WHY WE CARE


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."

YOUR STORIES


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!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

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.

PLUGGED IN RATING

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

Kevin Wendell Crumb isn't in control anymore.

He used to be. But after suffering abuse from a very young age onward, he slowly became guided by someone else. A number of someones actually.

Dr. Karen Fletcher has been working with the damaged young man for several years now. She thinks she's helping him make real progress. And in her expert opinion, Kevin is the most advanced and complicated case of Dissociative Identity Disorder ever known.

Kevin is functional. But he has no fewer than 23 different, complete and fully developed personalities living within him—each with its own strengths, physical traits and foibles, and each with its own unique ways of managing Kevin's fears and protecting him from the world around him.

In fact, there are so many individuals born of Kevin's disorder and rooted in his mind that Dr. Fletcher hasn't even met them all. They each step "into the light"—as she and Kevin have come to call it—and take control at different times. But though Dr. Fletcher has been told of the personalities such as "Dennis" and "Miss Patricia," they've never revealed themselves to her.

What the good and caring doctor doesn't know, however, is that those two personas have been showing up quite often when Kevin is out of her care. It could be said, in fact, that with the help of a 9-year-old personality named Hedwig, Dennis and Miss Patricia have joined forces to take total control of Kevin's actions.

Those actions include grabbing three teen girls from a party and dragging them down into a creepy, basement-like lair. Dennis and Miss Patricia, you see, have something special in store for the girls. And they're working hard at opening Kevin up to a new presence that will move into the light soon. Something very powerful. Something utterly horrible.

Something they call The Beast.

Positive Elements

Dr. Fletcher is a caring, conscientious psychiatrist who is willing to do whatever it takes to help her mentally ill patients. In fact, she mentions she has steered away from having a traditional family in order to invest that kind of family-like love and time into the patients in her practice. She truly wants to bring Kevin to a place of healing, and we see him respond positively to her efforts.

The three young women, Casey, Claire and Marcia are dragged into a horrible situation beyond their control. And, though they are all terrified, they use everything they have to aid one another. Eventually, another character takes great risks to help them as well.

Spiritual Content

The movie suggests that total belief in something is a powerful force, even when it springs from a wounded, tortured mind. Accordingly, we see Kevin's sheer force of will accomplish some remarkable things. Dr. Fletcher raises the question of whether or not that unflinching mental certainty is "where our sense of the supernatural" comes from. She also links a deranged individual's ability to alter his body chemistry to the concept of human evolution.

Elsewhere, we hear a man exclaim, "What in the name of Mary and Joseph?"

Sexual Content

Though Dennis is forbidden by Miss Patricia from sexually manhandling his teen girl captives, he still uses his abhorrence for dirt and filth to justify demanding that they remove some soiled pieces of clothing. Claire and Marcia start out in rather form-fitting and skimpy skirts and shirts, but they eventually get down to revealing undergarments. Casey removes several layers, too, and has an outer shirt torn off.

We hear a story about a man touching a woman's breast. Kevin, manifesting 9-year-old Hedwig, asks Casey if he can kiss her, and he awkwardly does so.

Casey recalls being coaxed as a 5-year-old into removing her clothes by her adult Uncle John. (We see him on all fours dressed in nothing but boxer shorts while the girl begins to remove her shirt.) It's implied that Uncle John sexually abuses her. In fact, after the girl's dad passes away, she's taken in by her uncle, and we get the sense that she has since endured an entire childhood full of that kind of abuse.

Kevin strips off his shirt when becoming The Beast.

Violent Content

Split packs a heavy sense of foreboding physical danger for the fragile-looking young women at the core of this story. At first, that just plays out the form of frowning threats from Dennis and some light manhandling.

But things get much darker from there. [Spoiler Warning] Eventually we see these victims bloodied, battered and, in one case, eaten. The camera shows a girl with a large wound on her abdomen. Casey sees someone dragged away and consumed (off-camera). She's also grabbed and bitten, and we see the bloody bite mark.

We see a man take two shotgun blasts to the chest and stomach. Someone gets stabbed (though the knife blade breaks). Five-year-old Casey looks closely at a dead deer. She also points a shotgun at someone. The teen version of Casey has scars on her shoulders and stomach. Hedwig says of The Beast's personality, "He's done awful things to people, and he'll do awful things to you."

Crude or Profane Language

One f-word combined with "mother" and a couple of uses of the s-word. Half a dozen or so other profanities include "h---," "a--," "d--n," "b--ch" and one misuse of Jesus' name. Casey angrily spits the crude suggestion "blow me" at one of the other girls.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Dennis sprays a drug into the faces of the three young women and later into Dr. Fletcher's face, rendering all of them unconscious. One of Kevin's personalities is diabetic and gives himself an insulin shot. In a flashback, a then 5-year-old Casey sees her dad and uncle drink beer.

Other Negative Elements

Marcia intentionally wets herself to keep germ-phobic Dennis at bay.

Conclusion

Sometimes, evaluating which ticket to buy at the box office simply comes down to your appetite: What are you willing to stomach with your buttery popcorn and bubbly soda?

I'd suggest that's a good question to ask in the case of Split.

Director M. Night Shyamalan's latest horror thriller is admittedly tense and well-directed. Shyamalan relishes peeling back the layers of an unsettling storyline with disturbingly creepy savor. And James McAvoy's believable multi-character portrayal, one that's full of quick veers and mad-eyed leers, is akin to sitting through an acting master class.

All that said, however, when you boil this flick down to its most basic narrative essence, you're left with the increasingly grim story of a demented, mentally tortured maniac who abducts and strips teen girls with the ultimate goal of—spoiler warning—eating them.

So, what is your gut telling you?

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults

Credits

Rating

PG-13

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb/Dennis/Patricia/Hedwig/Barry/The Beast/Orwell/Jade; Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke; Haley Lu Richardson as Claire; Jessica Sula as Marcia; Betty Buckley as Dr. Karen Fletcher; Brad William Henke as Uncle John; Izzie Coffey as Five-Year-Old Casey

Distributor

Universal Pictures

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

January 20, 2017

On Video

April 18, 2017

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

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!