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(2011), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] (82.75min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
April 15, 2012
April 18, 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.

(2011), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] ... Of the 706 PG-13 films we have analyzed only two earned a lower final score

Production (US): Summit Entertainment, Regency Enterprises: A Jacobson Company/Bazelevs/New Regency Production
Distribution (US): Summit Entertainment
Director(s): Chris Gorak
Producer(s): Iva Stromilove, Lulu Zezza, Arnon Milchan, Hutch Parker, Bo Harper, Monnie Wills, Tom Jacobson, Timur Bekmambetov
Story by: Leslie Bohem, M.T. Ahern, Jon Spaihts
Screenplay by: Jon Spaihts
Cinematography/Camera: Scott Kevan
Music: Tyler Bates
Film Editing: Priscilla Nedd Frindly, Fernando Villena
Casting: Mary Vernieu, Venus Kanani
Production Design: Valeri Viktorov
Art Direction: Ricky Eyres
Viewed on Summit Entertainment DVD

A group of two men and two women do battle against all odds to survive an invasion by invisible aliens seeking to pillage our planet of the electricity-conducting metals we have in abundance. This is a relatively well made and engrossing film of courage and sacrifice ... and profanity ... and violence ... and drinking ... and ... Enough of them to earn the film content a hard R-equivalence.

The story begins with Ben (Max Minghella) and Sean (Emile Hirsch) travelling to Moscow to sell Ben's innovative GlobeTrot software invention promising to make millions overnight. But upon arrival at a proposal meeting the boys find that an associate named Skyler (Joel Kinnaman) had stolen Ben's invention.

In their bar-time sorrows Ben and Sean meet two travelling American girls, Natalie (Olivia Thirlby) and Anne (Rachel Taylor) whom the boys noticed were featured on Ben's cell phone as two of 56 Moscow arrivals. By chance the girls end up at the same bar as Ben and Sean.

While at the bar and after the obligatory display of drinking the electric power goes out all over the city. Soon the quartet find that aliens are descending on the city, indeed all over the world. Not long after discovering the aliens it is also discovered that the aliens are hostile and can disintegrate humans into dust with a projected tentacle of energy.

To escape the aliens the quartet, which has by now picked up Skyler in the melee, hide in a storage room. This happens on Saturday. By Tuesday the group cannot sit in storage any longer and venture out to try to find a way home. If home still exists.

The Darkest Hour is a cussfest for teens ... 47 uses of profanity of some form or another - including the most foul of the foul words -- in 82.75 minutes of programming, which averages to about 0.6 cusses per minute. Two four-letter words apparently were the most popular of the writers. Seventy-seven percent of the 47 uses of profanity is these two words. Maybe our teens hear such language everyday at school. Why do you suppose they talk that way with films like this one saturating their lives with profanity?

Of the six CAP content investigation areas (W, I, S, D, O, M), each with a starting 100 points, the content found by the Sexual Immorality (S) and Murder/Suicide (M) investigation areas earned 19 out of 100 each. These two scores of 19 out of 100 are the highest scores earned over the six investigation areas. The other four CAP content investigation areas found content to earn lesser scores: W - zero, I - zero, D - 7, and O - zero. To give perspective to the area scores, films rated R in the comparative baseline database earned scores of 54 and below out of 100. In a nutshell, every content investigation area, each discovering content to earn an area score of below 54, found content vile enough to earn R-equivalence. With a final score of eight out of 100 this film is a hard R-13! Of the 706 PG-13 films we have analyzed only two earned a lower final score.

While there are some rather clever and maybe innovative cinematic devices used in this film, the mining techniques used by the aliens in this film looked strangely like the mining techniques used by the Romulans in Star Trek: The Future Begins (2009). And the disintegration of humans into dust seems a great deal like the human disintegrations in War of the Worlds (2005).


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
This film is heavy in violence, mostly in the form of alien attack action violence and pursuit terror. Some of the episodes of alien attack and pursuit are rather intense. Additional matters of violence and/or crime include theft of intellectual property, in-flight peril and gunfire to kill aliens. There is more. Please look to the listing in the Findings section for a complete accounting of the violence/crime content.

Many times in both the Old Testament and the New Testament God admonishes us against violence. One verse in particular that puts the topic into perspective well is Proverb 16:29 where God warns that violence can lead one "into the way that is not good." Oddly enough several hundred years after God "published His findings" about the influence of violence, man published his findings by four professional public health agencies warning that violence in and as entertainment can, among other things, lead the observer, especially the young, into real life violence and into believing violence is an effective way to settle conflict. But do we listen? Or care?

Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
Forty-seven timers someone utters some form of profanity, including the most foul of the foul words. Plus a number of uses of crude slang. All in 82.75 minutes. [Col. 3:8, Eph. 5:4] Additional matters of the display of impudence and/or hatred include cowardice to save one's life at the expense of another's life [Rev. 21:8}, animated argumentation and a lie [also Rev. 21:8].

Sexual Immorality (S) - 19 out of 100
Refreshingly for a PG-13, no one gets in bed with anyone. There is some talk (innuendo) about it but no demonstrations of sex. And there is no nudity. Content that applies to this investigation area included planning sexual conquest, dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure repeatedly, talk of having sex with a man's mother, an adult woman in her underwear seen by a man and the woman enjoying it and a couple additional matters of sexually immoral caliber noted in the Findings section. [Also Eph. 5:4]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 7 out of 100
The MPAA approved this film for teenagers so you can expect it to have booze and drinking in it. It does. That, in and of itself, makes this film a danger according to the American College of Physicians (ACO) which revealed in 2002 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]

    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 modification applies to any behavior demonstrated in and as entertainment, including good behavior.

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
    God's name in used in vain 21 times, three of them with the four letter expletive. [Deut. 5:11] That is all the content in this film that applicable to this investigation area (no witchcraft, sorcery, Satanism, etc) but that is more than enough abuse of God's name to make the content revealed by this investigation area equivalent to the same content in many R-rated films.

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 19 out of 100
    All the murders portrayed were murders of humans by aliens. All of them were somewhat graphic in that the computer-generated imagery is more realistic than ever before. The viewer sees live bodies being disintegrated into dust and ash from the feet up slowly enough to see the expressions of horror by the characters being disintegrated. At least 10 characters are murdered in this fashion.



    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. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [deilos {di-los'}; timid, cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and sorcerers [all forms of evil/magic to force or do harm], and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. ["Timid" as used in this verse does not mean humble or meek. It means cowering in fear when, e.g., someone threatens you and your loved one and you hide in the shadows to save yourself as your loved one is victimized.]
  • 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.
  • 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 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • 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; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • 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.)

    The Darkest Hour (2011) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • alien invasion
  • in-flight peril
  • corporate theft of intellectual property
  • alien assault/attack, long sequence
  • dead body, twice
  • alien killing of dog
  • airline jet downed in rubble with many deaths likely
  • pursuit terror, repeatedly
  • action violence of varying intensities, repeatedly, some graphic
  • gunfire to kill (aliens), repeatedly

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
  • 47 uses of profanity plus 3 terms of crude slang and one abbreviated most foul of the foul words by a teen
  • crude slang, three times
  • cowardice to save self at the cost of another's life [Rev. 21:8]
  • animated argument
  • lie

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 19 out of 100
  • planning a sexual conquest
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, frequent
  • sexual innuendo re: male gender-specific anatomy in background song
  • sexual innuendo re: sex with the other guy's mother
  • X-ray view of bodies through clothing, repeatedly
  • dressing to show bra straps, repeatedly
  • adult female in underwear and enjoying a man watching her
  • skin-tight pants, lengthy exposure
  • inappropriate touch, male hand and forearm on female upper leg

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 7 out of 100
  • planning to get drunk
  • bar
  • booze, abundant
  • drinking, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • 21 abuses of God's name, three with the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 19 out of 100
  • murder by aliens, repeatedly

    Interested parties, send us your proposal. Your link will appear on each new analysis report prepared during the desired period and, once placed on a page, will not be removed.

    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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