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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2009), PG-13 [PG-13*] (2hr 5.75min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
November 1, 2011
November 2, 2011

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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.

(2009), PG-13 [PG-13*] ... it takes more than a spoken prayer ...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy (in part) Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Warner Bros. Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, Revelations Entertainment, Malpaso Productions, Mace Neufeld Productions
Distribution (US): Warner Home Video
Director(s): Clint Esstwood
Producer(s): Clint Eastwood, Lori McCreary, Robert Lorenz, Mace Neufeld, Morgan Freeman, Tim Moore, Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum
Screenplay: Anthony Peckham
Novel: Playing the Enemy by John Carlin
Cinematography/Camera: Tom Stern
Music: Kyle Eastwood, MIchael Stevens
Film Editing: Joel Cox, Gary D. Roach
Casting: Fiona Weir
Production Design: James J. Murakami
Art Direction: Tom Hannam, Johnathan Hely-Hutchinson
Viewed on Warner Home Video DVD

Invictus. In Latin it means undefeated, unconquered - invincible. Invictus is also the title of a poem by William Ernest Henley which ends with "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." These two lines of the poem form the theme of the movie: that Nelson Rolihlahal Mandela (played by Morgan Freeman) used to conquer his fears and woes during and after 27 years in the Pollsmoor Prison and later as President of South Africa. Mandela, a.k.a. Madiba by his clan name, emerged out of prison strife and hardship undefeated and unconquered - invictus. In an intricate plan of genius caliber, Mandela used rugby to unite his country after apartheid segregation and racial friction to rebuild and reposition South Africa in national stature and in world affairs. Through a special relationship with the South Africa rugby team captain, Francois Pienaar (played by Matt Damon) the two men did what no one else had been able to do. They pushed "One Team, One Nation" to unite the people.

"I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." Looking at those words from one perspective might seem to reject God and put sole reliance on the self. But in another perspective, They fit very well into the Plan of Salvation if one thinks in terms of eternity. We will each live forever. It is up to each of us where we will spend eternity. Each of us is the master of our his/her [eternal] fate and captain of his/her [eternal] soul since we hold sole authority over the choice we must each make that bears eternal consequence -- the choice of whether to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. If we do not choose, the choice is made but we still have a choice over which we are in control.

I don't feel this is a "Christian" film since its focus is not on Jesus or the Gospel: that it takes more than a spoken prayer by the team seeking His Grace for a game and the players to make a film "Christian."


Following are brief discussions of the content per individual content investigation area. As always the Findings section of this report is the best source for discovering the full accounting of the content of this film.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 50 out of 100
The largest contributor to total violence in this film is due to rugby violence. Additional violence was found in a view of a murder victim with his head lying in a pool of his blood, in reckless driving, a team tantrum, a medical emergency and a few other matters of the violent nature.

Impudence/Hate (I) - 34 out of 100
Fourteen times someone uses some form of profanity plus three uses of the most foul of the foul words. [Col. 3:8, Eph. 4:29] Racial friction created by apartheid is a key thread of the cinematic fabric of the film.

Sexual Immorality (S) - 84 out of 100
The only sexually oriented content of Invictus involved scenes that might be typical of sports activities: locker room undress; exposure to below navel skin and camera angle/pose to force the viewer on private parts. One notation was made for revealing that Francois and his girlfriend were seen in a motel/hotel room alone together, suggesting cohabitation.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 36 out of 100
Bars, liquor stores, drinking and a lot of scenes of alcoholic beverages were indeed frequent in the latter portion of the film as the camera panned the citizenry during the World Cup game. There was not found even a mention of possession of or consumption of illegal drugs, of tobacco of any kind not any presentation of abuse of prescription drugs.

Though there was no tobacco noted, that so much alcohol is depicted can be a danger for the rating audience. A 2002 study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to abuse of alcohol among underage viewers. The finding 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]

    Offense to God (O) - 92 out of 100
    God's name was not abused even once throughout the 125.75 minutes of the show. However, there is a presentation of unholiness in the form of embracing the "power" of a war dance. Maybe the war dance was a cultural or heritage issue but that some cultures or sects of people embrace such does not make it acceptable in God's eyes. [Deut. 18:10 - 12] "The gods", i.e., polytheism is noted. And a character calling another "fool" is heard once. [Matt. 5:22]

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
    While a murder victim was seen, the murder was not. Only depictions of actual murder or suicide are incorporated into this content investigation area. Deaths due to acts of war, police action of defensive killing are not, nor are dead bodies resulting from murder or suicide. These matters are incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime content investigation area.



    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.


  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off [rid yourself of] all these; anger, wrath, malice [kakia: ill-will, desire to injure, wickedness, depravity, evil, trouble, not ashamed to break laws, etc.], blasphemy [blasphemia: impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty], filthy communication [aischrologia:foul speaking, low and obscene speech] out of your mouth.
  • Eph. 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
  • 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. 18:10 - 12 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination [to seek knowledge of the future], or an observer of times [seeks knowledge of the future], or an enchanter [one who practices divination, observes the signs or omens], or a witch, Or a charmer [makes alliance with evil by charms], or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer [one who communicates with the dead]. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD:...
  • Matt. 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment [krisis: accusation, trial]: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca [senseless, empty headed: a term of reproach among Jews at the time of Christ], shall be in danger of the council [any session or assembly or people deliberating or adjudicating]: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool [moros: impious, godless], shall be in danger of hell fire.

    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.)

    Invictus (2009) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 50 out of 100
  • civil unrest
  • murder victim
  • reckless driving
  • team tantrum
  • medical emergency
  • rugby violence, repeatedly
  • unsportsmanlike conduct, twice

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 34 out of 100
  • 14 uses of profanity
  • 3 uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • racial friction

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 84 out of 100
  • exposure of below navel skin threatening to expose that which follows
  • locker room undress
  • pose/camera angle to force viewer on private parts - male, repeatedly
  • cohabitation

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 36 out of 100
  • bar, repeatedly
  • booze, frequent
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • liquor store, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O) - 92 out of 100
  • poem of polytheism
  • embracing the "power" of a war dance
  • "fool"

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

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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 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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