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ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

(2003), R

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
December 29, 2003
46 out of 100

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, 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.

(2003), R -- ... an in-depth look at romance waging war with war ...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Miramax Films, Bona Fide Productions, Mirage Enterprises
Distribution (US): Miramax Films
Director(s): Anthony Minghella
Producer(s): Steve E. Andrews, Albert Berger, Tim Bricknell, William Horberg, Bob Osher, Sydney Pollack, Iain Smith, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Ron Yerxa
Written by: Charles Frazier
Screenplay: Anthony Minghella
Cinematography/Camera: John Seale
Music: T-Bone Burnett, Jack White, Gabriel Yared
Film Editing: Walter Murch
Casting: Michelle Guish, Ronna Kress, David Rubin
Production Design: Dante Ferretti
Art Direction: Maria-Teresa Barbasso, Pier Luigi Basile, Alec Burnham, Robert Guerra, Christian Niculescu, Luca Tranchino

Continuing with attempts to reduce costs of this service, this Summary/Commentary is minimized. Though the Summary/Commentary is minimized (and it probably sounds minimized), the Findings/Scoring section is not minimized in the least.

In this adaptation of Charles Frazier's award winning novel, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renee Zelwegger and Donald Sutherland join with many support talents to portray love and romance amid the Civil War.

Inman (Jude Law), who had fallen in love with Ada Monroe (Nicole Kidman), daughter of Pastor Monroe (Donald Sutherland) who was relocated to Cold Mountain of North Carolina for health reasons, was drawn into the Civil War and taken away from Ada. Ada and Inman (Inman is the man's last name, he avoided giving his first name) met as Ada showed some interest in Inman while he and many other local men were building a new church. One of the local women told Ada that with her refined countenance and beauty she could "get" any of the local men. The local woman told Ada that she could even get any of them to clear the woman's "north-forty" stretch of land just by taking a glass of cider to him and mentioning the north-forty needed clearing. A few scenes after Ada took a glass of cider to Inman he was clearing the north-forty. Shortly after clearing the land, Inman leaves for the war. Months pass and no word.

Meanwhile, back at Cold Mountain, Pastor Monroe dies and leaves the farm to Ada. What to do? Enters now to help Ada is Ruby Thewes (Renee Zellweger), a hard-nosed, no nonsense straight-shootin' woman who takes no lip from no one who is the best thing that happened to the farm and, with her high energy presence, was quite probably best thing that happened to the movie.

Cold Mountain is an in-depth look at romance waging war with war and the depths to which a man might go to resume a love relationship when love is all that makes sense under the bizarre lunacy of war. It is also an in-depth speculation of the depths to which lifestyles could sink in the wake of war. Some battle aspects of the Civil War are portrayed with gruesome realism. But some aspects of war-ravaged life were inserted clearly just to feed modern "R" crowd tastes.

This movie does a good job of portraying the possible ravishments on daily life and personal ethics caused by war. But it is NOT war. It is a movie. And it uses many moral and ethical assault devices to do make its statement. Such moral assaults are not excused by war nor are they excused in and as entertainment.

I am certain Cold Mountain will be a strong contender for the movie awards, but then almost all winners are rated R anyway. I wonder what that says about the American entertainment diet? Or what that says about the ones who decide which movies get the awards?

Cold Mountain is a very violent movie with graphic sexual immorality with some foul language thrown in, "justified" of course by the R rating. Does that mean "R" excuses the sin of demonstrating sin or of drawing pleasure or example of deed or thought from it? I am afraid not. Some of the demonstrations of sin seemed to scrape up some of the bilge from the very bottom of the human heart. Including atrocities to a baby [Matt. 18:10]. And rape.

Foul language [Col. 3:8] and God's name in vain (all without the four letter expletive)[Deut. 5:11] are actually used less that the typical PG-13 movie but fewer does not make each use less sinful. The first time of a sin does not excuse the second. Nor does the second excuse the third ... nor the thousandth. Nor does the thousandth excuse the first. Sexual immorality in Cold Mountain is exceptionally vulgar with one of the backwoods man using his family women as prostitutes [Lev. 19:29; Rev. 22:15]. Sexual immorality included adultery with a married woman (Natalie Portman), offering sex for money and intercourse with nudity. [Hebr. 13:4] And, of course, a preacher (Philip Seymour Hoffman) was presented as deeply immoral, counterfeiting Scriptures to justify his immoral deeds [Rom. 16:18].

Please consider inspecting in detail the listing in the Findings/Scoring section and in Scriptural Applications (below) before you decide whether to see this film. Remember what Jesus said for we who follow Him and His Word: Luke 6:22 "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake."

SPECIAL NOTE: We will be reducing the volume of coverage in the Summary/Commentary section of our reports and the number of reports generated in an effort to reduce costs until full funding can be achieved. The Findings/Scoring section of each report, the heart of the analysis model, will NOT be reduced in any way.

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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.

  • Matt. 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. [This is Jesus Himself talking.}
  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
  • 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 respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]
  • Lev. 19:29 Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.
  • Rev. 22:15 Outside [of Heaven] are the dogs, those [unforgiven] who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
  • Hebr. 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure [which includes before marriage], for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
  • Matt. 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
  • Rom. 16:18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.

    ***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 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • 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.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] 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.

    Cold Mountain (2003) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • hundreds of deaths by explosion
  • long sequence of battle gore
  • multiple dead and injured
  • piles of dead bodies
  • injury gore, repeatedly
  • death from injuries
  • multiple battle deaths again
  • ripping off of a rooster's head
  • carving a cow with a tree saw
  • gunfire killings, many, some graphic
  • torture of a woman
  • bleeding of a goat
  • child abuse
  • defensive killing
  • attempted gunfire murder with injury gore
  • graphic death

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 14 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • daughter cursing her father

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • brief nudity, male
  • illegitimate pregnancy
  • adultery
  • offer of sex for money
  • sex talk
  • inappropriate touch - woman fondling man's upper thigh
  • full female nudity, repeatedly and before a child
  • using family women as prostitutes, repeatedly
  • flash of female nudity
  • woman inviting man into her bed
  • rape
  • pretense of marriage to excuse intercourse
  • intercourse with nudity

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • drunkenness, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O)
  • "Fools", repeatedly [Matt. 5:22]
  • premonition
  • belittlement of "pastor"
  • counterfeiting of Scripture
  • four uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • gunfire murder, repeatedly
  • sword murder

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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 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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