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

A white bus full of prison inmates ambles down a lonely desert road. Three fast cars zoom in behind it. Then beside it. Then in front. You know what's coming: One flipped prison bus later, outlaw street racer Dominic Toretto is a free man again.

Free, that is, to get out of Dodge, so to speak. And fast. And probably in a Dodge. High on the FBI's Most Wanted list, Dom, ex-cop Brian O'Conner and Dom's sister, Mia (O'Conner's girlfriend), head south. Way south … to Rio de Janeiro's favela slums, where they hope to lie low until the heat subsides.

But sitting still isn't a strong suit for Dom and his crew. Especially when they're dead broke. So when Dom's childhood friend, Vince—who's been holed up in the favelas for years—suggests they score some quick cash helping a shady local pinch three exotic cars being transported on a train, they're game. After all, it's just a little job …

… that goes wrong in a big way. Three dead DEA agents later—taken out by lackeys of the aforementioned shady local, a man named Reyes who runs Rio's crime syndicate—Dom and Co. quickly graduate to the top of the FBI's stack of personas non grata. And the fact that they didn't commit the crime they're being accused of matters little to Agent Luke Hobbs, a Terminator-minded emissary dispatched to hunt them down.

"Above all else," Hobbs tells his team, "we don't ever, ever let them get in the cars." It's a good command. Of course, it's also impossible to enforce. With Hobbs in hot pursuit of his fast-and-furious quarry, Dom and O'Conner decide it's time to disappear again. Forever. And that takes money.

As luck and the scriptwriter would have it, a GPS chip in one of the cars they stole tells them exactly where Reyes launders his $100 million drug fortune. So Dom recruits some old friends for one last brazen heist, Brazilian-style.

As lack of luck would have it, their effort to outfox Reyes backfires, and he locks his fortune away in a bank-like vault in Rio's downtown police department. (After all, virtually every officer in the city works for him anyway.) But that's nothing a few fast cars and wily, on-the-lam former street racers can't handle, right?

Did I already mention that they're being systematically tracked by the guy formerly known as The Rock?


Positive Elements

Within the convoluted context of this franchise, Dom and his car-stealing cohorts subscribe to a fierce family fidelity. In a speech to the group he recruits to pull off the heist (which, in addition to Brian and Mia, includes F&F alumni Roman, Tej, Han, Gisele, Santos and Leo), Dom tells them, "Money will come and go. The most important thing in life will always be the people in this room. Right here, right now. Salute, mi familia." Dom would go to any length to protect Mia (except, of course, excusing her from the crazy duties involved with stealing cars and driving them away, it seems). The same is true of Brian, and even more so after he learns she's pregnant.

After the first car theft goes awry, Dom evicts Vince from the group for not telling them who they were working for. Later, Vince saves Mia's life, and Dom welcomes him back, saying, "There's always room for family."

Conversations between Dom and Brian revolve around the subject of family and fatherhood. Dom talks about his father's devotion, while Brian remembers little of his dad. Dom assures Brian that he'll be a good father.

Dom also has deep sympathy for a local police officer named Elena Neves, whom Hobbs has recruited to help him. Like Dom, Elena lost a partner she loved deeply. (Dom lost his beloved Letty in Fast & Furious.) Each seems to understand the other's suffering.

Spiritual Content

As in Fast & Furious, the Toretto clan's Catholic faith is referenced. And Dom and Mia wear crucifixes which they seem quite fond of. References are made to saying grace before meals. Dom says his father always barbecued on Sundays after church, and that if there was no church, there was no barbecue. When a member of his crew gets killed, Dom genuflects and says, "You were always my brother."

Brian describes Hobbs as being like someone out of the Old Testament: "blood, bullets, wrath of God." One of Reyes' men says of the police protection around the safe, "God Himself couldn't get your money if He wanted to." The camera repeatedly shows us Rio's famous Christ the Redeemer statue.

Sexual Content

At a street race, as is customary in this franchise, cameras zoom in on women wearing next to nothing, sometimes as little as a thong bikini. A beach scene boasts even more women in skimpy suits. Perhaps a dozen women employed at one of Reyes' money-laundering operations work in bras and panties. Reyes' office sports a large, Renaissance-style painting of a woman with one breast exposed. Elena, Mia and Gisele all wear less-than-modest outfits that expose leg, cleavage and/or midriff.

One scene features Gisele in a bikini (and the camera lingers on her physique) as she entices Reyes to caress and grab her backside in a ploy to get his fingerprints. Brian and Mia kiss several times. Obviously, sex between the unmarried couple is implied by her pregnancy. Crude comments invoke sex, legs, backsides and genitals.

In a scene that hints ever so slightly at sexualized violence, Dom roughly grabs the crucifix Elena is wearing (which belonged to Letty) from between her breasts.

Violent Content

There's no shortage of vehicular carnage, from the opening scene where the bus rolls repeatedly, to an explosive train heist in which three cars are stolen and three men shot. (One car plunges over a cliff with Dom and Brian in it.) A massive car chase through downtown Rio serves as the finale.

In that last bit of N2O-fueled mayhem, Dom's and Brian's cars have cables attached to the massive vault, which they've yanked out of the police station after ramming through several walls with a truck. For 10 or 15 minutes they careen wildly through town, the trailing vault smashing car after car. Even a building ends up quite a bit worse for the wear. Over and over again, pedestrians scamper to avoid being mortally clocked by the vault as it ricochets like a 20-ton pinball. Dom and Brian use the tow cables to clothesline police cars, many of which (and, presumably, their drivers) meet mangled ends.

The chase ends with a vengeful killing as a man lies on the ground, begging for mercy. He's shot in the head (just offscreen). An ambush involves RPGs and grenades taking out vehicles, and an entire team of drivers getting killed. (We see several bodies on the ground.) Retaliation consists of shooting and killing perhaps a dozen more people. Other shootouts or on-foot chases (one across the many-leveled roofs of the favela shanties) result in dozens more anonymous pursuers getting gunned down. A man's neck is snapped.

Dom and Brian hang from their wrists in a prison cell. Multiple men are knocked out. An epic hand-to-hand battle between Hobbs and Dom features all manner of brutal hits and body blows, not to mention plunging through panes of glass, a mirror, walls and tables. Two characters fall through a roof.

Crude or Profane Language

One f-word. About 20 s-words. We hear close to 10 misuses of God's name, half of which are combined with "d‑‑n." Other foul language includes "a‑‑," "h‑‑‑," "b‑‑ch," "p‑‑‑" and "pr‑‑k."

Drug and Alcohol Content

People drink beer and hard liquor in quite a few scenes. Brian and Vince are shown with five or six empty beer bottles in front of them. Mia abstains from alcohol because of her pregnancy.

We hear passing references to the fact that Reyes' fortune came from dealing drugs.

Other Negative Elements

Callous thieves, speeding cars, corrupt cops and … exploding sewage. That's Fast Five for you. A pipe bomb in the police department explodes and hurls sewage all over the men's restroom—and all over a guy on a toilet. There's a crude reference to urinating.

It's a crowd-pleasing moment when Hobbs decides to join Dom's group after all his men get gunned down—which makes it no less a moral and ethical compromise motivated by Hobbs' thirst for vengeance. "I'll ride with you, Toretto," he says. "At least until we kill that son of a b‑‑ch." At the end of the film, sort of like in an old Looney Tunes short, Hobbs tells Dom that he has to keep chasing him, but that he'll give him a 24-hour head start.

On top of that, the film invites viewers to believe that Dom's crew stealing $100 million from a notoriously wicked drug lord has a kind of Robin Hood-esque nobility to it.


Movie No. 5. Just like movie No. 4. Etcetera. This 2011 installment is exactly what you'd expect: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and their supporting cast—which now includes Dwayne Johnson—doing absolutely insane things with cars and looking very cool doing it.

According to the movie's production notes, the filmmakers bought—and destroyed—nearly 300 cars making Fast Five. And if close-up shots of hood ornaments are any indication, the vast majority—not counting your requisite Nissan GT-Rs, Ford GT40s, DeTomaso Panteras and Porsche 911 GT3 RSs—were new Dodge Chargers.

The heist angle this time smacks of something like Oceans Eleven or The Italian Job. And Reyes' determination to take out both Dom's crew and Hobbs smacks of Clear and Present Danger too. So I guess it'd be unfair to say that Fast Five only plagiarizes earlier films in its own franchise.

No doubt the filmmakers hoped to do nothing more than give audiences what David Letterman calls "More 'splosions! More 'splosions!" It's an adrenaline-charged "good time" for giddy gearheads. But it's also chock-full of intense violence, profanity and titillation.

And beyond that, at the risk of sounding like a broken flywheel, this latest F&F film once again delivers a dubious, self-contained and subjective morality. At one point, Brian says the money they steal from Reyes will be enough to purchase "new passports, new lives." Then he adds, "We'll buy our freedom."

It's easy to swallow that feel-good line without much thought, because these characters' loyalty and family-like bonds pull at our sympathies. But the film is essentially saying that instead of paying the price for reckless, illegal activity, all you have to do is engage in more of the same, look smooth while you do it, then cash out to beat the system completely.

Absolutely no one who's even remotely interested in this film's fast cars and fearless action is really thinking about what that message does to our worldviews. Which is exactly why I'm bringing it up.

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!