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.


    No Rating Available

Watch This Review

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

Movie Review

This brutal look at love and relationships as they occur naturally in the wild—without the benefit of moral structure or even basic common sense—uses London as its dreary backdrop.

It's lust at first sight when Dan spies Alice on a city sidewalk. She must feel the same way because she's so busy staring at him she walks smack into an approaching taxi. He promptly shepherds her to the hospital to get her scrapes bandaged; then the two break the sound barrier transitioning from sharing significant glances to sharing a bed and an apartment.

Not so very much later, it is craving at first sight when Dan, an aspiring novelist, poses for a book jacket photograph taken by Anna. She repels him at first, reminding him that he's already "taken." But, of course, that small detail doesn't stop them for long. All they need is the right environment, and that, seemingly, can only be had after Anna becomes involved with Larry. Before the sad, steamy soap opera ends, everyone has cheated and re-cheated on everyone else, and nobody's even close to what any sane mind would dare think of as happy.


Positive Elements

The film is so soiled that every instinct I have tells me to simply write, "None." But by painting such a dismal picture of love as practiced outside of God's perfect plan, Closer comes very close to proving His point: that a monogamous, persevering commitment to marriage is the only way it works.

Twice, characters refer to the virtues they believe separate us from animals: honesty and forgiveness. Both are sorely abused by this grim gaggle of would-be lovers, but their crass manipulation inadvertently reveals these virtues' value. When Larry bludgeons Anna with an "honest" report of his solicitation of a prostitute, for instance, he claims he loves her so much he simply can't lie to her. Not so, Larry. If you loved her so much, you'd have used your dedication to honesty as a hedge to prevent you from buying sex to begin with. Larry doesn't learn that truth, but anyone watching with more than half a brain engaged will recognize it immediately.

Spiritual Content

Courting Anna, Larry embraces her love for aquariums, stating, "We were fish long ago, before we were apes."

Sexual Content

No one is actually seen simulating sex. But that doesn't mean Closer is light on explicit sexual content. The conversations about sexual couplings are almost unimaginably obscene, and include the most extreme terminology and descriptions available in the English language. Graphic discussions emphasize masturbation, prostitution, stripping, oral sex, homosexuality, manual stimulation and orgasms.

We meet Larry as he's engaging in cybersex. For what seems like half an eternity, we watch him typing out rude, crude and socially unacceptable comments, and hurling them toward the object of his lust, which he thinks is a woman. It's not. It's actually Dan pretending to be a woman—Anna to be precise. (While the two are typing, banner ads displayed on their computer browsers feature sexual poses and nudity.) Unaware of Dan's deception, Anna meets Larry in real life and promptly begins dating him, completely unconcerned that he is an unqualified pervert—even after she learns of his anonymous Internet dealings with Dan.

Alice tells Dan she's a stripper when they first meet. Later she proves it—onscreen—in a lengthy scene devoted to her exhibitionist craft. Topless pole dancers are seen in a club; then the camera enters a private room where Alice and Larry converse endlessly about, among other things, the intricacies of strip club rules and the specific body parts routinely on display. Alice wears only thong panties and a bra during the exchange, strutting seductively and striking sexual poses for him as the camera plays peekaboo, just barely avoiding showing her breasts and genitals when she either takes off or puts on her "gear," as Larry calls it.

A floor-to-ceiling photograph of a nude pregnant woman serves as a (out-of-focus) backdrop for a conversation between Larry and Alice.

Violent Content

Alice's run-in with the taxi isn't shown, but she's seen lying prone in the street, and her bloodied leg is glimpsed. Dan slaps Alice full across the face after she spits in his.

Crude or Profane Language

About 40 f-words, half of which are used in a sexual context. A handful of s-words. Jesus' name is forcefully abused three times. The f-word is substituted for God's name in one particularly polluted slice of dialogue. Male and female sexual anatomy is referred to (about a dozen times) with American and British slang too obscene even to hyphenate in this review.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Characters smoke cigarettes on several occasions. Two of them insist they've given up the habit, but never seem to actually refuse the offer of another stick. Most consume beer, champagne or hard liquor at various points in the story.

Other Negative Elements


Clive Owen, Jude Law, Julia Roberts and Natalie Portman all lose themselves in the script, turning in amazingly grim and moody performances that honor its tone in a way rarely seen in anything short of a true art film. And because of that, Closer succeeds in reducing once-cheerful audiences to brooding, miserable masses. While Damien Rice's haunting lyrics ("Did I say that I loathe you?/Did I say that I want to/Leave it all behind? ... I can't take my mind off of you ... 'Til I find somebody new") bracket the movie, much of its central conflict is carried on in a musicless void, accentuating the emptiness and loneliness being experienced by its principal players.

But since every character deserves every ounce of pain he or she experiences due to absurdly stupid decisions, I just can't shake the feeling that this is all an exercise in foulness and futility. Are we really, after all, supposed to feel shocked and depressed when four so-called adults reap the whirlwind of hate and disgust for callously following their lust? Are we supposed to be appeased by this quartet's fixation with being honest and transparent, and think somehow that their sins are mitigated by it? And if the message here isn't that "honesty" is the solution—which it clearly isn't for these hapless humans—is it then the reverse? Should we be learning that relationships only survive if we care enough to lie?

Julia Roberts saw the Patrick Marber play on which Closer is based long before accepting the role of Anna. "I didn't like it, not because it wasn't good but because it was just so ugly to me," she told Newsweek. "In London theaters they serve ice cream at the concession stands, and I remember standing up when the play was over and seeing all these ice-cream wrappers on the floor and thinking, 'Ice cream? What we need are martinis and razor blades.'"

Her revulsion didn't stop her from starring in the movie, but I'm hoping it might have a somewhat different effect on her fans.

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!