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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2005), PG-13 [PG-13*]
Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
April 7, 2005
55 out of 100

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Christian Long Distance

(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2005), PG-13 [PG-13*] -- ... a "hardcore" PG-13.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Bristol Bay Productions, Paramount Pictures, Baldwin Entertainment
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures, Summit Entertainment
Director(s): Breck Eisner
Producer(s): Mark Abela, Mark Albela, Stephanie Austin, Howard Baldwin, Karen Elise Baldwin, David Barron, Clive Cussler, Victoria Dee, Gus Gustawes, William J. Immerman, Matthew McConaughey, Nick Morton, Mace Neufeld, Denise O'Dell, Mike Phillips, Scott Thaler, Chris Thompson
Novel by: Clive Cussler
Screenplay: Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, John C. Richards, James V. Hart
Cinematography/Camera: Seamus McGarvey
Music: Clint Mansell
Film Editing: Andrew MacRitchie
Casting: Nina Gold, Anne McCarthy
Production Design: Allan Cameron
Art Direction: Giles Masters, Tony Reading
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

Sahara, a hybrid between Indiana Jones and Mummy, was another PG-13 scraping the bottom of the PG-13 barrel, just one point above the threshold for R-13 . Loss of one more point in the final score would have placed Sahara at the top of the scoring range earned by R-rated movies in the comparative baseline database. So, Sahara is a "hardcore" PG-13, mainly due to violence and language.

The writers stuffed a fat cigar in William H. Macy's mouth to try to make him look like a retired admiral but it just didn't work. Maybe casting Macy as the retiring police sergeant in Cellular worked, but not an admiral. I worked for captains and admirals for too long. Macy just doesn't fit the type. Oh, well. The casting of Macy was adequate for the purpose of the film ... as James Sandecker, head of the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) who provided the resources and personnel to find a civil war ironclad gunship in the Nigerian desert.

Dirk Pitt (Matthew McConaughey) claimed Thomas Jefferson minted only five special gold coins circa the civil war. Four of them went to generals and one went to the captain of the USS Texas, a ironclad gunship like the USS Monitor and the CSS Merrimack . This is all interesting enough but Pitt found the fifth coin in Nigeria. How could a lumbering civil war ironclad gunship make the voyage from Virginia across the big waters to the west coast of the African continent? No one knew. But Pitt's boss, Sandecker let Pitt convince him to take his speed boat called a yacht up the Niger River to find out -- for 72 hours. Sidekick and military buddy Al Giordino (Steve Zahn) accompanied Pitt. Together, McConaughey and Zahn provided almost two hours of devil-may-care and almost slapstick bravado and camaraderie shaming even The Lone Ranger and Tonto.

Along for the ride, inadvertently, was Dr. Eva Rojas (Penélope Cruz) of the World Health Organization. Dr. Rojas felt she had discovered that what appeared to be a disease threatening to kill all of eastern Africa but was beginning to rethink her discovery; that is was not of the biological nature after all. She convinced Pitt to transport her and her cohort, Dr. Frank Hopper (IMDb listed no name at the time of this report) to where they suspected the health threat had its start. In trying to head off a biological epidemic that would kill thousands, Dr. Rojas instead finds something that could kill not only thousands but all living things in the oceans of the entire Earth.

The distributors created some of the most beautiful boxart with the most alluring mix of colors and brilliance I have ever seen, but "don't judge a book by its cover."

Some of the instances in this film that drained the CAP thermometers for it includes 15 uses of the three/four letter word but none of the most foul of the foul words [Col. 3:8]. God's name in vain was spoken numerous times but all without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11]. Sexually immoral material included "lesser" matters (see such as camera angle to force the viewer on private parts, revealing swim wear, two adults frolicking intimately in swim wear and exposure of excessive midriff skin to include below navel skin [Eph. 4:19, Eph. 5:3, Col 3:5]. The strongest presence in Sahara was, as to be expected from a high adventure film, was violence. Lots of violence. [Prov. 3:31-32, Prov. 13:2] The listing in the Findings/Scoring section will reveal all that was noted.


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.


  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
  • 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 an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]
  • Eph. 4:19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
  • Eph. 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.
  • Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: ["Mortify" - nekroo {nek-ro'-o}: deprive of power." Members" - melos {mel'-os}: a member of the human body given up to immoral intercourse. "Upon the earth" - lying down. "Fornication" - porneia {por-ni'-ah}: illicit sexual intercourse. "Uncleanness" - akatharsia {ak-ath-ar-see'-ah}: in a moral sense, the impurity of lustful living. 'Inordinate affection" - pathos {path'-os}: lust. "Evil concupiscence" - epithumia {ep-ee-thoo-mee'-ah}: desire, craving, longing for what is forbidden. "Covetousness" - pleonexia {pleh-on-ex-ee'-ah}: greedy desire to have more. "Idolatry" - eidololatreia {i-do-lol-at-ri'-ah}: the worship of false gods, including man - or woman.]
  • Prov. 13:2 From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things, but the unfaithful have a craving for violence.

    ***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, 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 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 you], 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 [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] 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 - 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. "Little ones": mikros - little;, small of age; younger which can include 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 heart of the CAP Analysis Model)

    Sahara (2005) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • long sequence of battle violence, some graphic and with varying degrees of intensity
  • hand-to-hand combat with defensive deaths
  • assault on a woman, repeatedly
  • human eye gore, repeatedly
  • impalement gore
  • threat with blade
  • attempted gunfire killings, many
  • attempted blade killing, repeatedly
  • fighting violence, repeatedly
  • action violence, repeatedly, some graphic
  • multiple deaths by explosion
  • disease gore, repeatedly
  • dead bodies, numerous times
  • physical brutality
  • gunfire defensive killing, repeatedly
  • massive store of offensive weapons
  • beating with rifle stock
  • beating with hands
  • abduction, repeatedly
  • firearm threat to the head
  • defensive killing by fall
  • room full of skeletons

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 15 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • lies to protect and for other "noble" reasons
  • crude male posterior partial nudity

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • man in towel only
  • midriff skin to include below navel skin, repeatedly
  • camera angle to force viewer on private parts
  • revealing swim wear
  • adults frolicking in revealing swim wear

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • tobacco
  • booze
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O)
  • five uses of God's name in vain though all without the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • gunfire murders, both seen and unseen

  • First Impressions and

    Christian Educators Association International



    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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