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

The Rookie (2002), G
Analysis Date: March 16, 2002
CAP Score: 91
CAP Influence Density: 0.16

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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.

THE ROOKIE (G) -- ...also some righteous portrayals of the family.

Distributed by: Buena Vista, Walt Disney Pictures
Director(s): John Lee Hancock
Producer(s): Mark Ciardi, Gordon Gray, Mark Johnson, Philip Steuer
Written by/Screenplay: Mike Rich
Cinematography/Camera: John Schwartzman
Music: Carter Burwell
Editing: Eric L. Beason

In this "based on a true story", Jimmy Morris (Dennis Quaid) starts life as a military "brat." Dad's job keeps him hopping from house to house, not home to home. As soon as young Jimmy (Trevor Morgan) lands in a new location and starts playing for the local baseball league, his dad's job rips Jimmy up and drags him to a new location. Jimmy's dad, Jim Morris, Sr. (Brian Cox) doesn't seem all that concerned about young Jimmy having to pull up stakes and find a new ball club every time his dad's motor pool military job breaks up his routine. In fact, Jimmy Senior seems a little brutal about it.

The newest new location Jimmy has to plant roots is Big Lake, Texas. But ...but...but. There's no ball club there! About twenty five years later we see family man Jimmy (Quaid) still in Big Lake, Texas in what appears to be his late thirties as a high school Chemistry teacher being grabbed on the behind by one of the female teachers. This constitutes the first of the sexually immoral images in this movie with just five. Jimmy is a popular Chemistry teacher who has given up on a baseball career due to arm/shoulder injuries from what is suggested a couple times as from earlier efforts to go into baseball professionally. Jimmy is also coach for the ragtag baseball team of the high school that he apparently arranged.

After a while Jimmy ends up stepping up to the mound in practice, apparently because the pitchers weren't there. The catcher knows of Jimmy's past, of his fast ball pitch of about 80 miles per hour. A cocky batter comes up to plate taunting Jimmy -- The coach is going to play. Oh boy. This will be fun. Can you throw a ball, old man. With that the catcher "winks" to Jimmy and Jimmy nods his head. And the demonstration begins. The batter is duly humbled.

After a history of losing almost every game, Jimmy explains why the team doesn't win -- they give up on the field. Then one of the "upstart" players reminds Jimmy that he had given up, too. On baseball. And with an arm like his, he could certainly make it to the major leagues. Well, now! We have a challenge! The team agrees to make this a winning season IF Jimmy will try out for the major leagues. Reluctantly and after a little pondering about being manipulated, Jimmy agrees. IF they win the divisionals, he will try out. He wants the guys to win. Now begins the "meat" of the story, which I will leave to your discovery if you opt to watch this film. Since it has yet to open (today is March 20, 2002 and The Rookie opens March 22) I will not provide a "line-by-line" description of the plot and story as I often do.

Please consider reading the listing in the Findings/Scoring section. Though quite short in comparison to the listing of findings for most modern movies, it reveals for the Christian parent and grandparent the programming that may be unwanted by some. Note that though there are some sexual matters such as inappropriate touch and a man in bed with a woman (maybe the characters were married but the actor/actress were not)[1Ths. 4:2-5] and two uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary [2Tim. 2:16] plus a single use of God's name in vain (without the four letter expletive), the most loss of the starting 100 points in each of the six CAP investigation areas was in Drugs/Alcohol for drinking and bars [Prov. 20:1 Wine]. The Drugs/Alcohol content is the only reason for the yellow CAPAlert light instead of a grean light. And I was so disappointed. I was really hoping for this movie to get a green light. But 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 TV? *The Rookie* earned a final score of 91, making it clearly equivalent to a G-rated feature. And the influence density score, 0.16, was one of the lowest for a very long time. It may sound as though I am building up to a recommendation but I am not. I avoid making recommendations except in such extreme cases such as Dogma, South Park: BLU and others which are little more than a string of corruptive programming to the earnest Christian. Note also that there are also some righteous portrayals of the family in The Rookie.


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.

  • 1Ths. 4:2-5 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;
  • 2Tim. 2:16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
  • Prov. 20:1 Wine [beer, wine] is a mocker [to make scorn, make mouths at, talk arrogantly], strong drink [liquor] is raging [cause to be disquieted, be in an uproar]: and whosoever is deceived thereby [caused to go astray by it, believes otherwise] is not wise.

    *******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.

    TITLE (YEAR) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • none noted

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • uncaring father
  • two uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • pelvic thrust dance
  • marital argument

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • inappropriate touch, female to male posterior
  • man in bed with woman with no intimacy three times, once with obvious nudity (unseen)
  • men in locker room in towels only

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking, four times
  • bar with booze

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • a single use of God's name in vain but without the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

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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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