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

Novelist Tom Clancy's name has become synonymous with military action and espionage. The latest Splinter Cell video game comes from a franchise wielding that name. (Oddly enough, Chaos Theory wasn't penned by Clancy, but his stylistic fingerprints are all over it.)

In the game, Sam Fisher, a member of the deep-cover spy agency known as Third Echelon, races to find a computer programmer who has vanished. The programmer's algorithms have the capacity to hijack everything from the stock market to the power grid ... to ballistic missiles. So he's a bit of a prize for both the good guys and the bad. To find him, Sam has to infiltrate the lairs of nefarious malcontents in search of clues. At stake? Global cyber catastrophe with heavy real-world fallout.

Run Silent, Run Deep
Most of the time Sam operates on a "need to know" basis. Every mission comes with specific objectives, such as breaking into a bank, planting e-mails, stealing bearer bonds, then pilfering information from the bank servers. Each task is a discrete piece of the whole puzzle.

And discretion is the name of this game. Progress depends on making as little noise as possible. Though Chaos Theory is an action game, much of the "action" involves lurking in the shadows as you await the most opportune moment to strike or harvest data, then getting out as stealthily as possible.

Your success is ranked based on how well you evade the lights, guards, cameras and booby traps strategically placed to alert the bad guys to your presence. One level, for example, requires Sam to shimmy down a rope into a bank guarded by a shimmering maze of laser trip "wires"—like something straight out of Mission: Impossible.

Break a Leg ... or Neck
So, staying out of sight is preferable to open confrontation. But that doesn't mean killing is taboo. In fact, Sam Fisher is an efficient killing machine. In the cinematic intro to the game, which gives a foretaste of the violent ways Fisher will eliminate his opponents throughout the game, he slays perhaps a dozen men: tossing enemies from buildings, slitting throats, breaking necks and blowing off heads.

One signature move requires dangling upside down from the ceiling—like a deadly spider—waiting for prey to wander beneath. Picking up a human being by his head and twisting it guarantees he won't bother you again. Likewise, slitting enemies’ throats with a knife accomplishes the task equally well. Graphic sound effects of vertebrae snapping and blood gurgling add to the game’s dark realism (though blood is rarely shown). Occasional profanities ("Die, you bastard," "Oh, h---," "Oh, s---") pepper the script as well.

I, Assassin
Whereas many of today’s action franchises encourage jumping into the fray with both barrels blazing, taking a Halo-like approach to this game's sophisticated challenges virtually guarantees you’ll have to do that level over again. This is a thinking player's game that rewards forethought and precision.

But it also rewards brutality. For me, the game’s most problematic element is the way it invites players to climb into the psyche of a character who's essentially a cold-blooded assassin. I realize, of course, that Sam Fisher is just doing his "job" by protecting his country from its evil adversaries. Nevertheless, the deliberate way he must wait for the right moment to dispatch an unsuspecting foe demands a premeditated dimension of virtual violence not found in the non-stop carnage of Halo 2 or the gang-related bloodletting of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Those games definitely outpace Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory in quantity of kills. But something about the quality of the violence in this game is deeply unsettling in its own right—national security notwithstanding.

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, GameCube, PC




On Video

Year Published



Adam R. Holz Taylor Holmes

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!