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

(2004), R
Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
March 18, 2004
26 out of 100

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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.

(2004), R -- There is much that you might want to avoid.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures
Distribution (US): Warner Bros. Pictures Inc., Warner Bros.
Director(s): D.J. Caruso
Producer(s): Bruce Berman, Alan C. Blomquist, Mark Canton, Bernie Goldmann, David Heyman, Josette Perrotta
Novel, Story, Screeplay: Michael Pye
Story: Michael Pye
Screenplay: Jon Bokenkamp
Cinematography/Camera: Amir M. Mokri
Music: Philip Glass
Film Editing: Anne V. Coates
Casting: Deborah Aquila, Mary Tricia Wood
Production Design: Tom Southwell
Art Direction: Serge Bureau
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

If you still wonder why on earth we analyze R-rated movies, please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), item number 5.

Angelina Jolie stars as FBI Special Agent Illeana Scott, a murder profiler with uncanny success. She can "sense" facts about a murder by lying in the grave of a murder victim and by posting gory photos of the victims above her hotel bed. This ability gives her an edge over the grunt detective. And she uses it. Expertly. Scott proceeds to put on edge a couple of the local male investigators as she proves that being a crime detective is no longer a man's job.

Operating from French-Canadian Montreal, Scott builds an intricate, detailed and expertly crafted reconstruction of the history of the murderer and the murders. Scott finds that the murderer not only kills his victims, he (or she) decimates their faces which makes assuming their identity even easier. She was able to deduce from the murder victims and the history of the murders that the killer killed every two or three years and each victim was two or three years older than the last. As his age increased, so did the age of his victims. In that way, the killer assumed the identity of his victims, making it most difficult to trace him.

A local art dealer, James McKean Costa (Ethan Hawke) claims to have witnessed one of the murders and becomes a key tool of the FBI and the Montreal PD in their investigations. As key witness, Costa is even visited and attacked by Hart (Kiefer Sutherland), the one whom we are led to believe is the killer.

Illeana is quite the ankle-biter when it comes to male snide remarks about a female detective let alone a US cop in Canada making the local constabulary seem like Keystone Cops with guns. She is indeed well insulated from any emotional attachments ... until she becomes closely associated with Costa. A relationship slowly builds to the point that almost all Hollywood romantic relationships reach - in bed. With nudity. Which is the reason why there is no poster shown with this film since the theme of the poster scene is obviously from that immoral relationship.

Since Scott had become emotionally involved with a witness, she was fired from the FBI. Six months later the movie resumes in Carlisle, PA where Illeana lives alone and is pregnant, ostensibly with Costa's child. Here is where the largest twist in an otherwise predictable plot happens. But I won't spoil it for you should you decide that this sort of entertainment is for you.

There is much that you might want to avoid. Brutal and cold-blooded murder. [Rev. 21:8] Full male nudity plus partial female nudity. Intercourse. [1Cor. 7:2] Much gore of every kind. [Phil. 4:8] Many assaults. Lust to kill. [Col. 3:5] SPOILER ALERT: Murder of two unborn babies by attempted murder by abdomen stabbing of the mother if she were actually pregnant. [Luke 17:2] Sadistic brutality with a pregnant woman. [2 Tim. 3:1]

The listing in the Findings/Scoring section will reveal all that was noted.

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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.

  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] cowardly [deilos {di-los'}; timid, fearful], the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars -their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
  • 1Cor. 7:2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
  • 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.
  • Col. 3:5 Put to death [defeat, expunge, deprive of power, destroy the strength of], therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
  • 2 Tim. 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce [brutal], despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. [It has been proven that such entertainment emboldens aggression in the impressionable viewer (especially those who think they are immune), Even for the mature, such extremes in and as entertainment desensitizes him/her to the gravity of such behaviors. We have become so drugged by the narcotics of extremes that what once was morally unacceptable has become morally invisible.]

    ***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 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, pay for 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 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Rom. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
  • 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.

    Taking Lives (2004) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • bloody and gasping victim of assault
  • stills of bloody and mutilated victim gore, repeatedly
  • stills of how to kill
  • decomposing/decayed body gore, repeatedly
  • gore of nearly every kind, repeatedly, frequent
  • explosive startle
  • assault, repeatedly
  • action violence, repeatedly
  • flight to avoid lawful capture
  • beating, repeatedly, including of pregnant woman with sadistic brutality
  • firearm threat
  • reckless driving on city streets with reckless endangerment
  • bloody car wreck
  • massive explosions
  • breaking and entering with intent to commit murder
  • harassment/stalking, repeatedly
  • tormenting, repeatedly
  • defensive killing by stabbing

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 13 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • 18 uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • story of fist fight by son with father
  • sleeping in grave to "sense" things
  • breaking rules to investigate
  • lust to kill

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • full side male nudity, including genitals
  • anatomical references
  • sexual insult
  • woman in tub
  • inappropriate touch, repeatedly
  • upper female nudity, repeatedly
  • intercourse
  • still of full male nudity, frontal
  • man and woman in bed
  • vulgar talk
  • "pregnancy" by immoral sex

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking while driving
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • bar

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

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • stabbing murder of unborn babies (if the woman were actually pregnant)

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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 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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