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


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

(2003), PG-13
Analysis Date: July 8, 2003
CAP Score: 43 out of 100
CAP Influence Density: 1.50

MinMax: -90

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, 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 completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

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

(2003), PG-13 -- Suicide is suggested as a relief when life gets hard.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Touchstone Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Pictures, The Walt Disney Company
Director(s): Gore Verbinski
Producer(s): Jerry Bruckheimer, Paul Deason, Chad Oman, Pat Sandston, Mike Stenson
Written by/Screenplay: Screenplay: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio. Story: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie, Jay Wolpert
Cinematography/Camera: Dariusz Wolski
Music: Klaus Badelt, Steve Jablonsky, Alan Silvestri, Geoff Zanelli
Film Editing: Stephen E. Rivkin, Arthur Schmidt, Craig Wood
Casting: Kate Dowd, Ronna Kress
Production Design: Brian Morris
Art Direction: Richard Earl, Derek R. Hill, James E. Tocci
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

As a youth, Will Turner (Dylan Smith, later Orlando Bloom), blacksmith son of pirate William "Bootstrap" Turner, was pulled from the wreckage of a destroyed ship at sea by Governor Weatherby Swann (Jonathan Pryce) of Port Royal. Barely breathing, young Will was given by Governor Swann into the care of his same-age daughter, Elizabeth Swann (Lucinda Dryzek, later Keira Knightley) while daddy and company did emergency things. On young Will was an Aztec golden medallion of some import unbeknownst at the time to young Elizabeth. Without Will realizing it, Elizabeth swipes the medallion from Will and keeps it for herself. As it becomes known, the medallion was the quest of a Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) of the Black Pearl. The Black Pearl had been wreaking havoc among the coastal cities and ships at sea for ten years as the most feared pirate ship and crew in the Caribbean. The gold medallion now in the possession of Elizabeth is the last of 182 stolen medallions that must be returned to its rightful place. The last remaining medallion must be recovered and returned else Captain Barbossa and crew cannot rest ... ever. The last Aztec medallion *must* be returned at any cost ... with blood.

Ten years later, pirate CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) -- I mock the emphasis he placed on his title throughout the show -- appears in Port Royal. Jack insists on being addressed as "Captain" since he was the Captain of the Black Pearl until mutiny exiled him on a tiny speck of an island while then First Mate, Barbossa took over command of the Black Pearl. In Port Royal soon-to-be promoted Commodore Norrington (Jack Davenport) proposes marriage to Elizabeth while standing atop a sea wall. As Norrington fashionably crawls to popping the question, Elizabeth suffers dyspnea due to the bindings of the new dress her father, Governor Swann bought her just for the promotion ceremony, then passes out and falls to the sea below. Enters Cap'n Jack Sparrow to the rescue and saves Elizabeth from sure death at the bottom of the port waters. Daddy is most appreciative but now Commodore Norrington is interested only in executing Sparrow for piracy.

Jack escapes the clutches of Commodore Norrington but while on the run loses a sword duel with sword-making blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and is captured. Remember, Will Turner is the lad Elizabeth cared for ten years ago. Will is still smitten with Elizabeth. And from all appearances, she with he rather than her betrothed Commodore Norrington.

Now comes Captain Barbossa of the Black Pearl to attack Port Royal to retrieve the golden medallion so he can return it to its rightful place and be finally freed of the curse of walking death. To honor the pirates' code, Elizabeth demands to meet with Barbossa to give him the medallion. Elizabeth lies to Barbossa and says she is Elizabeth Turner. Ah, what booty! Barbossa kidnaps Elizabeth thinking she is the daughter of the pirate William Turner and host of the blood needed to end the curse. In the aftermath of the battle, Will frees Jack with the promise to help him rescue Elizabeth from the evil clutches of Barbossa.

As you can see, the plot and story are not without intrigue, excitement and lure. This is not a local university production. It presents high wattage performances in a challenging story with intricate blendings of subplots. The mixture of live acting with CGI is seamless and indeed a credit to the art. I have shared enough of this film with you to give you an idea of the caliber of this film and will spoil the plot no more. But! While there is fun in this Disney comedy/drama shiver-me-timbers playground, there are bullies.

Deepest into questionable influence is the intense and graphic violence. A score of zero was earned in the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area. There is much sword play with some of it graphic. The battles between ships at sea and between the Black Pearl and Port Royal were larger than most in intensity. Such battles are certainly invasive of the senses but how much must be tolerated in and as entertainment? Suicide is suggested as a relief when life gets hard. many characters die by sword impalement. Barbossa shoots one of his crew in the chest, graphically, to prove they who are under the curse cannot die. A cannon ball carries a victim through a wall. Deaths by gunfire, axe, explosion and crushing among other means. Jack's head is put in a noose, the lever is pulled and the viewer sees him fall to the rope's end though Jack does not die. The end does not justify the means nor does the destination excuse the path. Often the story teaches more than the moral of it. Impalements with a sword, most with no consequences, were nearly as profuse as salt on popcorn. [Prov. 3:31-32; Ps. 37:37; Matt. 5:9; Rom. 12:18; 1 Tim. 2:1 - 3]

Piracy is almost hailed as vocation or a profession. Traditional versus modern piracy is theft by pillaging and plunder. However romantic piracy may be for some, it is still evil. One of our subscribers emailed me with a point about *Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas* worthy of sharing with you since the point is paralleled in *Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl*. In both films, the lady of refine ends up rejecting the man of integrity and honor to run off with a scoundrel pirate. In both films, the rejected man nobly steps aside in favor of the, however questionable, happiness of his loved one. While purely romantic in nature, this is not a very good example to set for the target age stratum. Piracy is also amassing a large treasure by wrongful gain. While there is nothing sinful about being rich, it might sinful how we get rich and how we use it: if it becomes our master. Riches and wealth are tools, not life's purpose. [Nahum 3:1; Amos 3:10; Hab. 2:9; Prov. 28:22]

Also earning a score of zero in the Offense to God investigation area, the film was replete with unholy beings with ungodly means and goals. A curse was the driving force. [Deut. 18:10; 2 Chr. 33:6]

Please read the listing in the Findings/Scoring section (the heart of the CAP analysis model) before you decide whether to take your family to see this movie or before deciding whether to let your kids see it.

SPECIAL NOTE: We will be reducing the volume of coverage in the Summary/Commentary section of our reports and the number of reports generated in an effort to reduce costs until full funding can be achieved. The Findings/Scoring section of each report, the heart of the analysis model, will NOT be reduced in any way.

Thank you for your patience as we diligently search for funding. Anyone who wishes to volunteer to help us locate 501(c)(3) nonprofit funding and sponsors is encouraged to notify me.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. 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. 3:31-32 Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.
  • Ps. 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
  • Matt. 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
  • Rom. 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
  • 1 Tim. 2:1 - 3 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
  • Nahum 3:1 Woe to the city of blood, full of lies, full of plunder, never without victims!
  • Amos 3:10 For they know not to do right, saith the LORD, who store up violence and robbery [plunder] in their palaces.
  • Hab. 2:9 Woe to him who builds his realm by unjust gain to set his nest on high, to escape the clutches of ruin!
  • Prov. 28:22 He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.
  • Deut. 18:10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,
  • 2 Chr. 33:6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it]. [I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • 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 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*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 [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; 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.


    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.


    Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • three decayed corpses hanging by the next, repeatedly
  • assault
  • abduction at gunpoint, twice
  • action violence, some intense, repeatedly
  • gunfire to kill, some graphic, repeatedly
  • sword play, much, some heavy, some graphic
  • sword threats to kill or to control, many
  • battle violence, some very intense, repeatedly
  • deaths, many, by axe, by gunfire, by lade, by cannonball, by explosion, by crushing and other means
  • plundering and pillaging
  • action violence, some intense, repeatedly
  • threats with firearms, some to the face
  • woman being struck by a man, repeatedly
  • jail break
  • theft
  • brawl
  • knife impalement
  • slappings
  • storm peril at sea
  • staging execution to gain restitution for greed/lust
  • decayed body
  • knife cut
  • gunshot to chest to prove subject cannot be killed
  • fork impaled into eyeball
  • near drownings
  • suggestion of suicide when life gets hard
  • attempted murder by walking the plank
  • planning murder
  • knife threat
  • sword impalements,many, some graphic
  • graphic gunfire injury
  • attempted hanging, with noose around neck, level pulled, body dropped, end of rope reached

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • four uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary (though used literally in accordance with proper definitions, they were used more as an excuse to add them)
  • adolescent deceit
  • buying favor
  • lie to protect identity
  • bird defecation on shoulder

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • ghosting of female anatomy through thin clothing
  • sexual innuendo, repeatedly, once by looking at the underside of a bookend of a seated nude female
  • excessive breast exposure, repeatedly
  • prostitution
  • threat of sexual invasion to force compliance
  • inappropriate touch
  • camera angle to maximize female anatomy

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • drunkenness, repeatedly
  • booze
  • drinking to toxicity

    Offense to God (O)
  • unholy beings, repeatedly, some quite invasive, sometimes as an army of them
  • behaviors dictated in servitude to a curse

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • gunfire murder to the face
  • many murders by sword, some graphic, some with gore

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    NOTE: While the Summary/Commentary section of these reports is precisely that -- a summary in commentary format which can be and sometimes is subjective, the actual CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give *them* the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the deceit of those who would say anything to convince their parents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften nor erase the price of sin. Whether there is application of fantasy "justification" or "redemption" is up to mom/dad.

    "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 more than eight 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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