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


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to parents and grandparents

The Perfect Storm (2000), (PG-13)
CAP Score: 38
CAP Influence Density: 1.38
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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

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NOTE: We make no scoring allowances for Hollywood's trumped-up "messages" to excuse, or its manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth. 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 purely objectuve and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

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


The Perfect Storm (PG-13) -- Some great fx, but another R-13.

Though based on a true story and though presenting some fabulous artistry in creating sea storms, there was enough ignominy in this PG-13 to make it numerically equivalent to R-rated movies of not just five years ago but today.

George Clooney was perfectly cast for the part of Captain Billy Tyne of the Andrea Gail, a sword fisherman with a sandpaper character of brine and blood, at home with the raging sea. And there was plenty of raging sea in this two-hour immense thriller based on Sebastian Junger's best-seller. Sailing with Tyne were David Sullivan (William Fichtner), Dale "Murhp" Murphy (John Reilly), Bobby Shatford (Mark Wahlberg), Michael "Bugsy" Moran (John Hawkes), and Alfred Pierre (Allen Payne). They sailed with Tyne twice except for Sullivan who replaced one of the first trip fishermen. In supporting roles are Diane Lane as Christina, girlfriend to Shatford and a girl who "can't stand to be two feet away" from Shatford, Mary Mastrantonio as the captain of the sister ship of the Andrea Gail, the Hannah Boden, and Michael Ironside as the owner of both boats. I have been impressed with Diane Lane and Michael Ironside--until The Perfect Storm. Lane plays the part of a rather caustic young woman with new age morals and poor coping skills, poor enough to make her very abrasive when she doesn't get her way, definitely not a role model for young women but typical of modern entertainment. Ironside usually plays dark parts, but this part doesn't give him much at all other than connectivity of sub plots.

In the first attempt Tyne made to make a great haul of swordfish, meager results left himself and the crew almost broke. So Tyne decided to make another go if it before the fishing season ended. A fateful decision indeed. They found their mother lode of swordfish in the Flemish Cap in the northern Atlantic to recover from the loss of the last trip but they also found the mother lode of storms--a rare combination of meteorological conditions that created a storm of Jupiterian proportions. Director Wolfgang Peterson deserves kudos for his genius in creating magnificent storms down to realistic coloration and even speed of brine sprays. But the kudos are tainted with ignominy.

In addition to 39 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary (three of them before a young child), including three uses of the most foul of the foul words, are 12 uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 12 uses of it without the four letter expletive [Prov. 8:13; Col. 3:8; Exod. 20:7]. In scenes of a bar with drinking and drunkenness, the upstairs quarters are used at least twice for "activities" which shook the lamps above the bartender's pit which drew gales of guffaws from the "customers" below [Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:4]. In addition to several examples of sexual innuendo, talk and offers there was talk of intercourse with aftermath imagery [1 Cor. 6:18]. No nudity was noted except for that which is seen when getting a rump medical injection but sexual immorality was treated with as much respect as getting some on your chin when you blow your nose [Hebr. 13:4]. Six drowning deaths, graphic injury, and long sequences of rescue perils and mortal dangers might plant undue fears. God knew what He was saying when he gave us Phil. 4:8.

The rest of the issues of concern I will leave for the Findings/Scoring section.


  • 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.
  • Exod. 20:7 You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
  • Gal. 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • 1 Cor. 6:18 (KJV) Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
  • Hebr. 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
  • Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    Please see the Findings/Scoring section below for a full accounting of this movie: for the best representation of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: The Perfect Storm (2000) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • somewhat graphic scenery of gutting and butchering fish
  • fighting
  • a hook injury which pulls a man into the brink--near drowning
  • storm terrors, rescue perils, and mortal dangers

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 39 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • 3 uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • coldness at a man's death
  • tattoos
  • hatred in terror

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • adult woman in short nightwear
  • a child speaking of his mother's sexual immorality
  • talk of intercourse with aftermath imagery
  • sexual innuendo, talk, offers
  • implied intercourse

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • booze
  • drinking
  • drunkenness
  • bar scenes
  • smoking

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • 12 uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 12 without
  • suggestion of psychic communication

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • graphic gunfire murder on TV screen in background

  • (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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

    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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