ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)



Click on CAPCon
for explanation
Entertainment Media Analysis Report

The Deep End of the Ocean (1999), PG-13
CAP Score: 58, CAP ID: 1.13

Thomas A. Carder
CAP President




Executive Summary / Commentary
Findings / Scoring

Become a

ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.


"The Deep End of the Ocean" (PG-13) -- an emotionally hard movie about a 12 year old boy, kidnapped as a toddler, being reunited with his biological parents. One phrase of the movie that impressed me was "Kids don't get lost -- people LOSE kids!" Though this comment was made in hate to the boy's mother, Beth (Michelle Pfiffer) by his father Pat (Treat Williams), it was probably more accurate than many would like to accept. A boy in his mother's hand is not likely to get lost or kidnapped.

At two years old Ben and his 7 year old brother, Vincent were told by their mother, Beth to wait in a hotel lobby while she went to the counter to register. Vincent had strict instructions to hold on to Ben. But when mom returned, Ben was gone. In the middle of search activities appeared detective Candi Bliss, a lesbian cop -- a token promotion of homosexuality as acceptable and normal, of course. After the flurry of search activities, the story moved to 10 years later. One day, a 12-year old boy named Sam appeared before Beth asking to mow her lawn. And, lo and behold, it was Ben -- who lives two blocks away. After legal and other warfare Ben was returned to his biological parents. Now Ben's adoptive father, whose wife abducted Ben years ago and had since died, is in tears. After a while of life with his biological parents and siblings, Ben runs away several times back to his adoptive father, George, whom Ben calls "Dad." Ben calls his biological parents by the first names.

I offer this much detail because I can credibly empathize with the characters in this movie; the characters played by Ben, his biological father, and his adoptive father because I am a biological father, a foster father, and an adoptive father [19 kids, four of them adopted (soon to be two more), plus one biological]. Though "The Deep End of the Ocean" was pure fantasy, I suspect, by my real life, that this movie is just about as close to "real life" as Hollywood gets.

Foul language including the most foul of the three/four letter word vocabulary, God's name in vain with and without the four letter expletive, and arrogance against parental authority are the strongest forms of invasion of His expectations of us in this movie. Presentation of wild hysteria, talk of suicide, wishes for death, and the pain of separation and urgency of loss were among the more significant issues of a violence nature. "The Deep End of the Ocean" even had a nine year old girl open the front door to a stranger: "It's not really talking to strangers when it's your own home." said the girl. The movie also had a young boy clasping his hand over his baby sister's mouth to make her scream to stop an argument between their parents. Issues of impudence and hate filled the script, mostly from a teenage son toward his parents: extreme hate talk to and about his parents plus frequent hateful snippets of arrogance against just about everything that exists. Many uses of God's name in vain with and without the four letter expletive plus many, many uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary expressed a nearly continuous theme of freedom from accountability to His admonition to avoid useless words. Indeed, arrogance (impudence) and language were the strongest causes of point loss.

FINDINGS / SCORING: The Deep End of the Ocean (1999) CAP Thermometers

Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • urgency surrounding loss of a child
  • violent hysteria
  • wishing for death
  • a child forcing a baby to scream by clasping his hand over the baby's mouth
  • parental arguments before their children
  • a young girl opening the front door to a stranger
  • pain of separation
  • talk of suicide
  • hate and accusations between parents

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 2 uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • 15 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, once by a child, several times by a teen
  • arrogance toward parental authority and other matters of disrespect of parents
  • a child intentionally breaking a family vase
  • lies to deflect accountability
  • hateful talk by father against son
  • extreme arrogance and hate toward parents
  • a teen and preteen sneaking out of the parents house at night

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • admission of lesbianism by a law enforcement official
  • a nine year old girl in her underwear exposing the space between her legs

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • implication of prescription drug abuse
  • alcoholic beverages and drinking
  • teen drinking

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • 2 uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 27 times without

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

    (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 is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the three/four letter word vocabulary is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication. As required of the Holy Scriptures, unless God's name is used with reverence to His glory and praise, its use is considered in vain, whether literal or euphemistic.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Presentation of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

    Additional reviews of this movie may be located at "Movie Review Query Engine at Telerama."

    The ChildCare Action Project (CAP) is a nonprofit Christian ministry. We rely on public support. If you wish to contribute to the CAP, please send your donations to

    ChildCare Action Project
    Post Office Box 177
    Granbury, TX 76048-0177

    Tax exemption applies in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Codes.

    Please feel free to write to us.

    You are welcome to
    Go back to the CAP Reports Page
    Top of the CAP Home Page
    CAP Table of Contents

    or leave me an email message or comment at

    Thank you for visiting us and may God bless you. Prayerfully, we will provide you with some of the most revealing commentary and investigative reporting you have ever read.

    In the name of Jesus:
    Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.

    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

    Copyright ChildCare Action Project (CAP)

    Click Here For