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.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Game Review

Back in the early 1990s, controversy and concern swirled around increasingly graphic and realistic violence in the video game industry. And of all the games that stirred people up, Mortal Kombat was the title on everybody’s lips. Originally dreamed up as a fighting game concept to showcase actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, the game morphed into something much closer to a horror-fantasy .

MK splashed on the scene, in a digitally bloody way. Certain fighting game lovers, uh, loved all its hyper gore and over-the-top messiness. Parents? Not so much. In fact, the excruciating nastiness of this fighting franchise soon generated, all on its own, demands for some kind of control of the industry. And the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) was born.

So now, all these years and myriad violent games later, what does a Mortal Kombat title look like? Let’s see.

The Mortals and Gods of Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat 11 is without question a much more crisply animated, sweeping game than those of the past. It’s very movie-like and visually impressive. For those who know nothing about the series’ twisting and turning history, though, much of this game’s story will be meaningless, or at least a little tough to jump into without a primer beforehand. Then again, this latest entry takes all of that into account by creating a single-player mode that gathers the good guys and baddies of the present and mixes them in with classic characters from throughout the franchise’s bloody history.

The gaming tale centers around a lightning bolt-equipped battler named Raiden who was once a seriously good and stalwart defender of EarthRealm, the world of mankind. These days, though, this good guy has let his increased power, anger and darkness go to his head—which isn’t such a good thing if you’re an adversary who doesn’t want his noggin ripped from his neck and plopped down on a bloody plate.

So a formidable and mysterious godlike woman named Kronika steps forward to fix all the negative ripples she perceives that Raiden has caused in the sands of time. That, you see, is her realm of influence. This seemingly unbeatable immortal tears into her plan and rips the universal timeline apart, blending the past with the future. Now those who used to be good, but turned evil, are duplicated in heroic form once more. And some characters long dead are back for another go.

But is this Kronika a good entity herself? It would seem so … except for all the gruesomely bloody and incredibly deadly means she uses to reach her ends.

May I See Your Spine, Please?

Of course, even though the story mode is a very creative, entertaining, and relatively lengthy training exercise, it really doesn’t matter if you’re digging the cinematic tale. The game wants you to get fighting.

MK 11’s roster of new and old characters features fighters with their own skill sets, moves and favorite weapons. They include viciously rending swords; hammers and spears; ridding gunfire; flesh-singeing magical blasts; time and matter-bending attacks; and just enough rippling muscle to snatch a heart clean out of an opponent’s ribcage.

Then it’s on to mastering the many combo attacks, counter attacks and “punish” moves. And when your health meter dips below a certain point there is a ridiculously powerful “fatal blow” available that just might pull your bacon out of the fire at a dire moment. With practice and button punching memorization you can string together scores of moves and attacks that flow like an onrushing river of blood.

And boy there’s plenty of that.

If you’ve been wondering if this is a kinder, gentler Mortal Kombat, let me brush that thought aside with a goopy sponge. The battle system may be more refined, but the match-ending kill moves are anything but. MK 11 knows where its bread is buttered and it doles out messy kills with firehose intensity.

You’ll see faces snatched clean off the bone. Slow-motion, X-ray views of bones shattering. Limbs get hacked off, blown off or ripped off like a fly’s wings. Bodies burst like water balloons or are crushed and popped with large weapons or rocks. Heads are mushed, or merely mutilated in a variety of ways or impaled through the eye on spikes or cut off with an electrified garrote.

Some attacks leave an enemy’s entrails dangling, rend him to his skeletal basics or rip him apart so gruesomely as to leave nothing but splashed gore and a head attached to a writhing backbone. It’s an ongoing parade of grisly, ghastly death in high-def detail and graphic clarity.

All that brutally intense, blood-smeared mess means you might almost miss the game’s other M-rated issues, from characters’ skin-baring outfits to their profane f- and s-word packed dialogue. But that’s all a part of the gaming mix, too.

Yeah, the years have passed, and Mortal Kombat may no longer be on the top of every parent’s hit list. But the ESRB that the game helped make necessary, sure isn’t going any easier on it.

And for very good reason.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


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









Record Label


Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC


Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment


April 23, 2019

On Video

Year Published



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!