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(2012), PG-13 [PG-13*] (132min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
May 4, 2012
May 5, 2012
Modified 5/16/12

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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.

(2012), PG-13 [PG-13*] -- the CAP Analysis Model proved me wrong ... again

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Marvel Studios presents, Paramount Pictures in association with Albuquerque Studios
Distribution (US): Walt Disney Studios
Director(s): Joss Whedon
Producer(s): Victoria Alonso, Avi Arad, Louis D'Esposito, Jon Favreau, Kevin Feige, Alan Fine, Jeremy Latcham, Stan Lee, Patricia Whitcher
Written by: Zak Penn, Joss Whedon
Screenplay by: Joss Whedon
Comic Book by: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
Cinematography/Camera: Seamus McGarvey
Music: Alan Silvestri
Film Editing: Jeffrey Ford, Lisa Lassek
Casting: Sarah Finn, Randi Hiller
Production Design: James Chinlund
Art Direction: Benjamin Edelberg, Jann K. Engel, Gregory S. Hooper, Billy Hunter, Richard L. Johnson, Randy Moore
Viewed at Showbiz Cinemas

The CAP Analysis Model has proven its worth ... again. By its worth I mean in this case maintaining objectivity and not letting the opinions of the investigator affect the scoring. When finished viewing the film I though to myself "Self, I didn't know a filmmaker could put that much violence in a 2.2 hour film. This film has got to be another R-13 if only because of the saturation of it with violence." Well, after crunching the numbers I found the CAP Analysis Model proved me wrong ... again. The final score for The Avengers is 58 out of 100. Films rated PG-13 in the comparative baseline database of film analyses earned final scores from 55 to 67 out of 100. The Avengers is indeed not another R-13 but rather earned a PG-13 equivalent final score, a rather low PG-13 equivalent score but a PG-13 equivalent score nonetheless. The Wanton Violence/Crime content investigation area score of zero out of 100 is certainly R-equivalent but the final score, the average of the six investigation area scores, is PG-13 equivalent. By the way, the Impudence/Hate content investigation area score is also R-equivalent but all four of the other area scores are PG-13 equivalent, PG-equivalent or G-equivalent.

Therein is one of the truly unique features of the CAP Analysis Model. The distribution of scoring over the six CAP Investigation Areas reveals where any concentration of assaults on morality and wholesome ethics lie. Noting the scoring distribution revealed by the CAP thermometer scoring display shows this film is intensely thick with violence, is relatively heavy with profanity (incorporated into the scoring by the Impudence/Hate area), is moderately exhibitionistic with sexually oriented displays, presents alcohol/drug content worthy of somber parental attention, is comparatively light in abuse of God's name and portrays murder and/or suicide. This provides a perfect pre-viewing content tour for parents, grandparents and anyone else with children in their charge. Note that "children" includes at-home teens.

The Avengers consist of the Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Captain America (Chris Evans), the archer Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Ingrid Johansson). I am quite a few years out of comic books but I thought there were more to The Avengers and did not include Hawkeye and Black Widow. No matter. These six provided quite enough for the story.

The Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division), Colonel Nick Furry (Samuel Jackson) activates and mobilizes The Avengers to do battle with renegade exiled Norse "god", Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Loki, the brother of Thor, both sons of Odin, plans to steal an extemely powerful and long-lasting source of energy called the Tesseract and give it to the Chitauri, an alien race Loki met during his exile who are bent on conquering the galaxy, in exchange for their help in bringing the human race to its knees for Loki. Using the Tesseract, Loki opens a portal for the Chitauri and the battle for the very existence of the human race begins.

There is little benefit in summarizing the plot and story any further since today is the opening day for the film and to do so would spoil the film too much. I am, however, going to reveal the extent of the assaults on morality and wholesome ethics in spite of the risk of spoiling some of the film.

ADDENDUM: Please note that since the original publication of this report two instances of assault on morality and wholesome ethics which were missed have been incoporated into the scoring. The instances of assault are one in Drugs.Alcohol and one in Offense to God. These two instances changed the scoring slightly. This modified report, modified on May 16, 2012 includes the scoring changes. The final score of 58 is still in the range of scores earned by PG-13 movies.


Following are brief discussions of the content per individual content investigation area. As always the Findings section of this report, the heart of the CAP Analysis Model, is the best source for discovering the full accounting of the content of this film.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
The violence content of The Avengers comes chiefly in frequent action violence, some brutal and some with deaths. No gore is noted but many episodes of action violence include graphic display indeed, such as the through-impalement of SHIELD Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) with a spear/scepter by Loki. Other examples of violence include frequent gunfire to kill, nearly constant alien weapon fire to kill, a gun battle between humans, a descriptive tale of attempted suicide and more. Please inspect thoroughly the listing in the Findings section before you decide for what age stratum, if any, this film is fit.

The violence content of The Avengers is clearly more than enough to warrant reminding mom/dad about God's Word regarding the influence of violence. God warns us of the influence of violence dozens of times from the Old Testament to the New Testament but Proverb 16:29 puts the issue rather succinct. In Proverb 16:29 God warns that violence is "catching": that it can lead one into the way that is not good. In addition to God "publishing His findings" about the influence of violence, four professional public health agencies has published findings which warn that viewing violence in and as entertainment can, among other things, lead the viewer, especially the young, into real life violence and can lead the viewer to believe violence is an effective means of settling conflict. Whom else needs to warn us about the influence of violence in and as entertainment before we start to believe it?

Impudence/Hate (I) - 34 out of 100
Thirteen times someone spews one or more of the three/four letter word vocabulary. One time what is claimed to be a British slang term of vulgarity which I will not explain was used. [Col. 3:8, Eph. 5:4] While none of them were the most foul of the foul words, 13 uses of profanity says more through an attitude of impunity, self-appointed absolution from accountability, than the words themselves. Additional matters of impudence and/or hatred include planning the extinction of the human race, forcing it into submission, lies and a brother stabbing his brother. [Rom. 12:18]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 65 out of 100
Johansson is repeatedly seen with the zipper of her uniform top unzipped in clear excess of a functional position. In other words, having her zipper unzipped so far was clearly intentional and clearly to entice. A number of times the camera and/or the pose of the character in focus was configured to force the viewer on private parts. Several times attention to the form-fitting uniforms of the women SHIELD agents was clearly intentional. Once the posterior of Evans through a sweat suit was displayed. Now to the most graphic of the sexually immoral display in this film. [1 Tim. 2:9]

Note that the following discussion is rather graphic but if your kids watch the film they will see it. Ruffalo, who played The Hulk is seen completely nude in two scenes. His genitals are conveniently hidden by his legs but he is nude and a crotch view is displayed. The "excuse" of the filmmakers to display such vulgarity in and as entertainment is likely that the Hulk, when he shrinks back to normal, would not have clothing that fit. Well, if such is "excusable" how and why did the Hulk find clothing large enough to fit his enlarged form that was previously covered by smaller clothing? It is adamantly obvious the filmmakers used this configuration of "excuses" to show nudity in a PG-13.

So what makes the display of nudity a sin? One might try to excuse nudity in and as entertainment with the argument that there is nudity portrayed in many Bibles and on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Let me remind those who would try such an argument that God did not put the nudity in the Bible nor on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Man did. God speaks darkly of "nakedness" 47 times in the KJV from Genesis to Revelation. He even warned the priests to not climb the steps to an alter lest the wind expose their nakedness to the people below [Exod. 20:26].

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 77 out of 100
In 2002 the American College of Physicians (ACP) found that adolescent exposure to drinking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to abuse of alcohol among underage viewers. The report entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% of the youths were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted in their entertainment diets. Within the ACP study population, the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was

  • 46% for those with no viewing restrictions
  • 16% for those with partial viewing restrictions
  • four percent for those with complete viewing restrictions. [Eph. 5:18]

    This film demonstrates alcoholic beverage and drinking of it. Finally, Iron Man suggests to Dr. Banner that he have a "bag of weed."

    Offense to God (O) - 95 out of 100
    While there is sci-fi action that would mimic levitation and creation of energy, there is no presence of Satanism, occultism, witchcraft or the like in this film. But God's name is abused once. And once is once too many. [Deut. 5:11]. The film (and the comic) depends heavily on polytheism through embracing Norse gods. [1 Tim. 2:5]

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 70 out of 100
    There is much killing portrayed in this film but defensive killing, acts of war or police action or attempts at murder/suicide are incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime content investigation area. There are, however, acts of murder portrayed: murder by gunfire, murder by arrow (two) and murder by spear/scepter.



    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.


  • 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 "fantasy" or "justified" the violence might seem, and its "leading" effect on the observer. "A violent man" can be any character of any age, any gender, human or not 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 the 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. Their findings include:
    --> Children who see a lot of violence are more likely to view violence as an effective way of settling conflicts. Children exposed to violence are more likely to assume the acts of violence are acceptable behavior.
    --> Viewing violence can lead to emotional desensitization towards violence in real life. It can decease the likelihood that one will take action on behalf of a victim when violence occurs.
    --> Entertainment violence feeds a perception that the world is a violent and mean place. Viewing violence increases fear of becoming a victim of violence, with a resultant increase in self-protective behavior and a mistrust of others.
    --> Viewing violence may lead to real life violence. Children exposed to violent programming at a young age have a higher tendency for violent and aggressive behavior later in life than children who are not so exposed.
    Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off [rid yourself of] all these; anger, wrath, malice [kakia: ill-will, desire to injure, wickedness, depravity, evil, trouble, not ashamed to break laws, etc.], blasphemy [blasphemia: impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty], filthy communication [aischrologia:foul speaking, low and obscene speech] out of your mouth.
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • Rom. 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
  • 1 Tim. 2:9 I also want women to dress modestly, ... [And what is fair for the goose is fair for the gander. This verse applies to men as much as it applies to women.]
  • Exod. 20:26 And do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [Since "drunk" is methusko {meth-oos'-ko}: to intoxicate; make drunk; to get drunk; become intoxicated, "wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not abuse the body by intoxicating it [1 Cor. 6:19]. 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.]
  • 1 Cor. 6:19 - 20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
  • 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 in slang or profanity. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or responsible discussion and in praise and prayer is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name or title even if as a euphemism. So, trying to excuse such expressions with "I was talking TO God/Jesus when I said that" or "It's just words" or "I was acting" will not work with Him. Nor will "Everybody says that" excuse the sin of using His name in vain. If everyone on the planet who has ever drawn a breath used His name in vain, it would still be a sin to do so. If no one ever did, it would still be a sin to do so. Whether we believe it or not. Whether we like it or not. Whether we care or not.]
  • 1 Tim. 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

    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 when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend what is vile, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to 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 [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.)

    The Avengers (2012) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • action violence of varying intensities, some strong, nearly constant
  • physical assault, repeatedly, some severe
  • gunfire to kill, frequent
  • reckless driving to flee/pursue
  • sci-fi weapon fire to kill, nearly constant
  • abduction with bondage
  • firearms to control, repeatedly
  • attempted murder, repeatedly
  • tales of evil, terror, gore, repeatedly
  • descriptive tale of attempted suicide
  • gun battle
  • fall death

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 34 out of 100
  • 13 uses of profanity with one masked plus one use of foreign vulgarity
  • planning extinction of the human race
  • lie by adolescent
  • lie by adult
  • display and speech of intense hatred
  • knife stab of brother by brother

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 65 out of 100
  • camera angle/pose to force viewer on private parts, repeatedly
  • excessively unzipped uniform top on female, repeatedly
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, repeatedly
  • full male nudity (genitals unseen), two scenes

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 77 out of 100
  • booze, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • offer of alcohol
  • "I'll have that drink now"
  • suggestion to have a "bag of weed"

    Offense to God (O) - 95 out of 100
  • one abuse of God's name without the four letter expletive
  • polytheism

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 70 out of 100
  • murder by gunfire
  • murder by arrow, two
  • murder by spear/scepter

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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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    * CAP Equivalence to MPAA Rating Scale:
    Please note our new manner of indicating a film's Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating in comparison with the CAP equivalence such as "PG-13 [R-13]." The first term is the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) rating. The second term [in brackets] indicates that which the film earned under the CAP analysis model. In the example, "PG-13 [R-13]" indicates the MPAA rated the film PG-13 but the film earned a CAP final score in the scoring range earned by R-rated movies in the comparative baseline database. Other comparative terms used might be "PG [13-PG]", "G [PG-G] or even 'PG-13 [PG]" as was the case for Alien vs Predator. I doubt there will ever be a "G [R]" used, but only time will tell. The CAP analysis model is Rock-solid. The MPAA is not.

    The current CAP to MPAA** nomenclature is:

    For G rated Films with
    G equivalence: G
    PG equivalence: PG-G
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-G
    R equivalence: R-G<
    For PG rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-PG
    PG equivalence: PG
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-PG
    R equivalence: R-PG
    For PG-13 rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-13
    PG equivalence: PG(13)
    PG-13 equivalence: PG-13
    R equivalence: R-13
    For R rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-R
    PG equivalence: PG-R
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-R
    R equivalence: R
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    R equivalence: R-NR
    ** G, PG, PG-13 and R are registered trademarks of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

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