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

Shadow of the Tomb Raider brings us to the conclusion of the rebooted "How did Lara Croft become the Lara Croft we know?" trilogy of titles that gamemakers Eidos Montréal, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix set in motion back in 2013.

And this latest effort could easily be considered Lara at her best—but, in some ways, her worst, too.

The Keys to Adventure …

First things first: If you're still thinking of Lara Croft as that voluptuous tomb-raiding gal in short-shorts and a ponytail, you need an updated understanding of who this heroine has become. Yes, she's still a pretty twentysomething with an English accent, to be sure. But these days she's dramatically more realistic—and less comic book-y in how she's "drawn." And she dresses much more sensibly in spelunking outfits that cover her well and protect her from the sharp, slashing dangers of craggy rock faces, pummeling flood waters and razor-clawed beasties.

The camera's eye is less interested in Lara's curves than it is in depicting the breathtaking natural vistas and deadly dangers she must traverse. And this gaming world of sprawling jungles, dank tombs, Mayan stone puzzles and stormy plane crashes is indeed visually impressive.

Shadow tells its tale with Hollywood-style verve and panache. The game's ancient, environmental puzzles are intricate and complicated. And its new rappelling, wall-swinging and underwater game mechanics make the game's sneaking and fighting feel much more fluid. Likewise, death-defying leaps, ledge grabs and squeezes through claustrophobic crannies are evermore pulse-raising, too.

As for the narrative this time around, Lara's continuing her dad's last great, mysterious venture—one that concluded tragically with his death. This unfinished story takes her from Mexico to Peru as she explores jungle ruins and underground temples looking for powerful artifacts and trying to outwit the forces of a nefarious group known as Trinity.

… And Destruction …

It turns out that the ancient Mayan artifacts Lara's seeking aren't just some valuable bits of museum fodder, either. They're actually the dark, power-infused keys to global apocalypse, the tsunami-, earthquake- and volcano-riddled end of the world.

This is where Lara Croft's newest adventure turns in a darker and much bloodier direction than we've seen before in this franchise. As Lara grabs one key artifact, a malevolent Mayan godlike power begins manifesting its earthly influence through a string of natural disasters that kill, quite literally, thousands of people.

In one scene, Lara struggles to survive a tsunami and encounters a child dangling from a crumbling, fourth-story ledge screaming for help. While Lara dangles herself, we can only watch in helpless horror as the little boy soon plummets to his death. It's a realistic, emotionally wrenching moment. And we witness plenty more like it.

These hard-hitting sequences begin to corrupt Lara's mental and emotional state, impacting her anger in combat and her attitude toward others. And as our hero grows more grim, so does her world.

…And Blech!

Deadliness dealt by Lara's hand—via knives to a foe's chest, arrows to a baddy's head, and bullets blazing furiously from firearms—feels more prevalent, too. Death is also thrust upon innocents repeatedly, and we witness people being tortured, too.

When Lara herself goes down, she can be impaled with spikes and spears, or mauled in some other pretty gruesome ways. We see some gory mutilated corpses along the way. And there's a demonic goddess in the mix as well who's involved in what amounts to a human sacrifice.

Then there's the language we're battered with: Hero and thug alike spit f- and s-words, along with exclamations of "d--mit," "a--hole" and misuses of God's name.

The net result of all that M-rated content? A game that's otherwise enjoyably playable in many ways ends up being a big problem for younger fans of this franchise … as well as any adult players with a hankering for some old-fashioned puzzle-solving, chasm-leaping and alligator-blasting fun.

So even though she's not running around in barely there shorts and a ponytail anymore, Lara Croft's gaming exploits are still chockful of content players of any age won't be able to evade or avoid.

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


Square Enix


September 14, 2018

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!