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

America is in love with the good guy vs. bad guy movie. We identify with the hero as he successfully battles against overwhelming odds. Remember John Wayne wearing his white Stetson, riding tall in the saddle, defeating the black hat-clad Bad Bart and riding off into the sunset (with or without the girl)? But westerns gave way to the more modern action/adventure flick, and then actioners gave way to urban thrillers. Along the way, the good guys and bad guys traded in their six-shooters for 9mm's and AKs, and they all stopped wearing 10-gallon hats.

So, in Waist Deep, O2 is the good guy ... but only sort of. He's an ex-con who now works as a security guard and just wants to live a normal life with his young son. But when his car gets jacked (with Junior in the backseat) by drug kingpin Big Meat, O2 digs deep into his checkered past to turn Big Meat into mincemeat.

Recruiting the help of Coco (a beautiful hustler who was at first—reluctantly—in on the carjacking) and his drug-addict cousin Lucky, O2 comes up with a plan to start a gang war and steal the money he needs to pay the ransom.


Positive Elements

When we first meet O2 and Junior, we're greeted with a genuinely loving father-son relationship. After six years in prison, O2 has come back and dedicated himself to the 10-year-old boy. So devoted is he that he'd rather lose his job than leave the lad waiting too long after school. When O2 finally shows up, Junior runs and jumps into his father's arms, and they openly speak of their love for one another.

Junior is obviously a little afraid because of his dad's late arrival and he asks, "If no one came back for me, what would happen?" O2 replies, "I'll always come back for you." And indeed, after Junior has been kidnapped, O2 goes to great lengths (even foolish and criminal ones; more on that downside later) to get him back. He even willing faces death, believing it will guarantee the boy's safety.

Junior is portrayed, for the most part, as being insulated from the hyper-violent world swirling around him. He's a sweet kid who collects model horses, makes his bed and loves his dad.

After initially trying to run from O2, Coco recognizes his love for his son and agrees to help, putting herself in harm's way. She also takes care of Junior when she thinks O2 is dead.

Members of the community take to the streets seeking help to clean up the neighborhoods. They chant, "Save our streets!"

Spiritual Content

When O2 asks about her plans, Coco says, "I don't have any plans, just a fantasy." She wants to go to a beach-side town in Mexico that she heard has magic in the ground. It's a place where, "Everything you do is blessed. All your pain is buried. And all your past is forgotten."

Sexual Content

Coco is first seen stepping out from the ranks of scantily clad prostitutes on a street corner. The camera lingers seductively on her voluptuous body encased in a tight–fitting, low-cut top and short shorts. Later she dons a robe after stripping down to bra and panties, and she splashes herself with water (as if stepping out of the shower) to seduce a security officer.

Coco's attempt to comfort O2 turns into the two of them having sex. Quick, dimly lit image flashes reveal them kissing passionately, O2 fondling her, both stripping off each other's clothes and implied intercourse.

Always the object of attention, Coco is ogled by nearly everyone she meets. She changes into stolen outfits throughout the movie, each new fashion more revealing than the last.

Violent Content

In one of the film's most visceral and grisly scenes, a very convincingly evil Meat lops off a man's forearm with a machete and slaps him across the face with his own hand. Meat then "encourages" the man to get the money he owes, promising him that he'll give him his hand back when he pays up: "If you hurry, you might even be able to sew this back on."

[Spoiler Warning] We watch Lucky painfully bleed to death after O2 and Coco ineffectually try to treat his bullet wound. That happens after O2 puts multiple bullets into Meat at close range. Then, O2 leads the police on a long high-speed chase, causing at least one squad car to crash and burn. At the end of it, refusing to give himself up, O2 deliberately crashes his car into the water.

O2 manhandles Coco (even threatening her life with his gun) in the beginning as he's searching for information about Junior. But his kidnapping of her seems almost akin to an act of kindness compared to the treatment she receives from another man who hits her repeatedly and crushes her down to the ground. Junior is slapped by his kidnapper, and he's grabbed by the neck.

People are pistol whipped, punched, kicked and smacked with a tire iron. O2 holds a gun on several enemies, and he leaves people tied up and gagged after robbing them. By movie's end, dozens of men are shot and killed.

Philosophically, Waist Deep simultaneously glorifies violence and the restraint required to eliminate it, wallowing in dichotomies and mixed messages. A few scenes are worth pointing out: When Junior finds O2's gun in the glove box. O2 yells at him to never touch a gun—and moments later he ruthlessly kills one of the kidnappers with it. Similarly, O2 brutally bludgeons the man who attacks Coco, saying, "Don't ever put your hands on a woman!" when, minutes before, he had his own pistol jammed in her teeth. Finally, O2 is portrayed as a loving father, but when he learns that Junior was in a fistfight at school, he asks, "You beat his a--?" Junior replies, "Yeah."

Crude or Profane Language

Foul language is a staple of this film with the f-word being used close to 100 times. The s-word trails, but not by much. Women are usually called "b—ch," and black men repeatedly call each other "n-gger." God's name is paired with "d--n."

Drug and Alcohol Content

We visit Big Meat's drug "factory" several times where men are cutting and packaging cocaine and other drugs. Lucky is seen watching TV with several men, drinking alcohol and using drugs. And several characters, including Coco and Lucky, are seen smoking marijuana.

Other Negative Elements

In order to obtain enough money to buy Junior's freedom, O2 and Coco rob gangs and stage armed bank robberies. They also steal cars and break into a wealthy man's house to "hole up."

In the background behind the main action, there is an effort underway to "clean up" the community and fight the gangs with city officials giving speeches in a local park. But within sight of this event, gang members beat and abduct a man, operating as if the police can do nothing to stop them. And when O2 is faced with the ransom demand for his son, he barely even hesitates to wonder if he should go to the authorities for help. Criminal activity is portrayed as his only reasonable course of action.


Waist Deep is being billed as "Bonnie and Clyde—on the flip side." And, indeed, when a cashier realizes that the man and woman who have just swerved into his gas station are the very wanted O2 and Coco, he doesn't call the police, he asks for an autograph. That's largely why, for all its bicep-flexing bravado and yen to show us the gritty underbelly of the urban streets, the film never rings true.

It feels more like a typical gutter-mouthed action flick on steroids, careening wildly between bloody grotesqueries and teary Vaseline-lensed sentimentality. (Calling it an extended gangsta rap video wouldn't do it any grave injustice, either.) The only spark of authenticity featured here is O2's need to hold and protect the pure love he shares with his son, and Coco's yearning to go to a place where she can forget her past.

We all reach a point in life where we wish for a new, clean beginning. We wonder where to find redemption and how to grab ahold of hope. I saw these characters asking their questions and longed to see them find both physical and spiritual answers. Instead, they force-feed us lyin', stealin', killin' and gettin' away with it as they feverishly fall back on a hollow Hollywood solution: blow things up, blast the bad guy, grab the goods and ride off into the sunset—without your hat.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

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!