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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

(2003), PG-13

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
November 26, 2003
48 out of 100

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, if you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(2003), PG-13 -- ...violence and language are the only reasons this film earned an R-13 score.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Artists Production Group, Cobalt Media Group, Mutual Film Company, Paramount Pictures, The Donners' Company
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Richard Donner
Producer(s): Michael Aguilar, Kevin De La Noy, Richard Donner, Derek Hoffman, Gary Levinsohn, Michael Ovitz, Brian Read, Lauren Shuler Donner, Jim Van Wyck
Written by/Screenplay: Michael Crichton (novel), Jeff Maguire (screenplay), George Nolfi (screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Caleb Deschanel
Music: Brian Tyler
Film Editing: Richard Marks
Casting: Sarah Finn, Randi Hiller
Production Design: Daniel T. Dorrance
Art Direction: Caroline Alder, Réal Proulx, David Sandefur

Timeline offers some dazzling displays of 14th century French warfare of glory and honor during the sword, arrow and trebuchet attacks on mighty castles for the love of Country and Lady Faire ... err ... in this case, Lady Claire (Anna Friel). The movie is artfully descriptive of the romanticism and warfare of the time, stirring and capable of taking you on a popcorn-flavored journey into Medieval France. Envision waves of flaming arrows in flight toward their targets and the likewise flaming loads of trebuchets exploding against the great walls of a castle. Yes, it was artfully descriptive of a morally colorful, romantic period of our history, but it presented warfare nonetheless. Violent warfare. And modern technology and talent made it easy to imagine it as larger than life. That this movie presents life "the way it was" does not excuse presenting it to children (which includes at-home teens) unless mom/dad decide it is acceptable. When, how, how much and by whom children are exposed to "the way life was/is" is up to mom/dad, not some filmmaker or even teacher or anyone else in a position of authority or influence.

A secular reviewer said Timeline was "Lame" ... "Made for TV." Well, if the complete lack of any sexual immorality or vulgarity except for one innuendo makes Timeline lame and made-for-TV, fine! Go for it! [Prov. 15:26; 1Ths. 4:1-5] And if it is lame and made-for-TV because all the "PG-13" language can easily be filtered out at home without any loss of script integrity or story impact, double fine! I guess, at least in the eyes of the modern, progressive and enlightened movie critic using other films saturated with these ignominies as the standard, a film must not be any good unless it contains expertly performed sleazy sex of "award quality" and an attitude with "It ain't good enough no matter what 'it' is" language. Films used to be good without all these ignominies. What happened? [Ps. 12:8; 1 Cor. 15:33] I guess there are no more really good filmmakers and script writers any more. It seems filmmakers are no longer good enough to titillate the adult mind without feeding it with filth. It seems also that filmmakers must resort to their perception of "middle school locker room mentality." Well!? More than half of all moviegoers each week are non-adults and more than half of all movies made are rated R. You do the math.

A group of scientists, trying to "fax" an object to another location ended up "faxing" it to another time because of an unexpected connection with a worm hole. And as happens in all such cinematic scientific experimentation, a human got involved. Professor Edward Johnston (Billy Connolly) was transported back to 1357 AD France. In a clever maneuver, Professor Connolly leaves items not indigenous to the time period in the bowels of the French castle Castlegard, knowing his team of archeologists would find them during a 21st century dig at the remains of Castlegard. And that they did.

The professor's son, Chris Johnston (Paul Walker - 2Fast, 2Furious ) heads a team of archeologists: David Stern (Ethan Embry); Kate Erickson (Frances O'Connor); André Marek (Gerard Butler); François (Rossif Sutherland), plus a couple marines back into 14th century France to rescue the professor ... smack dab in the middle of the Hundred Years War between the French and the British. Needless to say, life in 14th century France was less that comfortable. Lord Oliver (Michael Sheen) of the Castlegard saw to that. One by one the rescue team is picked off.

If I were a real critic I might say something about the quality of performances which did seem, at times, a little cardboard. I might also mention that it seemed Frances O'Connor ad libbed just to ensure she had something to say or to ensure she was noticed: that it is one of those films where the list of producers is longer than the list of key performers But I am not a real film critic.

In addition to the violence properties of this film, it was indeed rife with "PG-13" language at about 13 times per hour [Col. 3:8] plus God's name in vain at about 15 times per hour. Indeed, violence and language are the only reasons this film earned an R-13 score .

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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.

  • Prov. 15:26 The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but those of the pure are pleasing to him.
  • 1Ths. 4:1-5 Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his [or her] own body [which includes control of drives, touching, seeking, lusting (even after images), promiscuity, etc.] in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

    ***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. 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.
  • 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.

    Timeline (2003) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • sword slicing off screen
  • bloody injuries
  • sword killing, repeatedly
  • arrow killings, repeatedly
  • other impalement killings, repeatedly
  • beating killing
  • attempted axe killing
  • arrow implements, repeatedly
  • attempted murder by arson
  • battle violence, repeatedly
  • beheading by sword, off screen

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 23 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • sexual innuendo

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking, repeatedly

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

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • blade murder, twice

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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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