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.


Watch This Review

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

Movie Review

Jeff Chang has always done what's expected of him. It's not always what he wants, and it's certainly caused him lots of stress, but if his family tells him to buckle down and become a doctor, then a buckled-down doc he will be. So when his domineering dad demands that Jeff get to bed early on the night of his 21st birthday and be well-rested for a medical school interview bright and early the next morning, well, that's exactly what Jeff does.

Or at least tries to do before his old high school buddies Miller and Casey show up to change his plans. With their arrival, everything sane and/or sanitary pretty much goes out the window. Miller is a machine gun-mouthed force-of-nature manic who could likely convince a pig to join a butcher's convention for breakfast. And so Chang has no choice but to go out for … OK, one beer with his pals. It is his 21st b-day after all, he finally figures.

A few hours and more than a few shots later Jeff is standing on a bar, dropping his pants and urinating on a gaggle of gaping girls and spewing vomit on a cringing crowd. Hey! Maybe his friends are right: If you can't abuse yourself when you're young, when can you? Give us all another round!

Now where's that pig?

Positive Elements

Miller, Casey and Jeff used to be pretty close back in high school. And they all miss those simpler times of friendship. So in a way, this movie is their misguided attempt to try to recapture that closeness, though it doesn't go as they expect.

Spiritual Content

Sorority girls—all dressed in hooded cloaks, one wearing a goat's head—pass judgment on Miller and Casey in a coven-like conclave.

Sexual Content

What would an R-rated sleazecom be without multi-angle views of public nudity and sexual situations? Well, much shorter for one thing. But 21 & Over is not short. And it does not forgo those tired and dirty conventions. So brace yourself if you're going to keep reading through this section:

Miller and Casey are showcased in a number of scenes dressed in nothing but hanging tube socks. We see them from the front, the back, the side and even from up between their legs and while bending over. That last pose takes place as the two guys are punished by a pair of sorority girls with wooden paddles. Then the naked pals are forced to kiss each other (mouths open) as part of their "sentence."

Don't feel sorry for them, though. Feel sorry for yourself having to read about this. Because the guys had made similar demands of a pair of blindfolded sorority pledges (paddling them and asking them to kiss and fondle each other) earlier on. Jeff, while unconscious, is dressed in "only" a bra and a glued-on teddy bear (stuck to his genitals). Once he comes to, he runs around town, climbing up on cars and dancing in this next-to-naked state. We later get doused with a graphic, see-everything tug-of-war between his private parts and the stuffed animal as it's yanked free.

Scores of co-eds expose lots of flesh in tight-fitting, low-cut and/or midriff-baring outfits. Two girls expose their breasts during a drinking game. One runs shirtless and braless through a crowd. Guys and girls can be seen necking and groping at various parties and bars. Jeff downs shots held between one girl's ample breasts, out of another's belly button and from the folds of a fat man's armpit.

Casey reports that he never joined a fraternity because he's "not angry and secretly gay." We hear lots of crude-to-obscene references to various sexual activities and proclivities. Teens and young adults discuss having sex with siblings, and make raunchy jokes about masturbation, menstrual cycles, pubic hair, homosexuality and anal sex. They talk about "scoring" sexually through lies and manipulation.

Violent Content

As Miller and Casey romp around town with their often comatose pal in tow, they drop him out of high windows—in one case thumping him down on the roof of a van and another time bouncing him off a vinyl pool cover to land in a bramble of thorns. (Casey's girl, Nicole, then plucks large thorns out of Jeff's naked backside.) The guys incite something of a riot at a school pep rally. Miller shoots a pistol into the air and sends a huge buffalo charging around, butting and running over students. (We see one guy leave the hospital later, his face bruised and badly scratched.)

Jeff drunkenly throws a dart off target and embeds it in a guy's cheek. After pulling the dart out of his face, the bleeding victim hits Jeff with a bar stool. Even more drunk, Jeff stumbles around a sorority bathroom, prompting a frightened girl to hit him in the throat, knee him in the crotch and slam him to the floor. The whole sorority of girls then start chasing our "heroes," smashing through doors with golf clubs and other makeshift weapons. Jeff steals a van and drives it recklessly through campus, bashing over parking meters and ultimately launching the vehicle off an embankment.

As the night unfolds, Miller and Casey find themselves involved in several punching scuffles. And they're threatened by a group of students wielding a red-hot branding iron. (We later see the guys walking naked across campus with a raw-looking brand on their backsides.) An angry guy punches Jeff in the face and starts smashing up his apartment with a baseball bat. At that point, Jeff's father steps in and knocks the offending student on his backside with a bat upside his head.

We find out that Jeff had, at one point, attempted suicide.

Crude or Profane Language

The obscenity count approaches 200 f-words with about 60 s-words added in. We hear lots of exclamations of crudities such as "h‑‑‑," "b‑‑ch," "a‑‑" and "b‑‑tard." God's and Jesus' names are misused repeatedly (including several combinations of "God" and "d‑‑n"). There are numerous crude references to male and female genitalia. Miller uses "Jew" as a joking slur. Epithets are flung at Eskimos, African-Americans and the Chinese. Obscene hand gestures are made.

Drug and Alcohol Content

From the first scene on, gallons and gallons and gallons of beer and all manner of other liquid intoxicants are downed by the film's central protagonists and the scores of college partiers around them. They guzzle shots, drink straight out of bottles and flip upside-down to suck from a keg.

A number of guys toke joints—sitting stoned in a cloud of smoke. A teacher takes two sheets of LSD and dances around all night dressed as a Native American chief. Miller wonders aloud if they're too old to drop acid and take Ecstasy; the answer is a resounding no! Jeff reportedly popped lots of stimulants to keep up with his studies.

Other Negative Elements

A long, slo-mo scene shows us Jeff vomiting on a bar crowd as he rides a mechanical bucking bull. As mentioned, he also drops his trousers and urinates on a group of girls. He eats a tampon, thinking it's candy in his drunken stupor.

21 & Over also goes out of its way to promote a pervasive ethos of youthful sloth and wanton "enjoyment" over hard work. Early on, for instance, Casey reports that he's going to spend his summer working with a prestigious law firm. But throughout the film, his friends mock the choice, deeming it stupid beyond all comparison. Nicole equates reaching your thirties to the necessary "life-killing" evils of marriage and child-rearing, and she openly encourages Casey (and moviegoers) to think that now is the time to do "as much crazy s‑‑‑ as possible."


Ever heard of tachyphylaxis? It's a fancy label for the tendency our bodies have to generate a decreased response to medicines and other substances ingested or absorbed over a period of time. In other words, our system builds up a tolerance to whatever we're consuming. Thus, larger doses are required to produce the same physical response.

Well, I think we Americans are definitely in the throes of gross-out comedy tachyphylaxis.

It used to take just a single bare breast or a lone vomiting/defecation scene to set a pic apart as an edgy comedy. But those "simple" debaucheries have become passé. Today you need, at minimum, two bare backside paddlings, one drunken orgy, some version of animal torture, discussions of incestuous sex and multiple close-ups of someone's genitals being manhandled to qualify as a true randy laugh-fest.

If the flick appears to have something fond to say about friendships—like this one does—then so be it. But it's not all that necessary, actually. These friends, for instance, lament their waning relationships, but then go on to assail and torture one another with a the kind of glee I can only think Marquis de Sade shared. Hey, that's the smutty nastiness that earns the chuckles, right?

Still not sure if this is or isn't the right date night movie for you? OK, let me give it one more descriptive go:

21 & Over is an obscenely raunchy, rude and revolting sibling of The Hangover flicks. It's a gratuitously grotty pic that lauds the ethos of living insanely while you're young and showcases naked guys with festering brands on their backsides, dressed in nothing but socks.

This is now the sad, tachyphylaxis-induced state of comedy du jour.

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





Miles Teller as Miller; Skylar Astin as Casey; Justin Chon as Jeff Chang; Sarah Wright as Nicole


Jon Lucas ( )Scott Moore ( )


Relativity Media



Record Label



In Theaters

March 1, 2013

On Video

June 18, 2013

Year Published



Bob Hoose

Content Caution

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!