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


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Rollerball (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: February 8, 2002
CAP Score: 16
CAP Influence Density: 2.92

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NOTE: 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.

ROLLERBALL* (PG-13) -- earned a CAP final score of 16! That makes it hardcore R-13!

Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn Mayer
Director(s): John McTiernan
Producer(s): Kristen Branan, John McTiernan, Charles Roven, Beau St. Clair, Michael Tadross Written by/Screenplay: Larry Ferguson, John Pogue, William Harrison (short story, 1975 screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Steve Mason
Music: Eric Serra
Editing: John Wright

Chris Klein (Jonathan Cross), Jean Reno, (Alexi Petrovich), LL Cool J (Marcus Ridley), Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (Aurora )

This futuristic hodgepodge of color and crime mixes fantasy with ... ? What did it have to say? It said something about an extreme sports participant getting mixed up in foreign rollerball busting up a cruel criminal operation by winning the hearts of the other players. Something like that anyway.

The movie opens up with Jonathan Cross (Chris Klein) skate boarding prone down the famous hill streets of San Francisco without regard for any damage or for injury to himself or others. After wreaking havoc with the traffic, several stores and a countless number of pedestrians, Cross gets recruited by Marcus Ridley (LL Cool J) to play rollerball for Asian gamers. Crooked as a cow path, the owner Alexi Petrovich (Jean Reno) and his dogs milk the sport for as much money as they can get. Whatever the cost. Whether monetary or human.

The object of the game was to catch a seven pound (I think) steel ball and slam it into a gong hard enough to set off the pyros (showers of sparks) announcing the point won. The track is a striped figure eight which invites more of a human demolition derby than a roller derby. And all advantage was taken of that configuration to wreak violence and aggression. In the last heat, all rules were suspended. Note that the murder count in the Findings/Scoring listing is quite probably inaccurate since action was so fast that mechanisms which would typically be fatal could not be determined as fatal since action scenes evaporated quickly into the next scene and sequences. Thus, a plethora of "violence in sports" line items. PG-13?

Rollerball was an extremely violent movie [Ps. 11:5]. It was filled with the full spectrum of foul language [Prov. 8:13]. It was replete with sexual issues, some bold such as nudity and intercourse (genitals unseen) with some coy such as innuendo [Rev. 21:8]. There was also drinking, drunkenness [Rom. 13:13], dope and tobacco smoking [1Cor. 6:19].

During verification and validation of the CAP analysis model, G-rated movies earned CAP final scores of 100 to 87 out of 100. PG earned scores of 86 to 68. PG-13 movies earned scores from 67 to 55 out of 100 with R-rated movies earning scores of 54 and below. Reliably. Consistently. Rollerball earned a CAP final score of 16! That makes it hardcore R-13! The score was earned under the same model using the same investigation standards in the same computer using the same application programmed with the same code conducted by the same investigator (even with all setting on and at the same desk) that generated the scores of each of the other 536 movies.

All this for your 13 year old kids (and younger). What was the MPAA thinking!? If I were a betting man, I'd be willing to wager that the MPAA will evaporate within five years. It is already useless as a trustworthy source of guidance in light of their sliding with popular ethics.

Please read the listing in the Findings/Scoring section for a full accounting of the ignominy in this movie.


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.

  • Ps. 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. [Soul: nephesh {neh'-fesh} - in this sense, appetite, desire, passion; each of which speaks to behavior, choices]
  • Prov. 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
  • 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], and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • Rev. 22:15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. [I realize Rev 21:8 and 22:15 sound rather harsh, but I did not write them. God did. Argue with Him if you don't believe them.]
  • Rom. 13:13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
  • 1Cor. 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; [In other words, don't abuse your body]

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 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 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.

    Rollerball (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • illegal street sports with much risk to participant and bystanders
  • traffic injury and property damage caused by illegal street sport
  • driving without consideration of th esafety and property of others
  • violence in extreme sports, repeatedly, at least 28 discernable instances in less than 91 minutes
  • male/female fighting
  • nearly fatal injury by aggression
  • reckless vehicular endangerment with property damage, repeatedly
  • reckless driving, repeatedly
  • traffic fatalities
  • theft with beating
  • mob rule with destruction, twice
  • assault
  • firearms and firearm threats
  • firearm deaths
  • attempted abduction
  • rigging arena structure to fail causing injury
  • blood
  • tale of murder
  • attempted murder, repeatedly, many with firearms
  • bartering with human lives
  • planned corruption

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 41 uses of the three/foru letter word vocabualry
  • three uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • background song wtih foul language and sex talk
  • tattoos, many
  • vulgar gestures
  • lie in media
  • additional lies
  • punk music
  • "no rules" anarchy
  • lie to cover up murder

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • sex talk, comments, innuendo
  • inappropriate touch
  • breif nudity, repeatedly
  • males and females in the same locker room, repeatedly
  • women in underwear
  • dressing to maximize feamle form and/or skin exposure, repeatedly
  • request for sexual favor and offers of
  • barroom brief dress
  • woman placing man's face on her nude chest
  • intercourese (genitals unseen)
  • dancing in towels only
  • camera angle to force viewer on private parts

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking
  • drinking
  • drunkenness
  • smoking drugs
  • revelry

    Offense to God (O)(2):
    six uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and six without

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • gunfire murder (and, though not computed into the scoring, likely many derby murders)

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. 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.

    "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 nearly seven 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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    (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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