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(2006), PG-13 [PG*] (1hr 42min)

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
July 19, 2006
71 out of 100

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Christian Long Distance

(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.

(2006), PG-13 [PG*] -- ...more in line with PG-rated films.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Warner Bros. Pictures, Blinding Edge Pictures, Legendary Pictures
Distribution (US): Warner Bros. Pictures
Director(s): M. Night Shyamalan
Producer(s): Sam Mercer, Jose L. Rodriguez, John Rusk, M. Night Shyamalan
Written by: M. Night Shyamalan
Cinematography/Camera: Christopher Doyle
Music: James Newton Howard
Film Editing: Barbara Tulliver
Casting: Douglas Aibel
Production Design: Martin Childs
Art Direction: Stefan Dechant, Christina Ann Wilson
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

After his wife and family were killed, Dr. Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti) lost all drive and took a job as superintendent of The Cove apartments in suburban Philadelphia. One evening, Heep noticed someone was splashing around in the swimming pool.

That someone was a sea creature called a gnarf. Her name is Story (Bryce Dallas Howard). Story is in every way a female human except she spawned from the ocean. She has a dwelling in a cavern that connects with the swimming pool.

Story is here for ...? I am not certain what Shyamalan was trying to say. Suffice it to say that Story was here for a few days and must be protected by The Cove residents from the "demon dog" scrunt. Among The Cove residents are all the human warriors for whom Story is looking: a "guardian", "the guild", the "seven sisters" and more.

The story, not Story, is about the sea world and land dwellers once being linked. Now "Those in the water are trying to reach" the land dwellers again. Story is here to try and awaken the lost linkage between the landlubbers and the blue world. That is what Story is about. And what the story is about.

The film is saturated with Shyamalan's eeriness and spookiness and "you'd never have guessed it" style. Supernatural events and powers are intricately woven with "real world reality" into a complex and sometimes frustrating fabric of fantasy mythology using reality as its thread. It is not easy to understand and I don't pretend to understand it all. But I will say this film is not one of today's "R-13" PG-13s. Indeed, Lady in the Water  earned a final score equivalent to a PG film in the comparative baseline database.

The MPAA says Lady in the Water  is worthy of the PG-13 stamp. I cannot figure out why. The CAP final score for this film is 71 out of 100. PG-13 films in the comparative baseline database earned scores of 55 to 67 out of 100. PG films earned 68 to 86 out of 100. A score of 71 places Lady in the Water  squarely and confidently in the scoring range earned by PG rated films.

The Wanton Violence/Crime (W) investigation area found enough assaults on morality and wholesomeness to cause an investigation area score of 18 out of 100 which is solidly below the threshold for R-rated movies (54 and below out of 100) [Prov. 16:29 ], but all five other investigation areas found programming equivalent to PG rated films or higher.

Looking at this in a different format:

Wanton Violence/Crime - R
Impudence/Hate - PG
Sexual Immorality - PG
Drugs/Alcohol - PG
Offense to God - PG
Murder/Suicide - G

We agree if any  of the six investigation area scores is equivalent to scores earned by R-rated films that the whole film should be treated as R, but the MPAA does not think that way. So I cannot tell you why this film is rated PG-13. Its content is more in line with PG-rated films. While Howard is sometimes scantly covered, there is no gender-specific or posterior nudity, at least there were none in the cut I saw. Howard exposes herself to Giamatti while standing in front of him but the viewer sees no nudity. Though no gender-specific areas are seen, there is a measure of immorality to the noted behaviors of the sexual nature such as this one. That the heart of Shyamalan made Story nude is suspect to begin with. [Mark 7:21]

While two are bad enough there are only two uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary. I do feel compelled to mention in this Summary/Commentary that since this film is about mythology it uses unholy devices such as foretelling the future [Eccl. 7:14, Eccl. 8:7] and miraculous healing plus an instance of mocking God [Gal. 6:7].

In the interest of getting this analysis out to our "congregation" as soon as possible, I will leave the revealing of content to the listing of observations in the Findings/Scoring section.


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.


  • 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 behavior/action on the screen, too. 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.]
  • Mark 7:21 For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, ...
  • Eccl. 7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him. [The NIV says it this way: When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.]
  • Eccl. 8:7 For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be? NIV: Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?
  • Gal. 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked [mukterizo {mook-tay-rid'-zo}: to turn up the nose or sneer at, deride]. A man reaps what he sows.

    ***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.)

    Lady in the Water (2006) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • animated character killing by beast
  • fall injury leading to near drowning
  • "demon dog" threats/attacks, repeatedly and of varying intensity, once with death (no gore)
  • tales of wife and family being killed
  • flesh/skin injuries, repeatedly
  • battle of unholy creatures

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • two uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • defiance of rules
  • lies

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, multiple
  • woman in shower, repeatedly
  • woman exposing herself to a man
  • camera angle to force viewer on private parts

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • drunkenness

    Offense to God (O)
  • six uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive
  • unholy powers, repeatedly
  • foretelling future, repeatedly
  • mockery of "Voice of God"
  • door closing itself
  • demon dog, repeatedly, of varying intensity
  • unholy healing

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

  • Christian Educators Association International



    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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