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(2008), PG [G-PG*] (1hr 52min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
January 31, 2009
February 1, 2009
89 out of 100

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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.

(2008), PG [G-PG*] ... "God" and "Jesus" must be 'dirty words' to the MPAA.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Samuel Goldwyn Films, Affirm Films, Carmel Entertainment, Provident Films, Sherwood Pictures
Distribution (US): Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2009 DVD)
Director(s): Alex Kendrick, Tracy Goode (assistant), Ben McLeod (second unit)
Producer(s): Michael Catt, Tracy Goode, Alex Kendrick, Stephen Kendrick, Jim McBride, David Nixon, Brad Weston
Story and Screenplay: Alex Kendrick, Stephen Kendrick
Cinematography/Camera: Bob Scott
Film Editing: Bill Ebel
Production Management: Steve Dapper, Justin Tolley
Art Direction: Sheila McBride
Viewed on: Sony Home Entertainment DVD

This film analysis is sponsored by the congregation of The Chapel of the Good Shepherd.

"Thematic elements?" In addition to "some peril", "thematic elements" is one of the criteria the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) used for rating Fireproof. The equivalent of the "some peril" in Fireproof may be found on almost any afternoon sitcom. No gore whatsoever. The only blood was just a weak nose bleed.

As near as I can figure, "thematic elements" refers to the portrayal of reliance on and trust in God which is apparently why the MPAA slapped a "PG" on this film. This film is, after all, a Christian film written by Christians and made by a Christian church (©2008 Sherwood Baptist Church, Albany, GA). I guess "God" and "Jesus" must be 'dirty words' to the MPAA. If true, the MPAA will change their tune soon enough when before them appears Jesus on the Throne. Whether they believe it or not. Whether I believe it or not. God's Word does not need our belief in it to be true.

Mom/dad, there are some scenes of brutal, non-battery marital argumentation in Fireproof which your little ones should never see between the two of you. You may want to question whether to let them see this film since many youth (as well as some non-youths) inherently project what they see in film on real life. Let me discuss with you the term "little ones." "Little ones" is mikros meaning little, small of age, younger. Therefore, "little ones" includes at-home teens since they are and always will be younger than you.

With a final score of 89 out of 100, Fireproof earns its rightful place within the scoring range earned by G-rated films (86 to 100 out of 100) in the CAP comparative baseline database of films. It might be well described as a "hard" G but a G nonetheless.

Though there is reconciliation and mortal forgiveness portrayed in the end (quite movingly I might add), a noble destination does not excuse an ignoble path. Even after Salvation we still have to pay for our sins. But gratefully the payment of our sins will not be eternity in Hell. Jesus paid that price of Spiritual death (eternal separation from the Father) for our sins. We may suffer hardships on earth or may lose some rewards in Heaven for our after-Salvation sins on Earth but at least we will not singe eternally in the lake of fire thanks to Jesus and the Father's Will which Jesus served.

In a subjective sense, though with a mostly volunteer cast (Kirk Cameron, all three Left Behind films, the only professional) Fireproof is an outstanding film with quality performances with some great things to say though some could be said in a more peaceful way. But how, then, could action and story be told without some negative content? Deciding what is right for a story is not my job. Nor is it my job to decide for you what is and is not acceptable for your kids. That is God's job then your job. We just tell you what is there so you might be in a better position to make an informed moral decision whether a film is fit for your kids. We tell you what is there, you decide. And though each of the 80 investigation standards we use to make the findings and determine scoring is based in His Word, in the Summary/Commentary section we also apply God's Word directly to some noted behavior. We believe there are no better tools than those provided by the CAP Ministry to help you make an informed moral decision for yourself whether a film is fit for your kids. Even Pastor Wayne Wilson of the Acton Baptist church feels that way in his book, Worldly Amusements:

There are several Christian Internet sites devoted to informing believers about content in current films. Unfortunately, I have found only one that comes close to upholding the [Biblical] standards in this book. 'The 'ChildCare Action Project' ... Other Christian web sites suffer from one fatal problem: a lack of definite standards. The mood and opinion of the reviewers, rather than the Word of God, determine recommendations. They operate as if moral principles in entertainment are all gray. The result is that these web sites routinely endorse movies that are truly worldly, even shamefully evil. They cannot find the strength to say that popular films are unworthy of Christian patronage. Their standards shift with the culture.

What makes our analysis service so objective and Rock-solid is that we use God's Word as our investigation standards. God's Word never changes. Inherently, neither do our investigation standards. An analysis of a 1950 film will be as accurate and objective as an analysis of a 2050 film since our standards do not change. Some have accused us of moral stagnation since we do not "shift with the culture." To that I say get God to change His Word and we will change the ministry accordingly. But I believe a frozen orb of crystalline dihydrogen monoxide would stand a better chance of surviving a trip through the subterranean location of exceeding exothermic electromagnetic radiation than would His Word changing.

The story opens with a tale of love between a mother, her daughter and the father. To build the characters the story soon advances 25 years to introduce Captain Caleb Holt (Kirk Cameron) of the Albany, GA Fire Station #1 chewing out a subordinate firefighter for leaving his partner during a fire. Shortly and as an extension of character building we are introduced to Caleb's wife, Catherine "Cat" (Erin Bethea) while she works at the Putney Memorial Hospital as PR Director.

At Putney Memorial we see the first hint of marital breakdown as Cat begins welcoming the flirtatious advances of Dr. Gavin Keller (Perry Revell). We discover Caleb and Cathrine's seven year marriage has been falling apart for more than a year.

From there, Cat travels to visit her aging parents whose mother suffered a stroke about a year ago and cannot speak or walk. Cat cares for her parents each weekend and is trying to find money to buy her mother a new wheelchair and a new hospital bed ... thousands of dollars the insurance company won't cover. In moments of film time Caleb drives up to his home early one morning with Cat inside and the sparks fly.

The problem? He works 24 hours then off 48. He is saving up for a boat, money which Cat thinks should be used to buy her mother the things Cat wants her mother to have. Cat is working fulltime and has no time to do traditionally "wife things" such as cooking and grocery shopping. Cat cannot understand why Caleb cannot do the shopping, repair things around the house, etc. since he has 48 hours between working days While Cat is nursing an adulterous relationship, Caleb seems to have an addiction to Internet pornography which sets off Cat: "I should be enough for you."

Noticing this trouble and more, Caleb's father, John (Harris Malcom), who suffered through a rocky marriage himself, sends Caleb a Love Dare journal that saved John's marriage and makes Caleb promise he will follow its instructions to the letter ... for 40 days. (Luke 4:1 - 2?) Caleb begrudgingly follows the journal's instructions. He seems to see "invisible" merit to it and slowly humbles himself to the journal's instructions. Cat remains obstinate and ignores the little nice things Caleb does. The coffee he made for Cat went cold and the flowers Caleb bought for her wilt in the very same spot Caleb set them. Along with the chocolates. Divorce is looming just like the father of lies waits ... patiently. Finally, Cat threatens divorce and begins divorce proceedings.

From there things get worse, much worse before they get better. And get better they do ... after a campaign that would make bitter marriages look blissful by comparison.

Watch for Pastor Strauss. That is Alex Kendrick, the director who is also party to the screenplay and story and is one of the producers.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 82 out of 100
There are some violent scenes of rescue and firefighting peril. There is also a portrayal of criminal teen street racing which results in property damage and serious (but not graphic) injury which in turn endangers rescuers. [Prov. 16:29]

Impudence/Hate (I) - 76 out of 100
Because of the violence noted above plus the frequency and intensity of the marital arguments and the teen arrogance toward traffic laws, this film earned a yellow CAPCon alert light instead of the otherwise green light. There were no noted uses of profanity or any other unclean language.

Note that only when divorce is finalized in a film is it incorporated by the CAP model as a line item under the Offense to God investigation area. The divorce talk, being only talk, was incorporated as part of the repeated marital argumentation since such talk is hatred. [Mal. 2:16, Matt. 5:31 - 32]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 85 out of 100
The only sexually oriented programming in this film was the adulterous relationship between Cat and Gavin. [Exod. 20:14, Matt. 15:19] There was no skin, no dressing to maximize the human body, nobody was seen in bed with anyone else and no other matter related to sexual immorality.

One of the "CAP family", Kim sent me an email to let me ... and you ... know that even the tender kiss of forgiveness between Kirk and his stage wife, Erin toward the end of the show was not between Cameron and Erin but was between he and his real life wife, Chelsea. Kirk refuses to kiss anyone other than his wife. So, the equally slender Chelsea put on a wig and stood in for Erin. Even in his movie career Cameron will not let happen anything that could be misconstrued as being unfaithful to his wife, his marriage or his relationship with God. Thank you, Kim. And I am proud of you, Kirk.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 100 out of 100
There were no noted uses of tobacco or alcohol or abuse of prescription drugs.

Offense to God (O) - 91 out of 100
This investigation area lost a few of the starting 100 points only because of the comments of disbelief and mistrust in God. [Ex. 3:14, Prov. 3:5] But there were no noted instances of occultism, Satanism, wiccanism or any other unholy faith. Neither was there a single notation of the use of God's name in vain. Not even that three syllable sentence with His name trailing it.

Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
No one was murdered nor did anyone commit suicide in the entire 112 minutes of programming.


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.


  • Luke 4:1 -2 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
  • Mal. 2:16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away [divorce]: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. NIV: "I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, "and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with his garment," says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.
  • Matt. 5:31 - 32 "It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.' But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.
  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. [The issue is the violence, no matter how "small" it might seem, and its effect on an observer. "A violent man" can be a man, woman OR the men/women/characters demonstrating/portraying the violent behavior/action on the screen whether for good or evil. Knowing of Prov. 16:29 you now know why violence, especially in and as entertainment, can embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. See Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • Exod. 20:14 "You shall not commit adultery. ...
  • Matt. 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
  • Ex. 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
  • Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

    ***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.)

    Fireproof (2008) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 82 out of 100
  • teen street racing resulting in serious injury and endangerment to rescue personnel
  • firefighting peril
  • physical threat
  • rescue peril

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 76 out of 100
  • martial argumentation, long sequence
  • additional and exceptionally brutal martial argumentation
  • adult tantrum, repeatedly
  • long sequence of conceit

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 85 out of 100
  • adulterous flirtation and encounters, repeatedly
  • suggestion of visiting pornography websites

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O) - 91 out of 100
    • comments of disbelief and distrust in God, repeatedly

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

    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.

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