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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2011), PG [PG*] (119.25min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
March 12, 2011
March 13, 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.

(2011), PG [PG*] ... "fixing" what is wrong with Papa Georges.

Production (US): Paramount Pictures, Infinitum Nihil, GK Films, LLC, Dean Street Productions, Future Capital Partners, Screen Capital International
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment
Director(s): Martin Scorsese
Producer(s): Graham King, Tim Headington, Martin Scorsese, Johnny Depp, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Georgia Kacandes, Christi Dembrowski, Barbara DeFins, David Crockett
Screenplay: John Logan
Based on book The Invention of Hugo Cabaret by Brian Selznick
Cinematography/Camera: Robert Richardson
Music: Howard Shore
Film Editing: Thelma Schoonmaker
Casting: Ellen Lewis
Production Design: Dante Ferrettii
Art Direction: David Warren
Viewed on Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment DVD

I don't understand why a seasoned thespian as experienced and high wattage as Ben Kingsley who played Georges Milies, godfather of Isabelle played by Chloe Grace Moretz would get involved in such a production as Hugo and not at least be the starring role, but he did his job as part of the support cast and did it very well as usual. Asa Butterfield played Hugo Cabret and did a decent job of it but not with the panache Kingsley imparted.

Hugo earned a final score of 84 which places it high in the scoring range earned by PG-rated films (68 to 86 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. Though the film content earned a very lite R-equivalence in Wanton Violence/Crime (W) content investigation area, the content earned PG- or G-equivalence in each of the five other content investigation areas (I, S, D, O, M). The reason Wanton Violence/Crime earned such a low score was not due to the intensity or severity of any particular instance or instances of violence/crime but due to the sheer number of "lesser" instances of them (17). The most violent instances in the entire 119.25 minutes of film were the fire death of Hugo's father and the train wreck with probable deaths and much property damage.

Young Hugo and his father (Jude Law), whose name is not shared with us, shared their lives without a mother and wife but were close nonetheless. Hugo's father was a fixer. Hugo developed the same knack for fixing things. One of the things the pair were working on was an abandoned automaton when Hugo's father was killed by a fire. Hugo is alone except for his drunken Uncle Claude who worked the tower clock at a Paris train station. Claude and Hugo live in the harsh and spartan apartments in the clock tower. Claude had taught Hugo to maintain the clock ... just in time. Claude died as well, ostensibly to alcohol poisoning. Now Hugo is really alone - except for the friend he found in Isabelle.

Enter Ben Kingsley as Papa Georges Milies, godfather to Isabelle. Along with Georges as godparent is his wife Mama Jeanne (Helen McRory). Georges and Jeanne shared an odd connection with Hugo - a connection I will not spoil. Let me just say the automaton plays a large part in Hugo "fixing" what is wrong with Papa Georges.


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) - 52 out of 100
As pointed out in the Summary/Commentary above, the score of 52 in this content investigation area (which is a very lite R-equivalent score) is due not to the severity or intensity of any particular instance or instances of violence and/or crime but is due to the sheer number of them combined - 17. Such matters include mischievous intrusion, attempted theft and petty theft by an adolescent, unwarranted brutality by authorities in dealing with the thieving adolescent, lying, a train wreck with likely deaths and much property damage and other instances of violence/crime noted in the listing in the Findings section. Granted, each of them is viewed as necessary (and may very well be necessary) to the story and plot by the filmmakers but every little straight pin buried in the couch is a risk of a stab on the glutei.

To understand the impact of "tons of lesser" instances of assault on the morality and wholesome ethics of the observer versus fewer but more severe and bold instances of assault, please visit our CAP Rule of 1000 publication.

To introduce the discussion in the CAP Rule of 1000 publication, it reports that tons of lesser assaults on morality can have an even more significant influence on the viewer's moral standards than fewer more bold assaults typical of more severely rated films. With that fact in mind it is possible that this film might possess more of a negative moral effect in some ways than, for example, a PG-13 or even some R-rated films. God knew what He was talking about when He warned us in Proverb 16:29 that violence can, so to speak, be "catching": that violence can lead one "into the way that is not good." To augment God's Word man has, whether intentionally and likely unknowingly, echoed God's Word by four professional public health agencies publishing findings which reveal that violence in and as entertainment can, among other things, lead the observer, especially youth, to real life violence and can lead to viewing violence as an acceptable means of settling conflict.

Impudence/Hate (I) - 83 out of 100
There is no profanity in this film but other matters of impudence and/or hate are present such as lying, an act of cruelty, name-calling and some rude brutality. [Rom. 12:18]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 94 out of 100
The only sexually oriented content in this film is Gustav (Sacha Baron Cohen), the train station Inspector speaking two innuendo which are not likely understandable by the typical PG crowd but are certainly repeatable by them. [Eph. 5:4] On a sidenote, Madame Olympe Maxime (Frances de la Tour) of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire fame appears in shirt takes as a matchmaker for Gustav and his love interest, Lisette (Emily Mortimer).

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 75 out of 100
This PG film presents a few instances of drinking and drunkenness plus smoking. One might think such a light level of abuse with such substances in and as entertainment to be acceptable but the America College of Physicians (ACP) think differently.

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 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]

    There is nothing to say that viewing smoking in and as entertainment does not carry the same danger of influence as viewing drinking. Actually, the same matter of behavior modification applies to any behavior demonstrated in and as entertainment, including good behavior.

    Offense to God (O) - 97 out of 100
    Only once is God's name taken in vain. [Deut. 5:11] There is no content regarding witchcraft, Satanism, occultism or other such unholy matters.

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
    There are no murders or suicides portrayed in this film.



    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 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 "fantasy" 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 the 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. Their findings include:
    --> Children who see a lot of violence are more likely to view violence as an effective way of settling conflicts. Children exposed to violence are more likely to assume the acts of violence are acceptable behavior.
    --> Viewing violence can lead to emotional desensitization towards violence in real life. It can decease the likelihood that one will take action on behalf of a victim when violence occurs.
    --> Entertainment violence feeds a perception that the world is a violent and mean place. Viewing violence increases fear of becoming a victim of violence, with a resultant increase in self-protective behavior and a mistrust of others.
    --> Viewing violence may lead to real life violence. Children exposed to violent programming at a young age have a higher tendency for violent and aggressive behavior later in life than children who are not so exposed.
    Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • Rom. 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • 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 - 20 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? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
  • 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.)

    Hugo (2011) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 52 out of 100
  • mischievous intrusion - adolescent
  • attempted theft - adolescent
  • flight to evade police - adolescent
  • fire death - adult
  • petty theft to survive, repeatedly - adolescent
  • breaking and entering - adolescent
  • excessive roughness in apprehending errant adolescent, repeatedly
  • train wreck peril with endangerment , much property damage and likely deaths, long sequence
  • nightmare within nightmare sequence
  • dead body
  • high altitude peril - adolescent

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 83 out of 100
  • lying
  • act of cruelty though a ruse
  • brutality toward children by a crowd
  • name-calling, repeatedly

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 94 out of 100
  • two sexual innuendo

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 75 out of 100
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • drinking, once
  • drunkenness, once, with several accusations of alcoholism

    Offense to God (O) - 97 out of 100
  • one use of God's name in vain

    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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    * 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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