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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), PG-13
Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
June 18, 2004
76 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), PG-13 -- Not a typical "modern" PG-13 ...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): DreamWorks SKG, Amblin Entertainment, Parkes/MacDonald Productions
Distribution (US): DreamWorks Distribution LLC
Director(s): Steven Spielberg
Producer(s): Jason Hoffs, Laurie MacDonald, Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, Andrew Niccol, Walter F. Parkes, Steven Spielberg, Patricia Whitcher
Story: Andrew Niccol, Sacha Gervasi
Screenplay: Sacha Gervasi, Jeff Nathanson
Cinematography/Camera: Janusz Kaminski
Music: John Williams
Film Editing: Michael Kahn
Casting: Debra Zane
Production Design: Alex McDowell
Art Direction: Christopher Burian-Mohr, Isabelle Guay
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

Unless I missed a l-o-t, The Terminal was not a PG-13. Not a typical "modern" PG-13 anyway but maybe a PG-13 from the first year the MPAA used PG-13 back when what is now PG-13 was R. The Terminal is certainly a reversal (probably a hiccup reversal) of the "R-13" trend since 1996/7. With a final score of 76, this film clearly earned a score smack dab in the middle of the scoring range earned by PG movies (86 to 68 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database.

The Impudence/Hate investigation area revealed content which dictated a score of 17 out of 100, equivalent to R-rated films (54 and below out of 100). Ninety-one percent of that score of 17 was due to use of the three/four letter word vocabulary and God's name in vain. All the other five investigation areas revealed content equivalent to G and PG-rated movies in the comparative baseline database.

During a short period of a few minutes, the lead actor exchanged conversation with an airport worker which included a l-o-t of uses of especially one of the foul words. This episode did NOT add a single thing the story or plot would have missed it if were not there. Imagine the size of the hole left after you pulled your fist out of a bucket of water - that would be how much the cussing episode contributed to the movie. The movie would have been just as good without such content. And it would likely have earned a "G" score without it.

At first glimpse of Tom Hanks wandering into the JFK Airport in New York one might think that FBI Agent Carl Hanratty, one of Hanks' top roles from (also by Dreamworks) was after international swindler, ladies man and con artist Frank William Abagnale, Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio). But in this case, Hanks plays Krakozhian Victor Navorski ... a man without a country.

While out of his homeland and in the New York JFK Airport, Victor's country, Krakozhia suffered internal unrest and overthrow of the government and could no longer be recognized by the US Customs as a "place" from which a visa or passport could be honored. Victor's home country was no more and Victor's home was no more. Victor was most assuredly ... a man without a country.

Victor was politically and legally locked in the International Lounge at JFK Airport - the place, a two story mall inside the airport, where visitors were sent who were having trouble with documentation. He could not exit the doors to New York to look up an old friend of his departed father else he would be arrested as an illegal alien. Victor lived in the International Lounge for months, became a skilled construction worker, fell in love with single Amelia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who was in love with an opportunistic amoral married man. For quite a while, Victor bought his burger-biggie meals with quarters, one for each unreturned luggage convenience cart he returned to the rack.

The Terminal is an intelligent, warm and sensitive work of well-thought art. The ignoble and corrosive parts of it make it a shame. A real shame. Hanks lends brilliance with a top-notch performance of a very difficult part. There won't be a dry eye in the house at times. It is easy to let yourself enter the drama and become an invisible shadow of Navorski. And such an attractive package tends to make the ignominy elements within seem invisible or fleeting, yet each is planted. Such entertainment might be likened to a story once told to me by email. If all the finest and cleanest ingredients were used to make brownies under the most stringent controls but a little dog manure got put in the mix. After knowing that would you still eat the brownies? I invite you each to read our own similar article entitled "Little Straight Pins" .

Zeta-Jones was perfect for the part she played -- an "aging (in her late 30s) playgirl" whose countenance easily compelled the viewer to understand much of her without words. Viewers with a modicum of experiential maturity anyway. But by no fault of their own, thirteen years olds are quite unlikely to have such maturity. Further, some of the programming is certainly worth your attention regarding whether you wish to expose your kids (or yourself) to it or not. We tell you what is there ... in raw, objective detail ... you decide.

Stanley Tucci provides quite admirable support as Customs Chief Frank Dixon who, if anyone in this story resembles Hanks as an FBI agent in Catch Me If You Can, it is Tucci. Dixon was the sort of guy who created a new airport executive position solely responsible for collecting abandoned and unreturned luggage convenience carts so Victor could not get money for it, hopefully to force Victor to go for it and dash out the doors to New York just on the other side -- so Victor would be somebody else's problem.

Though there are 29 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary [Eph. 5:4] and the two uses of God's name in vain [Deut. 5:11}, no one gets in bed with anyone. No nudity of any kind, not even thong nudity. Not even adults in underwear. The likely most invasive sexual presence in this film was some sex talk that might be expected of baggage handlers in locker rooms [also Eph: 5:4] which also could have been left out without the slightest loss of the film's appeal whatsoever.

Just a glance at the CAP Thermometers for this film will tell you just about everything you need to know. If you have a strong aversion like I to exposing your kids (and yourself) to the impudence of using foul language, this is not the film for you. But a curse-free filter should make the film at least as unobtrusive as an average "hard G." We have one of those filters and they work as long as the source is closed-captioned and the closed captioning is synchronized well with the visuals.

There are no guts splattered on the walls. There is some action "violence" and one episode of lawful police violence. 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 [ ]. 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.

  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • 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.]

    ***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.
    (The heart of the CAP Analysis Model)

    The Terminal (2004) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • action violence
  • police action violence
  • breaking and entering into personnel files
  • extortion with legal position

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 29 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • adult tantrum
  • lies, including to circumvent regulations

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • sex talk, twice
  • gambling with women's underwear

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking, twice
  • drinking, once

    Offense to God (O)
  • two uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive
  • adulterous relationship, repeatedly
  • adulterous kiss, twice

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted


     Artist:   Album:   Title:   Lyric:  

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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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