The Plugged In Show, Episode 49: Ask Plugged In!

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What’s it like to review movies for Plugged In?

That’s a great question, and one that I’ve been asked quite a few times over the last decade and a half. And I certainly understand why: Reviewing movies seems like a super-cool job. And in many ways, it is. I mean, who wouldn’t want to do that, right? Then again, you might be surprised at what goes into a Plugged In movie review behind the scenes.

That’s just one common question I hear at conferences and speaking events. Here are some others that the Plugged In team is frequently asked:

How do you deal with all the content you have to see?
How do you take so many notes in the movies you review?
Why do you even bother review R-rated movies?

We thought it would be fun to have a conversation about these questions and more, taking a peek “behind the curtain,” to speak.

So take a listen to our latest episode of The Plugged In Show, where we divulge all the deep, dark (OK, not really) Plugged In secrets you’ve always been curious about.

And be sure to check out these related links to our conversation:

Adam R. Holz

After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.

5 Responses

  1. – Dear Plugged In,
    I think I would have gone off the wall if I had to watch and listen to all of the content you guys have to deal with when you’re reviewing all of those bad movies. Doesn’t it leave sort of an imprint on your mind? How do you get all of that garbage out of your thoughts?

    1. – First Comment! Thanks for reaching out to Plugged In and Focus on the Family. It’s a privilege to reply on behalf of our staff. We appreciate your honest concerns about our Plugged In staff reviewing movies that contain questionable content. We want to assure you that this aspect of our ministry has not been entered into lightly. Our youth culture analysts consider themselves messengers, equipping parents with the knowledge to steer their children away from harmful media choices. They feel called to carry out this endeavor, a job they wouldn’t do without God’s guidance, wisdom, and discernment, along with much prayer. Again, thanks for your concern. Blessings!

  2. – Great question. We actually talk about that on the podcast, so take a listen to hear us discuss that very issue.

    (Also, we’re having some technical issues with this week’s podcast, which isn’t available yet on our podcast page, it will hopefully be available there shortly.)

  3. – “Why do you even bother to review R-rated movies?”

    Well, uh, I imagine it’s because there are a lot of really, really GOOD R-rated movies that adults want to see. Many of them have won multiple Oscars and other awards. “Schindler’s List” was rated R, and who can deny that it was ultimately a powerful and uplifting film?

    Some of the best movies ever made are rated R. Of course, this begs the question: Why can’t directors trim away the worst of the language and sex and violence and still have a great film? If you’re talking about war movies or crime films or psychological thrillers, sometimes explicit content goes with the territory. “The Silence of the Lambs” won the Oscar for Best Picture of 1991, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as powerful if it had been trimmed for a PG-13 rating.

    1. – There are definitely lots of great R-rated movies out there, but at times they can go overboard. It’s all about context really and whether or not you can get any positive messages out of the muck. Take the American Pie movies. They’re definitely deserving of their ratings but at the same time there’s also very sweet moments and messages scattered throughout like showing the difference between love and lust that ultimately make them worth it to me.

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