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(2010), PG-13 [R-13*] (1hr 22.5min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
February 17, 2011
February 18, 2011

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2010), PG [R-13*] ... The TVGuardian unit changed this film from a R-13 to a PG-equivalent.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Canal+ España, Instituto de Crédito Oficial, Ministerio de Cultura, Telecinco Cinema, Telecinco (participation), Televisión Española, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Prospect Park, Scott Free Productions, Firm Films, Millbrook Farm Productions
Distribution (US): Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Director(s): Tony Scott
Producer(s): Skip Chaisson, Chris Ciaffa, Jeff Kwatinetz, Eric McLeod, Mimi Rogers, Diane L. Sabatini, Tony Scott, Adam Somner, Lee Trink, Julie Yorn, Rick Yorn, Alex Young
Writing Credits: Mark Bomback
Cinematography/Camera: Ben Seresin
Music: Harry Gregson-Williams
Film Editing: Robert Duffy, Chris Lebenzon
Casting: Denise Chamian
Production Design: Chris Seagers
Art Direction: Julian Ashby, Drew Boughton, Dawn Swiderski
Viewed at: Fox Home Entertainment DVD

I greatly enjoy this CAP analysis model. It reveals so much.

Due to its content, Unstoppable earned a final score of 45 out of 100. R-rated films in the comparative baseline database earned final scores of 54 and below. Forty-five is definitely less than 54 even if I do the math. That indicates this film is definitely equivalent to R-rated films, making it a R-13.

As revealed by the scores of zero in each of three of the six CAP Investigation Areas: in Wanton Violence/Crime (W); in Impudence/Hate (I) (which includes profanity); in Offense to God (O), there is clearly as much violence and profanity and abuse of God's name in Unstoppable as in R-rated films.

Using the "some language" in the "PG-13 for sequences of action and peril, and some language", I am going to use the findings of the Impudence/Hate (which includes the three/four letter word vocabulary) and the Offense to God (which includes abuse of His name) investigation areas to make a point about the film content.

If all the uses of profanity and all the abuses of God's name were left out of this production, the final score would have been 76 and that would place this film right in the middle of the scoring range earned by PG-rated films (68 to 86 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database! And having seen Unstoppable both with and without all the profanity and uses of God's name in vain I can tell you that there is no cinematic need of the language impurities. They do not add to the power of the film, the story or anything related to entertainment. Unstoppable is a dynamic and forceful production all on its own without any "help" from cussing. The director, Tony Scot is good enough at putting the power of the film where it should be ... in the visuals and sound effects. The bottom line? With all the "filthy language" [Col. 3:8] Unstoppable is a R-equivalent film. Without it Unstoppable is a PG-equivalent film. Following is a comparative scoring distribution display of the content of Unstoppable with and without the "filthy language":

"PG-13 for sequences of action and peril, and some language." "Some language" indeed.

Just to further the point of eliminating the "filthy language", take a look at the Influence Density (ID) scores. First let me explain that the developmental baseline database revealed the following ranges for ID scores over the four MPAA ratings:

  • G: 0.00 to 0.23
  • PG: 0.24 to 0.54
  • PG-13: 0.55 to 0.77
  • R: 0.78 to 2.04

    The higher the ID figure the more dense the ignominious content (the more instances of assault on wholesome morality and decency within a given length of time). For the version without the foul language the ID score is 0.68. For the version with the foul language the ID score is 1.95. This represents a 287% increase of assaults on morality in the version with the foul language over the version without it. This is all not to mention God's position of condemning "filthy communications" and of abusing His name. And since little ones are permitted, according to the MPAA, to view this film, Luke 17:2 has some woe for the people who cause the little ones to sin (if only by example). "You say 'little ones' are permitted!?" Yes, since 13 year old children are "little ones", too. As used in Luke 17:2 "little ones" is mikros meaning less by birth, younger. All of your children are "less by birth" than you. All of them are younger. So, "little ones" includes at-home teens, the most easily influenced, morally malleable age stratum. Since we are accountable to God, we are likewise accountable to His Word. Even more, we are accountable to God whether we believe it or not. Whether we like it or not. Whether we care or not. Whether we are 13 or 103. In other words, being adult does not excuse cussing. It is just as sinful for someone 103 years old to cuss as it is for someone 13 years old. That includes the performers. I do not like to put it so bluntly but just because "everyone" cusses does not excuse it. That you hear others cussing does not make it okay for you to cuss. If one has cussed before, it does not excuse cussing again -- the first time of a sin does not excuse the second, nor the third, nor the thousandth. Nor does the thousandth excuse the first. Nor does the freedom of speech excuse cussing. By the way, the freedom of speech had nothing to do with profanity ... not until ten ex-hippies in long robes ruptured the meaning of the freedom of speech. One day the ten ex-hippies in long robes will realize that the freedom of speech no more gives us the right to cuss than the freedom of expression gives us the right to epose our privates in public. Enough of the sermon.

    I said above that I have seen Unstoppable both with and without the profanity and abuses of God's name. "How?" you might say to yourself. Since you've asked I'll tell you. I watched it twice. I watched it once by passing it through a TVGuardian curse-free filter and noted there were a lot of moments where the TVGuardian had filtered out words. Then I watched it again but without the TVGuardian filter to inarguably gather all the data necessary to prepare this analysis report. The TVGuardian was 100% effective at eliminating the 55 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary and all 21 uses of God's name. Eliminating all the foul language and abuses of God's name increased the Impudence/Hate score from zero to 84 and the Offense to God score from zero to 100! The TVGuardian unit changed this film from a R-13 to a PG-equivalent.

    Twenty-eight year locomotive engineer Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington) is close to retirement ... forced early retirement from the AWVR train company, two weeks from forced early retirement with half benefits. Will Colson (Chris Pine) is brand new, four months out of training and not well received by the senior employees who are typically replaced early by new hires such as Colson. Together Barnes and Colson must make a run in train #1206 to pick up 20 cars and deliver them to another yard.

    As Barnes and Colson embark on their run, Dewey (Ethan Suplee) pilots train number 777, or "Triple 7" out of the yard to a different track to make room for 150 school children who will soon arrive for a field day on a train. Dewey powers up Triple 7 in order to move it out of the way. Triple 7 has 39 cars attached to it, a consist of a half mile of cars, making it a slow mover. So Dewey powers up the train to full power and it slowly starts to move. Noticing a track switch is in the wrong position Dewey jumps out of the cab to change the switch to the correct position. But the train has picked up speed too fast for Dewey to make it back into the cab. Now Triple 7 is a runaway train, headed for Stanton, PA with its high population and oil storage tanks as a target for the bullet train. After failed attempts to stop and even derail the train, it becomes Barnes' and Colson's job to stop it ... stop it by chasing it in 1206 and hooking up to it to drag it down.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
    As the MPAA label suggests, this film is thick with action violence and peril but none of the violence is against anyone. There is only one injury with blood when Will gets his foot pinched in a coupling knuckle between an engine and a train car. There are no assaults or fighting, no guns whatsoever and no stabbings or slicings. It is all what one of our readers described as "clean violence." Nevertheless, it is violence and it can take its toll on the decision-making skills of the observer as God warns in 1 Cor.15:33 and Prov. 16:29.

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
    In the unfiltered version of Unstoppable there is some form of the three/four letter word vocabulary 40.0 times per hour. Even if the one lie and the three vulgar gestures were left out of the scoring calculations this investigation area score would still be zero because of all the uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary. God has much to say to condemn foul language. One of the things He has to say about using foul language is found in Col. 3:8. Another is in Prov. 13:3. Another is in Prov. 22:11. Another is in Prov. 8:13. Another is in Prov. 17:20. Another is in .......

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 72 out of 100
    The sexually immoral matters noted were the several uses of sexual/anatomical euphemisms, the adult (Pine) in underwear and the camera angle to force the viewer onto private parts scantily clothed. No one gets in bed with anyone the entire 82.5 minutes of the film which is quite atypical of most PG-13 films nowadays. But the crudeness of mind expressed in the cinematic display of the above issues in and as entertainment is not acceptable to our Lord. [Eph. 5:4]

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 100 out of 100
    No instances of possession of illegal drugs, alcohol or tobacco nor abuses of prescription drugs were noted.

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
    Along with the 40.0 uses per hour of the three/four letter word vocabulary, God's name is abused 15.3 times per hour, thus stealing all of the starting 100 points in this investigation area. So, between the three/four letter word vocabulary and the abuse of God's name there are 55.3 language assaults per hour in this film, an average of nearly once per minute. God is not happy with abuse of His name. So much so that he warns that s/he who chooses to abuse His name will not be held guiltless. [Deut, 5:11] But there are no other examples of content that fit into this investigation area. No examples of moral offenses such as cultism, occultism, witchcraft, sorcery, Satan worship and the like.

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
    There were murders or suicides noted.


    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 [kakia: ill-will, desire to injure, wickedness, depravity, evil, trouble, not ashamed to break laws, etc.], and filthy language [aischrologia: foul speaking, low and obscene speech] from your lips.
  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. [The issue is the violence, the 'way that is not good' no matter how "small" or "justified" the violence might seem, and its "leading" effect on the observer. "A violent man" ["man" here is enowsh {en-oshe"}: man (collective), mortal, person, mankind; contracted for iysh {eesh}: whosoever, each] can be any character of any age, any gender, human or not since the cinematic display is at the hands men and women, in the act of committing (demonstrating in the case of entertainment) violent behavior/action whether for good or evil or the violent behaviors/actions themselves. Such exposure can and does embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. It took years for American professional health community to finally affirm, probably without knowing it, that which God told us in 1 Cor. 15:33 below. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • Prov. 13:3 He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.
  • Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
  • Prov. 8:13 The fear [yirah: respect, reverence, piety] of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. ["Froward" is tahpukah: perversity, perverse thing. "Perverse" is iqqesh: aside from the right path, corrupt, twisted, distorted, crooked. "Froward mouth" then includes perverse, profane (bebelos: unhallowed, ungodly) speech. And arrogance is what emboldens and propels one to use profane speech. If you would like to understand "Fear of God" please visit our Fear of God publication. You do not have to be afraid of God to fear Him.]
  • Prov 17:20 He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • 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 in prayer, with respect or reverence or in responsible discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name or title. So, trying to excuse such expressions with "I was talking TO God/Jesus/Christ when I said that" or "It's just words" or "I was acting" or "I was quoting" will not work with God.]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • 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, 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 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] 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 one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto 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 {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; 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.]
  • 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.)

    Unstoppable (2010) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • reckless driving
  • child in peril near moving train
  • endangerment of 150 children
  • ignoring police commands
  • inattention while driving causing endangerment and property damage
  • sense of ever-building peril throughout
  • car/train collision
  • death by derailment
  • action peril and violence of varying intensities, repeatedly

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
  • 55 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • lie
  • vulgar gesture, repeatedly

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 72 out of 100
  • adult in underwear
  • sexual/anatomical euphemism, repeatedly
  • camera angle to force viewer on scantily dressed female private parts

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 100 out of 100
  • note noted

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • 21 uses of God's name in vain, 11 of them with the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
  • note noted

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    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 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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