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


Click on CAPCon Alert
image for explanation
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to parents and grandparents

U-571 (2000), (PG-13)
CAP Score: 49
CAP Influence Density: 1.00
AD Space Available

Become a CAPtain

with your donation!

The foul language eliminator

Removes profanity from
movies and TV shows

Switch to LifeLine

for Christian
long distance service

The Family Friendly

Internet Service

A Christ Centered
Christians Online
Community Web Site


Christian Media News

A Singles
Christian Network

Click here to vote
for this site!

Visit this CBX member
Christian Banner eXchange

ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

For FREE text-only analysis reports as they are calculated, send an email with SUBSCRIBE CAP-MAR in the message body.

NOTE: We make no scoring allowances for Hollywood's trumped-up "messages" to excuse, or its manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth. 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 purely objectuve and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

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


U-571 (PG-13) -- another R-13.

Yes, another R-13. With a CAP Final Score of 49 this PG-13 movie was clearly equivalent to R-rated movies of 1995 and earlier. More evidence of the slipping of standards of acceptability. Note that the use of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive did not appear even once -- all of the uses of His Name in vain (14) were with the four letter expletive [Lev. 19:12]. And each was scattered around 29 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary [2 Tim. 2:16]. Granted, wartime language is not likely to be ice cream social quality, but this is a movie. It is "entertainment." And not all "truths" need to be portrayed in an entertainment medium. And though the stimuli for using such language is, I am sure, quite different when dodging torpedoes from when dodging teachers and parents, using foul language is still a sin. And to saturate the viewing range of a child with such language in the name of entertainment will, beyond any shadow of a doubt, affect his/her choice of words when under emotional and social fire. Not only is it a sin to encourage aberrant behavior by example [Luke 17:2], it is a sin for the performers to use such language [Prov. 8:13]. Note that I noted no uses of the most foul of the foul words.

There were at least two subplots in U-571, one of wartime espionage to capture the German Enigma, a very special communications coding system and another of an unseasoned Naval officer maturing as a commander.

In the plot of espionage combining fact with fiction, a US submarine, adapted to look like a German U-boat and its inexperienced crew are dispatched into chess-like warfare with the German navy to capture the crippled U-571 to possess its Enigma machine and code book. The adapted US submarine was to reach U-571, capture its Enigma machine, then sink the U-571 before a German rescue destroyer reaches it. One of the subplots of this movie was a bit fanciful: an untested commander and an inexperienced crew becoming battle-hardened warriors trained by a marine officer on board -- in one week. When the US sub does reach its objective, nine crew members board it and capture the Enigma after some cold and brutal killing and gore. Such killing and gore maybe useful to condition soldiers and sailors in a military training film but not in a kids movie [Ps. 101:3; Prov. 3:31, 32]. Before the nine men can get back on their sub the German rescue destroyer arrives and sinks it. Now, a crew of 9 American warriors are on board a German submarine, in German uniforms, staring at a German destroyer greeting "fellow" warriors standing on the deck of a ship of the fatherland. Now what? With some rather far-fetched ordnance deployment, the destroyer is deprived of its communications and sunk. What to do with a German crippled U-boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? Well, fix it and proceed through heavily guarded waters to safety. And that is what the nine men did.

In the second plot, the untested Lt. Andrew Tyler (Matthew McConaughey - EdTV) is passed up for a command of his own by his own commanding officer, Lt. Commander Dahlgren (Bill Paxton - Twister). Dahlgren feels Tyler is not ready for a command of his own. His reasoning, though macabre as it may be, is revealed in no uncertain terms: that he is unsure Tyler could order a man to his death. Even the seasoned Chief Petty Officer played by the veteran actor Harvey Keitel gets into the act of admonishing the young Tyler command responsibilities: "Don't you ever again say to these men 'I don't know").

A common thread of the two plots is that it is unwise to toss ill-prepared warriors into such heavy battle without extensive training, study, and practice in the specialty that is appropriate for the battle waged. The same applies to Spiritual battle. We are each involved in Spiritual battle in one way or another [2 Cor. 10:3, 4]. Even the unbeliever is engaged in this battle with us. Compare the unbeliever with the untrained and ill-studied warrior of the US submarine crew which had never studied face-to-face combat tactics or were simply given token understanding of such warfare. They were being thrown into hand-to-hand combat with seasoned adversaries, expected to be victorious without the benefit of knowledge and skills needed to wage manual war. It is just as fatalistic to engage in Spiritual warfare without the Armour in the Word of God to shield you during trails [Prov. 30:5], to protect you from yielding to temptation, and to give you wisdom when others seek your counsel [Eph. 6:13]. Without His Truth to shield you, your own understanding [Prov. 3:5; Matt. 22:29] may permit you to adapt your heart to accept and even embrace that which is and they who are unGodly and evil [Ps. 1:4, 5].


  • Lev. 19:12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
  • 2 Tim. 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
  • 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.
  • Prov. 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
  • Ps. 101:3 I will set before my eyes no vile thing.
  • Prov. 3:31, 32 Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, (32) for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.
  • 2Cor. 10:3, 4 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
  • Prov. 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
  • Eph. 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
  • Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Matt. 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
  • Ps. 1:4, 5 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

    Please see the Findings/Scoring section below for a full accounting of this movie: for the best representation of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: U-571 (2000) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • long sequences of warfare urgency and desperation
  • burned human bodies
  • military firearms and their use
  • graphic death
  • uncounted deaths by wartime battle
  • attempted murder
  • drowning death

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 29 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • sexual comments

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • partying with booze and drinking
  • individual drinking
  • smoking

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • 14 uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • murder of a boatful of survivors (about 20, actual deaths not seen)

  • (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

    The ChildCare Action Project (CAP) is a nonprofit Christian ministry. We rely on public support. If you wish to contribute to the CAP, please send your donations to

    ChildCare Action Project
    Post Office Box 177
    Granbury, TX 76048-0177

    Your gifts are tax deductible in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Codes.

    Please feel free to write to us.

    You are welcome to
    Go back to the CAP Reports Page
    Top of the CAP Home Page
    CAP Table of Contents

    or leave me an email message or comment at

    Thank you for visiting us and may God bless you. Prayerfully, we will provide you with some of the most revealing commentary and investigative reporting you have ever read.

    In the name of Jesus:
    Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.

    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

    Copyright ChildCare Action Project (CAP)

    Click Here For