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

Someone in the area of Montreal, Quebec, has been murdering men and then stealing their identities—taking their lives, so to speak. Police Director Hugo Leclair knows this is the work of one serial killer, but he and his detectives, Paquette and Duval, can't quite put the pieces together.

Hugo reaches for a past acquaintance, FBI profiler Illeana Scott, to help him solve the case, and it pays off. When the team lucks upon a witness to the killer’s most recent crime, Illeana uses her skills at psychology to coax the frightened witness into helping. But everything—and everyone—is not as it first appears. What follows is a taut psychological thriller full of more twists and turns, swoops and surprises than the Space Mountain roller-coaster. Only in the last five seconds of the movie do viewers finally get the big picture.


Positive Elements

Illeana displays tenacity, courage and a strong sense of duty, as do all the detectives. In a backdoor way, the importance of a parent’s unequivocal love for all her children is emphasized through a negative example.

Spiritual Content

Two Montreal detectives, unnerved by Illeana’s ability to almost effortlessly assess a man’s personality, call her a witch.

Sexual Content

Illeana quickly determines that there is a sexual element to the serial killer’s method. Illeana has sex with a local art dealer. The scene is explicit, and includes breast nudity, multiple "positions" and lots of "motion." A nude (male) corpse is seen from a distance and in a photo. Illeana is observed taking a bath (nothing explicit). F-words are used to reference sexual acts. Rough slang is assigned to sexual anatomy.

Violent Content

A young man pushes a friend in front of a speeding truck, which kills him and then crashes spectacularly, killing its occupants. The camera lingers on a bloody body in the wreck. Illeana frequently lingers over gory crime scene photos, even at the dinner table. She also tapes them to the overhead canopy of her hotel bed.

A dead body falls from a false ceiling. A detective finds a severed finger with a ring still attached. A long-dead body is exhumed and laid out on a coroner’s table, as is a charred body. A decomposing corpse is dug up by a backhoe in a construction site.

The killer smashes in the face of a victim with a large rock. He also cuts off the hands. A pregnant woman is stabbed in the stomach. A man is stabbed in the chest with scissors. The killer garrotes a victim. A doctor jabs a needle into an open wound and then sews it up. A man slaps a woman in the face—hard. Illeana and the shadowy killer wrestle in a basement, and her head is smashed against the wall, allowing the killer to escape. A man smashes through a window and crashes to the sidewalk about six feet below. Another is shot point-blank in the chest. During a car chase, one vehicle smashes into a parked truck, resulting in a huge fireball.

Crude or Profane Language

The f-word is used close to 20 times; the s-word nearly 10—once in French. Jesus' name is abused a couple times.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Two teenagers drink beer on a bus. One character smokes frequently. (The way he lights his cigarette becomes a clue.) Illeana has wine with a meal.

Other Negative Elements

Agent Scott is unorthodox in her methods. She’s first seen lying in the open grave intended for the victim of an interrupted murder, an act she says helps her get into the killer’s mind. She also disregards the rule of law by breaking into a house to look for evidence, telling the chief of police he can blame it on “a headstrong FBI agent not familiar with the rules.” (As if they have different rules on search-and-seizure in Canada?) One detective resents Illeana because she is a woman.


The writer and director of Taking Lives have put together a real thriller that keeps the audience guessing from the beginning to the very end—literally. No matter how prepared you might be, you will jump in your seat a few times if you see this movie, and you’ll change your mind frequently as to the identity of the killer. That said, Taking Lives deserves better treatment than it got—by the director, not the critics. Far too much time is spent focusing on gory crime scenes, dead bodies, and explicit sex and violence.

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



Angelina Jolie as FBI Special Agent Illeana Scott; Ethan Hawke as James Costa; Tcheky Karyo as Police Director Hugo Leclair; Kiefer Sutherland as Hart; Oliver Martinez as Detective Joseph Paquette; Jean-Hugues Anglade as Detective Emil Duval; Gena Rowlands as Rebecca Asher


Warner Bros.



Record Label



In Theaters

On Video

Year Published



Tom Neven

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!