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(2012), PG-13 [Very Lite R-13*] (122.4min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
June 11, 2012
June 13, 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.

(2012), PG-13 [Very Lite R-13*] ... is a measure darker than typical of the Disney label

Production (US): Disney JOHN CARTER™ ERB
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Director(s): Andrew Stanton
Producer(s): Jim Morris, Lindsey Collins, Colin Wilson
Screenplay by: Andrew Stanton, Mark Andrews, Michael Chabon
Based on: A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Cinematography/Camera: Dan Mindel
Music: Michael Giacchino
Film Editing: Eric Zumbrunnen
Casting: Marcia Ross
Production Design: Nathan Crowley
Viewed on Buena Vista Home Entertainment DVD

With a final score of 52 out of 100, John Carter earned a place near the top of the scoring range earned by R rated films (54 and below out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. The final score of 52 places the content of this film equivalent to a very lite R-13 but a R-13 nonetheless.

This film is a measure darker than typical of the Disney label. It reminds me of Dune and in some ways Star Wars. Even the opening Disney World logo fanfare on the DVD has a darker and more subdued theme than we are used to seeing.

Post Civil War confederate Captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) of Virginia, whom Colonel Powell (John Cranston) of the Union Army is trying to draft to help with the war against the Apaches, is bent on finding his social security in gold. He searches endlessly for a cave of gold. And he finds it. But the cave had been visited before by a race of immortal beings bent on watching -- and causing -- empires and planets to rise and fall. While Carter was examining his golden find one of the immortal creatures appeared. Startled to find anyone in the cave the creature tried to kill Carter who killed the creature instead. But in the creature's hand was a medallion with strange powers by which Carter is transported to Mars, which is Barsoom to those who live there.

Carter found great difficult in simply walking on the planet with lesser gravity than Earth. Indeed, Carter found that he can leap great distances and has unusual strength due to the lesser gravity. Soon Carter meets one of the indigenous creatures, Tars Tarkas (Willem DaFoe) of the green-skinned, four armed Tharks.

Carter finds Mars is not dead, that it is not airless. But it is dying. There is another civil war ... on Mars, er, Basoom. A war between Zodanga and Helium, the two major cities on Mars. Zodanga citizens, led by Sab Than (Dominic West) wear the black hats. The Helium citizens wear the white hats. Than is given an undefeatable weapon by Matai Shang (Mark Strong), leader of the immortal beings, that can lay waste to the entire planet. Circumstances lead to Than being willing to live in peace if the Mars Princess, Dejah Thoris, daughter of the Helium leader, Tardos Mors (Ciaran Hinds) would marry him. Dejah, close to discovering and harnessing the immense power of the Ninth Ray (the power in the weapon the immortal beings gave Than), wants Carter to join forces with her people to defeat the Zodangans in exchange for the secret to return to the Earth.

The story is typical of the genius of the author, Edgar Rice Burroughs but I doubt the content is true to Burroughs' mores. Maybe the violence is true to Burroughs style but I doubt Burroughs had the characters showing much of the glutei and crotch flesh as was seen in this film. I would like to strongly suggest you, mom/dad, inspect closely the listings in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide on which age stratum, if any, for which this movie 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) - Zero out of 100
The number of and diversity of content findings made by this investigation area is far too lengthy to even summarize here. So lengthy that it would be best that you closely inspect the listing itself. I will say that the violence content of this film lies largely with sci-fi battles, action violence, arena style fighting and killing.

Prudence would be well served to mention here God's Word about the influence of violence. Though God speaks darkly of violence more than 50 times from the Old Testament to the New testament, Proverb 3:31 warns of embracing that which a violent person does and Roman. 12:18 advises us to get along with others but Proverb 16:29 puts the matter into easily understood perspective. In Proverb 16:29 God warns that violence can be enticing: that it can lead one into "the way that is not good." As if it would be fortifying for man to corroborate the Word of the One who created the universe and all life in it, four professional public health agencies have plagiarized God's Word about violence by publishing findings that reveal, among other things, that violence in and as entertainment can lead the viewer, especially the young, into real life violence and to believing violence is an effective means of settling conflict.

Impudence/Hate (I) - 46 out of 100
There are nine uses of profanity in the 122.4 minutes of the show. While that is certainly much less use of profanity typical of PG-13s Colossians 3:8 and Ephesians 4:29 advise us that nine is still too many. One is "too many." In addition to the profanity, other matters of impudence and/or hatred in the film include treasonous sabotage, forced marriage, branding a character as punishment, slaps to the head and brutality toward lesser creatures.

Sexual Immorality (S) - 59 out of 100
A flash of full male nudity is seen. Camera angles and/or character poses are used to force the viewer on to private parts a few times. But the most frequent and thus the most influential of the sexually immoral content is the frequent exposure of near-genital flesh and portions of glutei. In one case, Dejah wears thong-type clothing and squats down with knees apart as the camera flashes on her genital area ... from the front. I believe the intellectual as well as moral caliber of our readers is quite enough to know what filmmakers are doing by challenging wholesome dress standards with aberrations of them like these in and as entertainment. What other conclusion is possible when a woman's outfit rides above and inside of the leg/hip fold? Other matters of sexual nature include the one inappropriate touch, the open mouth kiss and the open urination. [1 Thess. 4:3, Gal. 5:19, Col. 3:5]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 89 out of 100
The content of the film is G-equivalent in this area with only a bar scene with booze and a forced ingestion of some liquid that made changes in the one who drank it.

Offense to God (O) - 18 out of 100
Three times God's name is abused, one of them with the four letter expletive. God is specific about the sin of using His name in vain. The use of His name in vain being a sin is even one of the Ten Commandments. [Exod. 20:7, Deut. 5:11]

Additional content applicable to this investigation area includes levitation, "magical" transport from one planet to another, worship of a goddess and shape-shifting.

Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
While there are many killings in this film none are murder in accordance with the investigation standards of the CAP Analysis Model which does not treat attempted murder or suicide and deaths by war, by police action or as a defensive action as murder but as violence/crime.



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. 3:31 Envy thou not the oppressor [man of violence, extortionist, etc.], and choose none of his ways.
  • Rom. 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
  • 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.]
  • 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.
  • Eph. 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
  • 1 Thess. 4:3 It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;
  • Gal. 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
  • Col. 3:5 Put to death [mortify, deprive of power, destroy the strength of], therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
  • Exod. 20:7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
  • 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 - 10 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not! Even if you were to defeat the entire Babylonian army that is attacking you and only wounded men were left in their tents, they would come out and burn this city down. [The "destroyers form within" do not have to be army warriors. They can be the ones who destroy through corruption of moral standards as well, such as filmmakers who perpetuate desensitization against wholesome standards. They aren't going anywhere, folks. Not until Jesus comes again.]
  • 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. And remember, mom/dad, "little ones" is mikros, meaning less by birth; younger. All of your children are younger than you and less by birth than you. So, "little ones" includes at-home teens.]
  • 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.)

    John Carter (2012) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • sci-fi battles of varying intensities, repeatedly
  • mass killing
  • threat
  • physical assault, repeatedly, some defensive
  • firearm to the face
  • rifle butt to the face
  • action violence of varying intensities
  • firearm killing, defensive
  • gunfire injury with blood
  • gunfire to intimidate
  • firearms aimed at men
  • defensive killing
  • gunfire to kill, multiple
  • massacre of many
  • civil unrest with assaults (Martian)
  • physical assault to rescue
  • action violence of varying intensities, many with deaths, repeatedly
  • pile of bodies of slain victims
  • charred remains of wife and daughter
  • blade threats, repeatedly
  • confinement against will
  • arena fighting violence of varying intensities, , repeatedly

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 46 out of 100
  • nine uses of profanity (none of the most foul of the foul words)
  • one use of masked profanity
  • massive tattoos throughout
  • treasonous sabotage
  • forced marriage (incomplete)
  • brutality on lesser creatures
  • branding a character with a hot iron as punishment
  • slap to the head, twice

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 59 out of 100
  • camera angle/pose to force viewer on exposed portion of male gluteus, repeatedly
  • open urination
  • flash full male nudity o exposure of flesh near genitals and portions of glutei, male and female, repeatedly
  • inappropriate touch
  • open mouth kiss
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, repeatedly

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 89 out of 100
  • bar
  • booze
  • forced ingestion of liquid that makes changes

    Offense to God (O) - 16 out of 100
  • one abuse of God's name with the four letter expletive and two without it
  • levitation
  • claim of immortality
  • false god(ess) worship, repeatedly
  • "magical" transportation from one planet to another, twice
  • shape-shifting, frequent

    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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    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.

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