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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(20010), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] (2hr 2min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
April 17, 2011
April 19, 2011

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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.

(2010), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] -- God warned us of this a long time ago ...

Production (US): Warner Brothers
Distribution (US): Warner Home Video
Director(s): Clint Eastwood
Producer(s): Director(s): Clint Eastwood, Kathleen Kennedy, Robert Lorenz, Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshal, Peter Morgan, Tim Moore
Written by: Peter Morgan
Cinematography/Camera: Tom Stern
Film Editing: Joel Cox, Gary D, roach
Casting: Fiona Weir
Production Design: James Murakami
Viewed on Warner Home Video DVD

God is rather adamant about talking to the dead. [Deut. 18:10 - 12] So why do so many folks try it and claim they can?

I have not seen a more realistic cinematic portrayal of the death and destruction of a tsunami than that portrayed in Hereafter. The Atlantic Ocean flooding of New York City in The Day After Tomorrow as an ocean liner floats downtown was not as powerful. Actual file footage of real tsunami destruction I have seen is not as graphic as the filmmakers created in this film. Therein may lie the strongest element of influence of this film on the viewer. It is this sequence of tsunami horror that connects Marie (Cecile de France) with the quintessential necromancer George (Matt Damon). Marie is portrayed as having a vision of dead people as she was succumbing to the tsunami waters.

Top notch broadcaster Marie was working on exposing a previous politician when, after her near death experience in the tsunami, her heart is drawn to using her notoriety to promote psychic reading and psychic sensitives even though it cost her a great job with the local France news agency.

In the meantime, young Marcus (Frankie McLaren) lost his brother Jason (George McLaren) to the windshield of a car as older boys tormented him so much Jason ran into traffic. After Jason's death Marcus and Jason's mother, a drug addict, temporarily lost Marcus to foster parents as she submitted to detox. Then Marcus ends up meeting George. Marcus is relentless in getting George to do a reading for him so he can talk with his dead brother Jason. In a rather intricate and convoluted series of events, Marcus' meeting with George leads George to Marie.

Because this show encourages embracement of and belief in that which God condemns I will not go into any further detail about it. It is a very well made and capturing film and story but its subject ruins the whole experience. For those whose development in God's Word is weak or absent, this film could lead them into embracing or at least lowering resistance to that which God condemns.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 48 out of 100
This film is intensely descriptive in imagery portraying the tsunami. What the tsunami is doing in the show I have no idea. The tsunami seemed a rather contrived artifice since there was no word beforehand to the population that a tsunami was on its way. Further, the death of Jason on the windshield of a car and the near drowning of Marie were indeed graphic. Additional matters of violence are itemized in the listing in the Findings/Scoring section.

A Word about violence is that it is "catching." Whether it be violence against someone by someone or violence suffered by so-called natural causes, it is violence. And violence can create a sense of violence - aggression -- in the observer OR the one who embraces violence, even in and as entertainment. God warned us of this a long time ago in Prov. 16:29. About 2000 years later man, whether intentionally or even knowingly, agreed with God about the "catching" properties of violence in their finding that states, among other things, "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence."

Impudence/Hate (I) - 7 out of 100
Ten times adults speaks profanity plus twice by a child. [Col. 3:8] One time a character mutters the most foul of the foul words. Not only does the bullying of four teen boys cause the traffic fatality of Jason, there are no consequences for their lethal chosen behavior. Lying seems to be as significant as getting some on your chin when you blow your nose. These matters of impudence and/or hatred indeed have their weight in terms of influencing the observer but quite possibly of the greatest concern of influencing is the comment by Marcus "I don't want to be here without you" to his dead brother. This comment, on the surface, seems to point in a veiled way to suicide (which did not happen in the movie). Projection of such demonstrations on to the minds of an observer subsequently thrown into actual or manufactured similar real life situations can have devastating consequences. As far back as one might remember, even J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers' 1964 teen tragedy song Last Kiss with "something warm runnin' in my eyes" is one of the first examples of such projection due to entertainment having decision-making consequences in the teen heart.

Sexual Immorality (S) - 64 out of 100
The film is freckled with the standard PG-13 examples of sexual immorality such as cohabitation for sex, a man and a woman in bed in underwear and a woman in a bathtub with dimmed views of her genitalia through the bath water. By now, and after tons of such ignominy in and as entertainment we have become so desensitized to such immorality that we think nothing of it: We have become so numb by the narcotics of extremes in and as entertainment that what once was morally unacceptable has become morally invisible -TC. Well, God thinks something of it. [Gal. 5:19, 1 Thess, 4:1 - 5] And all the "it's the 2000s" and "everyone does it" grasps at absolving ourselves of any accountability to sexual responsibility will not change His mind about sexual immorality.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 48 out of 100
And as is typical of "PG-13" there are bars, booze, drinking and in this case drug intoxication available for your 13 year old's viewing. Think it's just a movie? Why then did the American College of physicians find that viewing alcohol (and tobacco) use in and as entertainment is a serious risk for our youth.
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 viewers. 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 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.

    That finding screams rather loudly. We would do well to listen. [Eph. 5:18]

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
    At the introduction to the Summary/Commentary section I pointed out that God is adamant about talking with the dead. That is just about all there is to this film. But the filmmakers had to put another nail in this moral coffin by having a young boy denying Christ. If anything invokes Luke 17:2 more than that I do not know what it might be. Figuratively speaking, no one can last long treading in the sea with a millstone tied about his/her neck.

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
    Fortunately there were no portrayals of murder or suicide found.


    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.


  • Deut. 18:10 - 12 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. [A consulter with familiar spirits is owb {obe}: necromancer, one who evokes/communicates with the dead; ghost, spirit of a dead one. Psychic "readings" with the dead is therefore an abomination to God. Yes, this film is all fantasy but it is what is in the heart that matters. Just as a man who has it in his heart to lust after a woman he has committed adultery with her in his heart without ever actually practicing immoral sex with her, to embrace communicating with the dead in and as entertainment is "in your heart" sin.]
  • 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 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. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • 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.
  • 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), crude talk, 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. Be not 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.
  • 1 Cor. 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

    ***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.)

    Hereafter (2010) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 48 out of 100
  • tsunami chaos, destruction and terror, graphic, repeatedly
  • traffic fatality - child, graphic
  • near drowning
  • funeral proceedings
  • theft of money from foster parents by child
  • subway explosions causing many deaths (little is seen)

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 7 out of 100
  • eight uses of profanity plus two uses by a child
  • one use of the most foul of the foul words
  • lying, repeatedly
  • teens bullying younger boy leading to a traffic fatality with no consequences to the teens
  • euphemism of most foul of the foul words
  • profanity by abbreviation
  • emotional cruelty to young boy
  • young boy alone in inner city
  • young boy unsupervised in man's hotel room
  • "I don't ant to be here without you" young boy to dead brother

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 64 out of 100
  • adult in underwear, repeatedly
  • man and woman in bed
  • inappropriate touch ("Hollywood" CPR)
  • cohabitation for sex
  • woman in tub
  • flash of female genitals through bath water
  • man in shower
  • talk of childhood sex abuse by father
  • admission of sexually immoral behavior
  • camera angle/pose to force viewer on private parts

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 48 out of 100
  • drug intoxication
  • bar, repeatedly
  • booze, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • tracks (scars from heroin injections)

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • God's name used in vain four times, each without the four letter expletive
  • images suggesting the hereafter, repeatedly
  • psychic "reading" (communicating with the dead), repeatedly
  • lusting to talk to the dead
  • visions, repeatedly
  • long discussion regarding psychic ability being created by surgery
  • portrayal of young boy denying Christ
  • psychic research
  • claim of irrefutability regarding psychic "evidence" and "sensitives"
  • school devoted to advancement of psychic "sensitives"

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

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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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