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(2006), PG-13 [PG-13*] (2hr 00min)

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
August 7, 2006
60 out of 100

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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.

(2006), PG-13 [PG-13*] -- We will never forget.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Paramount Pictures, Double Feature Films, Intermedia Films
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Oliver Stone
Producer(s): Moritz Borman, Chantal Feghali, Norman Golightly, Debra Hill, Donald J. Lee Jr., Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Oliver Stone
Written by: Andrea Berloff, John McLoughlin, Donna McLoughlin, William Jimeno, Allison Jimeno
Cinematography/Camera: Seamus McGarvey
Music: Craig Armstrong
Film Editing: David Brenner, Julie Monroe
Casting: Kerry Barden, Billy Hopkins, Shalimar Reodica, Paul Schnee, Suzanne Smith, Mary Vernieu
Production Design: Jan Roelfs
Art Direction: Richard L. Johnson
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

World Trade Center  is a quasi-documentary written by a few knowledgeable people with first-hand experience with the 9-11 disaster including John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno, two NYPD officers who survived burial under the resulting rubble of the collapse of the World Trade Center.

Sergeant McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage), officer Jimeno (Michael Pena) and a number of other officers began procedures when the building they were to evacuate started to collapse. At the direction of Sergeant McLoughlin the team of officers, now in the concourse between the two towers of the World Trade Center, dove into an area near an elevator shaft because of the higher structural integrity. Of McLoughlin's team of officers, three survived the collapse. Sergeant McLoughlin, Will and another officer whose name I did not catch were now trapped and unable to escape entombment. The third officer was able to work himself free until subsequent collapsing re-trapped him, this time mortally wounding him.

Through courage, faith and determination, John and Will hang on to life for a long time. But before long, water became a matter of life and death. Will's faith was so strong that he envisioned Jesus appearing to him twice, each time with a bottle of water. Will interpreted that to mean he and John were to hang in there, that help was on its way. And help came. But too late for the third officer of McLoughlin's team. Knowing he was going to die anyway, he killed himself to avoid dying in entrapment.

Since this report is being posted prior to the first showing I will not discuss the story in any greater detail. This film is about the murder of nearly 3,000 people that took us to war, ultimately focusing on the misery of two of the heroes and, as in Ladder 49, adds dimension by bringing the focal characters' families and family life into the picture.

What this film has to say to you should be left to the silence of your own thoughts if you decide to see it.

In accordance with analyses of films comprising our comparative baseline database, with a final score of 60 out of 100 World Trade Center  is equivalent to a middle-of-the-road PG-13. Not a "hardcore" PG-13. Not a "lite" PG-13. Just a middle-of-the-road PG-13. And it is PG-13 only because of the level of foul language and violence. Both the investigation areas of Wanton Violence/Crime (W) and Impudence/Hate (I), primarily due to language [Col. 3:8], revealed content equivalent to some R-rated films. The other four CAP investigation areas found content equivalent to PG-13 and less severe ratings.

Often accompanying the "PG-13" label is heavy use of the three/four letter word vocabulary, of sexually immoral behaviors and underage drinking. While World Trade Center  is indeed heavy in foul language, the only nudity is that which is seen of a man through steamed shower doors. While there are two instances of a man and a woman in bed together (two pair of stage husband and wife), no intercourse or associated nudity were noted. The reason this is brought up is that, though it is not sinful for a husband and wife to be engaged in intimate affairs, it is for a man and a woman not married. None of the actors/actresses were married to each other. The only content Drugs/Alcohol found was the brother of Will drinking a beer while awaiting word about his brother. And while it is not sinful to drink, it is sinful to get drunk which the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the University of Connecticut have found can be the result of teens watching drinking in and as entertainment.

While Jesus forgives sin if we are humble enough to ask in faith believing, nothing excuses sin or the causing others to sin because of our own. [Rom. 5:19] Especially children. [Luke 17:2] Though one might expect the language used by the heroes and victims of the WTC disaster to be harsh, it is still sin to speak foul no matter the "justification" to do so. And "acting" does not excuse the demonstration of sin. Further, the bedroom lives of the heroes and their wives is just that ... their bedroom lives and none of our business. As display of drinking and drunkenness in and as entertainment can cause alcohol abuse by our youth, so can the display of sexual intimacy embolden youth to experiment and do likewise.

As is to be expected regarding the vicious evil that threw us into war, intense violence and peril are inherent with the topic. Whatever "justification" the filmmakers had to present in such graphic detail these matters in their accounting of the 9-11 act of war and the murder of nearly 3,000 people, we tell you about it, hopefully before you see it if so that you might be in a better position to make an informed decision whether you want your 13 year old kids subjected to this almost-documentary form of entertainment.

This film gives some perspective to the old adage "There are no atheists in foxholes." We might now change that to "There are no atheists in rubble tombs." Of the thousands of victims of the 9-11 disaster that threw us into war, 2749 died and 20 were rescued. NYC Officers John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno were 18 and 19.

We will never forget.


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 (injurious speech), and filthy language [aischrologia: foul speaking, low and obscene speech] from your lips.
  • Rom. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
  • 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 and not abuse the body. 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 such as underage drinking. 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 and arrogance/defiance with 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 is there and why has there been such a push to get and keep booze commercials off prime time broadcast TV? Even the University of Connecticut corroborates the ACP finding.]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • 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, pay for 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.)

    World Trade Center (2006) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • victim falling to death
  • injury gore, repeatedly, some intense and graphic
  • disaster peril of varying intensities, repeatedly
  • instances of many deaths
  • terror situations of varying intensities, repeatedly
  • rescue peril of varying intensities, repeatedly

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 22 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • one use of the most foul of the foul words
  • adolescent defiance of mother's instruction

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • man in shower visible through steamed door
  • adult in underwear
  • prostitute
  • man and woman snuggling in bed, two times

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking, twice
  • drinking, once

    Offense to God (O)
  • eleven uses of God's name in vain, two with the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • suicide to avoid dying while trapped

  • 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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