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(2005), PG-13 [R-13*] (1hr 27min)

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
Decemer 26, 2005
54 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.

(2005), PG-13 [R-13*] -- ...the Special Olympics Board sanctioned the film.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Conundrum Entertainment
Distribution (US): Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director(s): Barry W. Blaustein
Producer(s): Frank Clemens, Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Marc S. Fischer, Clemens Franek, Garrett Grant, John L. Jacobs, Tim Shriver, Bradley Thomas
Written by: Ricky Blitt
Cinematography/Camera: Mark Irwin
Music: Mark Mothersbaugh
Film Editing: George Folsey Jr.
Casting: Toni Cobb Brock, Nancy Foy
Production Design: Arlan Jay Vetter
Art Direction: John Frick
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

The Ringer made me again thankful for the objectivity of the CAP analysis model. As I watched the film and annotated the findings, I wondered how this film could be a PG-13. It seemed, at least on the surface, to be a gentle, "feel good" movie. I reckoned it was the two uses of the most foul of the foul words. But when I finished crunching the numbers I found this film earned a final score of 54! That makes it a borderline R-13 since the movies in the comparative baseline database rated R earned scores of 54 and below out of 100. Consistently.

The Ringer is another example of the unreliability of trailers and previews. In the trailer for The Ringer was a comment Jeffy made when physically close to Lynn: "Jeffy doesn't understand what is happening to his body." It wasn't in the cut of the film I saw. Actually, that is good. One less sexual innuendo. But it just "shows to go ya" that trailers/previews are not always true to the screen cut.

Steve Barker (Johnny Knozville) is hounded by his stogie-chewing uncle Gary (Brian Cox) to help him with some gambling debt. The goons are after Cox for $40,000.

Meanwhile, Steve is promoted. As a function of his new position, Steve's boss, Mr. Henderson (Brad Leland), ordered Steve to fire the janitor, Stavi (Luis Avalos), a widower with four kids. Feeling sorry for Stavi, Steve hires Stavi as groundskeeper for his apartment complex for $400 per week but only a promise of insurance or benefits. Alas, as Stavi mows the lawn, he loses three of his fingers. The hospital would be glad to reattach the fingers but for $26,000.

What to do! Stave's uncle is in hoc for $40,000 and Stavi needs $26,000 for surgery. Uncle Gary comes up with the solution.

Jimmy (Leonard Flowers) has struck it rich as the intellectually challenged six-time pentathelete. Gary's solution? Fix the Special Olympics so Steve could win the prize money which would more than cover Gary's gambling debt and the surgery bill for Stavi. Steve is athletically inclined. And has a smidgen of experience in acting. If Steve could pass himself off as intellectually challenged he could participate in the Special Olympics. So, Steve Baker becomes Jeffy Dahmor.

Reluctantly, Steve goes along with the gag though grumbling "This is so wrong" through most of the first half of the show. Even Steve's priest who hears Steve's guilt-ridden confession about fixing the Special Olympics lands a few well-targeted fists at Steve.

So, Steve calls on his high school sports and acting experience and, under the tutelage of Uncle Gary, rehearses appearing to be intellectually challenged. Steve is now prepared to play the game ... as Jeffy Dahmor.

I am not sanguine about the obvious making fun of the intellectually challenged in this film, but Tim Shriver, Chairman of the Special Olympics Board sanctioned the film hoping it would generate a new understanding of and thus attitude toward our fellow citizens with intellectual disabilities. I don't believe it will. Even the Special Olympics Board understands the power of the entertainment industry to influence. When will the general public, especially teens, finally accept the facts?

Among the issues of assault on morality and decency are the many uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, the two uses (though one was muffled) of the most foul of the foul words [Col. 3:8] and a number of lies [Rev. 21:8], thus the zero score in Impudence/Hate (I).

The plethora of uses of God's name in vain (though all without the four letter expletive) plus one abuse of prayer were expensive to the Offense to God (O) score. [Deut. 5:11]

The loss of most of the starting 100 points in Sexual Immorality (S) was due mainly to sexually-oriented toilet humor, a vulgar gesture and innuendo. A "gaggle" of men dancing in a steam room wearing only towels did not help the Sexual Immorality score either. In towels only? How is that an offense? Aside from the impure nature of it by God's Word, if you were to try doing that, say, in the main hall of a shopping mall, the sheriff or local police would explain why. "Well, the main hall of a shopping center is not the big screen!" Well, both are places are equally available to the public. [Eph. 5:3]

Regarding the MPAA's use of "drug reference" in their classification of this film as PG-13, I found one. I did, however, find a number of bars shown with people holding alcoholic beverages. Strange as it may seem, not in one case did I see anyone take a drink of booze, as if that is supposed to excuse exhibiting alcoholic beverages in a film targeted at youth. [Eph. 5:18]

Please consider inspecting closely the listing in the Findings/Scoring section of this report before deciding whether this film is fit for your family.


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.


  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars -their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
  • 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.]
  • Eph. 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. [If you disagree that dancing in towels only before minor children is impure, talk to Jesus about it.]
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. ["Wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. This issue is do not get intoxicated. 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. A study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) has found an undeniable link between the presentation of alcoholic beverages and tobacco in and as entertainment and abuse of them by adolescents. And teaching/causing youth to abuse alcohol/tobacco (or drugs) by emboldening youth with them in and as entertainment invokes Luke 17:2. If alcoholic beverages in entertainment were not a problem for our young, why would there be and why has there been such a push to get and keep booze commercials off prime time broadcast TV?]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want 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 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 [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] 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 - 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. "Little ones": mikros - little;, small of age; younger which can include at-home teens].
  • 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.

    The Ringer (2005) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • gore - amputated fingers
  • strong-arming
  • beating, twice
  • fixing of sports activity for gain
  • gambling
  • extortion

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 20 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • two uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • lies, repeatedly, the entire story built on deceit

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • toilet humor, repeatedly
  • sexual innuendo, repeatedly, some vulgar
  • crotch hit, repeatedly
  • group of men dancing in towels only
  • offer of homosexual sex

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • bar, repeatedly
  • booze, repeatedly
  • smoking, once but many scenes of chewing a stogie

    Offense to God (O)
  • abuse of prayer
  • eight uses of God's name in vain but all without the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

  • Christian Educators Association International



    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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