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(2012), PG-13 [R-13*] (98.25min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
August 31, 2012
September 2, 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 [R-13*] ... a rather clever connection between Logan, Beth, Aces and the snapshot

Production (US): Warner Brothers Pictures in Association with Roadshow Pictures, a DiNovi Pictures Production, a Scott Hicks Film
Distribution (US): Warner Brothers Home Video
Director(s): Scott Hicks
Producer(s): Kerry Heysen, Ravi Metha, Alison Greenspan, Bruce Berman, Denise DiNova, Kevin McCormick
Screenplay by: Will Fetters
Based on the Novel by Nicholas Sparks
Cinematography/Camera: Alar Kivilo
Music: Mark Isham, John Bissell
Film Editing: Scott Gray
Casting: Ronna Kress
Production Design: Barbara Ling
Viewed on Warner Brothers Home Video DVD

Is Logan the lucky one? Or is Beth Green? And how is it that one of them (or each?) is the lucky one?

During a melee in Iraq Marine Sgt. Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) finds a snapshot of a woman in the rubble. The woman in the snapshot is a blonde Caucasian, not at all commonplace in the warfields of Iraq. With the woman's picture in his possession Logan escapes death a number of ways such as from a mortar shell explosion just feet away from him. His buddies suggest that the woman in the picture is his guardian angel: that Logan should thank her one day; that she is the reason he is still breathing ... and Logan buys it.

Now Logan is bent on finding the woman in the snapshot to thank her for the protection her snapshot afforded him. After three tours of duty in Irag, Logan goes to his brother's home in Colorado but ghosts from the battles he had suffered caused Logan to react violently to innocent rousing from sleep by his nephews. Leaving Colorado for their sake, Logan travels to Louisiana to search for the woman in the snapshot. A lighthouse in the background of the snapshot leads him to her. She is Beth Green (Taylor Schilling).

Logan finds Beth in Camden Parish, Louisiana operating the Green Kennels with her grandmother, Ellie (Blythe Danner). Unknown to Logan at the time, Beth is the sister of one of his fellow Marines, Sgt. Drake "Aces" Green (Kendal Tuttle) who was killed in the melee that introduced us to Logan. The story offers a rather clever connection between Logan, Beth, Aces and the snapshot of Beth.

It was difficult watching this film staring Zac Efron without being haunted by flashbacks of Efron as a central figure in High School Musical. But slowly, the Efron image became more in tune with the story, leaving behind High School Musical. While Efron was indeed a quality performer as was Schilling, Danner, with her years of big screen experience, took the prize. Jay R. Ferguson as Sheriff's Deputy Keith Clayton played Beth's ex-husband well. He even looks like a grown-up spoiled and pouty child.

While all the talents were of respectable quality, the quality of the parts were not all respectable. Please inspect closely the individual content investigation area discussions below and the listings in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide which age stratum, if any, for which this film 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) - 15 out of 100
Violence consisted mainly of warfare violence and assaults by Deputy Clayton. The warfare scenes present six graphic killings of American marines. Bullets are seen hitting the men. The violence content of this film is clearly equivalent to the violence content found in many R-rated films.

How invasive is the influence of violence in and as entertainment? Would boys cheering as a youth plummets 25 feet to the rocks below then pelting rocks at him give any perspective? The following are from Toying with Death, March 2004 by Berit Kjos:

"Visitors at a beauty spot near Glasgow watched helplessly as three boys [aged 18, 17 and 15) forced a terrified schoolboy to fall 25 feet over a cliff and then cheered as their victim plunged on to rocks below, a court heard yesterday."[a]
[a] Arnot Mc Whinnie, Youths forced boy to jump over cliff, The Scotsman, 3-3-04.

"After the Jonesboro shootings, one of the high-school teachers told me how her students reacted when she told them about the shootings at the middle school. 'They laughed,' she told me with dismay. A similar reaction happens all the time in movie theaters when there is bloody violence. The young people laugh and cheer and keep right on eating popcorn and drinking pop. We have raised a generation of barbarians who have learned to associate violence with pleasure, like the Romans cheering and snacking as the Christians were slaughtered in the Coliseum."[b]
[b] Dave Grossman, Trained to Kill.

And then there is the school shooting at Columbine where Klebold and Harris watched Natural Born Killers over and over. And the stabbing of a 14 year old boy by another 14 year old boy, both had just watched Valentine where a blade was the weapon of choice in portrayal of many bloody murders. Don't even try to fall back on "Those films are rated R! Those kids should not have watched them." The "R" label does not prevent underage viewing. I wish I had a dollar for every time I saw underage youths in the audience at R-rated features.

All this from exposure to violence in and as entertainment. Be afraid. Very afraid. For our kids.

God warns us distinctly about the influence of violence in many verses from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Proverb 16:29 addresses the issue rather succinctly. In Proverb 16:29 God warns that violence is enticing: that it is "catching"; that it can lead one into the path that is not good. Since God "published His findings" man plagiarized God by four professional public health agencies publishing that violence in and as entertainment can, among other things, lead the viewer, especially the young, to real life violence and can lead the viewer to believe violence is an effective means of settling conflict.

When are we going to listen?

Impudence/Hate (I) - 22 out of 100
Sixteen times someone uttered some form of profanity, two of them before a child. [Col. 3:8, Luke 17:2] Fortunately, the most foul of the foul words was not noted. God's name was used in vain but that matter is incorporated by the Offense to God (O) content investigation area. Other demonstrations of impudence and/or hatred included adolescent disrespect of his mother, an arrogant and abrasive police officer, a lie and extortion of a man's ex-wife using their son as leverage. In 1 Cor. 6:9 - 10 God warns that [unforgiven] extortioners will not make it into Heaven.

Sexual Immorality (S) - Zero out of 100
After Logan establishes himself to Beth and her grandmother, he works his way into Beth's bed (or she into his). More than once. Though no gender-specific parts are seen, strategic covering by the sheets and clever maneuvers by the camera do not absolve the scenes of what is obviously going on. At times the camera is used to force the viewer onto Beth's private parts covered by revealing clothing. Additional instances of sexually immoral behavior, too many to summarize here, are demonstrated in this film but I ask that you inspect the listing in the Findings section to discover the extent of the sexually immoral content of this film. [1 Thess. 4:1 - 5]

Many do not want to hear it but God's Word regarding sexually immoral behaviors can be summed up as any any sexual contact (including sight, sound and touch), conduct or activity outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage is sinful. "Adult" does not excuse sexual sin no matter what the world says.

A recent finding by Dr. Ross O'Hara of the University of Missouri, published in the Journal Psychological Science, has found that sexually suggestive content in movies profoundly affects the future sexual habits of adolescents so exposed at 12 to 14 years old -- the PG-13 age stratum. According to Dr. O'Hara's findings, adolescents who are exposed to more sexual content in movies start having sex at younger ages, have more sexual partners and engage in riskier sexual activities. Please consider God's admonition against sexual immorality and Dr. O'Hara's finding when you consider which age stratum (if any) for which this film is fit.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 25 out of 100
Booze. Drinking. Drunkenness. They are all there, making this film particularly dangerous for adolescent viewers. According to the American College of Physicians, (AC), anyway.

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]

    Offense to God (O) - 68 out of 100
    Five times someone abuses God's name, one of them with the four letter expletive. The thing of it is that the sin of using God's name in vain does not depend on including the four letter expletive. It is sinful to utter His name in vain for any reason. Yes, that includes the so-popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it. [Deut. 5:11]

    In addition to the abuse of God's name, the soldiers are seen in a session of revelry with a band playing an arrogant song.

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
    While the killings found in the warfare violence might be considered murder by the enemy, the CAP Analysis Model does not include deaths due to acts of war, police action or defensive killings in this content investigation area but rather in the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area. Likewise with portrayal of attempted murder/suicide. Thus, there were no portrayals of murder observed 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.]
  • 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.
  • 1 Cor. 6:9-10 Know ye not that the [unforgiven] unrighteous [adikos: unjust, sinful] shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: - neither fornicators [pornos: a man who prostitutes his body to another's lust for hire, a male prostitute, a man who indulges in immoral sexual intercourse], - nor idolaters [eidololatres: a worshiper of false gods, even mammom (wealth, riches)], - nor adulterers, - nor effeminate [malakos: he who keeps a boy kept for homosexual relations (such as the North American Man-boy Love Association - NAMBLA); a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness; a male prostitute], - nor abusers of themselves with mankind [arsenokoites: one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual practitioner], - Nor thieves, nor covetous [pleonektes: one eager to have more, esp. what belongs to others], - nor drunkards, - nor revilers, - nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
  • 1 Thess. 4:1 - 5 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication [sexual immorality]: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: ["know how to possess his vessel" - be able control his body and drives; be master of them not slave to them: "in sanctification and honor" - of God's Will; "Not in the lust of concupiscence" - not in passionate lust like the heathen.]
  • 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?
  • 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.)

    The Lucky One (2012) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 15 out of 100
  • military armament and maneuvers, long sequence
  • warfare killing, graphic
  • adult tantrum, twice
  • firearm threat
  • assault, twice
  • severe weather rescue peril
  • severe weather fatality

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 22 out of 100
  • 16 uses of profanity, twice before a child
  • adolescent disrespect of mother, twice
  • arrogant and abrasive police officer
  • lie about being drunk
  • extortion of ex-wife using their son as leverage

    Sexual Immorality (S) - Zero out of 100
  • camera angle/pose to force viewer on sexually oriented scenes and body parts, repeatedly
  • rude gaze, twice
  • excessive shirt open, repeatedly
  • admission of teen sexually immoral behavior leading to unmarried pregnancy
  • open face kissing
  • "lap dance" straddle
  • make out frenzy
  • intercourse with covered nudity, twice
  • co-stripping to skin
  • man and woman in bed after the fact
  • woman on man in bed
  • making out with suggestion of it leading to intercourse

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 25 out of 100
  • booze, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • drunkenness, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O) - 66 out of 100
  • 5 abuses of God's name, once with the four letter expletive
  • revelry with arrogant song

    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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