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(2007), PG-13 [R-13*] (1hr 42min)

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
February 15, 2007
48 out of 100

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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.

(2007), PG-13 [R-13*] -- Johnny pulls a Faust one and sells his soul to Satan.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Columbia Pictures Corporation, Vengeance Productions Pty. Ltd., Dimension Films, Marvel Enterprises, Crystal Sky Pictures, Relativity Media
Distribution (US): Sony Pictures Releasing, Columbia Pictures, Dimension Films
Director(s): Mark Steven Johnson
Producer(s): Avi Arad, Michael De Luca, Kevin Feige, Gary Foster , Norman Golightly, David S. Goyer, Stan Lee, Steven Paul, E. Bennett Walsh
Written by: Mark Steven Johnson
Cinematography/Camera: Russell Boyd, John Wheeler
Music: Christopher Young
Film Editing: Richard Francis-Bruce
Casting: Christine King
Production Design: Kirk M. Petruccelli
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

In some of what is quite probably the most dazzling CGI I have ever seen, evil is portrayed as being used to do good [Isa. 5:20]. Not many of the over 1200 films I've seen are as unholy as the PG-13 Ghost Rider (2007). This film portrays selling one's soul to Satan then getting it back. Indeed, the quintessential character sought evil to do battle with evil. [1 Pet. 3:11, Ps. 34:14] The subject matter is this film is not something with which to toy. I've not researched the matter to any great extent but it seems that once one has sold his/her soul to Satan the seller is condemned to Hell without a chance for reprieve.

Daredevil father and son team Barton (Brett Cullen) and Johnny Blaze (Matt Long at 17, Nicolas Cage) perform death-defying "Knievel" stunts for huge crowds. Johnny has a flame for Roxanne Simpson (Raquel Alessi at 17, Eva Mendes). Life is good ... until Johnny finds his father is dying of cancer.

Then appears the thief, killer and destroyer [John 10:10], Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda). Mephistopheles, translated as "he who shuns the Light", "noxious bile" and "liar", was the first to join Lucifer when God kicked the rebels out of Heaven. Mephistopheles is also used as an alternative form of Satan. For the purposes of this report Mephistopheles and Satan are one and the same.

Satan (Mephistopheles) offers Johnny a deal of a lifetime -- eternity in Hell -- in exchange for saving Johnny's father. So Johnny pulls a Faust one and sells his soul to Satan. But as a condition of the deal, Johnny must live alone, forgetting friendship, love and all such ties.

Johnny keeps his part of the deal. Earlier, Johnny and Roxanne had made plans to meet secretly and run away so they could be together unfettered. But when Johnny rides up to the meeting place, he pauses at a distance from Roxanne, gazes at her then rides away. Never to see Roxanne again ... for at least 20 years anyway.

For the next 20 years, Johnny rides into world-class, death-defying glory and fame as the best stunt rider in the world who cheats death over and over. Johnny has an edge over death. Another part of his deal with Satan is that Johnny could not die. Even head injuries that would kill a man did not kill Johnny. [Rev. 13:3]

The central part of Johnny's deal with Satan is that Johnny would lead a normal life during the day but at night he would become a ghost rider. As a ghost rider, Johnny is a flaming invulnerable denuded servant of Satan whose job is to capture the condemned souls of the dead who escape confinement in Hell -- the spirits of the dead who somehow do not make it to Hell because of a previous contract with Satan which is now missing. Now there is another counterfeiting of the Scriptures. Once one is condemned to Hell there is no avoiding it nor any escape from it. Ever. Jesus will not be joking when He condemns the unforgiven sinner to Hell from the Judgment Throne. The sinner will have had his chance ... and chance and chance and chance and ... to confess that Jesus is Lord and to ask His forgiveness, But it's just a movie. Unfortunately movies ("traditions of men") sometimes spoil the understanding of some (esepcially the young) by shaping their development through spoiling their congnitive realm. That is what God calls "philosophy and vain deceit" [Col. 2:8].

Johnny devotes his dark hours to using that which Satan gave him to defeat Satan ... through Satan's son, Blackheart (Wes Bentley, American Beauty). And Blackheart's demons. And all evildoers. For 20 years Satan had no tasks for Johnny ... until Blackheart came to end the world as we know it. Now the leather-clad, mild mannered biker by day, fiery demon by night "hero" flames on, does battle with evil and wins not only the heart of his belle beauty from the past but, in a Webster-esque way, wins his soul. A force is with him, but it ain't God.

To mentor Johnny throurgh it all is the graveyard Caretaker (Sam Elliot) in quite probably the best performance of the entire cast. The Caretaker is Carter Slade who became a ghost rider more than a hundred years ago but on one horse, not a few dozen of them in a Harley. The Caretaker is in possession of the contract that prevents Satan from claiming the souls left to the nether world some 500 miles away. Together, Johnny and the Caretaker ride off to deliver the contract to Blackheart ... and whup his tail in the process.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Note that many of the acts of violence are embedded within unholy acts and are thus incorporated into the Offense to God (O) investigation area. There are yet a number of acts if violence that might tend to desensitize the young viewer and breakdown a previously wholesome threshold of aggression (See Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children Congressional Public Health Summit.) The reckless driving for love may embolden young drivers to do likewise. Such behavioral emboldenment was evident as far back as 1964 with Jan & Dean's "Dead Man's Curve" and 1955 with James Dean's Rebel Without a Cause.

A vehicle crushing a body might "lead to emotional desensitization towards violence in real life." The mugging, the threat with a blade to a face, the multiple automatic gunfire to kill might make some "more likely to assume the acts of violence are acceptable behavior." [Prov. 16:29]

Impudence/Hate (I)
The 14 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary are sure to embolden youth to use such profanity since doing so represented defiance of the Rules [Col. 3:8, Eph. 4:29]. Rules which, by the way, apply to adults as well. Even the actors and actresses on screen. Likewise, the massive tattoos and the facial piercing may cause your children to want them since tattoos (most often seen in cinema on bad guys) typically represent rebellion against authority [Lev. 19:28]. At least, that is how the pagans made tattoos and such sinful. And the planning to defy the father almost inevitably gets kids to thinking in the wrong way. [Exod. 20:12]

Sexual Immorality (S)
The only sexually oriented programming in the film are the excessive breast exposure/cleavage (repeatedly), the anatomical reference, the camera angle/pose to force the viewer on private parts, the exposure to below navel skin which threatened to expose that which follows and the dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure. With so "few" issues of sexually oriented script or imagery the film might seem to be tame, but they each take their toll on the threshold of morality, leading many to think of things not wholesome or to think unwholesome things to be acceptable. [1 John 2:26]

Drugs/Alcohol (D)
In this film for young teens (PG-13) are smoking and drinking. Not much but they are there nonetheless. And presenting alcoholic beverages and tobacco to the "approved" age stratum for this film is playing with fire. [Eph. 5:18] A study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) has found an undeniable link between the presentation of alcoholic beverages and tobacco in and as entertainment and abuse of them and arrogance/defiance with them by adolescents. And teaching/causing youth to abuse alcohol/tobacco (or drugs) by emboldening youth with them in and as entertainment invokes Luke 17:2. If alcoholic beverages in entertainment were not a problem for our young, why is there and why has there been such a push to get and keep booze commercials off prime time broadcast TV? Even the University of Connecticut corroborates the ACP finding.

Offense to God (O)
This is where the most evil and unholy programming was found. So much so that it would be at best difficult to summarize the content found. Satan. Son of Satan. Flashes/images of evil and unholy beings/behaviors. Soul bartering. Demons and demonic behaviors. Murders by unholy power. All repeatedly. Much more. Please rely on the listing in the Findings/Scoring section for the most complete accounting of the content of this film applicable to the Offense to God investigation area. [Rom. 12:9, Prov. 4:14, 1 Cor. 10:20]

Murder/Suicide (M)
At least three murders were noted. All three were by demonic and unholy forces. Satan and Blackheart touch men and they shrivel up and blacken as they die.

Mom/dad, we are known for not making recommendations about whether to see a film except in extreme cases. This is one of the extreme cases if for no other reason than it is targeted at youth if for no other reason by the PG-13 rating. Films for teens just a few short years ago would not have contained such evil. I recommend you not let your youth see this film.


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.


  • Isa. 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
  • 1Pet. 3:11 He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.
  • Ps. 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
  • John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
  • Rev. 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. [The issue is the violence. "A violent man" can be a man, woman OR the men/women/character demonstrating the violent behavior/action on the screen. Now you know why violence, especially in and as entertainment, can embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. See also "Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children Congressional Public Health Summit" . Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV. And see 1 Cor. 15:33 below.]
  • Exod. 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy (injurious speech, slander in this use), filthy communication [aischrologia: foul speaking, low and obscene] out of your mouth.
  • Eph. 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
  • Lev. 19:28 Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.
  • 1 John 2:26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. ["These things I have written" includes lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes from 1 John 2:16. An example of "them that seduce you" includes they who demonstrate sexual sin, however innocuous it may seem, in and as entertainment which can "seduce" the viewer, can lead one astray by desensitizing one and emboldening him/her to believe sexually immoral deeds, thoughts and display are acceptable OR by eroding one's natural inhibition against sexually immoral deeds and thoughts. And anything in and as entertainment that draws the viewer's attention to the private parts, clothed or not, is sexual.]
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. ["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. 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.
  • Rom. 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
  • Prov. 4:14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
  • 1Cor. 10:20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.

    ***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 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.)

    Ghost Rider (2007) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • reckless driving for love
  • body-crushing hit by vehicle
  • mugging
  • threat with blade to face
  • jail cell assault and threats
  • multiple auto gunfire to kill

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 14 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • planning to run away to defy father
  • massive tattoos
  • facial piercing

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • anatomical reference
  • dressing to maximize the human form and/or skin exposure
  • camera angle to force viewer on private parts
  • excessive breast exposure, repeatedly
  • exposure of below navel skin threatening exposure of that which follows

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking
  • booze, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • chewing tobacco

    Offense to God (O)
  • images of evil beings and unholy apparitions, repeatedly, of varying intensities
  • images of flaming evil, repeatedly, of varying intensities
  • portrayal of Satan, repeatedly
  • portrayal of son of Satan, repeatedly
  • deal with, selling soul to Satan
  • evil power to control living and to destroy, repeatedly
  • power to create fire, repeatedly
  • gambling
  • raining fire
  • portrayal of demons, repeatedly, some quite graphic
  • unholy transformations, repeatedly
  • girl embracing vampirism
  • riding on water
  • dozens of unholy possessions by spirits of the dead
  • "My name is legion ... for we are many"
  • intense battle with evil, repeatedly
  • calling evil good, using evil for "good"
  • winning soul back from Satan

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • murder by Satan and his son using evil powers, repeatedly

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    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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