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


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: January 26, 2002
CAP Score: 62
CAP Influence Density: 0.70

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NOTE: 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.

THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (PG-13) -- But they do NOT reveal...

Distributed by: Touchstone Pictures
Director(s): Kevin Reynolds
Producer(s): Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Chris Brigham, James Flynn, Jonathan Glickman, Morgan O'Sullivan
Written by/Screenplay: Alexandre Dumas (book), Jay Wolpert (screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Andrew Dunn
Music: Ed Shearmur
Editing: Stephen Semel, Christopher Womack

In the early 1800s in an effort to obtain medical aid for their captain with brain fever, ship's officers Edmond Dantes (James Caviezel) and Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce) disembark for the island of Elba. Napoleon was exiled to Elba and setting foot on the island was forbidden. Knowing this but desperate for medical aid for their caption, Dantes and Mondego ignored the law. After a skirmish with Napoleon's guards, Dantes explains to Napoleon their only interest was to obtain the medical aid from Napoleon's personal physician. Though the medical aid was fruitless and though the captain died, Napoleon expected some compensation from Dantes for the aid given and for the injuries to his guards. Feeling obligated, Dantes agreed to deliver a letter from Napoleon to he who turned out to be, unknown to Dantes, one of Napoleon's sympathizers in France.

Upon return to Marseilles, the ship's exec charges Dante with disobeying orders to stay off the Island Elba. But in recognition of the valiant attempt to save the life of the captain, even at the risk of being disciplined, the shipping boss promoted Dante to captain. Now Dante will be able to provide for his fiance Mercedes (Dagmara Dominczyk). Mondego, Dante's good friend and compatriot, is secretly in love with Mercedes and wants her for himself. Burning with fire and hoping to become rid of Dantes so he could have Mercedes to himself, Mondego delivered word of the letter from Napoleon, which Mondego had secretly read while Dantes slept, to Villefort (James Frain), the local magistrate revealing to the magistrate Dantes was in possession of a treasonous letter from Napoleon.

Villefort condemns Dantes to the prison Chateaux D'if, a great rock on the ocean. There Dantes meets a imprisoned priest, Faria (Richard Harris) who teaches the illiterate Dantes many sciences and arts. Faria also teaches Dantes sword play and the location of great treasure, enough to make the one who retrieves it from the briny depths wealthier than any man alive. Faria had also been digging a tunnel for years. Now Dantes joins in.

One day when the pair reached soil with roots in it, they knew they did not have far to go. But alas, a cave in killed Faria. The body of Faria was bagged and readied for disposal in the ocean. Knowing the tunnel connected Dantes cell with Faria's, Dante put Faria's body in his own cell and hid himself in the body bag and escaped.

While all this is going on in prison, Mondego marries Mercedes, achieving his dreams. And there is where I am going to stop revealing the plot and story. there is much more to this 127 minutes of film, so fret not about how much I have revealed. As usual, the advertisements, previews and trailers reveal nearly as much as I tell you. But they do NOT reveal the rest of what I am going to tell you.

One use of the three/four letter word vocabulary! One! [Titus 2:6-8] And I wish that were all, but not so. This is a PG-13. A "middle of the road" PG-13 with a CAP score of 62 which is midrange for the 55 to 67 out of 100 for PG-13 movies in the baseline database. That means there are quite a few examples of unacceptable programming in it. The strongest presence of ignominy is violence in the form of gunplay and sword play with injuries and death/murder, a hanging and an attempted suicide with the gun in the victim's mouth and the trigger pulled [Prov. 3:31]. Sexual programming includes sexual requests, shadow nudity, masked intercourse and the aftermath of a night of cohabitation ostensibly for sex [Hebr. 13:4, Mark 7:21]. And about 75% of the film was Dantes seeking and getting revenge [Rom. 12:19]. 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.

  • Titus 2:6-8 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
  • Prov. 3:31 Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways,
  • Hebr. 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
  • Mark 7:21 For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality,...
  • Rom. 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 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 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]
  • 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 Count of Monte Cristo (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • gunfire injuries
  • sword fights
  • blade injuries, battle and torture
  • fighting
  • dead man, repeatedly
  • multiple blase assaults
  • whippings
  • cave-in death
  • drowning killing
  • knife fight to the death for life
  • story of suicide
  • brutally seeking revenge
  • abduction
  • threats to kill
  • hanging by the neck
  • attempted suicide with gun in mouth and trigger pulled
  • torture by sword
  • sword fight deaths, graphic

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • one use of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • lie to protect promised secrecy
  • deceit to manipulate revenge
  • hatred of father
  • "Don't rob me of my hate."
  • adult tantrum

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • suggestive eye movement
  • shadow nudity
  • request for sexual performance
  • masked intercourse
  • man on woman prone
  • adultery, repeatedly
  • sexual tease to abduct
  • intercourse aftermath
  • story of immoral sex

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking
  • drunkenness
  • smoking
  • revelry

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • two uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive
  • mockery of God
  • "God is no more real than..."
  • "I don't believe in God."

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • sword murder, graphic
  • gunfire murder (shot in the back)

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. 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.

    "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 nearly seven 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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    (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.

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