ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)



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Entertainment Media Analysis Report

The Joyriders (1999), PG-13
CAP Score: 61, CAP ID: 0.74

Thomas A. Carder
CAP President
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Executive Summary / Commentary
Findings / Scoring

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.


"The Joyriders" -- A PG-13 Christian movie? Well, yes, it was -- both PG-13 AND Christian. It was indeed a PG-13 movie but it presented the Power and Love of Jesus: His Power to overcome and restore; His Love of us "just as [we] are." The Love and Authority of God was indeed presented and was presented without swamping the viewer with the whole New testament.

Elderly Gordon Trout contemplated suicide with a gun he had just bought -- the scene included him holding the gun to his head in the bathroom of the store. Failing to go though with it in the store Mr. Trout left, ostensibly to find another place to kill himself. While getting in his car Mr. Trout gave a ride to some street kids: Jodi and Crystal who later "convinced" Mr. Trout to let Cam (Camdon) join them. After antagonizing Mr. Trout ("Mr. Fish" by now) for a couple hours, the teen trio discovered the gun Mr. Trout had just bought in the glove box and forced him to do their bidding at gunpoint. After a long series of manipulations of Mr. Trout, he finally called their bluff and dared Cam, the only male of the trio, to go ahead and shoot him. Later, Mr. Trout again puts the gun to his head but does not shoot. And Jodi tires to kill herself with drugs. Great day in the morning! At least FOUR different events of contemplating suicide as a"solution" to problems. Not good for any troubled or embittered teens. Not good at all.

On the surface, there seemed to be a statement of no consequences -- the kidnappers were not punished for their crime. Many [stage] crimes were committed -- kidnapping, extortion, threat to kill, assault with a deadly weapon and more -- but no one ended up in jail. Jesus told us that while He will forgive us of ALL our sins; that He has paid the price of our sins by allowing Himself to be the Lamb of atonement; that if we believe on Him that He will give us eternal Life no matter what we do, we must accept accountability for our behavior and should expect, indeed honorably seek consequences for our sins. But there may be another doctrine of Jesus in "The Joyriders" which gives hope that maybe, on rare occasions, punishment is not the best way to change behavior or coping skills: that under certain circumstances maybe love and compassion will do more to help someone than will punishment.

There were several scenes of a firearm being used to intimidate and control. And God's name was used in vain with the four letter expletive. The most foul of the foul words was not there but the three/four letter word vocabulary was well represented. Teen arrogance against fair authority, teens living together, and portrayal of parents as evil were there, also. No nudity, though.

I don't want to tell you the whole story, so let me end this commentary with this -- Be advised, there ARE PG-13 matters in the movie: matters that could dangerously influence the impressionable BUT that this movie could be an ice-breaker for sharing Christ with an unbeliever -- a tool for evangelism.

For a complete representation of our analysis, please be sure to read the listing in the Findings/Scoring section below.

FINDINGS / SCORING: The Joyriders (1999) CAP Thermometers

NOTE: Multiple occurrence of each item described below may be present in the movie.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • Arson as an attempt to murder
  • contemplation of suicide
  • theft, shoplifting, robbery
  • kidnapping
  • implied threat with straight razor
  • near collision by "playing chicken" in a car
  • attempted rape
  • intimidation/threat with a firearm
  • extortion
  • intentional damage to private property
  • portrayal of a mother as insanely evil
  • manhandling of a woman

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 15 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • arrogant intrusion into private property
  • arrogance against fair authority
  • lies to deflect accountability
  • flipping lit matches at people
  • "They're young and they can change" to excuse wrong-doing

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • sexual offer
  • suggestive eye movement
  • sexual comments
  • living together unmarried

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drug consumption to overdose, ostensibly to commit suicide
  • drug consumption to "relieve stress"
  • alcoholic beverage consumption to drunkenness

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • the use of the "peace" symbol which is also used by Satanists to portray the Cross as broken and upside down. See Back to School Special) from our home page
  • one use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and one without

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • None noted

    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the three/four letter word vocabulary is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication. As required of the Holy Scriptures, unless God's name is used with reverence to His glory and praise, its use is considered in vain, whether literal or euphemistic.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Presentation of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

    Additional reviews of this movie may be located at "Movie Review Query Engine at Telerama."

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    Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.

    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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