Click on CAPCon Alert image for explanation
ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

(2003), PG-13

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
November 13, 2003
56 out of 100

Give your visitors access to more than 750 CAP movie analyses while your page stays open. Put the link above on your web page. FREE! Test it! Click it!

We exist only through your generosity!
Make your tax-deductible donations to the CAP Ministry through

Click here to see

UPDATED December 31, 2003

US MAIL in US Dollars to
CAP Ministry
PO Box 177
Granbury, TX 76048-0177

Preferred. NO Service Charges.
If either of the above two links have not worked properly for you, please try again. THANK YOU!!!

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.
ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, if you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(2003), PG-13 -- ...not one example of sexual immorality noted.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): 20th Century Fox, Miramax Films, Universal Pictures, Samuel Goldwyn Films Distribution (US): 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
Director(s): Peter Weir
Producer(s): Todd Arnow, Alan B. Curtiss, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Duncan Henderson, John Bard Manulis, Peter Weir
Written by/Screenplay: Story: Patrick O'Brian. Screeplay: Peter Weir, John Collee
Cinematography/Camera: Russell Boyd
Music: Iva Davies, Christopher Gordon, Richard Tognetti, Brian Tyler (trailer)
Film Editing: Lee Smith
Casting: Mary Selway
Production Design: William Sandell
Art Direction: Bruce Crone, Mark W. Mansbridge

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World -- an announcement of a world of high seas adventure, battle, brotherhood, respect and integrity long forgotten. The movie is light on typical PG-13 assaults on morality but heavy in violence as would be expected in a movie of daring battle at sea between two mighty naval warships. Gore is not spared nor is the brutality of warfare at sea of the days. Neither is the honor of the olden days ignored. Proper authority is shown proper respect so unlike life of today. Disobedience is dealt with harshly instead of today's slap on the wrist. The self esteem building techniques of today such as passing a course for simply showing up in class and quietly discussing why an adolescent screams obscenities at his/her parent would have been laughed out of existence by the noble ethics of the 19th century if not walked off the plank. Maybe that is the hidden element? The passing a class for simply showing up technique may bolster self esteem for the moment, but at what price to self respect that can only come from being earned by hard work and dedication? This movie portrays such a caliber of discipline in no uncertain terms.

In April, 1805 Her Majesty's Ship (HMS) Surprise, commanded by Captain Jack "Lucky Jack" Aubrey (Russell Crowe) was asea to find and do battle with the faster French frigate Acheron. Though out-gunned and out-manned, Captain Aubrey was determined to apply his expert seamanship and cunning to find and capture or destroy the Acheron. The Acheron had been wreaking havoc in the seas near Brazil, a source of rich resources. The Queen had set her mind to end the reign of terror by the French Napoleon. Though Napoleon dominated the battlefronts on land and threatened the sovereignty of Britain, the British dominated the seas during the Napoleonic wars of the 19th century. With a hull of two-foot thick Oak, even the best of the best guns available on HMS Surprise could not penetrate the Acheron. Cunning must be the deciding factor, cunning supplied by the experienced and tactful Captain Lucky Jack Aubrey who had served under Lord Nelson.

After seven weeks at sea, somehow the Captain of the Acheron knew the precise location of the HMS Surprise. Under the cover of a fog bank, the Acheron opened fire on HMS Surprise and nearly sunk her. Escaping under the fog, Aubrey refit the Surprise asea and continued the trek to engage Acheron.

Amidst any collection of men, at least one challenges any authority. Aubrey's challenger was long-time friend, musical duet partner and ship's doctor, Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany) who dared to ask Aubrey whether his relentless drive to the point of pushing the crew to the mutinous mumble in the face of overwhelming odds was duty or pride. The close history between Aubrey and Maturin was probably the only thing that saved their relationship. Later, when an opportunity to spend some time on the Galapagos Islands to study in the name of science the never-before seen or cataloged flora and fauna, the doctor again tried to push Aubrey into a certain compliance with his naturalistic demands, but Aubrey forcefully set the doctor in his proper place by telling the doctor he had no time for his hobby.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is an intricate application of attention to detail about how naval life likely was in the 19th century. One could easily imagine the conditions with which the indigenous must deal. While welcomely presented with the speed of a reckless glacier at times, boredom should not invade your two hour excursion into the Napoleonic era. The seemingly snail's pace of 19th century ocean travel provides ample time for character development and our ability to care about them. The slower pace Peter Weir used is actually complimentary of the era and a welcome, realistic change from the lightspeed sensory invasions of much of modern cinema.

Understanding respect for authority is the key to gaining the full benefit from this naval novel which admirably displays discipline borne of respect and integrity: respect and integrity that cannot be pried from us with fear or bought from us with rewards; respect that is given freely and without expectation or measure and integrity solid enough to not have to be watched to know right is being done even if it could never be found out. Our Lord teaches us to teach our sons (and daughters) respect. We must do so by example. The "don't do as I do do as I say" idiom does not work and never really did. If we do not teach our children respect for our authority, how can we expect them to honor God's authority in His Word. And if our children do not respect us and thus will not submit to our loving control how can we expect them to submit to Jesus for true Salvation, not substitute it with some situationally redefined, counterfeited or conditionally applied version of it to serve innate hedonism. [Deut 6:7, Titus 2:6 - 8; Lev. 19:3; Prov 20:7]

The strongest of the issues you may wish to know about in the movie includes the heavy violence. Battle violence, battle gore and battle brutality lead the loss of points across the six CAP investigation ares (W-I-S-D-O-M). Gore includes amputation of a young boy's arm, makeshift placement of a plate over a hole in a man's head and the doctor performing self-extraction of a bullet from his abdomen. [Prov. 16:29] Following in a close second is the use of alcohol in drinking and drunkenness. [1Cor. 6:9-10] Next is the eight uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary [Prov. 8:13] and one use each of the most foul of the foul words [Col. 3:8] and God's name in vain with the four letter expletive plus four uses of His name in vain without the four letter expletive [Deut: 5:11]. While no murders occur, one suicide at sea follows up the scoring losses. At a final score of 56, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a "hardcore" PG-13 since the scoring range for PG-13 movies in the comparative baseline database is 67 to 56 out of 100 but there was not one example of sexual immorality noted. The listing in the Findings/Scoring section provides an itemization of all that was noted.

By the way, the writers and directors were not afraid to be seen as politically incorrect. At the funeral of the ship's dead, Captain Jack Aubrey spoke a Christian prayer ending it with "our Lord Jesus Christ" with solemnity and without fear or reservation. Thank you, Russell Crowe.

SPECIAL NOTE: We will be reducing the volume of coverage in the Summary/Commentary section of our reports and the number of reports generated in an effort to reduce costs until full funding can be achieved. The Findings/Scoring section of each report, the heart of the analysis model, will NOT be reduced in any way.

Thank you for your patience as we diligently search for funding. Anyone who wishes to volunteer to help us locate 501(c)(3) nonprofit funding and sponsors is encouraged to notify me.


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.

  • Deut. 6:7 And thou shalt teach them [all His statutes and His commandments] diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. [Sounds like good parenting skills, huh? Want more? Read the Bible.]
  • Titus 2:6-8 Similarly, encourage the young men [and women] to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
  • Lev. 19:3 Ye shall fear* every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
  • Prov. 20:7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. [A "violent man" can be the violence of this movie. The "neighbor" may be your child. This matter is also addressed by 1 Cor. 15:33.]
  • 1Cor. 6:9-10 Do you not know that the [unforgiven] wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Prov. 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
  • 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 an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]
    * This is not speaking to being afraid of parents in the modern literal sense. Let me offer some thought regarding the use of "fear" in the Bible. "Fear of God" is one of the most misunderstood and misused expressions from the Bible. So many use it against the believers saying God demands that you be afraid of Him when it couldn't be farther from the Truth. Looking at the definition of "fear", where "fear of God" appears in the KJV there are three translations to "fear."

    - yirah {yir-aw'}: fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety, revered

    - pachad {pakh'-ad}: terror, dread, dread, object of dread

    - phobos {fob'-os}: reverence as in for one's husband (or wife)

    When "pachad" is used it speaks to that which His enemies should feel such as in 2 Chronicles 20:29 "And the fear [pachad] of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel." But in other cases when "yirah" and "phobos" are used, it speaks to reverence, honor and respect such as in 2 Samuel 23:3 "The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear [yirah] of God", in 2 Corinthians 7:1 "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear [phobos] of God" and in Ephesians. 5:21 "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear [phobos] of God."

    So, if one opposes and rejects God one *should* dread (pachad) what He will do (and won't do). If one loves Him one should revere, honor and respect (yirah or phobos) fear Him. "Yirah" or "phobos" fear Him even in the marriage sense as we, the believers, will be collected as His Bride at the Rapture.

    ***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 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. 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 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*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 [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; 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.


    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.


    Master and Comander: The Far Side of the World (2003) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • intense battle violence, frequent
  • battle/injury gore, frequent
  • surgical amputation of a child's right arm
  • peril at sea
  • sacrifice of one to save dozens
  • flogging with a whip
  • bullet self-extraction gore
  • battle deaths and dead
  • a child killing another in battle

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • seven uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary plus once before a child
  • a single use of the most foul of the foul words

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • none noted

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

    Offense to God (O)
  • one use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and four without
  • using a Bible story to instill fear

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • one suicide by jumping off the ship with a weight and seeing the face of the victim as he sinks.

  • Please visit our sponsor(s):


    And please visit also these links.


     Artist:   Album:   Title:   Lyric:  

    Single Christian Network

     Click Here for a Quality Christian Site

    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.

    Join Christian Banner Exchange Network Today!

    The ChildCare Action Project (CAP) is a nonprofit Christian ministry. We rely on public support. If you wish to contribute to the CAP, please send your donations to
    ChildCare Action Project
    Post Office Box 177
    Granbury, TX 76048-0177

    Your gifts are tax deductible in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Codes. Please feel free to write to us.

    You are welcome to go to the
    CAP Reports page
    or go to the
    Top of the CAP Home Page
    or the
    CAP Site Map (Table of Contents)
    or leave me an email message or comment at

    Thank you for visiting us and may God bless you. Prayerfully, we will provide you with some of the most revealing commentary and investigative reporting you have ever read.

    In the name of Jesus:
    Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.

    ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture

    Copyright ChildCare Action Project (CAP) Ministry

    Since December 5, 2000

       The Fundamental Top 500