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


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Crossroads (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: February 15, 2002
CAP Score: 52
CAP Influence Density: 0.90

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

CROSSROADS (PG-13) -- Crossroads is a "R-13" movie. Mainly because of the sexual programming in it.

Distributed by: Filmco Enterprises Inc., Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Tamra Davis
Producer(s): Clive Calder. Ann Carli, David Gale, Jonathan McHugh, Larry Rudolph, Van Toffler, Johnny Wright
Written by/Screenplay: Shonda Rhimes
Cinematography/Camera: Eric Alan Edwards
Music: Trevor Jones, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake
Editing: Melissa Kent

Young Lucy (Erinn Hughes, later Britney Spears) and her best friends for life, Mimi and Kit sneaked out to bury a time capsule with their most prized mementos of their years as friends, vowing to meet there at midnight on their high school graduation day to dig it up. But the years are not kind to the friendships.

While Lucy remained solid and wholesome, Mimi (Taryn Manning) became somewhat of a girl the movie termed "trailer trash" victimized by the school of hard knocks. Kit(Zoe Saldana) became quite superficial and loves the nice-to-have, expensive things of flash and show apparently because of her chubby history.

Though the friction is evident between the girls, they indeed do meet the night of their graduation from high school to dig up their time capsule. Lucy came from a bed she just shared with her lab partner. Kit came from the graduation party. Mimi came pregnant, the victim of date rape. Mimi came also with plans to go to Hollywood to participate in a recording company's audition -- at least, that's what she said. She knows a guy named Ben (Anson Mount) who will drive her to Hollywood and invited Lucy and Kit to come along.

Lucy has lived a life without a mother who left Lucy and her father Pete (Dan Aykroyd) for Arizona when Lucy was three years old. Lucy is certain the reason she hasn't heard from her mother for 15 years was her father keeping her mother form her. Lucy is as certain her mother would love to see her. Hmmm? Arizona is on the way to California. Also, Kit's fiance, whom she hasn't seen since Christmas, is attending school in Los Angeles. So, the plans become reality. The three girls and the one guy all head for Hollywood.

The trip to California is a road trip without the demon. At lest without a being to terrorize them. Rather, the "demon" is a busted radiator that will cost $350 to repair. Then there is the costs of travel: gas, lodging, food, etc. With $44 and change, the girls decide to try their "hand" in a karaoke bar. Eighteen year olds in a karaoke bar? Well, Mimi is to be the lead in the trio. Well! She is going to try out in the singing audition when she gets to California. Why not practice? After realizing she is not yet ready, Mimi yields the microphone to Lucy and the crowd goes wild! I suspect her outfit might have had something to do with it, but never mind that. Money is now not a problem, compliments of the patrons of the karaoke bar.

Next stop, Arizona. To meet mom. But mom wasn't as desirous of meeting her daughter as Lucy expected she would be. Indeed, mom (Kim Cattrall) said Lucy was a mistake and completely unwanted by her. Ouch! Though we are spared the verbal battle, we still have a sneaking ability to feel her cinematic pain. At least, I did. Lucy appears at the doorstep of her friends and wants to continue to Hollywood with them. While Ben unexpectedly disappears, the three girls have a drinking party in the motel room. The motel furnishes booze for three 18 year old girls? Makes me wonder about the integrity of the 29 year old Ben.

Arriving in Hollywood ... I've spoiled enough of the movie.

There are a couple matters of good ethics in this movie. One was the sexual purity of Lucy until her high school graduation night. While commendable to be sure, why does it have to be lost on graduation night? Why can it not be held until her wedding night? Then her sexual purity would not be lost at all [Hebr. 13:4]. Why does this have to be in the show at all [1Cor 15:33]? That such sin exists does not excuse the presence of it in and as entertainment nor does it excuse such entertainment from teaching and/or causing our youth to sin [Luke 17:2].

Further of the portrayal of good ethics was the portrayal of Lucy's wholesome love and respect for her father and his wishes until the flowering adulthood and the inherent drive for independence and exploration simply become too strong. Also, in the few seconds Akroyd had to portray letting go, he played well the father who finally realized he had to let his little girl go. No matter how painful it is to do so, it must be done. For her.

There are many of what might be thought of as "lesser" examples of sexual programming [Gal. 5:19]. Nothing as bold and invasive as is typical for R-rated movies, but many nonetheless. Likewise, though there were no uses of the most foul of the foul words nor uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive, there were many uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary plus many uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive [Prov. 8:13]. Crossroads is a "R-13" movie. Mainly because of the sexual programming in it.

Many "lesser" examples of sexual nature appear in the movie such as repeated implied intercourse, dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, camera angle to force the viewer on [clothed] private parts, teens in revealing underwear, dancing in revealing underwear, open mouth kissing, inappropriate touch, sexual innuendo, talk and comments and more. I know this sounds very picky, but such incessant, relentless and voluminous subliminal and "lite" exposure of younger and younger audiences shapes not only their worldview but their coping skills and decision-making skills regarding inhibition and restraint.

This movie is a ripe example of the technique of loading the content with "lesser" items of illicit programming to get the same "effect" of a more severely rated movie which uses a few items of illicit programming but of very bold and invasive nature. Many of you will recall our equation describing this technique. For example, movie A uses 100 issues of "lesser" bad programming worth only 10 bad points each while movie B uses only 10 issues of bad programming but of very bold and invasive nature worth 100 bad points each. Both movies are equivalent in magnitude with 1000 "bads" each. Crossroads is an example of movie A -- equivalent in envelope or magnitude to a lite R movie but not possessing the boldly invasive items typical of R-rated movies.

If you chose to see this movie, please investigate the listing in the Findings/Scoring section first.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. 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.

  • Hebr. 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Prov. 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech [obstinate in opposing the norm or the accepted].

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*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 would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; 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.

    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.

    Crossroads (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • women fighting
  • fighting
  • story of rape
  • death of baby in womb by fall

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 12 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • adolescent deceit
  • vulgar gestures
  • social hatefulness
  • hateful music
  • overbearing father
  • massive tattoos
  • hateful mother

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • teen dancing in revealing underwear
  • additional episodes of teens in underwear, repeatedly
  • teens in underwear in bed planning intercourse and the "benefits" of doing it
  • other sex talk, innuendo, comments
  • unwed pregnancy
  • teen in shower
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, repeatedly
  • sensuous dancing for money
  • camera angle to focus viewer on private parts, repeatedly
  • side view of bare posterior
  • open mouth kissing
  • implied intercourse, repeatedly
  • gamming
  • inappropriate touch
  • male/female in bed together after spending night together
  • more sensuous dance

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • bar
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • teen drinking to drunkenness

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • 15 uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "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 nearly seven 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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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/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 in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

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

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