Click on CAPCon Alert
image for explanation
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word
Gangs of New York (2002), R
Analysis Date: January 10, 2003
CAP Score: 13
CAP Influence Density: 1.82
NO service charges.
All donations are tax deductible.
|To subscribe to (or unsubscribe from) our FREE text-only versions of our Entertainment Media Analysis Reports as they are calculated, visit our Mailman. If you experience difficulty with Mailman, send us your request. Your email address will NOT be given or sold to other parties.|
Production: Cappa Production, Initial Entertainment Group, Miramax Films
Distribution: Miramax Films
Director(s): Martin Scorsese
Producer(s): Gerry Robert Byrne, Laura Fattori, Alberto Grimaldi, Maurizio Grimaldi, Michael Hausman, Michael Jackman, Graham King, Michael Ovitz, Joseph P. Reidy, Rick Schwartz, Colin Vaines, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Rick Yorn, Martin Scorsese
Written by/Screenplay: Jay Cocks (story, screenplay), Steven Zaillian and Kenneth Lonergan (screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Michael Ballhaus
Music: Bono ("The Hands That Built America"), Peter Gabriel, Howard Shore ("Brooklyn Heights")
Film Editing: Thelma Schoonmaker
Casting: Ellen Lewis
Production Design: Dante Ferretti
Art Direction: Alessandro Alberti, Maria-Teresa Barbasso, Dimitri Capuani, Robert Guerra, Stefano Maria Ortolani, Nazzareno Piana
In 1846 New York City, young Irish immigrant Amsterdam Vallon (later played by Leonardo DiCaprio, the quintessential protagonist of nudity in PG-13, i.e., Titanic of 1997) witnessed the death of his Priest father (Liam Neeson) at the hands of William Cutting a.k.a "Bill the Butcher" (Daniel Day-Lewis), the ruling mob boss of New York's Five Points in lower Manhattan. The time was supposedly of gang rule in the slums of New York. Not being an historian I cannot confirm or deny the accuracy of this movie, but you can bet a lot of people will walk away from this movie with some new tales of "how it really happened."
Cutting's "Nativists" hated all the immigrants and blacks with a lethal passion. Gang warfare policed the masses. Gang warfare was even seen between firefighter companies and within the police department. In a "final battle" (of 1846 anyway) between the Nativists and the Irish immigrants, Amsterdam's father, leader of the Irish faction, along with dozens of other men fell in battle - brutally, graphically.
Sixteen years later, Amsterdam was released from the home (prison) for orphaned children that raised him. Amsterdam's only focus was to avenge his father's death [Rom. 12:19]. Bill the Butcher was still in power but for him the images in his memory of the boy Amsterdam did not match the image of the adult Amsterdam. To Cutting, Amsterdam was no more than another man trying to find a way for himself. The friction between the Irish immigrants and the "Nativists" was still seething but several of the Irish warriors in the battle between the immigrants and the Nativists had, over the years, become "productive citizens" under the thumb of Bill the Butcher. And had become just like him [Prov. 16:29].
The film is freckled with many aspects of our history circa our Civil War, including what was depicted as anti-draft riots with military aggression and ordnance to control them and military officers coming to New York to recruit men right off the streets. But gang wars, crime boss rule, the constant threat of gang wars and criminal control of the populace ruled the ominous feature of this movie. The prime doctrine of organization, as told by the movie, was that fear is the single element that establishes and preserves order. Maybe that accuses us of having a need to defy authority and control: of having a lust for freedom from accountability, freedom from authority and freedom from consequences. Simon Peter, Apostle to Jesus, tells us well about these matters in 2 Pet. 2:10 - 13.
The film is spotted with new age counterfeitings of the Scriptures, faith in God and obedience to His Word. Mockery of God, faith and the Scriptures tainted the film as far from the truth. Attempts to excuse evil doings as done "in His name." were used. Little do many know the Crusades were truly defense against tyrannic aggression and rescue of people from tyranny. If your homes and freedom were threatened, you'd fight back, too. The writers capitalized on the popular cry of the secularists that claims religion is responsible for more deaths than anything else. As far as I am concerned people can say what they want about "religion." I am not a "religious" man. I am Christian. And each instance of mockery in the movie was so presented as to appear accurate and truthful on the surface to the unaware and the uninformed: to the unarmed who are ignorant of the Truth in the Word and Faith through it. Much of the "religious" content seemed to be written from an unbeliever's perspective, trying to ridicule the believers, mixing the Truth with non-Truth depending on the Truth to lead acceptance of the non-Truth.
After finally working his way into the Nativist organization, Amsterdam becomes a pet of Cutting. Indeed Cutting, not knowing this young man he takes into his confidence is the son of "the only man [Cutting] ever killed worth remembering", makes Amsterdam a man of significant importance within the Nativist organization. This changed Amsterdam's original focus ... a little. Many maneuvers happen that tend to solidify Amsterdam's relationship with Cutting. One of the many maneuvers is Jenny Everdeane (Cameron Diaz). Jenny is Cutting's "is there anyone in New York you haven't slept with?" ex-fiance. But none of the camaraderie Amsterdam develops with Cutting completely erases Amsterdam's visions of Cutting cutting Amsterdam's father. And in 1863, Cutting finally dies at the hands of Amsterdam. Is it justice or revenge? If you need help with that question, take it to the Cross. Remember that Jesus told us that he who is without sin may cast the first stone [John 8:7].
There is, of course, a great deal more to this 163 minute movie. But giving you more than a briefing of it is beyond the purpose of this service. We tell mom/dad the truth about the content of movies so they can make an informed decision whether it is fit for their kids and/or themselves. To do that, providing you with only a brief and sometimes subjective summary in commentary format is grossly inadequate. The "meat" of this service follows in the completely objective Findings/Scoring section. We tell you what is there. You decide whether it is fit or not. We are serving His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents in His name by His Word.
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.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
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.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
NO service charges!!!
Donations to the CAP Ministry are Tax Deductible!!!
Christian Media News
|NOTE: While the Summary/Commentary section of these reports is precisely that -- a summary in commentary format which can be and sometimes is subjective, the actual 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.|