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(2008), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] (1hr 48min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
June 18, 2008
June 20, 2008

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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.

(2008), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] ... is nothing memorable or even notable ...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Warner Bros. Pictures, De Line Pictures
Distribution (US): Warner Bros. Pictures
Director(s): Andy Tennant
Producer(s): Donald De Line, Jim Dyer, Bernie Goldmann, Stephen Jones, Jon Klane, Wink Mordaunt
Screenplay by: John Claflin, Daniel Zelman, Andy Tennant
Story: John Claflin, Daniel Zelman
Cinematography/Camera: Don Burgess
Music: George Fenton
Film Editing: Troy Takaki, Tracey Wadmore-Smith
Casting: Juel Bestrop
Production Design: Charles Wood
Art Direction: Ray Chan, Damien Drew
Viewed on Warner Brothers Homve Video DVD

Wow! I didn't think it possible to cram enough "lesser" issues of assaults on morality and decency into a film to make a hardcore R-13 out of a PG-13. But with a final score of 16 out of 100, Fool's Gold is most certainly a R-13 (see R-13 for more information). If you want to know more about the technique of loading a film with tons of "lesser" ignominy to get the same effect as using fewer but more extreme moral assaults typical of more severely rated films and still stay under the less severe rating criteria, visit our CAP Rule of 1000 publication.

Please note the CAP thermometers. Remember, the taller the "mercury" the more wholesome the content. Zero - Zero - Zero - Zero - Zero - 94. Do you really want your 13 year olds (or yourselves) to see this film?

As a side note I have used a foreign source art to provide the poster art for this report due to the unacceptable level of skin in the American version. Further, since the English title text is imposed over the unacceptable skin exposure in the poster I prepared title text myself. Note that though I have made some changes to allow more wholesome display, copyright is still owned by Warner Bros.

Benjamin and Tess Finnegan (Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson) get a divorce. Tess cannot stand Ben's flightiness and prefers a complacent Chicago book writer character. As the divorce proceedings are happening, Ben is 30 feet under water searching for the largest shipwrecked treasure shipment in history. Finding evidence of the treasure, Ben loses all track of time and misses the divorce hearing by one or two minutes. Alas, because Ben did not make it by 10:00 AM sharp Ben loses everything, even title to his (and her) boat that just sank.

Fool's Gold is just another get-rich-quick story about diving for treasure with obligatory bad guys thrown in. There is nothing memorable nor even notable about the story or the performances. It is a standard "McConaughey plus girl" film. But there are plenty of little jabs and stabs (and some not so "little") at wholesome morality. Enough such content to cause the loss of all but 16 of the possible 100 final score points. The final score of 16 makes this PG-13 film indeed a "R-13" since all R-rated films in the comparative baseline database earned scores from 54 and below out of 100.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
There is a rather large helping of guns and gunfire to kill in Fool's Gold. Assaults, theft, fighting, abduction, impalement with a spear from a spear gun, attempted murder and death by tide and surf action plus more all combine to steal all of the starting 100 points in this investigation area resulting in an area score of zero. [Prov. 16:29, Prov. 4:14, Rom. 12:18]

Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
Fifty-three times someone utters one of the three/four letter words. [Col. 3:8] That alone in this 102-minute film is enough to steal all the starting 100 points in Impudence/Hate but arrogance and rebellion from a young daughter toward her father are thrown in for Spock-ian measure. [Isa. 13:11] Divorce proceedings [Mal. 2:16] and lies [Rev. 21:8] round out the reasons for the loss of all the starting 100 points in this investigation area, also resulting in an area score of zero.

Sexual Immorality (S) - Zero out of 100
If one added up all the little sexually oriented innuendo, images and comments in Fool's Gold the "big picture" of sexually immoral content would easily be equivalent in magnitude to just about any R-rated film since the score for this investigation area based on content is zero. Rather, also zero. Women for toys/ornaments, below navel skin repeatedly, several implications and suggestions of homosexuality, dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure often, brief full male nudity, inappropriate touch, intercourse either off screen or behind convenience objects and more. Much more. As is true for each investigation area discussion which is an abbreviation of the full content found, please look to the itemized listings in the Findings/Scoring section for a complete accounting of the findings. [Gal. 5:19, 1Ths. 4:1-5]

By the way, about the intercourse. Ben and Tess were married in the film, at least until the beginning of the show. Married couples do that. But when Ben and Tess did the deed (twice), they were not married. Also, Matthew and Kate are not married. Even if Matthew and Kate were married, what a husband and wife do is not for public display.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - Zero out of 100
Booze. Bars, Drinking. Drunkenness. All for your often impressionable 13 year old children. Impressionable? Why would I say that? Since you've asked, I'll tell you.

While I did not notice any smoking, this film does present booze, drinking and drunkenness. All in a somewhat glamourous or casual manner, of course. The drinking and drunkenness are of significant danger in this film suggested by the MPAA as being fit for the middle school age stratum. Why? Read on ...

A 2002 study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to abuse of alcohol among underage kids. The finding 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 from viewing R-rated movies. 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.

    The researchers selected R-rated movies because they assumed R-rated movies typically present more drinking than movies of other classifications. This assumption is no longer true. The researchers were not aware of the matter of "R-13" proven by this ministry in 2000 (see R-13) with which Harvard University scientists agreed four years later (see Harvard Agrees With Us). The bottom line? The focus is that the influence of adolescent exposure to drinking (and smoking) in and as entertainment is undeniable regardless of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) classification. [Eph. 5:18]

    Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? And emboldening children to sin with drink in and as entertainment screams of violating Luke 17:2.

    Our studies provide an additional parameter for the ACP study. While booze, drinking and smoking in and as entertainment indeed embolden defiance of rule and law and take their toll on wholesome decision-making skills of youth, our studies indicate the influence is not so much the presentation of booze and cigarettes in and as entertainment as it is the attitude portrayed.

    It is not so much the presence and/or consumption and/or effects of alcohol in films that emboldens youth to abuse alcohol, but is rather the attitude portrayed by and in association with the drinking (and smoking and any other behavioral dimension). PG-13 and R-rated films and sometimes less severe rated films are typically heavy with attitude. Our report on this, ATTITUDE: In Perspective -- Investigation Area Scoring and Trend in CAP Entertainment Industry Investigations, Special Report-001 may provide more understanding of the point by revealing that the strongest proselytizing element in modern entertainment is not sex, drugs, alcohol, or violence, etc. but is the attitude; the attitude of freedom from authority, freedom from accountability and freedom from consequences. It is indeed such attitude that emboldens youth to defy rule and law. Note also that attitude (impudence, arrogance, a proud look, "haughty eyes") is the first in the list of seven behaviors our Lord hates. [Prov. 6:16 - 19]

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
    One of the favorite expressions spoken in this film is the teen-popular three syllable sentence with God's name trailing it. It and other forms of abusing God's name were spoken at least 36 times, thrice with the four letter expletive. God will not hold guiltless anyone who does. [Deut. 5:11]

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 94 out of 100
    One murder is seen in this teen sexfest, cussfest. One of the bad guys shoots and kills one of the other bad guys who has outlived his usefulness to the crime boss, Bigg Bunny (Kevin Hart). [Prov. 28:17]


    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 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 the violent behavior/action on the screen. Knowing of Prov. 16:29 you now know why violence, especially in and as entertainment, can embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV. And see 1 Cor. 15:33 below.]
  • Prov. 4:14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
  • Rom. 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander (injurious speech), and filthy language [aischrologia: foul speaking, low and obscene speech] from your lips.
  • Isa. 13:11 I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
  • Mal. 2:16 "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.
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable [the vile], and murderers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • Gal. 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
  • 1Ths. 4:1-5 Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his [or her] own body [which includes control of drives, touching, seeking, lusting (even after images), promiscuity, etc.] in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; [Be master of your body and urges, not a slave to them or a seeker of any manner of sexually-oriented imagery or behavior outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage. For any sexual contact (including visual), conduct or activity outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage is sinful.]
  • 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.
  • Prov. 6:16 - 19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. [Proud: ruwm {room} - to rise, rise up, be set on high, be lofty, be exalted. Look: ahyin {ah-yin} - eye, sight, conceit, pleased (with self).]
  • Prov. 28:17 A man tormented by the guilt of murder will be a fugitive till death; let no one support him.
  • 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 an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or responsible discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name or title.]

    ***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.)

    Fool's Gold (2008) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • gunfire to intimidate, twice
  • firearm for assault
  • assault, repeatedly, some graphic such as with a cricket paddle to the head
  • firearm threat, repeatedly
  • attempted murder by drowning
  • theft
  • threat with sword to throat
  • fighting, repeatedly
  • abduction
  • firearm to head
  • attempted murder by abandonment
  • gunfire to kill, repeatedly
  • death by tide/surf action
  • impalement with spear gun spear
  • action violence of varying intensities

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
  • 53 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • tattoos
  • divorce
  • deceit of father by teen daughter
  • teen daughter showing disrespect of father
  • lies

    Sexual Immorality (S) - Zero out of 100
  • women as toys/ornaments
  • exposure of below navel skin, repeatedly
  • implications, suggestions of a homosexual relationship, repeatedly
  • scant swim wear, repeatedly
  • admission of sexually immoral behaviors, repeatedly
  • intercourse behind convenience objects
  • sexual innuendo, repeatedly
  • rude gaze
  • teen dress to maximize skin exposure and/or female form, repeatedly
  • adult male showing inappropriate attention to scant clad teen female
  • use of sex appeal to influence
  • vulgar pose - female
  • want of prostitutes
  • excessive cleavage - teen girl, repeatedly
  • brief full male nudity
  • make out frenzy
  • inappropriate touch
  • intercourse off screen
  • crotch hit
  • anatomical reference

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - Zero out of 100
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • bar, repeatedly
  • booze, repeatedly
  • teen drinking, repeatedly
  • drunkenness, twice

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • 36 uses of God's name in vain, twice with the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 94 out of 100
  • one murder by gunfire, no gore/blood

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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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