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(2008), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] (1hr 32min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
January 24, 2009
January 24, 2009
17 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.

(2008), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] ... patently R-equivalent sin-ematic celluloid of moral cyanide!

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Abandon Entertainment, Collision Entertainment, Depth Entertainment, Dune Entertainment, Firm Films, Foxtor Productions
Distribution (US): 20th Century Fox
Director(s): John Moore
Producer(s): Scott Faye, Tom Karnowski, Karen Lauder, John Moore, Peter Veverka, Julie Yorn
Screenplay by: Beau Thorne, Sam Lake (Video Game by Remedy Entertainment & 3-D Realms Entertainment)
Cinematography/Camera: Jonathan Sela
Music: Marco Beltrami, Buck Sanders
Film Editing: Dan Zimmerman
Casting: Mindy Marin
Production Design: Daniel T. Dorrance
Art Direction: Andrew M. Stearn
Viewed on Fox Home Entertainment DVD

This film analysis is sponsored by the congregation of The Chapel of the Good Shepherd.

Note that the Fox Home Entertainment DVD for Max Payne presents both the theatrical version and the Director's uncut version. this analysis is of the theatrical version.

Max Payne is an intensely dark film that seeps and oozes deeply into a manufactured profoundly ugly underside of New York city; about a man seeking vengeance for his murdered wife and baby. [Rom. 12:19] What a revelation of the findings of the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Psychological Association (APA) and more! Including God. Now, in accordance with the findings of the AMA, APA (see below) and the admonitions of God [1 Cor. 15:33], Max Payne will influence many kids to believe New York city life or any other city life is nothing more than what they see in this film.

I am dumbfounded, flabbergasted and bewildered how the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) could slap a "teen-approved" PG-13 rating on this patently R-equivalent sin-ematic celluloid of moral cyanide! It may actually be NC-17/X-equivalent. I don't know and won't know since the CAP analysis model will not be used to analyze NC-17/X-rated films which would be required to credibly and objectively state an R-rated film is equivalent to a NC-17/X film.

Who does the MPAA think they are that they could suggest by the PG-13 rating that this tape of moral manure is fit for 13 year olds? Note the scoring distribution shown by the CAP thermometers. The Wanton Violence/Crime (W) investigation area found content to earn a score of ZERO out of 100! Impudence/Hate (I) - ZERO out of 100! Drugs/Alcohol (D) - ZERO! Offense to God (O)- ZERO! The only investigation areas which found content to earn area scores greater than zero were Sexual Immorality (S) - 46 out of 100 and Murder/Suicide (M) - 57.

The equations of the CAP analysis model have display limiters to cause all zero and less-than-zero area scores to be shown as zero since less-than-zero scores are meaningless to the display. If the display limiters were removed the actual investigation area scores would be Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - minus 386, Impudence/Hate (I) - minus 16, Drugs/Alcohol (D) - minus 88 and Offense to God (O) - minus 20. Indeed the only investigation area for which the film earned a score equivalent to its PG-13 label was Murder/Suicide (M). The Sexual Immorality (S) investigation area found content to earn an above-zero score but still equivalent to the same area content of many R-rated features (54 and below out of 100) in the comparative baseline database of films.

About the Sexually Immoral content, if a couple involved in intercourse is enough for the MPAA to slap a "R" on a film with such content, Max Payne is no better. A woman named Natasha Sax (Olga Kurylenko) stripped to her nearly nonexistent panties with her torso mostly covered with the short, slinky dress she removed then writhed about in a bed face up rubbing herself, cooing and swinging her knees, seductively and verbally inviting the main character, Max (Mark Wahlberg) to have sex with her. Yet the MPAA implies by the PG-13 label that this sort of display is fit for your 13 year old kids while God says otherwise. Oh, the dissonance of "But mo-om! It's rated PG-13. I am 14!" Another sign of the times. For so long we have become so drugged by the narcotics of progressively bold extremes in and as entertainment that what once was morally unacceptable has become morally invisible. -TC-

Now consider the Influence Density figure of 3.02! Films rated R in the comparative baseline database earned Influence Density figures from 0.78 to 2.04, the higher the figure the more dense the assaults on morality and decency. Max Payne, created by men who "secretly introduce destructive heresies" [2 Pet 12:1], is one of the perfect examples of a sign of the times. [Ps. 12:8, Jude 1:4] Max Payne is truly another R-13. A hardcore R-13.

Will entertainment ignominy become less morally corrosive? I doubt it. [Jer. 37:9] God warned us that people will secretly introduce destructive paganistic ideas and values and become lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. [2 Pet. 2:1, 2 Tim. 3:1-5]

About the phrase "teen-approved", what makes this caliber of "entertainment" fit for anyone? Does that which is sinful while we are yet a teen become sinless when we reach adulthood?

That a great and powerful umbrella organization of grown-ups says this stuff is fit for 13 year old kids creates one of the strongest and deepest conditions of dissonance ever known to man. "The MPAA says it is okay for me. Everybody else gets to see it! Why can't I?" There is no law, mom/dad, moral or legal that says you have to let your kids see any film of any rating. "Kids" includes at-home teens.

We have been telling you of the influence of entertainment on children since 1995. Now the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Psychological Association (APA) and other professional health associations tell us that the influence of entertainment such as Max Payne "feeds a perception that the world is a violent and mean place", "increases fear of becoming a victim", "may lead to real life violence" and (possibly worst of all) makes the viewer "view violence as an effective way of settling conflicts" (in the case of Max Payne, with a gun) plus other matters of stealing childhood from children. For more information see Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children Congressional Public Health Summit. While the joint statement addresses the copy-cat syndrome regarding entertainment violence, "violence" could be replaced with "arrogance", "rebellion", "profanity" and many other negative character traits. Also, the flip side is true: that good and wholesome character traits can be "copied" from entertainment; that "violence" could be replaced with "honesty", "nobility", "clean speech" and any other positive trait and still be as true. Just like God told us in 1 Cor. 15:33 ... 2000 years ago.

NYC Detective Max Payne (Mark Wahlberg) has socially and emotionally secluded himself after walking in his house to find his wife and baby murdered.

Max's wife, Michelle (Marianthi Evans) had been resisting involvement in some clandestine drug manufacturing activities by the Aesir Pharmaceutical Corporation for which Michelle worked. Aesir was developing and testing a drug for the US military that made the one who consumed the drug invincible. At least in his mind. What a resource for our military that warriors could become super warriors just by taking a drug! However, the addictive drug was not working as intended and was causing the user to do evil things. Though Aesir tried to make good on their failure with the drug, Michelle knew too much. And was murdered because of it.

Some of the victims became so addicted to the drug they followed the scientists home to kill them for more of the drug. The drug is named Valkyr after what the story named as Valkyr, a slain soldier's angel which carried off the fallen dead. I guess that is poetic license since in Norse mythology the Valkyrie is one of Odin's handmaidens who carried fallen soldiers to Valhalla.

Each of the users of Valkyr began to see giant demon birds which were supposed to be Valkyries. It is confusing. Too bad, too. Max Payne is a fine production of cinematic quality work such as story, plot, subplot connectivity, character building, visuals and more. But this quality work has immoral teeth. Sharp immoral teeth. A lot of them.

Let me now get to that for which most of our users come to our pages.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
Max Payne is rife with violence. So thick was the violence that the attitudes portrayed were of cold-blooded, nihilistic apathy and every measure of dispassion for the life of others. As the AMA, APA and other professional health agencies have jointly stated, such pessimistic violence can actually reshape the coping skills of the one who views such narcotic enemies of all that is wholesome. Strange it is that God told us that 2000 years ago. [1 Cor. 15:33] And since such influence can and does lead viewers down the wrong path, it is in violation of more of His Word. Among others, Prov. 16:29 that warns of a violence enticing others down a path that is not good.

Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
Twenty four times someone utters one of the three/four letter words plus one of the most foul of the foul words. [Col. 3:8 and others]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 46 out of 100
This film portrays sex intimately. A woman essentially prostitutes herself for drug money. She uses every wile imaginable to seduce a man. [Rev. 21:8, Gal. 5:19, Rom. 13:13, Rev. 22:1]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - Zero out of 100
Max Payne is heavy with drug consumption, drug-induced intoxication and drug-induced hallucinations. There is little more to say about that. [Eph. 5:18] Except ...

While God tells us distinctly about drunkenness in Eph. 5:18 many do not realize it includes drug intoxication. Let us also hear what man has to say about influencing youth with entertainment. Remember, wherever you see "drinking" in the following drug consumption applies as well. The focus is the power of influence by the entertainment industry.

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 kids. 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 from viewing R-rated movies. 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.

    The researchers selected R-rated movies because they assumed R-rated movies typically present more substance abuse than movies of other classifications. This assumption is no longer true. The researchers were not aware of the matter of R-13 proven by this ministry in 2000 with which Harvard University scientists agreed four years later. The bottom line? The focus is that the influence of adolescent exposure in and as entertainment is undeniable regardless of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) classification.

    Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? And emboldening children to sin with controlled substances in and as entertainment screams of violating Luke 17:2.

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100 Besides the portrayal of demon birds, Max Payne has Max taking counsel from the dead by taking counsel from the words of the vision of his dead wife. [Deut. 18:10 - 11]

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 57 out of 100
    Note that while there were many killings in Max Payne the CAP Analysis Model does not consider defensive or police killing as murder. These events are incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area. Max Payne presents at least five murders: by gunfire; by subway train hit; by demon bird (which was probably suicide by hallucination); by machete. [Rev. 21:8]


    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.


  • Rom. 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
  • 2 Tim. 3:1-5 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection [astorgos: unsociable, inhuman; homosexuality, bestiality, etc.], trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce [anemeros: brutal, sadistic], despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof [e.g., Sunday-only and counterfeit Christians]: from such turn away.
  • 2Pet. 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them -bringing swift destruction on themselves.
  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. [The issue is the violence, no matter how "small" it might seem, and its effect on an observer. "A violent man" can be a man, woman OR the men/women/characters demonstrating the violent behavior/action on the screen whether for good or evil. Knowing of Prov. 16:29 you now know why violence, especially in and as entertainment, can embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. See Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV. And see 1 Cor. 15:33 below.]
  • 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 speech] out of your mouth.
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable [the vile], and murderers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • Gal. 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
  • Rom. 13:13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
  • Rev. 22:15 Outside [of Heaven] are the dogs [animals], those [unforgiven] who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
  • Deut. 18:10 -11 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.
  • 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.]

    ***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 [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, 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.)

    Max Payne (2008) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • long and detailed sequence of firearms in action during intro
  • near drowning
  • images of many drowning murder victims
  • close-up of drowning murder victim
  • images of other murder victims, repeatedly
  • firearm to head, repeatedly
  • reckless gunfire
  • attempted armed robbery
  • animal attack - demon birds, repeatedly
  • body mutilation with gore
  • killing by police and other defensive killings, many, frequent
  • long gun battle with police officer with many killings and graphic attention to detail of bullets striking things, repeatedly
  • police brutality (e.g., gun butt and fist to face), repeatedly
  • auto, shotgun and handgun fire to kill, frequent
  • attempted murder by gunfire, repeatedly
  • assault with and attempted murder by blade
  • firearm to control, repeatedly
  • defensive assault
  • near drowning, graphic
  • action violence of varying intensities
  • severe beating, repeatedly
  • murder victim, repeatedly
  • control by machine gun to head - long sequence
  • lesser beating
  • threat to kill
  • many firearms for offensive by criminals
  • breaking and entering
  • plans to kill
  • massive explosion with extensive property damage
  • exceptionally graphic killing, seeing the bullets hit and pass through a body

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
  • 24 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • one use of the most four of the foul words
  • tattoos, some massive, throughout plus tattoo shop

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 46 out of 100
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, repeatedly
  • flash of lower rear nudity - female, repeatedly
  • caressing of skin for sensual purposes
  • self-stripping to nudity
  • sexual invitation
  • woman in underwear
  • woman stripped to her nearly nonexistent panties. got in bed with her torso mostly covered with a short, slinky dress she took off then writhed about in bed face up rubbing herself, cooing and swinging her knees, seductively and verbally inviting a man to have sex with her

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - Zero out of 100
  • smoking
  • drug deal
  • illegal drugs
  • illegal drug consumption, repeatedly
  • drug induced hallucinations and deliriums, repeatedly
  • drug intoxication, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • two uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 10 without
  • "I don't believe in Heaven"
  • visions of the dead speaking to the living, repeatedly
  • claim of what God wants not founded in His Word
  • demon birds, repeatedly
  • "I don't know about heaven ..."

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 57 out of 100
  • murder by subway train hit
  • gunfire murder, repeatedly
  • murder by demon bird (probably meant as a suicide)
  • blade murder - hacking

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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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