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


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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The Patriot (2000), (R)
CAP Score: 53
CAP Influence Density: 1.01
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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

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NOTE: We make no scoring allowances for Hollywood's trumped-up "messages" to excuse, or its manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth. If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objectuve and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

If Scriptural references appear in the Summary / Commentary, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.


The Patriot (R) -- a really fine brutal movie.

Wow! The Patriot was amazing! Amazing in many ways. Talents. Artistry. Accuracy of the time period. Casting. Settings and backdrops. And brutality.

Mel Gibson was perfect for the part of a once-warrior turned pacifist who was forced to return to being a warrior because of the brutality at the hands of another perfectly cast actor, Jason Isaacs as the viciously brutal British colonel who dogged Gibson until he couldn't take it any more.

As a warrior turned pacifist, Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) becomes involved in the politics of the birth of our nation, he resists declaration of war against the oppressive British rule and taxation. Benjamin was a father of seven motherless kids and felt "Who would take care of them if I get killed." This becomes an issue for his eldest son, Gabriel (Heath Ledger) who signs up for the Continental Army against his father's wishes saying something like -- Benjamin:"You'll understand [why I don't want to fight or want you to fight] when you have your own family." Gabriel: "At least I don't hide behind a family." So, Gabriel is off to war and his father is off to his family.

As the revolutionary war unfolds in his front yard, Martin does the Christian thing (and our Christian heritage is not ignored in this movie) and cares for even the wounded British soldiers. While caring for the the injured, Gabriel comes limping home, injured. Along comes. Col. William Tavington (Jason Isaacs) of the British Green Dragons under Gen. Cornwallis (Tom Wilkinson). Trotting up to Martin's front porch, the Martin family tries to soft shoe their way through why there were both Colonial and British injured soldiers on Martin's porch as Tavington looks down his nose. Then one of the British soldiers discovers some secret papers Gabriel was delivering. Uncovering the covertness, Tavington murders Martins next eldest son, kills all the wounded Colonial soldiers, burns Martin's house to the ground, and carts off Gabriel for hanging.

Now, Martin again becomes a warrior, enlisting his next two sons as warriors to rescue Gabriel. And that they do -- most brutally and viciously animalistic. Not only does this movie present the cold-blooded and graphic murder of a young boy, it has two young boys killing soldiers - graphically - at the command of their father. And one of them said he liked it as if drugged by it (please hear what this says). But there is more to the brutality ... a lot more ... vicious, slashing, beating, murderous brutality including the incineration of a whole town of people imprisoned in a burning church. Through all this, Gabriel and his father end up being a militia team with Benjamin as the colonel and Gabriel as a corporal. And they do make a great team. Gabriel looses his arrogance against his father as he serves under his father -- willingly after a while. But I will end my revealing of the story here.

This movie is a good example of the way movies lead thoughts and feelings. Even I queried myself whether I could do what Martin did if one of my sons was murdered before my eyes and to rescue another from hanging -- the answer was 'Yes.' Sure, it was only a movie, but feelings like those don't get tossed with the popcorn box. This movie is also a good example for the need for God's Wisdom as he admonished us in Phil. 4:8. While not a kid's movie, and while it is Hollywood gore and guts for money, and even though it is just a movie, it is a movie to remind us to soberly reflect on what we had to do to get the freedom to have the freedom of speech; the freedom of religion; the right to keep and bear arms; the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; the right to be 'We, the People...' and what we might have to do to keep these rights.


Phil. 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Please see the Findings/Scoring section below for a full accounting of this movie: for the best representation of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

FINDINGS / SCORING: The Patriot (2000) CAP Thermometers

NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • many, many scenes of battle killings and gore
  • much brutality against civilians
  • decapitation by cannonball
  • amputations by warfare
  • hangings

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • childish anger at failure
  • arrogance against father, including screaming and "I hate you"
  • 15 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • humans as property
  • bigotry
  • lies to not hurt father's feelings

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • one instance of implied sexual immorality
  • a female star showing more breast exposure than the others

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • two instances of drinking
  • one instance of drunken revelry

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • one use of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • murder of a civilian child as a tool of manipulation
  • mass murder of the townspeople by incineration
  • gunfire suicide

  • (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 in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

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

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

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