Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Game Review

On the heels of 14 years of karate chopping, hook-kicking success, the godfather of 3-D fighting games has released a new edition. And the years have been kind. The highly anticipated Virtua Fighter 5 makes its next-gen splash on Sony's PlayStation 3, with vibrant scenic detail and character animation that will take your breath away almost as fast as a knee to the solar plexus.

Players step into the shoes (or slippers) of one of 17 male and female world-beaters who are all experts in their chosen discipline. Pai Chan, for example, is a Virtua Fighter regular who hails from China and excels at the graceful martial art of Ensei-Ken, while Mexican El Blaze makes his first competitive appearance tossing opponents about in the Lucha Libre wrestling style. Each style is rendered with letter-perfect form.

Practice Is What Makes Perfect
So, after choosing a character with an interesting brawling technique (or maybe just the coolest outfit) you have the option of jumping immediately into fighting CPU-controlled versions of the other colorful characters in Arcade mode. However, if you take this path, grasshopper, you'll soon find that Virtua isn't a very beginner-friendly game. Just mashing buttons will get you through, maybe, three matches before you're sent to the canvas.

A wiser choice is to visit Dojo mode where you can learn and practice the many button combinations, mastering your chosen character's unique attacks and defenses. And even then, the journey can be quite challenging since each fighter has almost 100 moves in his/her repertoire.

But with practice you get into the swing (and kick) of things and give Arcade another spin or match up against a friend in VS. mode or try your fist at single-player Quest mode. Quest players travel the world from arcade to arcade and try to whup their opponents, raise their ranking, win special prizes and earn money to buy gear and accessories.

Perfect Is What Raises Questions
Buying new outfits, by the way, can sometimes be a necessity, just to keep from blushing. Some of the incredibly realistic looking fighters are dressed in rather skin-tight or revealing getups. One of the most risqué is a young woman wearing little more than a pair of camouflage pants and a skimpy sports bra. Another contender in the objectionable content arena is an old fella who's fully dressed (thank goodness), but who employs the "Drunken Kung-Fu" style and staggers around with a jug of booze always close at hand.

In the real world, real Ultimate Fighting is gaining popularity while fake professional wrestling seems to be on the outs. And the popularity of Virtua Fighter 5 may well reflect that shift. Which brings us to the one part of Virtua that's universally problematic with all fighting games, shows and movies. The constant and violent beat-'em-up.

I'm not talking about heart-ripping, blood-spewing Mortal Kombat violence (Virtua maintains its poise in that department), but let's face it, everybody is out to beat everybody else to a pulp in a game like this. And because the various martial arts moves are so well executed and crisply rendered, Virtua's combat comes off feeling pretty ... real.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!