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

What constitutes Japanese entertainment in the 21st century can sometimes seem very strange to the average American viewer—and in the case of their punishing TV game shows, downright painful. Of course, that same unique approach can also open the door to unexpectedly creative outcomes from time to time. Rhythm Heaven, the new rhythm/music game for Nintendo DS, is a prime example of how animated oddness and creativity can blend together for a very enjoyable result. (Even though this game can be a little painful in it's own way, too.)

First of all, compared to other titles in the rhythm/music herd (Guitar Hero or even the quirky but fun Wii Music), this handheld title is an unusual critter. Sure, there are lots of catchy tunes on hand, but this is a beast that's all about the beat. It's actually a collection of 50 minigames that challenge gamers to tap or flick their DS screen through each song—much like you might tap the table while listening to music on your iPod. It's so much like that, in fact, that while I was working my way through this game at my desk with headphones on, my colleagues were searching high and low for the pitter-patter-tapping sound that was coming from my stylus.

Tap, Flick and Slide
Now, that might sound like laid-back rainy day fun to some, but most of you are stifling a yawn right about now. So let me say that the game's ever-changing musical events do manage to keep things fresh. And the catch-you-by-surprise rhythm patterns do keep things challenging. For example, one minute you're tapping the screen to duplicate the beats of a drummer as he hammers away at his taiko. The next you're flicking your stylus to return Ping-Pong balls in perfect time. Then, in the case of a glee club game, you're touching the screen to keep your mini-vocalist quiet until you let him join the chorus at just the right moment by lifting your stylus.

Another contest sets gamers up as one of two güiro "love" lizards who dance and play their mating songs for one another. The male has a rattling maraca-like tail. And when you slide the stylus back and forth on the screen, the female's tail rubs on her hard-ridged back to "shukka-shukka" in his direction. When the mating sounds overlap perfectly, the two form a rhythmic bond.

Sound a little strange? Well, the scenarios get increasingly wacky from there: A hungry monk flips dumplings into his mouth in syncopated style, moony-eyed scientists mix bubbling heartbeat love potions and a ninja dog slices and dices vegetables—in the air. It's all so smilingly quirky and refreshingly short that you can't help but want to keep moving on to the next bit.

A Tiny Ouch
However, here's where you might develop a slight cramp in your flicker finger. As you progress to the upper levels, the rhythmic demands start getting a little stiff. And the game gets tough. Instead of making your way through on the first or second try, the game grabs you by the collar and requires a more perfect tap or flick.

Mix that with animations that don't always match up with the tune, a screen that doesn't always sense your stylus movement or, perhaps, the fact that you're suffering from a slight case of rhythmic brain cramp and you can quickly become a pretty testy tapper. Instead of giving you a few tips to help you past whatever roadblock you've hit, Rhythm Heaven simply exhorts you to "Try harder." Thanks. Like I needed that! After it happened to me for the seventh time, I struggled to restrain myself from sending the game (rhythmically) flying through a nearby window.

Fear not, though. For both the younger set and the terminally frustrated, Rhythm Heaven does offer a coffee shop of sorts where gamers can rest a bit, look at medals they've earned for high scores or read something interesting about güiro lizards and such.

A postscript: Psst. Don't tell anyone, but you can get the barista to let you skip the really tough parts.

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






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!