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(2007), PG-13 [R-13*] (2hr 37min)

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
May 23, 2007
50 out of 100

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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.

(2007), PG-13 [R-13*]

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Walt Disney Pictures
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Pictures
Director(s): Gore Verbinski
Producer(s): Jerry Bruckheimer, Bruce Hendricks, Peter Kohn, Eric McLeod, Chad Oman, Pat Sandston, Mike Stenson
Written by: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio
Characters: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie, Jay Wolpert
Cinematography/Camera: Dariusz Wolski
Music: Hans Zimmer
Film Editing: Stephen E. Rivkin, Craig Wood
Casting: Denise Chamian, Priscilla John
Production Design: Rick Heinrichs
Art Direction: John Dexter, William Ladd Skinner
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

Once again we ware blessed with being able to view a film before opening day but this-n-that prevented getting the analysis report package built and posted until opening day. Since this report is being distributed and posted on opening day, I am not going to spoil the plot or story by discussing them in any great detail in case you deem this genre and caliber of entertainment as fit for your family and decide to watch it.

Arrr! Dangers abound, me lads and lasses! The devil-may-care, hearty swashbucklers of yesteryear can be mighty fun for the daydream. Arrr! But when Disney et al start showing characters shoving swords to the hilt with the blade protruding through and stabbing out the back of the victim, the fun becomes dangerous.

Cap'n Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) teams up with the other eight lords of piracy including Cap'n Hector Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush), Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley) and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) to do battle with Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) to rescue Will's father, Bootstrap Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) from eternal condemnation to the twilight world of the undead who become infested with sea creature features, barnacles, every little nibbler in the sea and just about any other oceanic undesirable known to the writers.

This film presents some of the most outstanding make up and costuming ever seen on film. But that can be a problem. For example, the squid-head Davy Jones looks about as real as can be. The movements and appearances of the squid flesh that has consumed Jones' head are realistic enough to lead the younger viewer to believe it real. It must be remembered that, as Dr. Karen Nelson, Psychology Department head and practicing counselor Dr. Larry Gilliam agree with me, it would be unusual for even a 16 year old to be able to fully separate fantasy from reality: that such skills do not typically plateau until the early 20s.

Now to the reason most parents and grandparents visit our pages.

By the scoring data comparative below this third (2007) Pirates of the Caribbean  installment is just about another pea in the same pod as the 2003 and the 2006 versions. Each is intense in violence and unholy matters. It is all fantasy, to be sure, but a bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly.

With a final score of 50, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End  falls into the range of scores earned by R-rated films (54 and below out of 100) in the comparative baseline database, not a "hardcore" R but more like an "average R." While Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End  is equivalent in content to G or PG films in Impudence/Hate (I), Sexual Immorality (S) and Drugs/Alcohol, it is intensely violent and likewise intensely unholy, so intense it earned equivalence to R-rated films in both Wanton Violence/Crime (W) and Offense to God (O) with a zero score in each. Murder/Suicide (M) is the only investigation area which found programming to be equivalent to the PG-13 the film is rated, "Hardcore" PG-13 but PG-13 nonetheless.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
The lucrative and violent life of the pirate is magnified by the larger-than-life bigscreen, making the Buccaneer violence a real concern as found by the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and others, including God. [1 Cor. 15:33]. The trouble is that cutthroat criminals are made heroes and the law is made evil. [Isa. 5:20, Ezek. 22:12, Hab. 2:9] Remember, a bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly.

The film starts out with multiple hangings, including of a young boy. Killings and deaths in intense action violence fill the 157 minutes of the film. There is little gore but that does not serve well to minimize the depth of violence soil in this film. As we discovered (which has since been fortified by other professional services - see Joint Statement...), it is not so much the gore, the weapons or the actual killing that so indelibly influences, whether intended, the target audience of the most morally vulnerable age stratum. It is rather the attitude of the one doing the killing that possesses the strongest influence. See ATTITUDE: In Perspective ... for more information. In this film, characters kill in individualized murders with triumphant joy and lust in their eyes. It has been a long time since I have seen performers be as able to express cold apathy for life and hunger to kill as efficiently as seen in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. It is that presence that bears the most dangerous influential mark. [Again 1 Cor. 15:33]

Impudence/Hate (I)
While there is much threatening talk there is only one use of the three/four letter word vocabulary in the entire 2 hours and 37 minutes of story. [Col. 3:8] Massive tattoos stereotypical of the "bad guy" image are displayed. Lies and treachery round out the content applicable to the Impudence and/or Hate investigation area. [Isa. 13:11]

Sexual Immorality (S)
As far as sexual content is concerned, there was no nudity noted and no one gets in bed with anyone though there is a strong suggestion of it plus a touch of inappropriate touch after the event. There are prostitutes shown and a man tries to force himself on Elizabeth. The use of women as toys and/or ornaments did not help the film's scoring. The most vulgar sexual matters in the film include some men hiding under a wooden plank floor with wide-spaced boards looking up between Elizabeth's legs as she walked by. While looking up between Elizabeth's legs is a bad enough image, the crazed lust comments and expressions of the male characters made it vulgar. A bad guy demanding that Elizabeth remove her clothes (not seen) after removing all the weapons hidden in her clothes did not help the scoring. [Matt. 5:28, Eph. 5:5]

Drugs/Alcohol (D)
In several instances the want of rum is portrayed. Booze was noted only once and drinking was noted only twice. But such "minimal" portrayal is not to be heralded. There are probably more instances of drinking/drunkenness but, if so, were embedded so deeply into the flow and action that I missed them. The American College of Physicians (ACP)has found that exposure to booze and drinking in and as entertainment emboldens the viewer, in particular the middle school age stratum: the PG-13 age stratum.

Though the ACP study used R-rated films since it was believed R-rated films contained the most drinking, the focus is on the influence of exposure to alcohol in and as entertainment regardless of the film rating. Besides, the ACP researchers were not aware of R-13 which defeats the assumption that R-rated films present the most drinking and drunkenness. Harvard University and even the University of Connecticut agree with the CAP R-13 finding, Harvard University four years after us. As a sidebar note, consider this, too. If the MPAA is going to make all films with smoking in them R-rated, why not make R-rated any films which present booze and/or drinking and/or drunkenness? [Eph. 5:18]

Within the ACP study population of 4544 middle school students, the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was

  • 46% for those with no restrictions on which rating may be viewed
  • 16% for those with partial restrictions on which rating may be viewed
  • four percent for those with complete restrictions

    Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? And emboldening children to sin with drink in and as entertainment screams of violating Luke 17:2.

    I can add to the ACP study that reveals films which present drinking and drunkenness contribute to underage substance abuse. I submit that it is not so much the presence of alcohol in films that embolden youth to abuse it, but is rather the attitude portrayed. Our report on this, ATTITUDE: In Perspective -- Investigation Area Scoring and Trend in CAP Entertainment Industry Investigations, Special Report-001 may provide more understanding of the point.

    Offense to God (O)
    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End  is intensely saturated with matters of unholy nature such as ungodly beings, a witch and witchcraft, evil as having the power to control the weather, false god worship, existence in an unholy limbo between life and the afterlife and more. [2 Chr. 33:6, Rev. 21:8] The film presents "Free from death itself" and "There is more than one way to live forever" (immortality). [Heb. 9:27] There are numerous examples of partnering with the evil and the unholy and the use of evil to do good. [Isa. 5:20]

    One of the unholy beings had its "brain" exposed to the air, fondled it and then lost it. Well, I know how he felt. I once developed an open mind to the enlightenment provided by much modern entertainment ... then my brain fell out. Though there were no transplant brains available as good as the one I had, God found one for me.

    Murder/Suicide (M)
    As noted above, murder was indeed graphic in some cases, especially the impalement murders by sword. In one case a woman is murdered by gunfire and the hole in her forehead is seen as she falls to the ground. Some killings (murders) are portrayed as by cannon fire. And in one case, Jones sends some of his tentacles down the nose and throat of a victim to kill him. [Rev. 22:15]


    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.


  • Isa. 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
  • Ezek. 22:12 In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD.
  • 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!
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy (injurious speech, slander in this use), filthy communication [aischrologia: foul speaking, low and obscene] out of your mouth.
  • Isa. 13:11 I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
  • Matt. 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
  • Eph. 5:5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person -such a man is an idolater -has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
  • 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. 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.
  • 2Chr. 33:6 He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking Him to anger.
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers [the NIV calls it "magic arts" which includes those who practice evil magic including witches, warlocks, wizards, sorcerers, spiritists, diviners, necromancers, etc.], and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • Heb. 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
  • Isa. 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
  • Rev. 22:15 Outside [of Heaven] are the dogs, those [unforgiven] who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, `The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to 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 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; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • 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.)

    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • multiple hangings, including of a child
  • injury gore
  • scenes of the condemned standing with hanging ropes around their necks
  • firearms to control, repeatedly
  • pile of bodies and body parts, repeatedly
  • firearm to the face, repeatedly
  • blade to the throat, repeatedly
  • flesh infestation gore, repeatedly
  • threat to stab to intimidate
  • underwater torture
  • blow to head to control
  • massive battles with gunfire and sword killings, repeatedly
  • woman killed by bullet to forehead, wound seen
  • many deaths by explosion, repeatedly
  • breaking off one's own frozen toe
  • disembodied beating heart
  • falling over waterfall peril
  • many bodies underwater
  • action violence with deaths by cannon fire, explosions, gunfire and swords, repeatedly with varying intensities, some quite graphic such as with a death by crushing
  • dead bodies, repeatedly
  • hit to face
  • hit to stomach
  • order to kill
  • sword impalements, graphic, repeatedly, one exceptionally intense
  • gulls feeding on injury flesh
  • brawls, two
  • assault
  • glorification of pirates and piracy throughout

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • one use of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • massive tattoos, repeatedly
  • lies, repeatedly
  • treachery

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • prostitutes, repeatedly
  • order for woman to remove clothes (unseen) with lustful anticipation
  • bathhouse with bathing
  • men looking up between woman's legs through wide-spaced boards of small bridge with vulgar comment and expressions
  • women as toys/ornaments
  • man forcing himself on a woman
  • inappropriate touch with strong suggestion of intercourse (unseen)

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • want of rum, repeatedly
  • booze
  • drinking, only twice noted

    Offense to God (O)
  • ghost ship surfacing
  • voodoo witch, repeatedly
  • unholy apparitions, frequent, some quite graphic
  • witchcraft, repeatedly
  • condemnation to an unholy realm of existence in the limbo between life and afterlife, most of film
  • living dead, repeatedly
  • false god worship, repeatedly
  • "Free from death itself"
  • portrayal of evil being able to control weather

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • gunfire murder of woman by bullet to the head, seen
  • many murders by pirate cannon fire
  • additional gunfire murder
  • sword murder, repeatedly
  • murder by forcing tentacles down man's throat

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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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