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

The future is here. And in this enlightened age, America has found the most expedient way to deal with its budget crises. Cut backs? Hiked taxes? Nah. Murder is the way to go, don't you know?

For years now, the U.S. political class—led by the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA)—have used an event called the Purge to help balance the books and polish some of the country's rough edges. Hey it even helps get rid of, um, unwanteds, if you will.

Once a year, for 12 hours, everyone in the nation is given a free ticket to pilfer, pillage, murder and maim to their heart's content.

Welfare class too big to sustain? Just spark a night of slum-centered residential rampage and shrink the number of those on the government dole. Yearly crime rates too high? Don't worry, the criminal herd will be radically thinned out if you arm the right people. Tired of all those crumbling shantytown buildings? Simply park a gas tanker in the right part of town, and let human nature take its course. And for anyone having trouble with a spouse, hey, the Purge can help out there, too. You'd be amazed how it improves divorce rates.

Now, there are a few folks who aren't sold on this brilliant idea, Sen. Charlene Roan chief among them. She saw her family butchered on Purge night some years back. And she's desperately wanted the practice stopped ever since.

But bleeding-heart whiners like her just don't understand the concept of working for the greater good, according to Purge purveyors. This woman and her ilk probably would have the country return to the archaic days of caring for the poor, they say.

Still, some of the supposedly unwashed masses are actually beginning to listen to the controversial, countercultural senator. Roan's even decided to run for president, campaigning on the promise to eliminate the Purge by executive order.

Suffice to say that Sen. Roan's do-gooder impulses virtually guarantee that someone's going to try to do bad to her when this year's Purge rolls around … especially since one recent rule change has lifted the former ban against targeting the political class.

Advertisement

Positive Elements

Sen. Roan appears to be one of the few politicans (if not the only one) willing to condemn the horrors of the Purge. She does so at great personal risk to herself, even when killers seek to take her out. In fact, when asked why she is willing to keep going when people are threatening her life, she replies, "The soul of the country is at risk."

Roan also stands up to a group of community freedom fighters who plan on murdering some NFFA members. She pleads that murder won't solve society's problems (though much of the film itself problematically seems to suggest otherwise).

Joe, an inner-city deli owner, has consistently reached out to help community members in need. He's given a job to a Mexican immigrant named Marcos, helped guide a female gang member named Laney Rucker and even stepped into the death-drenched streets to rescue Sen. Roan. "I ain't no saint," he reports. "I'm just doing my part."

Because of Joe, Laney has gone from self-centered gangbanging to helping others. She drives a triage truck during the Purge and aids the fallen at the risk of her own life. A number of doctors and volunteers do their life-saving part, too.

Spiritual Content

As the Purge commences, Laney whispers, "Vaya con Dios" (literally, "Go with God" in Spanish, though it's commonly used as a synonym for "good-bye") to a fellow triage worker. A public service announcement (in English) ends similarly: "May God be with you all."

Other spiritual references in the film, however, are of a darker, blasphemous sort. NFFA leaders and their families gather at a local church where they chant and sing hymn-like songs in a cult-like ceremony. Among other things, it involves talk of Jesus and the sacrifice of a man whose death will supposedly cover their sins. One of their number proclaims that it's their "godly duty to Purge." And we later find out they planned to murder a large group of captives in God's name.

After killing a man, a robe-garbed church leader pants in crazed ecstasy. Later, another leader falls to his knees, speaks of being a "son of God" and begins speaking in indecipherable, similarly ecstatic tongues.

Sexual Content

The spiritual ecstasies noted above seem almost sexual in nature. A group of female Purgers wear very revealing outfits that consist of garter belts and skimpy lingerie.

Violent Content

This extremely bloody, gory film depicts men and women dying in myriad brutal ways. Implements inflicting death include: guillotines, knives, swords, axes, fire, bombs, gunshots and arrows. Victims are accordingly decapitated, slashed, hacked, stabbed, incinerated, burned, shot and tortured. Throats are cut, heads explode, and blood splatters and gushes freely. Some unfortunate victims even get strapped helplessly to the front of speeding cars to be used as human battering rams.

Some of the individual incidents of violence worth noting specifically are the following: A wife weeps after shooting her husband and reporting that it didn't make her feel any better. People are hung from tree branches. Two teen girls are hit by a speeding truck, and one is finished off with a shotgun blast to the face. A group of foreign "murder tourists" roam the streets and batter a couple of victims while shrieking that they will skin them and violate their flesh.

Crude or Profane Language

More than 30 f-words and a dozen s-words are joined by a handful of uses each of "a--," "b--ch," "h---" and "d--n." God's and Jesus' names are both profaned repeatedly, with the former being combined with "d--n" three times. We also hear several extremely crude slang references to genitalia and oral sex.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Joe and Marcos drink beer.

Other Negative Elements

The bloody battles between NFFA officials and the community freedom fighters play out predominantly as a race war: All of the NFFA members wear Nazi-ish necklaces and are white, while nearly all of the freedom fighters are black. A black female gang member sneering tells Laney (who's also African American), "Ms. Rucker, you lookin' all whitish now."

Military and non-military thugs in the streets wear everything from bloody masks of former presidents to jackets covered with "white power" symbols and other racist patches.

In addition, it's worth noting that previous films in the Purge franchise (there have been three, beginning with Purge in 2010) have been linked to several violent copycat crimes. The most recent involved a 19-year-old Indianapolis man who allegedly was inspired by The Purge to murder three people over the course of four nights in May 2016.

Conclusion

No matter how you strain your movie metaphors or parse your cinematic symbolism, the fact is that The Purge: Election Year is a nasty, blunt bludgeon of a movie. This is a gruesome psychodrama about class and racial warfare that projects an almost cartoonishly slanted political message. (That's if a humorless vision of Nazi-like one-percenters butchering the downtrodden poor and then being butchered by them in turn can be considered cartoonish. Or political.)

Worse even than that, though, is this flick's jarringly erratic Jekyll-and-Hyde persona. On one hand, its creators imply that they want to condemn the dark, violent, hateful impulses of human nature. But on the other hand, they deliberately incite the audience to cheer rabidly when their own rancid and horrible character creations are massacred in one bloody manner or another.

In other words, We hate the hate, but, woohoo, ain't it entertaining!?

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

R

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Elizabeth Mitchell as Senator Charlene Roan; Frank Grillo as Leo Barnes; Mykelti Williamson as Joe; Joseph Julian Soria as Marcos; Raymond J. Barry as Caleb Warrens; Terry Serpico as Earl; Kyle Secor as Minister Edwidge Owens; Betty Gabriel as Laney Rucker

Director

James DeMonaco ( The Purge: AnarchyThe Purge)

Distributor

Universal Pictures

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

July 1, 2016

On Video

October 4, 2016

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!