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

Drumline (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: January 10, 2003
CAP Score: 74
CAP Influence Density: 0.66

MinMax: -100

Drumline (2002) CAP Mini-thermometers

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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.

Drumline (PG-13) -- a "PG" PG-13.

Production: Fox 2000 Pictures, Wendy Finerman Productions
Distribution: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, Fox 2000 Pictures
Director(s): Charles Stone III
Producer(s): Dallas Austin, Timothy M. Bourne, Wendy Finerman, Jody Gerson, Greg Mooradian
Written by/Screenplay: Shawn Schepps (story), Tina Gordon Chism and Shawn Schepps (screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Shane Hurlbut
Music: J.C. Chasez, John Powell
Film Editing: Patricia Bowers, Bill Pankow
Casting: Aleta Chappelle
Production Design: Charles C. Bennett
Art Direction: Nicholas Scott

As I have said before, this Summary/Commentary section of the analysis report is precisely that: a summary in commentary format. While the findings/Scoring section is brutally objective, this Summary/Commentary may be and sometimes is subjective. I am going to "sometimes is" in this one.

As do many movies, Drumline has a good message within its bowels. A message of accomplishment and gratification through teamwork and accountability. Defiance of training and operations of military precision were quickly chastised effectively on a personal level. The end product? A well-tuned precision marching band of unequaled excellence and joy in being part of a dynamic machine. The drumline sequences were synchopated beauty in fine monophony weave. Outstanding were the performances of they who portrayed the drummers in the snare drumline. Best of all, the bad attitude is dealt with severely. Not brutally, but severely and with "real world" expectations. Initial enemies become strong friends. Though redemption does not excuse cockiness and arrogance [Is. 2:17], in time these negative personality traits became supportive cooperation or at least willingness to cooperate instead of making social war. One of the expressions repeated in the movie that dealt with self-centered showboating was something like "When you play people hear the band. They don't hear you." Another was "One band. One sound."

Devon (Nick Cannon) is a talented snare drummer fresh out of high school. Sought by the band director of Atlanta A&T University, Dr. James Lee (Orlando Jones) Devon agreed to come to Atlanta A&T. Devon never let us forget that Dr. Lee came to him. Arrogance appears also in Devon belittling his father for abandoning the family but Devon makes it anyway. All the way to full band scholarship to Atlanta A&T. Devon is heavily into individual glory.

At A&T Devon makes a few friends and one enemy, Sean (Leonard Roberts). Sean is the best drummer A&T has and is the drum section leader. He is the perfect drill sergeant demanding strict obedience and observation of the rules of the two-week band "boot camp." It is with Sean that Devon exudes the most arrogance against rightful leadership. Also Devon makes a friend in Laila (Zoe Saldana), a philosophy major who is a dance major wannabe.

While there are a few issues of sexual immorality, Devon does not end up in bed with Laila nor does anyone get in bed with anyone else. The issues of sexual immorality include issues such as rub dancing (female posterior to male crotch), sandwiching a dance partner between others and camera angle to ensure focus on sexual parts, especially during cheer sequences of pelvic thrusts. The reasoning behind cheer routines displaying feet spread apart, knees outward with the crotch rocking back and forth is obvious and intentional [Gal. 5:19}. Another example of how we have been so conditioned by extremes that what once was morally unacceptable has become morally invisible.

The movie culminates in a battle of the bands at half-time with Morris Brown College. The MB College band director is after Devon. He offers some big perks to Devon if Devon will come to play on his band and if Devon will spill some secrets about Dr. Lee's plans. Though tempted, Devon does not submit. While offering such bribery is sinful [Amos 5:12, Prov. 17:23], refusing to submit is blessed [James 1:12].

One of the expressions used is one I have lived by for years. "You have to learn to follow before you can lead." My version of it is "A great leader must first know when and how to be a great follower." This noble concept is from Jesus, of course, in Mark 9:35 "And he sat down, and called the twelve [who had been arguing who is greatest among them], and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all." By His Words, if we wish to be greatest we must first be the least.

I said near the beginning of this Summary/Commentary Drumline has a good message within its bowels. It also has other matter in its bowels as would be expected. Though there are many fine features to this movie, many features are not. There are 44 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, enough to be equivalent to an R-rated feature [Prov. 8:13, Prov. 22:11, Col. 3:8, Eph. 5:3-4]. None of the most foul of the foul words were noted. The next greatest loss of points was due to sexual programming [Eph. 5:3-4]. Though there was no nudity noted nor did anybody get in bed with anybody, there was vulgar dancing, sexual talk, and equating music with sexual performance (plus grinding on a drum with moans). Though there are invasive assaults on morality in Drumline its final score of 74 make it a "PG" PG-13. With a score of 100 (out of 100) in each of Drugs/Alcohol, Offense to God and Murder/Suicide, a curse filter would do well in making this movie much less offensive. I have one. They work. It made a PG out of the PG-13 Signs.


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.

  • Is. 2:17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
  • Gal. 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
  • Amos 5:12 For I know your manifold transgressions, and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.
  • Prov. 17:23 A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment. [According to Strong's, a "gift" (shachad) in Amos 5:12 and Prov. 17:23 is a bribe. "Judgment" in Prov. 17:23 (mishpat), is a system of lawful justice. Paraphrased, a bribe perverts justice.]
  • James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth [hold steadfast against] temptation:...
  • 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].
  • Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
  • Eph. 5:3-4 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it]. [I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • 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 [warp, distort, falsely represent] 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.


    Drumline (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):

  • fight/brawl

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 44 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • disrespect for father
  • father's abandonment of the family
  • arrogance toward rightful leadership, repeatedly
  • saying about lying "I didn't think it was that big a deal."
  • encouraging underhandedness

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • rub dancing and sandwiching a dancing partner between others
  • sexual suggestions, repeatedly
  • ghosting of female anatomy through thin clothing, scant clothing
  • suggestive eye movement
  • sex talk, repeatedly
  • vulgar moves, pelvic thrusts
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure
  • camera angle to force viewer on to private parts
  • open mouth kissing
  • equating music with sexual performance, grinding with a drum with moans

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • none noted

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

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery 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 of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give *them* the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the deceit of those who would say anything to convince their parents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften nor erase the price of sin. Whether there is application of fantasy "justification" or "redemption" is up to mom/dad.

    "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.

    (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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