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

From the time she was a young girl, Gracie Hart demonstrated very little grace, but lots of heart. We first meet the spectacled tomboy on a school playground where she rescues a boy being bullied. When the battered kid shows more disrespect than appreciation (he resents being bailed out by a girl), she pops him in the nose herself. Skip to present-day. Special Agent Gracie Hart lives, talks, eats, drinks and acts like a blue-collar bachelor. And that’s how her coworkers treat her—like one of the guys. That is until a serial bomber drops a clue that his next target is the Miss United States pageant, and Gracie is the only one qualified to go undercover as a contestant.

As one might imagine, Bullock (who plays Hart) cleans up pretty well. But it’s one thing for Gracie to look like a beauty queen and another to carry herself like one. So the FBI hires gay pageant consultant Victor Melling to turn this sow’s ear into a silk purse à la Eliza Doolittle. Gracie proceeds to take over for Miss New Jersey despite her disgust for the whole idea of "empty-headed bimbos" parading around talking about world peace. As she strives to develop her feminine charms, she bonds with her shapely competition and gets closer and closer to identifying the villain (Gracie is way ahead of her male colleagues on fingering the baddie, but the plot is so predictable that we figure it out well before she does). In the midst of it all lie flurries of love-hate sparring between Gracie and her chauvinistic boss, Eric, that plays out like a couple of flirting eighth graders. In the end, good triumphs over evil while Eric and Gracie’s mutual respect grows.

positive elements: During a sting operation, Gracie’s moment of compassion toward a choking criminal jeopardizes the operation, but reveals her tender heart. She seems committed to her job of defending justice and protecting people. She shows support and concern for her fellow beauty contestants, which ultimately earns her their vote for Miss Congeniality. A scene features Gracie modeling self-defense techniques for women in order to help them protect themselves. There’s a funny anti-tobacco statement. Gracie’s snide remarks about beauty pageants and those who take them seriously raise valid questions about the objectification of women. Meanwhile, her feminist antagonism toward the women who are being objectified softens. The film also exposes some "tricks of the trade" used to make women look more glamorous than humanly possible.

spiritual content: Statements by Miss Rhode Island cast her parents as religious extremists. Grace implies that a beauty queen with bust enhancement would, upon entering heaven, be "sent back" by God because of her phony breasts. Gracie’s harsh exclamation of Christ’s name stuns a crowd, leading her to try and cover up by making it part of a prayer for her food (an extremely offensive moment played for laughs).

sexual content: Form-fitting outfits, low-cut dresses, skimpy bathing suits and half-dressed women wander through the film. Innuendo and veiled sexual references deal with intercourse, male genitalia and homosexuality. An endowed, topless mannequin has its head blown off in a vicious experiment. Gracie exercises to "None of Your Business," a song by R&B act Salt 'N' Pepa that defends prostitution ("sell[ing] it on the weekend"). After coming up short of the crown, a Miss United States contestant bolts to the apron of the stage and declares her lesbianism, expressing affection for her partner in the audience (this leads a lesbian working for the TV network to defend the lifestyle as well). Overall, the film is quite sympathetic to homosexuality. And for the most part, male characters are unsupportive, confrontational, perverted or just plain stupid. The one exception is the fatherly, wise Victor. Men mock "average" women in bathing suits while drooling over those they get to ogle via surveillance video. They hoot and holler. And when their ring-leader, the womanizing Eric, finally asks out Gracie in the closing scene, the dialogue is downright irresponsible. "Are you asking me out on a date?," Gracie asks. He replies, "Just a casual dinner. If we happen to have sex afterwards, so be it." The two chuckle. She should elbow him in the gut and tell him to take a hike. Does she? No. They end with a kiss, as if buying into the possibility of sleeping with the libidinous heel. Earlier in the film, one of the women mocks virginity.

violent content: A face-off between FBI agents and three Russian mobsters results in one pulling a knife on Gracie, as well as volleys of gunfire (no fatalities). There are fisticuffs on a school playground. Gracie and Eric wrestle in a gym, kicking and throwing each other around quite hard until one gives in, inspiring onlookers to wager on the battle. A scuffle breaks out at the Miss United States pageant as law enforcement officials try to subdue the bad guys and Gracie tries to wrest away the winner’s crown which is wired with explosives.

crude or profane language: Approximately three dozen profanities and inappropriate uses of the Lord’s name (see "spiritual content" for the most egregious example). Sexual innuendo is common.

drug and alcohol content: Gracie drinks beer on several occasions, and takes a bunch of pageant friends to a nightclub for shots and beers (one of the girls gets plastered). Eric enters a bar with a date and both order alcohol.

other negative elements: Hollywood hypocrisy. For all of Gracie’s noble disdain over the objectification of women, the movie does exactly that to draw and entertain its audience. Not only is flesh marched back and forth before the camera, but the poster promoting the film is racy enough that we didn’t feel comfortable reprinting it alongside this review.

conclusion: Sandra Bullock not only stars in Miss Congeniality, she produced it. After disappointing turns last year in 28 Days, Forces of Nature and Gun Shy, the actress who became America’s sweetheart in While You Were Sleeping is way overdue for a hit. Will this be the one? Hard to say. Despite middling reviews, she did snag a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Gracie Hart ("Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical"), but once again Bullock demonstrates a talent worthy of much better material.

The script is clunky and obvious. For one thing, the "mad bomber" whodunit creates no real mystery or tension. We know how it will end because we’ve seen it all before. Besides, it’s not about the FBI case anyway; it’s about watching Bullock morph from an unkempt, gum-chewing New York cop to a hair-tossing, mascara-wearing, glass-playing (don’t ask) beauty queen. With the exception of Gracie and possibly Victor (Caine revisiting his Educating Rita territory), the characters are as thin as the plot. Candice Bergen is, well, Candice Bergen. Ernie Hudson is just the latest in a string of bombastic African-American cops who shout down the hero in the process of pulling him/her off the streets in favor of a desk job. William Shatner’s aging emcee comes across as Bert Parks combined with Shatner’s own not-as-cool-as-he-thinks-he-is microphone hog from the Priceline-dot-com TV commercials. Of course, none of this will matter to families already put off by profanity, alcohol use and sexual situations that are anything but congenial.


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!