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(2012), PG-13 [R-13*] (86.3min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
June 27, 2012
June 30, 202

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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.

(2012), PG-13 [R-13*] ... When all the leaves fall off the tree it dies ... and so does Jack

Production (US): DreamWorks SKG Presents a Work After Midnight Films/Saturn Films Production
Distribution (US): Paramount
Director(s): Brian Robbins
Producer(s): Lars Winther, Marc Haimes, Jane Bartelme, Alain Chabat, Stephanie Danan, Nicolas Cage, Norm Golightly, Brian Robbins, Sharla Sumpter Bridgett
Written by: Steve Koren
Cinematography/Camera: Clark Mathis
Music: John Debney
Film Editing: Ned Bastille
Casting: Juel Bestrop, Seth Yanklewitz
Production Design: Clay A. Griffith
Viewed on Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment DVD

Jack McCall (Eddie Murphy), a loud-mouthed, fast-talking publishing agent gets his comeuppance. McCall becomes "spiritually connected" to a tree that drops a leaf with every word Jack speaks. It even interprets a vulgar finger gesture. When all the leaves fall off the tree it dies ... and so does Jack. So the story goes. A clever and even ingenious cinematic device indeed, but most of the rest of the content is not so clever nor ingenious.

This film presents the typical Murphy mouth. Thirty-four uses of profanity (most by Murphy) plus three abuses of God's name with the four letter expletive, all three by Murphy, not to mention 19 abuses of His name without it by Murphy and others of the cast.

McCall seeks to make a lot of money by publishing a book by an extremely popular transcendental meditation New Age motivational speaker, Dr. Sinja (Cliff Curtis). But the book is only five pages long. Miffed about the world-popular speaker writing a book only five pages long, McCall confronts Sinja with the shortness of the book. With Sinja by his side, McCall notices a strange tree that appeared in his yard drops a leaf with each of McCall's words. Sinja suggests that as a tree dies when all the leaves fall off, McCall will also die.

Not long after discovering this phenomenon McCall begins to limit his words to the point of being silent most of the time. If you can imagine a salesman selling publications without speaking, you have Jack. If you can imagine a marriage with a husband that will not speak, you have the marriage between Jack and Caroline (Kerry Washington). Caroline ended up inserting her own words in the blanks left by Jack's silence and the marriage withered away. But what was Jack to do? He would die if he spoke a thousand words.


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) - 88 out of 100
This is not a violent film at all. The only matters that approach violence include the traffic endangerment to a blind man (John Witherspoon), Jack assaulting Dr. Sinja and Jack sapping the face of his assistant, Aaron (Clark Duke).

Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
As revealed above, this film uses three/four letter word profanity 34 times plus one use of the most foul of the foul words plus a euphemism of it. [Col. 3:8, Eph. 4:29] Jack intimidates Aaron by threatening Aaron will lose his job if he doesn't do whatever it was Jack wanted ... I thing it was getting cashmere socks. A few lies and instances of false pretense may embolden others to do likewise. [Rev 21:8] Aaron shouts he hates himself several times. A significant claim by the script is the fatalistic expression "Life's not worth living without family."

Sexual Immorality (S) - 7 out of 100
While there is no nudity in this film there may as well be what with one of the outfits Caroline wears -- a "kinky sex" outfit. Caroline and one of her friends speak together of the kinky underwear and its intended use. Other women engage in vulgar talk about male anatomy. Sexual innuendo and vulgar male anatomy references are plentiful. There is quite a bit more sexually immoral behaviors and/or imagery in this film. So many more that I would like to ask you to please inspect the listing of sexually immoral findings in this film. [1 Cor. 6:18, Eph. 5:4, Gal. 5:19]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 19 out of 100
Though not as intense as in some or even many PG-13 films, booze, drinking and drunkenness are present. As are a couple references to illegal drug consumption.

No matter how "reduced" the drugs/alcohol content may be by comparison to other PG-13 films, any such content is too much. Too much because of the influence of such content on the "permitted" audience. A 2002 study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to abuse of alcohol among underage viewers. The report entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% of the youths were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted in their entertainment diets. Within the ACP study population, the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was

  • 46% for those with no viewing restrictions
  • 16% for those with partial viewing restrictions
  • four percent for those with complete viewing restrictions. [Eph. 5:18]

    There is nothing to say that viewing smoking or possession/consumption of illegal drugs in and as entertainment does not carry the same danger of influence as viewing drinking. Actually, the same matter of behavior implantation applies to any behavior demonstrated in and as entertainment, including good behavior.

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
    God's name is abused 22 times, 19 of them without the four letter expletive and 3 of them with it. [Deut. 5:11] In addition to profaning His name, His Word is profaned with multiple references to "New Age" and a "magic" tree dictating the life of a human.

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
    There are no murders or suicides portrayed in this film.



    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 [kakia: ill-will, desire to injure, wickedness, depravity, evil, trouble, not ashamed to break laws, etc.], slander and filthy language [aischrologia: foul speaking, low and obscene speech] from your lips.
  • Eph. 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
  • 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.
  • 1 Cor. 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • Gal. 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
  • 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 [1 Cor. 6:19]. 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.]
  • 1 Cor. 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
  • 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 even if as a euphemism. 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 - 10 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not! Even if you were to defeat the entire Babylonian army that is attacking you and only wounded men were left in their tents, they would come out and burn this city down. [The "destroyers form within" do not have to be army warriors. They can be the ones who destroy through corruption of moral standards as well, such as filmmakers who perpetuate desensitization against wholesome standards. They aren't going anywhere, folks. Not until Jesus comes again.]
  • 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. And remember, mom/dad, "little ones" is mikros, meaning less by birth; younger. All of your children are younger than you and less by birth than you. So, "little ones" includes 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 objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    A Thousand Words (2012) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 88 out of 100
  • traffic endangerment
  • assault
  • slap to the face

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
  • 34 uses of profanity
  • one use of the most foul of the foul words plus a euphemism of it
  • intimidation with job as leverage
  • lies to gain positional advantage and to placate, repeatedly
  • self hatred
  • pretense to fool others, repeatedly
  • "Life's not worth living without family"

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 7 out of 100
  • women speaking vulgar talk about male anatomy
  • sexual innuendo, repeatedly
  • vulgar references to male anatomy, repeatedly
  • vulgar gesture
  • "gay" couple with baby
  • girl talk about underwear
  • 3 women in scant swim wear
  • "gay" come-ons in vulgar outfit
  • "kinky" sex outfit
  • co-stripping
  • sex offer
  • sex talk
  • adult male in underwear including before a young girl
  • emulation of urinating using a booze bottle at the crotch

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 19 out of 100
  • booze, repeatedly
  • bar
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • drunkenness
  • illegal drug use reference in background song, repeatedly
  • admission of illegal drug consumption

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • 3 abuses of God's name with the four letter expletive and 19 without it
  • multiple references to "New Age" spirituality
  • "magic" tree appearing and dropping leaves with each word by McCall, throughout
  • "magic" tree knocking a man down
  • leaves shooting out of a man's mouth, repeatedly
  • sympathetic "magic", repeatedly
  • mocking of God
  • transcendental meditation
  • chanting to invoke "spiritual" power

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

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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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    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.

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