hate talk to son

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 5 out of 100
  • attention to male privates
  • vulgar gesture
  • teens in dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure including during sensual dancing
  • camera angle/pose to force viewer on private parts
  • sexual innuendo
  • causing girls skirts to fly up above their waists
  • crude humor, repeatedly
  • teens boys admitting to participating in immoral sex
  • applauding immoral sex, repeatedly
  • sexually aggressive teen girl
  • teen in underwear
  • portrayal of oral sex between teens
  • teens gossiping about oral sex, multiple

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - Zero out of 100
  • teens in possession of open containers of alcoholic beverage
  • "Have a beer" from one teen to another
  • teen drinking party, repeatedly
  • teen drunkenness, repeatedly
  • teen drinking, repeatedly
  • beer pong by teens, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • 78 uses of profanity, 72 of them by teens
  • embracing strange philosophy [Hebr. 13.9, Col. 2:8]
  • wielding unholy power to do harm including death, frequent

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 87 out of 100
  • one murder by statue lance through-impalement

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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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