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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2004), PG [PG*]
Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
November 16, 2004
79 out of 100

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Christian Long Distance

(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

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

(2004), PG [PG*] --... equivalent to G-rated movies in four of the six CAP investigation areas ... PG in one ... R score in one.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Declaration Productions Inc., Touchstone Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Junction Entertainment, Saturn Films, Walt Disney Pictures
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Pictures
Director(s): Jon Turteltaub
Producer(s): Oren Aviv, Jerry Bruckheimer, Chad Oman, Pat Sandston, Charles Segars, Christina Steinberg, Mike Stenson, Jon Turteltaub, Barry H. Waldman
Written by: Jim Kouf
Screenplay: Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley
Cinematography/Camera: Caleb Deschanel
Music: Paul Linford, Trevor Rabin
Film Editing: William Goldenberg
Casting: Avy Kaufman
Production Design: Norris Spencer
Art Direction: Geoff Hubbard
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

This report is dedicated to JP. Thank you, JP. If everyone who used the CAP services daily could and did give a gift as large as yours just once per year, we would have full funding for the whole year.

For more than 180 years organized men have been searching for a treasure that no one man should possess. The treasure is that vast. Built up from thousands of years of pillaging, the treasure was sure to be of nearly immeasurable value. Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage), following in the footsteps of his father Patrick (Jon Voight), was determined to find out just how valuable.

Over many years the treasure accumulated from pyramids, ships at sea, and other historical gatherings of wealth. The Knights of Templar had found the treasure cache which ended up in America during the Revolutionary War. The treasure was hidden to keep it from falling into the hands of the British.

The dying Charles Carroll (Terrence Currier), the last signer of the Declaration of Independence was in possession of knowledge of the whereabouts of the treasure. Carroll tried to confide his knowledge to President Jefferson but failed since Jefferson was not in the Whitehouse when Carroll visited. Breathing his last breaths, Carroll did not want the secret to the treasure lost so he confided in his young associate, Thomas Gates (Jason Earles), an ancestor of Patrick and Ben Gates.

Clue leading to clue after clue led Patrick to believe there was no treasure but Ben would not buy that. One clue led Ben and associate and sidekick, Riley Poole (Justin Bartha) to the frozen wastelands to find the Charlotte, a ship that may hold the treasure. But nay, it held but yet one more clue - an engraved tobacco pipe that, when whetted with Ben's blood to serve as inkpad ink, the round pipe stem imparted yet another clue in the form of another riddle. Ben discerned the riddle to mean there was a map to the treasure on the back of the Declaration of Independence. It was then that associate, sponsor and co-explorer Ian Howe (Sean Bean) revealed his true colors. Howe, bent on having the treasure for himself, tried to murder Ben and Riley aboard the Charlotte to erase all competition for the treasure. [Rom. 12:18, Ps. 62:10, Hab. 2:9]

Failing to get access to the Declaration from a number of Federal agencies, Ben ended up with Dr. Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger), security expert in charge of protecting the Declaration and other artifacts of immense value. Explaining the story about the invisible map on the back of the Declaration of Independence to Abigail, Ben told her about the pipe and its engraving. When asked by Dr. Chase to produce the pipe, Ben said he didn't have it. To that, Abigail asked him if Bigfoot stole it. I halfway expected Ben to answer Abigail's question with 'Elvis had it.' Failing to get Dr. Chase's support, Ben vowed to steal the Declaration just to protect it from Howe. [Isa. 5:20]

From there the Rube Goldberg contraptions of clue after clue unfolded. Ben stole the Declaration with the help of Riley and, with an unexpected twist, Dr. Chase. After them all is FBI agent Sadusky (Harvey Keitel). But don't think that is the end of the story, That is only about half of the movie.

Fortunately, National Treasure is a true PG film, earning a final score of 79 which places it comfortably in the high end of the scoring range earned by PG movies (86 to 68 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. The biggest reason it earned a PG-equivalent final score is violence/crime. The Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area found enough issues of violence for the film to lose all of its starting 100 points, not due to particularly bold issues of violence/crime but due to sheer numbers. Recall the CAP Rule of 1000.

National Treasure earned scores equivalent to G-rated movies in four of the six CAP investigation areas (Impudence/Hate, Sexual Immorality, Drugs/Alcohol, Murder/Suicide), barely PG in one (Offense to God) but an R score in one (Wanton Violence/Crime).


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. 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
  • Ps. 62:10 Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
  • Hab. 2:9 Woe to him who builds his realm by unjust gain to set his nest on high, to escape the clutches of ruin!
  • Isa. 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. [Stealing to keep a thief from stealing is certainly calling evil good. An evil deed, even when done for someone's good, is still an evil deed.]

    ***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 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Rom. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
  • 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 heart of the CAP Analysis Model)

    National Treasure (2004) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • skull and skeleton
  • battle violence
  • rotted bodies
  • self injury to get blood for ink
  • order to kill, once to force compliance
  • firearm threat, repeatedly
  • attempted gunfire murder
  • attempted murder by explosion
  • planning theft, for most of the film
  • firearms for assault, many
  • breaking and entering, repeatedly
  • tazer assault of security police officer
  • gunfire to kill, repeatedly
  • kidnapping, repeatedly
  • reckless driving to escape assault and to pursue
  • action violence, repeatedly
  • theft with endangerment
  • use of hostages to extort
  • death by great fall

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • son's arrogance toward father
  • lies

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • man and woman changing clothes behind short doors

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O)
  • four uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive
  • all-seeing eye

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

  • Christian Long Distance



    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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