RED does not mean "stop." GREEN does not mean "go." Click on the CAPCon Alert image for explanation
CAP Movie Ministry
A ministry of the ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Christian Ministry.
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word


(2011), PG-13 [Lite PG-13*] (1hr 45min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
June 22, 2011
June 22, 2011

The #1 Christian entertainment media analysis service on the Internet. We give you OBJECTIVE tools NO ONE ELSE CAN to help YOU make an informed decision for yourself whether a film is fit for your family. Over 1300 analyses for parents, grandparents, pastors, youth leaders and more.
Please visit our sponsor.

PLEASE . . . . . . .

(a PayPal account is NOT required).
The CAP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Christian ministry.
Donations are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.

Stay informed ...OBJECTIVELY...
on what Hollywood feeds your kids. SUBSCRIBE
(or unsubscribe) to our FREE email version of these reports and our COMING SOON notices.
Email this report to friends and
tell them about the CAP Ministry:

Christian Long Distance

(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.

(2011), PG-13 [Lite PG-13*] ...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Toledo Productions, Film$, Focus Features
Distribution (US): Universal Studios
Director(s): Kevin MacDonald
Producer(s): Caroline Hewitt, Duncan Kenworthy, Miles Ketley, Charles Moore, Tessa Ross
Screenplay by: Jeremy Brock
Novel: Rosemary Sutcliff
Cinematography/Camera: Anthony Dod Mantle
Music: Atli Örvarsson
Film Editing: Justine Wright
Casting: Des Hamilton, Jina Jay
Production Design: Michael Carlin
Art Direction: Peter Francis
Viewed on Universal Studios Home Entertainment DVD

Before I get started into the Summary/Commentary of the story and plot let me discuss a feature of the DVD. The DVD comes with the theatrical PG-13 version and an unrated version. The video store manager feels there is little difference if any between the two versions. To our distribution list I said I might watch the unrated version as well and do a comparative. But time is against me and all I could do is scan a few parts of the film just to get a sampling. The only differences I could see, significant they are, were in the battle scenes. In the PG-13 version there is little blood and no gore but in the unrated version there is definitely blood splatter and gore such as sights of swords penetrating bodies as the victim's blood spews skyward and amputations. For example, in the unrated version a chariot with spinning blades from the hubs of the wheels amputated a soldier's leg while this amputation scene is absent from the PG-13 version. Other examples include blood spewing in the unrated version while the PG-13 version has the blood spew edited out. Another example of footage edited out is of two nude dead bodies hanging upside down from tree branches. In the PG-13 version shots of the nudity are edited out. Further, in the scenes of beheadings in the PG-13 version no heads are seen falling but they are in the unrated version. A head is seen on the ground during a battle as well in the unrated versions.

If this movie is true to history, it is a good history lesson. The movie claims that in 120 AD the Ninth Legion of the Roman Empire marched into the unconquered territory of Northern Britain but the 5,000 men of the Ninth Legion were never seen again. The precious standard of the Roman Army, a golden eagle that rode atop a staff, disappeared as well. Emperor Hadrian was so shamed by the loss that he ordered a huge wall constructed across the entire territory, from the East shore to the West shore, separating North Britain from the South. If this part of the film is not true to history, it is true in the portrayal of the testudo or tortoise battle formation developed by the Romans and in the use of "cohort" which is one tenth of a legion.

The beginning of the film reads: "In 120 AD the Ninth Legion of the Roman Army marched into the unconquered territory of Northern Britain. They were never seen again. All 5,000 men vanished. Together with the treasured standard - the Eagle. Shamed by this great loss the Emperor Hadrian ordered the construction of a giant wall to cut off the North of Britain forever. Hadrian's Wall marked the end of the known world." Twenty years later in Roman-occupied South Britain the story begins.

Marcus Flavius Aquila of the Fourth Cohort of Gauls, Second Legion, the son of the commander who lost the 5,000 men 20 years ago, reports to assume command of the Roman forces in Britain. After a couple battles, Marcus becomes injured beyond being able to soldier any more and convalesces with his Uncle Aquila (Donald Southerland) on his father's side. During social warfare with his guests, Marcus' uncle mutters in passing that someone should do something about the great Eagle being in the hands of the tribes of far North Britain. That plants a bug in Marcus' ear that will not go away. From there the story follows Marcus into the North of Britain to retrieve the great Eagle.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
The violence content is rather graphic due to a number of sword and spear battles. While there is no gore in the strictest sense of the word, the film still promotes using violence to settle conflict. There are many deaths due to battle. Bodies are even seen hanging upside down from tree branches. Throats are cut but the knife action on the flesh is not seen. Beheadings are seen without seeing the heads fall but associated body movements are. Please look to the listing in the Findings/Scoring section for a complete accounting of the findings by this investigation area. Note that while the CAP final score earned by the content of this film indicates a magnitude or overall envelope in the range of scores earned by PG-13 films in the comparative baseline database, this investigation area found a concentration in violence equivalent to many R-rated films.

This film provides a good background for reminding us God's many admonitions against violence. [Prov. 16:29] God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV. Further, man has finally decided to agree with God by reporting that "viewing violence may lead to real life violence" and "Children exposed to violence are more likely to assume the acts of violence are acceptable behavior."

Impudence/Hate (I) - 65 out of 100
Though I question whether the words of profanity used in this film existed in 120 AD, someone utters some form of modern profanity 6 times. [Col. 3:8, Eph. 4:29] And hatred of a people or individual is expressed a couple times. [Gal. 5:19 - 21]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 97 out of 100
The only instance of sexually immoral display in the entire 105 minutes of this PG-13 version was Marcus seen in string underwear. Such display invariably gets the viewer, especially the young, to thinking about private body parts and inherently draws mental attention to them. Besides, displaying underwear in public such as schools, court rooms, churches and shopping malls will likely get the one wearing only underwear arrested. [Ezek. 16:58] And the movie screen is about as public as public can get.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 81 out of 100
Twice the members of the Northern Britain tribe are seen writhing in drunken revelry. Whether the intoxication is by alcohol or drugs is unknown. The point is "drunkenness." While we may imbibe of alcohol in moderation, we are not to allow ourselves to get drunk. [Eph. 5:18]

Offense to God (O) - 59 out of 100
The film portrays people of the era violating Exod. 20:3, one of the Ten Commandments, on a number of occasions. God is, by His own admission, a jealous God [Exod. 20:5] and will not tolerate worshipping false gods. Being common practice of the people of the period of the film is no excuse. God is a jealous God? My word! Well, it is true ... and righteous. God spent three days in Hell so you and I wouldn't have to spend one moment there. He is entitled.

Murder/Suicide (M) - 90 out of 100
Except for one case, all the killings in the film were defensive killings or acts of warfare. The CAP Analysis Model requires that acts of war, police action and defensive killings not be incorporated as murder but rather as acts of violence. Now to the "except for one case." As a showing to the Romans and Esca (Jamie Bell), the Briton who sided with Marcus, the leader of the Seal tribe of the North cut the throat of a young boy (Thomas Henry) who I think was his son who had befriended Esca. That was an act of murder.

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 "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.]
  • 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. 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
  • Gal. 5:19 - 21 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this [and remain unforgiven] will not inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Ezek. 16:58 You will bear the consequences of your lewdness and your detestable practices, declares the LORD.
  • 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.
  • Exod. 20:3 You shall have no other gods before Me.
  • Exod. 20:5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.

    ***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.)

    The Eagle (2011) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • battle sequences of varying intensities, repeatedly
  • field of dead bodies, repeatedly
  • multiple executions by beheading (head fall unseen)
  • images of battle deaths, repeatedly
  • gladiatorial beating
  • two bodies hanging upside down from tree branches
  • tale of father cutting mother's throat to prevent her from being captured
  • young boy's throat cut (cutting unseen but body movements seen)
  • knife to throat
  • skulls and other symbols of death, repeatedly
  • flashes of graphic war of varying intensities, repeatedly
  • tale of amputation of dead men's feet to prevent their souls from running away
  • tale of brutality and horror
  • fighting, repeatedly, of varying intensities
  • binding
  • acts of brutality of varying severity, repeatedly
  • physical assault, repeatedly
  • graphic sword fights, some with deaths, repeatedly
  • eating raw rat, two people
  • dead man under water
  • creek bank strewn with dead bodies
  • burning of dead body

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 65 out of 100
  • 6 uses of profanity
  • soliloquy of hate talk
  • dialogue of hatred
  • brutality with young boy, ostensibly the son

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 97 out of 100
  • adult male in string underwear

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 81 out of 100
  • two instances of drunken revelry either by alcohol or drugs

    Offense to God (O) - 59 out of 100
  • embracing false gods, repeatedly
  • praying to Mithras, a false sun god

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 90 out of 100
  • murder of young boy, ostensibly the murderer's son

    Interested parties, send us your proposal. Your link will appear on each new analysis report prepared during the desired period and, once placed on a page, will not be removed.

    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.

    The ChildCare Action Project (CAP) is a nonprofit Christian ministry. We are 100% dependent on public support. If you wish to contribute to the CAP, please make your donations through

    Just enter "Donation" in the "Description" block and the amount in the "Unit Price" block. You DO NOT need to have a PayPal account. Note that PayPal cannot process your donations unless your browser is set to accept cookies.

    Your gifts are tax deductible in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Codes.

    You are welcome to go to the
    CAP Reports page
    or go to the
    Top of the CAP Home Page
    or the
    CAP Site Map (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.
    Tom Carder
    Chaplain and President
    ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
    100% dependent on your tax-deductible financial support

    Copyright ChildCare Action Project (CAP) Ministry

    Since December 5, 2000

    Christian Long Distance
    The Fundamental Top 500

    We exist only by your tax-deductible donations. PLEASE

    Features PayPal! You do NOT need an account to donate.
    JCSM's Top 1000 Christian Sites - Free Traffic Sharing Service!

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

    Copyright ChildCare Action Project (CAP) Ministry
    A Nonprofit Christian Ministry