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(2011), PG-13 [PG(13)*] (121.75min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
April 1, 2012
April 3, 2012

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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.

(2011), PG-13 [PG(13)*] ... "hardcore" PG-equivalent

Production (US): Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Scott Rudin Productions
Distribution (US): Warner Bros Home Entertainment
Director(s): Stephen Daldry
Producer(s): Scott Rudin, Celia Costasd, Mark Roybal, Nora Skinner, Eli Bush, Tarik Karam, Jane Tenggren
Based on the novel by: Jonathan Safran Foer
Screenplay: Eric Roth
Cinematography/Camera: Chris Menges
Music: Alexandre Desplat
Film Editing: Claire Simpson
Casting: Ellen Lewis, Mele Nagler
Production Design: K. K. Barrett
Art Direction: Peter Rogness
Viewed on Warner Bros Home Entertainment

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is an unusual production regarding distribution of assaults on morality and wholesome ethics. It earned a "hardcore" PG-equivalent final score of 69 at two points above the upper threshold for PG-13 equivalence (67 to 55 out of 100) but in the scoring range earned by PG movies (86 to 68 out of 100) nonetheless. Note, however, that with an area score of zero out of 100 the Impudence/Hate (I) content investigation area found content to clearly be R-equivalent. Four of the other five investigation areas (S, D, O and M) found content to be G- or PG-equivalent with one, Wanton Violence/Crime (W), finding content to be equivalent to the MPAA posted PG-13 classification. But the Impudence/Hate investigation area having an area score of zero out of 100 makes it clearly R-equivalent, not so much from extreme or bold examples of assault on morality and decency as from there being so many examples of assault. See our CAP Rule of 1000 publication for more information on this content loading technique of using many "lesser" examples of assault to achieve the same "feel" of using fewer but more extreme or bold examples.

Adolescent Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) looses his father, Thomas (Tom Hanks) on "the worst day" -- in the 9-11 collapse of the Twin Towers. In an episode of snooping through his father's stuff a year later Oskar discovers a brass key in a small envelope with "Black" written on it. Oskar surmises "Black" is someone's name who knew his father and that his father wanted him to find the lock that fits the key. Oskar must find the one named Black to find out what was locked up with the key. It must be something that can help him find answers. He launches a search for all the people in NYC with the name Black - 472 of them.

Every Saturday and Sunday Oskar would lie to his mother about his whereabouts and would methodically and systematically visit the people on his list of people with the name Black. Oskar built an intricate and thorough plan for visiting all the people named Black even if it took him three years. The plan was so detailed and complete it would put the CIA to shame.

Initially Oskar conducted the search alone but eventually Oskar connected with the "renter" (Max von Sydow) -- a man who rented a room from Oskar's nearby grandmother. Together, Oskar and the "renter" scoured NYC to find the man or woman named Black named on the envelope of the mysterious key. After visiting uncounted people with the last name of Black, it was the ghosting of an indelible marker through news print paper that led Oskar back to the beginning to find what for which he was searching.

This film is over two hours long and to try to even summarize it any further here would take too much space ... and time. Besides, presenting the plot in any more detail may spoil it too much should you decide by what we tell you about the content that it is fit.


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) - 67 out of 100
This film is not all that violent but the influence of some of the matters which are of the violent nature could definitely be harmful, such as the portrayal of Oskar harming himself, him running about NYC alone and at night and scenes of bodies falling out of the Twin Towers. The violence of emotional upheaval to the point of physical combat against a parent portrayed in this film may be destructive to the coping skills of the young. [1 Cor. 15:33]

Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
The content of the film applicable to this investigation area is far too lengthy to summarize here. Please look to the listing in the Findings section for a full accounting of the content. this film explores in great detail many of the ways a film can make an adolescent disrespectful and hateful. [Rom. 12:18, Exod. 20:12]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 75 out of 100
The only matters of sexually immoral display included a side view of Oskar nude plus repeated displays of a transvestite in his chosen garb. [Deut. 22:5] Before anyone launches a hate speech attack, remember that we did not write the Rules. He who spent three days in Hell so we would not have to spend one moment there did. If you have an issue with what I've said here, talk to Him.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 78 out of 100
Smoking and drinking are demonstrated but not to any great extent. Once a character "rescues" his drink of apparently whiskey out of hiding from an adolescent but still handles it in front of the adolescent. Oskar follows the "renter" into a bar.

Though smoking and drinking are not portrayed to any great extent, any extent can be great to the impressionable observer. The American College of Physicians (ACP) found in 2002 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]

    Offense to God (O) - 95 out of 100
    Twice an adult abuses God's name in the three-syllable sentence of ever-growing popularity that has His name trailing it. That the expression is popular does not excuse the sin of using His name in vain. [Deut. 5:11]

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
    There were no suicides nor murders portrayed in the entire 121.75 minutes of the movie.



    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.


  • Rom. 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
  • Exod. 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. [This is one of the Ten Commandments!]
  • Deut. 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
  • 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.]
  • 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.]

    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.)

    Extremely LOud & INcredibly Close (YEAR) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 67 out of 100
  • portrayal of terror of hearing by voice mail of father dying in Twin Tower collapse, repeatedly
  • adolescent alone in NYC entering strangers' homes, throughout most of the film
  • images of body falling from Twin Tower collapse, repeatedly
  • adolescent boy causing harm to himself, repeatedly
  • adolescent afoot in traffic
  • adolescent sneaking out at night in NYC, repeatedly
  • threat to kill
  • scene of an adolescent watching his father's death in the Twin Towers collapse
  • adolescent emotional upheaval, graphic

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
  • eight uses of profanity, seven of them by an adolescent
  • four uses of the most foul of the foul words, all of them by an adolescent
  • adolescent maintaining a cubbyhole secret from his parents
  • son snooping around father's closet causing property damage
  • adolescent deception of mother, repeatedly
  • adolescent rudeness to grandmother
  • adolescent lying, repeatedly
  • adolescent disrespect of mother, father, other fair authority and elders, repeatedly, some graphic and animated, including physically combative
  • adolescent locking mother out of bathroom
  • adolescent causing self-harm, repeatedly
  • adolescent hitting mother to wake her up
  • adolescent hate talk to mother such as "I wish it were you" who was killed
  • adolescent arrogance
  • adolescent obsession
  • adolescent hate talk to grandfather, repeatedly
  • adolescent tantrum

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 75 out of 100
  • adolescent side nudity
  • portrayal of transvestism involving display to an adolescent, repeatedly

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 78 out of 100
  • smoking, once
  • bar, once
  • drinking, once
  • whiskey in a glass handled before an adolescent

    Offense to God (O) - 95 out of 100
  • two uses of God's name in vain, none with the four letter expletive and none by an adolescent

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
  • none found

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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
    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).

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