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

Entertainment Media Analysis Report

Enemy of the State (1988), R
CAP Score: 45, CAP ID: 1.43

Thomas A. Carder
CAP President

Executive Summary / Commentary
Findings / Scoring

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Enemy of the State was good only if you like typical R-rated programming. It was every bit as "R" as any other hard R-rated show. Fifty-three uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary plus 21 uses of the most foul of foul words, and 18 uses of God's name in vain - seven with and 11 without the four letter expletive -- all in 127 minutes.

A man's hand intentionally blown apart by gunfire as a coercion technique, a plethora of deaths by gunfire, and murder by illegal chase resulting in traffic death -- graphically -- all but evaporated the starting 100 points in Wanton Violence/Crime. Long sequences of file footage of actual violence against police action shown, ostensibly to give this movie an air of credibility.

Several exposures to adult underwear, a bare posterior, several vulgar sexual references and gestures, and inappropriate dress for public display could serve to lower inhibitions and the threshold of acceptability for the impressionable. Maybe nightwear is appropriate for the bedroom, but I was not in Will Smith's bedroom when I saw his stage wife dressed in nightwear. And neither will you or any of the adolescents who gain access to this movie be in his bedroom.

The movie was about government surveillance of the populace. That is happening as you read this. Government efforts are quietly being implemented to gain as much knowledge of every individual; efforts such as national identification activities for the purposes of big government control, especially through public schools by questionnaires and behavior-modifying programs. But use of real events in a movie does not make the movie real. Nothing Hollywood creates is real.

FINDINGS / SCORING: Enemy of the State (1998) CAP Thermometers

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) lost intermediate level points three times due to a hand being intentionally blown apart by gunfire as a means of coercion and twice due to violent deaths. Wanton Violence/Crime lost maximum level points three times due to a long sequence of violent file footage, a continuous theme of government coverup, and an extremely violent chase sequence.

Impudence*/Hate (I)(1) lost maximum level points 21 times due to the use of the most foul of the foul words. Impudence/Hate lost no intermediate level points.

Sex/Homosexuality (S) lost intermediate points once due to a vulgar sex scene but lost no maximum level points.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) lost no maximum nor intermediate level points.

Offense to God (O)(2) lost maximum level points seven times to the use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive but lost no intermediate level points.

Murder/Suicide (M)(3) lost maximum level points once due to an extremely graphic sequence of multiple murder by gunfire. Murder/Suicide lost intermediate level points twice due two murders, once by illegal pursuit resulting in death in traffic and once due to murder with blood presented.

Other examples of entertainment ignominy, each warranting the loss of the minimum point level, included

  • at least 53 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • threats of death and harm, with and without firearms, and theft by firearm
  • vehicular arrogance with a moving train
  • drugging to control
  • racial slurs
  • vulgar gestures
  • union corruption
  • planning coverups
  • a bare posterior
  • sexual innuendo
  • additional illegal pursuits
  • inappropriate dress for public display
  • lies to gain information
  • vulgar talk and vulgar reference to homosexuality
  • players and subordinate actions to build a master coverup
  • several exposures to adult underwear
  • a number of violent chases
  • at least eleven uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive

    * "Imunity/Hate" is being changed to "Impudence/Hate."

    In accordance with the numeric comparative baseline database of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model, Enemy of the State (1998) presented programming equivalent to R-rated material in Wanton Violence/Crime, Impudence/Hate, and Offense to God. The movie was equivalent to PG-13 programming in Sex/Homosexuality and PG programming in Murder/Suicide. Enemy of the State was equivalent to G-rated programming in Drugs/Alcohol. Thus, Enemy of the State is equivalent to 50% R-rated programming, 16.6% PG-13 programming, 16.6% PG-rated programming, and 16.6% G-rated programming.

    Please remember we believe that if even one of the six Investigation Area scores for a movie is equivalent to the CAP comparative baseline database scoring range for R, PG-13, or PG material, the entire movie should be regarded as so rated.  For example, if only Wanton Violence/Crime earns a score equivalent to R but all other Investigation Areas earn a score equivalent to G, THERE IS R-RATED MATERIAL IN THE MOVIE AND YOUR KIDS WILL SEE IT AND HEAR IT IF THEY WATCH THE MOVIE!

    (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."

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

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