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.


Nitro Circus: The Movie


    No Rating Available

Watch This Review

We hope you enjoyed this content. Be sure to share it with family and friends you think will enjoy it as well.

Movie Review

Risking life and limb by way of bikes, trikes, buses, motorcycles and semis—these are the things of Nitro Circus, and therefore this movie.

Led by Travis Pastrana, Nitro Circus got its start back in the early 2000s when a collective of extreme sport buds started cranking out DVDs of their backflipping, tumbling, face-in-the-dirt engine-propelled stunts. That led to a TV miniseries, an MTV show, a live road tour and now the big screen. In the film's brief interviews and in-the-moment conversations, these madcap guys and one hard-core gal pal present themselves as average Joes and Janes who were already into dirt bike backflips and simply decided to capitalize on their "fun" by marketing it. But it's clear that they'd be happy to be thought of as the spiritual successors to one Evel Knievel—the motorcycle daredevil from days gone by who earned shticky notoriety for his "death-defying" leaps over lines of buses and sprawling canyons.

In one of the many pieced-in quirky asides, Pastrana tells us that Nitro is all about "trying to find where it's not possible to go … and then going there." And so he and his gang present a series of gleeful insanities that ranges from leaping the gap between 63-story buildings with a tricycle to truly deadly looking car tumbles staged at 130 mph. It's all designed to show the performers' extreme skills while hopefully getting viewers fired up … while they groan, wince and shout.


Positive Elements

Pastrana starts this not-quite-a-documentary with a brief word about "not trying this at home." And—insert asterisk here—it's obvious that this crew of friends care for one another. (Read "Other Negative Elements" for info on that asterisk.)

Spiritual Content

A badly bruised guy pulls up his shirt and pulls down his shorts a bit to reveal a large and painful-looking wound he calls the result of "God's fist."

Sexual Content

Jolene wears a bikini top on occasion and shows some of her backside. One of the Nitro guys is shown riding a bike naked. (His backside is blurred.) Another dresses in drag for a gag.

Violent Content

These backslapping chortlers readily leap into one hair-raising act of self-inflicted agony after another. Some thumping crashes are as simple as a guy earning repeated dirt pile body slams while trying to achieve a twelve foot-high double backflip on a Big Wheels tricycle or having a motorbike flip backwards and land on his chest.

Other scenes are more severe. One guy tries to skim across a hotel pool with his speeding dirt bike, only to have it sink and send him flying into the ledge of the concrete pool wall. Another presents somebody dislocating a shoulder while falling over the handle bars of a crashing quad. A wheelchair-bound guy tries to shoot around a full-loop ramp only to crash to the ground mid-loop, knocking him unconscious.

One dense dude is dragged over a water slide at 60 mph and ends up literally burning the skin off his chest. Someone hits a ramp at 130 mph, sending his car into a sheet metal shredding tumble. Somebody else is crunched and broken when trapped under the collapsing roof of a poorly flipped Mustang—thereafter getting cut out of the crumpled vehicle and rushed to the hospital with undescribed injuries. Many heads—protected and unprotected—thump many different surfaces.

And that's only a fraction of the crumbled cars, bikes, semitrucks and quads that fill the scores of dangerously insane stunts—many ending with piles of pain.

Crude or Profane Language

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 bleeped f-words, along with exclamations of "eff" and "effing." One guy is called a "mo-fo." Most of the s-words are bleeped; one or two aren't. We hear a dozen or more total uses of "b‑‑tard," "h‑‑‑," "a‑‑" and "d‑‑n."

Everybody's very concerned about not being a "p‑‑‑y." References are made to someone having the "balls" for a stunt—including Jolene. Chortling name-calling includes "d‑‑kface" and "dumba‑‑." There's jovial talk of people "crapping their shorts." God's name is abused a handful of times.

Drug and Alcohol Content

One guy drinks what is called homemade moonshine. Another downs Red Bull (as if these guys need any help at all with getting wound up).

Other Negative Elements

The care these chums share never prompts anyone to raise a hand to stop someone from doing something that they themselves might privately recognize as pretty dumb or deadly. Instead, they're endlessly chuckling over another's crazy bravado.


Without question, some of this movie's stunts are jaw-droppingly stunning. The pic opens, for instance, with a truly amazing ballet of airborne motorcycles, 4x4s and monster trucks all jumping, flipping and cartwheeling over and past one another in a slo-mo dirt-ramp leaping spectacle. Moments like this help you realize the precision and true skills that must go into one of these high-revving events.

But most of the flick is far from that graceful. While talking about the Nitro crew's adrenalized adventures, one of the commentators notes, "They only think about making [their stunts.] They never think about what will happen if they don't." Even the repeatedly mentioned Evel Knievel was more recognizable for his crashes, comas and hundreds of broken bones than his pinpoint landings, of course. And that's certainly a part of the action here, too.

The problem, though, is that the movie makes even those painful moments seem extremely cool. Especially as the braying mates backslap and cheer fallen and limping comrades. Pastrana drives the point home early on with the statement, "Our mission is to have more fun than anybody on the planet." And indeed, their every YouTube-worthy flip, somersault and face-first crash seems to scream, "Ain't this the bomb?"

Unfortunately, for far too many inspired kids, it might be a bomb going off in their faces. While searching for videos of Pastrana and his crew on the aforementioned YouTube, I happened upon a number of non-Pastrana vids that showed kids trying similar stunts, wiping out and being shuttled off to the hospital. Accidents from these kinds of stunts can easily result in head trauma, massive bruises, broken bones … and death.

Never mind that Pastrana warns kids at home not to try the stunts they're performing. The cool factor here far outweighs the common sense factor.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews




Readability Age Range


Sports, Documentary, Comedy



Travis Pastrana, Jolene Van Vugt, Jeremy Rawle, Gregg Godfrey and Tommy Passemante as Themselves


Gregg Godfrey and Jeremy Rawle


Arc Entertainment



Record Label



In Theaters

August 7, 2012


November 13, 2012

Year Published



Bob Hoose

We hope you enjoyed this content. Be sure to share it with family and friends you think will enjoy it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!