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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), R

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
November 26, 2003
49 out of 100

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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), R -- Let us pray that little Jenna does not suffer the same.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Revolution Studios, Imagine Entertainment
Distribution (US): Sony Pictures Entertainment
Director(s): Ron Howard
Producer(s): Steve Crystal, Brian Grazer, Todd Hallowell, Kathleen McGill, Daniel Ostroff, Aldric La'Auli Porter, Louisa Velis
Written by/Screenplay: Thomas Eidson (novel, The Last Ride), Ken Kaufman (screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Salvatore Totino
Music: James Horner
Film Editing: Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill
Casting: Jo Edna Boldin, Janet Hirshenson, Jane Jenkins
Art Direction: Guy Barnes

I am so sorry it has taken so long to get this posted. I viewed the film on November 26 and it is now December 2 at dark-thirty in the morning. I know this is inconvenient for those who wait until we publish our findings on a movie before considering whether to watch it or not, but I am doing the best I can. Things will get better as soon as we find full funding, whether I want them to or not.

Frontier healer Magdalena "Maggie" Gilkeson (Cate Blanchette) has cast her father, Samuel (Tommy Lee Jones) out of her life. That seems such a drastic thing to do when all he did was abandon the family when Maggie was but a wee lass, rejecting what white man brought to the wilderness. Then one day, dad shows up again looking like an aging American Indian wannabe snake oil peddler with the derby hat and multi-colored print shirt and vest. Trying to find forgiveness, Sam tried to give Maggie money. But it didn't work. Nor does it work for Maggie's eldest daughter, Lily (Evan Rachel Wood) who chimes right in with her mother's verbal disgust of her father. But then, that would be expected with the role Wood was playing (more on that later). However, the youngest of Maggie's two daughters, Dot (Jenna Boyd) seems ready and willing to welcome grandpa.

About my "more on that later" above of Wood's story character, Wood fit into it well since the role was to portray an "It ain't good enough, no matter what 'it' is" teenager. The progression of roles Wood has played are as predictable as the sunrise starting with Emily in the delightful Little Secrets, August 2002 (PG) then to Lainey in the somewhat more risque Simone, August 2002 (PG-13) to Tracy in Thirteen, October 2003 (R), one of the most arrogant and vile roles I have witnessed in the nearly 800 movies I have analyzed. While Wood's role as Lily in The Missing was certainly not vulgar, it was most certainly another one of those arrogant "kiss off, I'm better than this" roles most teenagers are given in modern cinema. But the reason for the comparison of Wood's progression into the world of teenage uppity cinema, I truly hope that the sparkling and adorable young Jenna Boyd is spared such teachings through the performing arts which Wood has suffered. This topic is why I placed photos of the two girls aside the poster art for the movie. The facial expressions nearly tell it all. Wood became very good at playing a vile and filthy role through her career in acting, making it questionable whether she was "just acting." (As if "acting" excuses sin.). Let us pray that little Jenna does not suffer the same.

In an act of defiance against mom's direction, Lily became a victim of child traffickers. Kidnapped and taken away to be sold in Mexico into prostitution, Lily became the target of the newfound trust and camaraderie between estranged father and frightened daughter as Maggie sought dad's help in rescuing Lily. Initially, mom was not about to let Dot come with her and her grandfather, but at Dot's rather animated insistence and after an Apache attack that left her live-in lover, Brake Baldwin (Aaron Eckhart) in parts in a bag hanging from a tree, mom agreed to let Dot come along on a mission through the parched land of New Mexico.

Lily and four other girls (Heather Gulas, Scarlett McAlister, Shelby Kocurek, Molly McAlister) were the booty being taken into child slavery by renegade Apache, Chidin (Eric Schweig). Chidin was a chilling and dirty shaman. Sam, having lived with the Apaches for quite some time was aware of the powers of this shaman and was constantly reminding Maggie to stop shortchanging the evil of which Chidin was capable as they tracked and overtook the kidnappers in the stone filled badlands. Indeed, this film is freckled with tales of witchcraft and portrayal of a witchcraft spell over Maggie.

As I have been alerting our visitors, until we can find full funding I must shorten the extent of these Summary/Commentaries in order to reduce the costs of bringing you these free analyses. So, let me get right to the main reason most of you visit our website.

In accordance with our scoring distribution, The Missing is rated R mostly due to content incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime and the Murder/Suicide investigation area, encompassing much violence [Prov. 3:31-32], several murders/killings [Rev. 21:8] and including a suicide by gunfire [Ex 20:13]. Second in loss of points was in Impudence/Hate due to adolescent arrogance at a parent and racial hatred [Exod. 20:12; Prov. 6:20; Prov. 10:1; Gal. 5:14]. Under Sexual Immorality were issues including inappropriate touch of a minor girl, attempted rape of a minor girl [Luke 17:2] and full rear male nudity [**]. Drugs/Alcohol revealed drinking, smoking and forced drugging. [Luke 1:15] Offense to God found one instance of the use of God's name in vain and without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11] and several tales of witchcraft/shamanism and casting of a spell [Rev. 21:8]. A complete representation of all that was found is presented in the Findings/Scoring section.

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.

  • Prov. 3:31-32 Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable [vile], and murderers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and sorcerers [practitioners of witchcraft, magic, sorcery], and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • Ex 20:13 Thou shalt not kill. (NIV) You shall not murder. [Suicide is murder of the self.]
  • Exod. 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
  • Prov. 6:20 My son [or daughter], keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
  • Prov. 10:1 The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son [or daughter] brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother.
  • Gal. 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [Other passages fortify this passage by reminding us that we do NOT have to love our neighbor's aberrant behaviors to love him. Nor do we have to love our own to love ourselves.] **"Nakedness" (display of nudity) is spoken of as dark, restricted, undesirable, shameful, etc. 47 times in the KJV from Genesis to Revelation.
  • Luke 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. [Speaking is the angel that appeared to Zechariah, promising Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth a son - John the Baptist, but it also says that not drinking alcoholic beverages at all will find favor in the eyes of the Lord. Though it is not a sin to drink, God knows of our tendency to excess. And the "strong drink" of Jesus' day was less potent than our dry wine. What does that say about our liquor of up to 75% alcohol?]
  • 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.]

    ***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.

    The Missing (2003) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • tooth extraction
  • gunfire to control varmints
  • gore
  • abduction of children, repeatedly
  • child trafficking, repeatedly
  • murder victims, repeatedly
  • gunfire to kill, many, repeatedly
  • fighting
  • child brutality, repeatedly
  • dead man gore
  • near drowning peril with child
  • baby dying in captivity
  • forcing dirt in a girl's mouth
  • field surgery gore
  • beating with blood
  • multiple stabbings
  • beating killing
  • beating injury gore
  • murder gore
  • attempts to purchase children
  • battle with many graphic deaths by gun and arrow, repeatedly
  • killings victim gore
  • gunfire killings
  • axe attack
  • exceptionally graphic fall death

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • racial hatred
  • teen arrogance at mother, repeatedly
  • "It ain't good enough no matter what 'it' is" attitude by teen
  • defiance of mother's commands, leading to endangerment of others as well as self

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • intercourse, off screen
  • full rear male nudity
  • same gender sexual attraction comment
  • inappropriate touch of a child
  • attempted rape of a child
  • cohabitation

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • smoking
  • forced drugging

    Offense to God (O)
  • one use of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive
  • tales of witchcraft, repeatedly
  • illness by witchcraft spell
  • Christian stooping to belief in power of charms

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • murder by arrow and mutilation
  • murder by dismemberment
  • murder by claw to throat
  • suicide by gunfire
  • multiple gunfire murders, at least four
  • arrow murder
  • multiple murders by gunfire and arrow, at least four (two each)

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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 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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