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.




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

Few Americans older than 5 on Sept. 11, 2001, are unable to recall where they were when they first heard the news that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. The same can be said concerning Jan. 28, 1986, when the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight. And 50 years ago, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was yet another of those historically defining moments that explosively jolted the American psyche, gathering family and friends around the television—in that instance, to catch the latest from news anchor Walter Cronkite.

Parkland (a title that refers to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where Kennedy was taken after the shooting) attempts to go behind the news and the televised scenes to tell several stories about those most immediately and intimately affected by the tragic events of Nov. 22, 1963.

Parkland does not attempt to tackle a single conspiracy theory; here Lee Harvey Oswald operates alone. It sheds no further light on the Warren Commission's findings. Jack Ruby is given mere seconds of screen time. And what's more, JFK himself isn't really the focus. Even Jacqueline Kennedy is observed primarily through her grief and silence as she watches helplessly while medical staff try to revive her husband.

Moviegoers are instead taken to Dealey Plaza for the presidential motorcade … where a garment manufacturer, Abraham Zapruder, excitedly searches for a primo spot from which to shoot 8mm footage of his beloved president. Then shots ring out, and it's a speedy trip to the Parkland Memorial Hospital emergency room … where Dr. Charles Carrico, Nurse Doris Nelson and the rest of the medical staff do everything they can.

We see Secret Service Chief Forrest Sorrels' world get rocked because the president was lost on his watch. We observe two prominent FBI agents second-guess themselves as to whether they could have possibly prevented the tragedy. (They had a file on Lee Harvey and knew he was a loose cannon ever since he'd returned from Russia.) We witness the backstory of—and feel the weight of the future for—Robert and Marguerite Oswald, Lee's brother and mother respectively.


Positive Elements

Without saying a word, Jackie conveys her love for her departed partner when she slips off her wedding ring and gently places it on one of John's little fingers. Lyndon Johnson shows his support by refusing to leave for Washington without Jackie and the body of her husband.

Robert Oswald's struggle to carry on a normal life is moving, if sad. At the Dallas jail, he receives unsolicited advice from a law enforcement officer to change his name, then pack up and move, but he refuses to flee. Robert chastises Lee Harvey for ruining his kids' lives.

It almost goes without saying that the film deems the efforts of the hospital staff heroic … and the assassination itself an indefensible act.

Spiritual Content

A priest is quickly called into the ER to read Last Rites. There, Jackie is seen with folded hands, praying. Nurse Nelson retrieves a crucifix she keeps in her locker; the icon is then placed upon Kennedy's body and later atop his coffin in Air Force One.

Knowing the wrongness of his deed, an FBI agent recites a "Hail Mary" as he burns up his Oswald file in a men's room.

Sexual Content


Violent Content

Blood is seen everywhere in the ER when JFK is brought in, and again after Oswald is shot by Ruby. Physicians and nurses all have blood somewhere on their bodies. Some of them have gore all over their arms, well past their elbows. Jackie is bloodied, and she hands someone splattered brain matter. Scenes of Secret Service agents routinely show them wearing blood-drenched clothing. Although we never see a full-on facial shot of John Kennedy, we see a gruesome head wound. The Zapruder film is never seen directly, but we do get glimpses of it in Zapruder's glasses as he watches it for the first time.

Crude or Profane Language

One f-word and four or five s-words. God's name is abused a dozen times, often paired with "d‑‑n." Jesus' name is misused six times. Milder profanities include "son of a b‑‑ch," used at least twice.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Doctors and nurses smoke cigarettes, as do reporters, FBI agents, other law enforcement personnel and various folks on the street. Ashtrays are often full. A pack of cigarettes sits on the dashboard of a car.

Other Negative Elements

Marguerite Oswald voices her opinion that Lee Harvey was heroic. (Robert tells his mother to "shut up.") While in the emergency room, a medical staffer cuts away at Kennedy's clothing, revealing skin. (When he begins to cut away his underwear, he's quickly rebuked.)


It's now been 50 years since that dreadful day in November when the 35th president of the United States of America was shot dead in Dallas. Which means there are literally millions of people on the planet whose "memory" of the event relies only on something they read in a text book or saw in a movie … like this one.

Sadly, Parkland struggles to give viewers a reason to care about most of the people it places onscreen, especially the president. Instead, we're provided with litanies of cold, hard facts about the behind-the-scenes happenings. Do we care? We're supposed to, but it's difficult to wedge emotion into the rapid-fire mini-story details.

It's also difficult to warm up to a film that blithely recounts so many instances of blatant disrespect for Jesus' name, and additionally proffers an f-word and other vulgarities. The blood and violence are obviously part and parcel with a story revolving around murder, as this one is. But with multiple scenes in an ER that resemble the "backroom of a butcher shop," as Mick LaSalle put it in the Houston Chronicle, families looking for a history lesson might want to stick with those text books I mentioned earlier.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Content Caution





Readability Age Range





Zac Efron as Dr. Charles Carrico; Billy Bob Thornton as Forrest Sorrels; Jeremy Strong as Lee Harvey Oswald; Paul Giamatti as Abraham Zapruder; Jacki Weaver as Marguerite Oswald; Marcia Gay Harden as Nurse Doris Nelson


Peter Landesman


Exclusive Media Group



Record Label



In Theaters

October 4, 2013


November 5, 2013

Year Published


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!