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(2004), PG-13 [PG-13]
Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
September 23, 2004
58 out of 100

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

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

(2004), PG-13 [PG-13] -- Then memories started to return...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy
Production (US): Revolution Studios, Visual Arts Entertainment Inc.
Distribution (US): Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia Pictures
Director(s): Joseph Ruben
Producer(s): Bruce Cohen, Todd Garner, Dan Jinks, Steve Nicolaides, Joe Roth
Written by: Gerald Di Pego
Cinematography/Camera: Anastas N. Michos
Music: James Horner
Film Editing: Richard Francis-Bruce
Art Direction: Paul D. Kelly
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

Please note our new style of indicating a film's Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating plus the CAP equivalence such as the "PG-13 [PG-13]" for this film. 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. The Forgotten, rated PG-13 by the MPAA, earned a final score in the scoring range earned by PG-13 movies in the comparative baseline database, thus "PG-13 [PG-13]". Another example might be "PG [PG-13]" which means the MPAA gave the film a PG but the film earned a final score in the scoring range earned by PG-13 movies in the comparative baseline database. Another example might be "PG-13 [R-13]" or "PG-13 [R]" which means the PG-13 film earned a score earned by R-rated movies in the comparative baseline database. Other examples might be "G [PG]" or G [PG-13]." I doubt there will ever be a "G [R]" used, but only time tell tell. The CAP analysis model is Rock-solid. The MPAA is not.

Life in Brooklyn was idyllic and serene as Telly Paretta (Julianne Moore) doted over her perfect nine year old son, Sam (Christopher Kovaleski). Then tragedy struck. Fourteen months ago, Sam was killed with a number of other kids in a plane crash. Telly's life decayed and she began obsessing with the memory of Sam by ritualistically viewing snapshots, scrapbooks and video tapes of Sam. Soon, life decayed even further as Telly discovered all evidence of Sam vanished. Family group photos no longer showeds Sam, just Telly and Jim. Scrapbooks became empty. Video tapes were blank. Then Telly was repeatedly told she had no son; that she was manufacturing Sam to compensate for a still birth.

First to start telling Telly that she had no son was her husband James William Paretta (Anthony Edwards). Next in line trying to convince Telly to wake up to the fact that she never had a son was psychologist Dr. Jack Munce (Gary Sinise). Progressively, the erasure of Sam was so progressive and complete that Telly becaem a stranger to her husband, Jim. Even playground playmates never heard of Sam.

One of Sam's female friends was the daughter of Ash Correll (Dominique West), a hockey player whose daughter was on the plane with Sam. When Telly approached Ash with hopes of him remembering Sam, Ash denied ever having a daughter ... until he said her name. Then memories started to return and Ash believed Telly.

When Telly got Ash involved, National Security Agents became involved, too. But one of them was different. Obviously but undefinably different. He could not be killed. Being hit with a car didn't kill him. Bullets didn't kill him.

There is where I will stop the story summary in the event you find the amount of assaults on morality and decency in this film acceptable to you and/or your family.

This film has that "something" that makes it appealing. It is not one for which you may check your brain at the door and it is not simply eye-candy. But this appealing film has sharp teeth. While easily equivalent to some R-rated films in violence, both the most foul of the foul words [Col. 3:8] AND God's name in vain with the four letter expletive are used [Deut. 5:11].

Regarding sexual immorality, The Forgotten may not seem as extreme as most PG-13 films nowadays. There is no nudity or intercourse heavily typical of PG-13 films but Moore removes her clothes to reveal her underwear to West and they engage in an adulterous snuggle plus a conversational snippet about sexually immoral deeds [Gal. 5:19]. The listing in the Findings/Scoring section might very well be your best tool to help you make an informed moral decision whether this film is or is not fit.


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  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
  • 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;

    ***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 and present it 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, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • 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 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • 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.
  • 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, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] 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.
    (The heart of the CAP Analysis Model)

    The Forgotten (2004) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • property trashing
  • beating, twice
  • graphic car collision
  • action violence, repeatedly
  • attempted murder by vehicle
  • assault with fire iron
  • torture
  • explosive disappearance of a person
  • breaking and entering
  • gunfire to kill with no effect, repeatedly
  • graphic abduction, twice
  • great fall with no consequences
  • choking assault
  • near death assault

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • six uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • one use of the most foul of the foul words
  • tantrum
  • abandonment - marital
  • lie

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • request for sex
  • a woman undressing to underwear in front of a man
  • adult in underwear
  • adulterous snuggle

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • booze
  • drunkenness, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O)
  • four uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and seven without

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted



    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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