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(2012), PG-13 [PG-13*] (132.7min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
April 27, 2012
April 28, 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.

(2012), PG-13 [PG-13*] -- the CAP Analysis Model proved me wrong ... again.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Color Force, Larger Than Life Productions, Lionsgate, Ludas Productions
Distribution (US): Lionsgate
Director(s): Gary Ross
Producer(s): Diana Alvarez, Robin Bissell, Suzanne Collins, Chantal Feghali, Nina Jacobson, Jon Kilik, Louis Phillips, Aldric La'auli Porter, Louise Rosner, Bryan Unkeless
Screenplay by: Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins, Billy Ray
Cinematography/Camera: Tom Stern
Music: James Newton Howard
Film Editing: Christopher S. Capp, Stephen Mirrione, Juliette Welfling
Casting: Debra Zane
Production Design: Philip Messina
Art Direction: John Collins
Viewed at Showbiz Cinemas

When I got up out of the chair at the theater I was so certain that The Hunger Games was going to be another R-13, another hard R-13. But the CAP Analysis Model proved me wrong ...again. The film earned a final score of 56 which is one point above the bottom of the scoring range earned by PG-13 films in the comparative baseline database (67 to 55 out of 100) but in the PG-13 scoring range nonetheless. What I think of a film does not matter to the CAP Analysis Model.

The Wanton Violence/Crime (W) and the Impudence/Hate (I) content investigation areas certainly found content to be R-equivalent but the other four investigation areas (S, D, O, M) found content to each be PG- or G-equivalent.

I cannot imagine this film has been hailed as the number one film in the world let alone in America. It is about kids killing kids for the enjoyment of the populace. Does so many lauding and embracing such entertainment say something? Jesus, come quickly!

Panem is a future North American dystopian totalitarian nation where the "government" controls life for the citizens. The current regime is the fallout of widespread war and destruction waged by the citizens. At least life in post-apocalyptic Panem is peaceful ... so to speak.

Panem has been divided into 12 Districts and the Capitol. Death games known as The Hunger Games have become annual amusement as punishment for the rebellion. Two young people, one boy and one girl from the ages of 12 to 18 years old from each District are selected by lottery each year to participate in the nationally televised Hunger Games. The 24 young people participate in the games but only one survives. All Panemians are forced to watch the games as each of the 24 participants do whatever they can to eliminate the other 23 participants before being killed by one of them. The game is to the death. It is kids killing kids. All for the entertainment of the "Big Brother" Capitol.

District 12 residents 16 year old Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her 12 year old sister, Primrose (Willow Shields) have no father due to a mine disaster and mom has become emotional cardboard because of it. Now that Prim is 12 years old the names of both Prim and Katniss have been placed in the lottery bowl. Each of the girls now stands a chance of being one of the 24 participants in the 74th Annual Hunger Games. Why did the writers call the death games The Hunger Games? Your guess is as good as mine but I suspect it is because of the "hunger" (lust) exhibited for the killing in the games.

At the Reaping (the selection of the participants by lottery), Prim's name is drawn as one of the two tributes from District 12. Knowing Prim would die in the games Katniss could not let Prim participate in the games so Katniss volunteered to take Prim's place. Katniss' counterpart tribute from District 12 is a baker's son, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). Both are taken to the Capitol and pampered with richness as they prepare ... to die.

Now the pair of tributes from District 12 is a miner's daughter and a baker's son. While Katniss is well skilled at hunting and Peeta is unusually strong, chances are that the tributes from other Districts who have been training for The Hunger Games all their lives will have no mercy for Katniss or Peeta.

There is, of course, much more to the plot and story and the caliber of the performers, particularly Lawrence were, for the most part, at least as good as seasoned professionals, but I was rather dismayed at the content of kids killing kids and do not wish to overly glorify this film with a detailed plot summary. As if such a society could happen. Though The Hunger Games is a 2012 film and not a 1984 film, it may be saying much the same thing. Your thoughts? I would be particularly interested in hearing from our readers whether the theme of this show might be a foreshadowing of life to come and why so many all over the world embrace this caliber of "entertainment."


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
Some of the killings in this movie are of the caliber of blood-splatter video games ... and they are of young children. Such content is dense enough to clearly be R-equivalent. Indeed, the entire theme of this show is killing -- kids killing kids. In fact, the density of violence in this film is far too extensive to try to discuss it in summary here. Please inspect closely the listing in the Findings section for a full accounting of the violence content.

As if God's Word admonishing us against violence is no more than someone's sidebar note on a chalkboard or the ranting of someone's overactive imagination, violence is treated by the entertainment industry as a narcotic, feeding it to us over and over again, more and more extreme each year. God knew of our earthly nature of coveting violence and warned us of it more than 50 times from the Old Testament to the New Testament. One verse in particular that addresses the issue well is Proverb 16:29. In it God warns that violence is "catching": that violence can lead one into the path that is not good. And strangely enough, about 2000 years after God "published His Findings" man did likewise by four professional public health agencies warning that violence in and as entertainment can, among other things, lead the viewer, especially the young, to real life violence and can cause the viewer to believe violence is an effective way to settle conflict.

Impudence/Hate (I) - 2 out of 100
The profanity content of this film is atypical of most PG-13 films. There were only five uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary (four of them by teens) and none of the most foul of the foul words. The most evident property of the content of The Hunger Games that applies to this content investigation area is the concupiscence (hunger/lust to do so) for killing. Not only did individual characters portray lust for killing, entire populations did also. [1 Thess. 4:4 - 5, 1 Cor. 6:10]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 95 out of 100
This film is refreshingly lite for a PG-13 in sexually immoral behavior and imagery. The only matters applicable to this investigation area in the entire 132.7 minutes of the show were a girl in a bathtub and a camera angle/pose to force the viewer on private parts.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 70 out of 100
This PG-13 film for adolescents presents drinking of alcoholic beverages and drunkenness. A 2002 study by the ACP revealed 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) - 85 out of 100
    There are three abuses of God's name in this film. Each is without the four letter expletive sometimes typical of PG-13 films but each is abuse of His name nonetheless. And each is by a teen. [Deut. 5:11]

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 85 out of 100
    There are many hideous killings in this film but most of them are defensive killings to prevent being killed, which are hardly murder. However, some of the killings are clearly murder. So, there are not only several defensive killings (which were incorporated into the scoring by the Wanton Violence/Crime content investigation area) there are murders as well. It is a killing movie.



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  • 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.]
  • 1 Thess. 4:4 - 5 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence [epithumia: desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust], even as the Gentiles which know not God: [Though this verse is addressing sexual purity it uses " the lust of concupiscence" to show application of the admonition to all manner of lusting after something, including the lusting for killing portrayed in this film. The bottom line? Lust is sinful no matter for what is the lust. For to lust after something is to covet it, in this case the life of another. [1 Cor. 6:10]]
  • 1 Cor. 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
  • 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 Hunger Games (2012) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • trespassing
  • theme of death games
  • survival/defensive killing, frequent
  • assault with knife
  • hand-to-hand combat training, repeatedly
  • physical assault
  • mine disaster killing many (deaths unseen)
  • massive explosion
  • cannonfire to mark killings
  • attempted murder by fire, , repeatedly
  • attempted murder by other means, repeatedly
  • bloody injury, repeatedly
  • impalement of little girl by spear
  • civil upheaval
  • fight to the death
  • dead body
  • animal attack, multiple
  • mercy killing
  • contemplation of suicide by two

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 2 out of 100
  • five uses of profanity, four of them by teens
  • oppressive "government" control throughout
  • daughter speaking to mother as if the daughter was in command, twice
  • lie
  • massive whole-populace lusting after death in games, repeatedly
  • lust for killing by individuals, repeatedly
  • "I just can't stop myself" re: killing
  • bizarre and hideous social control, repeatedly

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 95 out of 100
  • girl in bathtub
  • camera angle/pose to force viewer on private parts

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 70 out of 100
  • booze, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • drunkenness

    Offense to God (O) - 85 out of 100
  • three abuses of God's name, all by teens

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 85 out of 100
  • murder of dissident cohort
  • murder of little girl as the consequence of trying to kill another

    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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