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(2011), PG [PG*] (80.8min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
December 2, 2011
December 3, 2011

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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.

(2011), PG [PG*] ... an entire community comes to the rescue of a young boy's dream

Production (US): MPower Pictures LLC
Distribution (US): ARC Entertainment LLC
Director(s): Robert Kirbyson
Producer(s): Bill O'Kane, eray liotta, Diane Hendricks, Tina Segel, Todd Burns, Stephen McEveety, David Segel, John Shapherd, Randy Jackson
Written by: Robert Kirbyson
Cinematography/Camera: Geno Salatori
Music: John Debney
Film Editing: Catherine Kirbyson
Casting: Joey Paul Jensen
Production Design: Christopher R. DeMuri
Viewed on ARC Entertainment Home Video DVD

Adolescent Billy Kirkfield (Bobby Coleman) wants to do something important that everyone will remember for years. But he wants to do it before he dies of cancer ... this year.

SNOWMEN is a story about three unlikely heroes that change their lives and the lives of an entire community. Forever.

A gruesome discovery of a "snowman" in a quinzhee by three young lads: Billy, Lucas Lamb (Christian Martyn) and Jamaican transplant Howard Garvey (Bobb'e Thompson) lead themselves and the entire town of Silverlake, Utah into the national spotlight and into the Guinness Book of World Records®.

Along the way a local bully, Jason Bound (Josh Flitter) makes it hard for Billy and his friends to make any difference at all. But the support of gorgeous young Gwen Nowakowski (Demi Petersen), Billy's first girlfriend, makes things a little easier. Ray Liotta and Susanne Sutchy star as Billy's parents, Reggie and Elaine. Reggie is the local opportunistic used car salesman.

After the fanfare surrounding the boys' discovery of the "snowman" starts to dwindle, Billy starts to embellish the event a little as he tells his friends of his find. But Jason doesn't buy it and starts to paint himself as the bully. Jason is king of the Kill Hill - a large pile of snow dozed off the school parking lot that only the toughest kids may climb onto. After a brief episode of social warfare between Jason and Lucas, Howard steps in and makes mockery of Jason's toughness which leads the foursome into the principal's office. It is here we learn why Billy is allowed to wear a snow cap in class - he has cancer and the therapy has left him bald. At least he has put two and two together that tell him he has cancer from the parts and pieces of things from his parents and from the hospital calling every day.

Here is where we find that Billy does not want to go out a loser, does not want to be remembered as "the pathetic bald kid." But he does not yet know how to achieve the notoriety he wants.

After the boys have an episode of social warfare with Jason and a visit to the "snowman's" gravesite Billy starts to get ideas. First, he tries to get into fame with posting on the internet a video of him being pelted with 100 snowballs in one minute. When that does not work, he tries a toboggan vaulting video. And that doesn't work. Now Billy is getting irritated. The trio start looking through the Guinness Book of World Records® for ideas. Voilá! Snowmen! Build more than 2311 snowmen in 24 hours and he will have a Guinness title! It is winter, fer cryin' out load. Everything is covered in deep snow. There is plenty of snow. All Billy needs now to break the world's record for building snowmen is a lot of help. That is the main thrust of the film: that an entire community comes to the rescue of a young boy's dream to be somebody important. But soon Billy and all others involved learn that self importance is not built on what you do in life as much as how you do it and that everyone counts.

As a side note, Christopher Lloyd, famous for Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and many other films appears as a cemetery groundskeeper and is provided with what attempts to be sage advice for the boys. Anyone could have played this part. Lloyd has provided much stronger and contributory parts in his long career.

This film earned a final score of 70, placing it near the bottom of the scoring range earned by PG films (86 to 68 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. It is R-equivalent (54 and below out of 100) in violence/crime and impudence/hate but G-equivalent with a perfect score of 100 out of 100 in Sexual Immorality, Drugs/Alcohol and Murder/Suicide and PG-equivalent in Offense to God. The R-equivalence is not particularly because of the severity of any individual events of assault on morality and/or wholesomeness but because of the sheer number of them, making the total magnitude of moral assaults within each of the two investigation areas large enough for the effect to be equivalent to the same content in some R-rated films.


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) - 34 out of 100
The quintessential trio is noted as playing in a tunneled out pile of plowed snow (a "quinzhee") and then are immersed in peril as the plow dumps more snow on the pile, entrapping the boys who barely escape. In addition, the boys come face-to-face with a dead man frozen in the snow. Further, Jason holds an ice skate blade to Lucas' face as a threat. That is certainly not PG material. That the one holding the blade and his victim are adolescents does not sanitize such a demonstration. One might see such terror in an R-rated film or maybe even a PG-13 rated film, but it does not belong in a PG-rated film. SPOILER: The boys also must visually deal with Billy drowning and his drowned dead body. A fact-of-life similarity of some of these cinematic demonstrations does not excuse exposing a PG-crowd audience to them. As I said, this content investigation area found material to be equivalent to some R-rated features. And God finds it inadvisable. So does man. Let me explain.

Of the great number of admonitions in the Bible against embracing violence, I favor using Proveb 16:29 to impart His Wisdom to you because it warns us that violence is "catching" and that violence can lead one "into the way that is not good." Long after God "published His findings" in the Bible, man published findings about viewing violence in and as entertainment. Four professional public health agencies have jointly published that, among other things, viewing violence, especially by the young, can lead to real life violence and can cause the observer to view violence as an acceptable way to settle conflict. God warned us about embracing violence. Now man warns us about doing so. When are we going to listen?

Impudence/Hate (I) - 1 out of 100
Four times the adolescent cast use euphemisms of profanity, ostensibly to "excuse cussing." But the strongest presence in this content area include bullying, social cruelty, name-calling, lying [Rev. 21:8] to garner social superiority and attention and other matters shown in the listing in the Findings section. Note also that adults in the cast are not squeaky clean. Reggie lies a number of times to attempt an increase in car sales, lies to Billy about his health and is opportunistic with the death of an old man in the street in front of his house. The news media embellish the truth about the dead man and peripheral information. [Isa. 13:11] There are a few other matters of impudence and/or hatred but I ask that you look to the listing in the Findings section for a complete accounting of the content found by this investigation area.

As with the violence content investigation area score, the score earned by the content of the film applicable to this investigation area is also R-equivalent but not due to any particularly extreme cinematic demonstration or display but rather due to the sheer number of them. For more information about this technique of loading the content of a film with tons of "lesser" matters of assault on morality and wholesomeness to achieve the same "feel" as films that use fewer but more bold and graphic examples of content, see our publication CAP Rule of 1000.

Sexual Immorality (S) - 100 out of 100
There is no content worthy of incorporating into this content investigation area.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 100 out of 100
No possession or consumption of illegal drugs, of alcohol or tobacco were found throughout the entire 80.8 minutes of the program. Neither was any abuse of prescription drugs found.

Offense to God (O) - 83 out of 100
There is one use of God's name in vain by an adult. Though it was without the four letter expletive, God made no distinctions between with and without the four letter expletive. He will hold guilty those who abuse His name. [Deut. 5:11] But of much more concern was the statement by Billy [SPOLIER], who was telling of his memory during the 53 minutes he was dead, that there are dogs in Heaven. Dogs and all other things that walk on four legs, creep or crawl or fly through the air ... no animals ... have no souls. They will not be found in Heaven.

Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
No murders or suicides were found.



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.]
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable [vile], and murderers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and sorcerers [which includes witches, warlocks, spiritists, diviners, necromancers, those who practice the magic arts, etc.], and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • 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. [Yes, it is arrogance and haughtiness which gives us the impudence to not "blush" (Jer. 6:15 ) at iniquities exalted, demonstrated and displayed in and as entertainment. It is pride to think we are above such sin or that it is not sin at all to embrace, seek and feel fulfilled, gratified or satisfied by sin in and as entertainment.
  • 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. 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 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 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; 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.)

    Snowmen (2011) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 34 out of 100
  • boys playing in a quinzhee
  • three boys in peril of being buried alive in snow
  • frozen dead man uncovered and propped face-to-face with three boys
  • adolescent vandalism
  • using violence to get even
  • adolescent punch in the face of another adolescent
  • adolescent threat to cut the face of another adolescent with the blade of an ice skate
  • adolescent drowning sequence - graphic
  • dead adolescent boy body scenes - graphic

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 1 out of 100
  • adolescent dropping nose discharge in the face of another adolescent
  • news media embellishment of the truth, multiple
  • opportunism with a death to boost sales
  • adolescent lies to garner social stature and attention
  • crude words by adolescents, repeatedly
  • bullying, repeatedly
  • adolescent social cruelty
  • father lying to son
  • adult excusing lying
  • adolescent lying, repeatedly
  • adolescent social warfare
  • adolescent name-calling, repeatedly

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O) - 83 out of 100
  • one use of God's name in vain
  • "I was wrong. There ARE dogs in Heaven."

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

    Interested parties, send us your proposal. Your link will appear on each new analysis report prepared during the desired period and, once placed on a page, will not be removed.

    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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    * CAP Equivalence to MPAA Rating Scale:
    Please note our new manner of indicating a film's Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating in comparison with the CAP equivalence such as "PG-13 [R-13]." The first term is the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) rating. The second term [in brackets] indicates that which the film earned under the CAP analysis model. In the example, "PG-13 [R-13]" indicates the MPAA rated the film PG-13 but the film earned a CAP final score in the scoring range earned by R-rated movies in the comparative baseline database. Other comparative terms used might be "PG [13-PG]", "G [PG-G] or even 'PG-13 [PG]" as was the case for Alien vs Predator. I doubt there will ever be a "G [R]" used, but only time will tell. The CAP analysis model is Rock-solid. The MPAA is not.

    The current CAP to MPAA** nomenclature is:

    For G rated Films with
    G equivalence: G
    PG equivalence: PG-G
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-G
    R equivalence: R-G<
    For PG rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-PG
    PG equivalence: PG
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-PG
    R equivalence: R-PG
    For PG-13 rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-13
    PG equivalence: PG(13)
    PG-13 equivalence: PG-13
    R equivalence: R-13
    For R rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-R
    PG equivalence: PG-R
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-R
    R equivalence: R
    For NR rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-NR
    PG equivalence: PG-NR
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-NR
    R equivalence: R-NR
    ** G, PG, PG-13 and R are registered trademarks of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

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