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(2011), PG-13 [R-13*] (125.4min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
May 2, 2012
May 5, 2012

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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.

(2011), PG-13 [R-13*] ...not as severe as the immediately previous M:I:IIIinstallment

Production (US): Paramount Pictures, Sky Dance Productions, A Tom Cruise Production, A Bad Robot Production
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Brad Bird
Producer(s): Jeffrey Chernov, David Ellison, Paul Schlake, Dana GoldbergJosh Appelbaum, André Nemec, Tom Peitzman, Tommy Harper, Tom Cruise, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk
Written by: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec
Cinematography/Camera: Robert Elswit
Music: Michael Giacchino
Film Editing: Paul Hirsch
Casting: April Webster, Alyssa Weisberg
Production Design: Jim Bissell
Art Direction: Grant Van Der Slagt, Michael Oiner
Viewed on Paramount Home Entertainment DVD

To Budapest then to Moscow then to Dubai then to Mumbai then to ... This M:I crew certainly gets around.

Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol (M:I:IV) is a highly violent film, not so much in gore as in the sheer number and diversity of examples of violence and sometimes the intensity of it. At film's end the CAP analysis model revealed 115 individually identifiable episodes of violence of some sort or caliber.

After a series of gunfire killings in Budapest, one of them particularly brutal by contract killer Sabine Moreau (Léa Seydoux) of IMF Agent Hanaway (Josh Holloway) who had secured a file of Russian nuclear launch codes that was going to be used by bad guy Cobalt, a.k.a. Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist) to start global nuclear war, we see IMF Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) in a Russian prison for (an unsanctioned) killing of six men who were supposedly responsible for Hunt's wife's death. But not for long. After a sequence of prison violence Hunt is broken out of prison by IMF Agents Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg, "Scotty" from Star Trek). On his way out of prison Hunt drags "big, hairy Russian" Bogdan (Goran Navojec) in tow because Bogdan, who will provide more plot support later in the film, fed intel to Hunt while in prison and would have been killed had he remained behind. Once out of the prison Hunt and his team plan how they are going to defeat the plans of Cobalt to start global nuclear war.

Let's get into the scoring comparative shown to the left we have been maintaining over the now four installments of Mission: Impossible. Contrary to trending revealed by most films with sequels, this latest of the four installments of M:I is not the most severe. M:I:IV is another R-13 but, though more severe than the fist two installments of M:I, is not as severe as the immediately previous M:I:III installment as trending would predict. A common thread among the four installments is the Wanton Violence/Crime content consistently earned the lowest area of the six investigation area scores in all four installments.

As usual there is much more to the story and plot but to reveal any more of it would spoil it too much for spy flick fans since this film is a standard cookie-cutter spy flick just like the three previous installments of the M:I films. If I revealed much more, the spy flick fan could likely put two and two together to come up with the story before seeing the film. I will, however, tell you about the content in detail.


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

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
The greatest contribution to the violence content of this film is in action violence. Much of the action violence includes killings, gunfire to kill or some other means of killing. Some of the killings display the bullets hitting the victims.

There is far too much violence in this film to summarize in this space. To discover the full content of violence, please inspect the violence listing in the Findings section.

This film is a prime example of God's admonitions against violence. More than 50 times from the Old Testament to the New Testament God has dark and stern things to say about violence. Proverb 16:29 address His Word about violence quite succinctly. In Proverb 16:29 God warns that violence is "catching": that it can lead one into "the way that is not good." As if God need corroboration of His own Word, man has done so by four public health agencies publishing findings that warn of violence in and as entertainment can, among other things, lead the viewer, especially youth, to believe that violence is an effective may to settle conflict.

Impudence/Hate (I) - 55 out of 100
Profanity consists of 13 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary plus one masked use of it [Col. 3:8, Eph. 5:4] but none of the most foul of the foul words. Other matters of impudence and/or hatred include an order to lie and a man promoting universal/worldwide fatalism.

Sexual Immorality (S) - 73 out of 100
Besides one display of below navel skin which threatened to expose that which follows, vulgar paintings, a vulgar gesture and multiple views of an adult in underwear, excessive cleavage was displayed by two women repeatedly. [1 Tim. 2:9 -10].

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 49 out of 100
Smoking, drinking and booze repeatedly in this film present a real danger to the PG-13 crowd. So sayeth the American College of physicians (ACP). A 2002 study by the ACP revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to abuse of alcohol among underage viewers. The report 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) - 63 out of 100
    God's name was abused ten times, one of them with the four letter expletive. God does not like that. [Deut 5:11]

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 60 out of 100
    While there were many killings portrayed in this film, this Murder/Suicide content investigation area does not consider attempts to murder or commit suicide, deaths by acts of war, deaths by police action or defensive killings as murder. These acts of death are incorporated by the Wanton Violence/Crime (W) content investigation area. With that understanding, there are four murders and one suicide portrayed in this film.



    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 enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. [The issue is the violence, the 'way that is not good' no matter how "small" or "fantasy" or "justified" the violence might seem, and its "leading" effect on the observer. "A violent man" can be any character of any age, any gender, human or not in the act of committing (demonstrating in the case of entertainment) violent behavior/action whether for good or evil OR the violent behaviors/actions themselves. Such exposure can and does embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. It took years for the American professional health community to finally affirm, probably without knowing it, that which God told us in 1 Cor. 15:33 below. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Their findings include:
    --> Children who see a lot of violence are more likely to view violence as an effective way of settling conflicts. Children exposed to violence are more likely to assume the acts of violence are acceptable behavior.
    --> Viewing violence can lead to emotional desensitization towards violence in real life. It can decease the likelihood that one will take action on behalf of a victim when violence occurs.
    --> Entertainment violence feeds a perception that the world is a violent and mean place. Viewing violence increases fear of becoming a victim of violence, with a resultant increase in self-protective behavior and a mistrust of others.
    --> Viewing violence may lead to real life violence. Children exposed to violent programming at a young age have a higher tendency for violent and aggressive behavior later in life than children who are not so exposed.
    Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • 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. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • 1 Tim. 2:9 -10 I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. ["modestly, with decency" may not be ignored nor may the use of "braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes" be allowed to redirect focus from or steal thunder from "modestly with decency." Dragging the zipper down low is not "with decency." By the way guys, "modestly, with decency applies to us as well. That which is fair for the goose is fair for the gander.]
  • 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. 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 in slang or profanity. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or responsible discussion and in praise and prayer is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name or title even if as a euphemism. So, trying to excuse such expressions with "I was talking TO God/Jesus when I said that" or "It's just words" or "I was acting" will not work with Him. Nor will "Everybody says that" excuse the sin of using His name in vain. If everyone on the planet who has ever drawn a breath used His name in vain, it would still be a sin to do so. If no one ever did, it would still be a sin to do so. Whether we believe it or not. Whether we like it or not. Whether we care or not.]

    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.)

    Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • action violence of varying intensities and lengths, frequent, some with killing
  • exceptionally brutal gunfire killing seeing three bullets pass through the victim
  • gunfire to kill, frequent
  • prison violence, repeatedly
  • image of bloody man dying, repeatedly
  • knife killing with knife being yanked out of victim's body so the assailant could have a weapon
  • petty theft of clothing
  • dead body, repeatedly
  • abduction of mother and child to extort father
  • planning extensive assault
  • massive weaponry
  • use and/or display of offensive/defensive firearms/weapons, frequent
  • extremely high altitude building climbing and action violence
  • admission of killing many for hire
  • gunfire shooting seeing two bullets hit man's chest
  • firearms for control, frequent
  • defensive killing, repeatedly
  • reckless abandon in traffic to pursue
  • attempted vehicular homicide
  • auto theft
  • reckless driving to pursue with much property damage
  • tale of gore and murder
  • great fall above rotating circulation fan
  • reckless endangerment, repeatedly
  • gunfire killing, repeatedly
  • gunfire wound
  • nuclear missile launched to start global nuclear war
  • severely decimated face

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 55 out of 100
  • 13 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary (none of the most foul of the foul words)
  • masked profanity
  • order to lie
  • universal/worldwide fatalism

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 73 out of 100
  • exposure to below navel skin, threatening to expose that which follows
  • excessive cleavage, repeatedly, two separate women
  • vulgar paintings
  • adult in underwear, repeatedly
  • vulgar gesture

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 49 out of 100
  • drugging to facilitate theft
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • booze, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • drugging to silence

    Offense to God (O) - 63 out of 100
  • ten abuses of God's name, one of them with the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 60 out of 100
  • murder by choking
  • murder by gunfire, repeatedly
  • suicide by jumping

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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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    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:

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