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

Adonis Johnson was a kid who never knew his father. For that matter, as he spent most of his youth bouncing from foster homes to juvenile detention centers, he really didn't remember much about his mother, either.

Somewhere in his tweens, though, this edgy kid—who was always ready to throw a punch—was thrown a break. He was adopted by the widow of a famous boxer named Apollo Creed. And he was told who his father really was. Turns out this Creed guy had an out-of-wedlock tryst … and Adonis was the unwanted result. Unwanted until Mary Ann Creed found him, that is.

Jump ahead a dozen years or so, and Adonis is still a guy ready to throw a punch. In fact, he'd much rather spend his weekends teaching himself to fight and boxing in Tijuana slug matches than focusing on a business track.

A fighting career, though, isn't going to be any easy thing, even for a guy with Adonis' pedigree. For one thing he refuses to use his father's name. He'd rather stake his own claim in the ring, if it's going to happen. On top of that, his adopted mom hates the idea. She clearly remembers how the fight game destroyed her husband.

And since L.A. trainers do nothing but throw shade at Adonis due to his self-taught status, there only seems to be one course of action for this determined young man: he'll fly off to Philadelphia. Maybe starting anew on the East Coast will give him a nobody-knows-him fresh start.

Besides, there's this old guy out there who used to have a love-hate relationship with his father. A boxer who went toe-to-toe with Apollo Creed on a couple of notable occasions. He's a pretty well-known guy in the City of Brotherly Love.

Maybe this former ring-slugger … named Rocky … will agree to give Adonis some pointers.

Positive Elements

Speaking of pointers, the film takes a lot of time pointing out that working hard is a foundational principle for life. No matter how difficult the task is, you need to give it all you've got. Even a failure is worth the effort getting there. That's proven out in Adonis' training and in Rocky's own struggles when he gets some bad health news from his doctor.

Secondly, it's stressed that family and forgiveness are essentials. Rocky repeatedly pushes Adonis to let go of the anger he feels for his father and his father's past actions. And Adonis eventually mends all his relational bridges, with his mother, his quasi-uncle Rocky and with his dead dad. Adonis and a singer/neighbor named Bianca start dating, and she extends forgiveness when discovering that her guy had been harboring a small lie of his own.

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Adonis and Bianca kiss a few times, and they begin caressing and smooching pretty passionately on one occasion. (It's implied that they go on to something much steamier.) Bianca is seen in a rather formfitting outfit while singing at a club. And in another instance she wears a towel-like wrap. Adonis, of course, shows off his chiseled torso on a number of occasions.

When Adonis moves into Rocky's spare room, he spots a girlie mag (sporting a mostly clothed model) among the things left behind by the room's last resident. As mentioned, we find out that Adonis is the result of Apollo Creed's extramarital affair.

Violent Content

Boxing scenes feature men regularly pounding on one another with powerful blows. In spite of the padded gloves, brows and cheeks are split open by the punches. Faces swell. Eyes bleed. And on a few occasions someone is sent tumbling unconscious to the ring floor. Two different boxers lose their tempers and tear into somebody with bare fists. We're told that one of the victims has his jaw broken. We see a pair of young boys punching each other with bare knuckles, as well.

Crude or Profane Language

A half-dozen s-words. Also, "a--" (four or five times), "b--ch" and "h---" (once or twice each). Jesus' name is misused once. There are two or three uses of "oh my god." The n-word is spit out once.

Drug and Alcohol Content

A fight crowd drinks beer and hard liquor at a Tijuana bout. Rocky puts a bottle of whiskey on his friend Paulie's grave. Adonis' mom drinks a glass of wine while watching him fight on TV.

Other Negative Elements

We see Rocky vomit (from an unknown illness).


For all the sneers people have thrown at some of the Rocky films, Rocky Balboa has become a beloved and, yes, iconic character in our American movie lexicon. Through seven Rocky pics now, we've watched the boxer go from lovable Philly palooka to chiseled super-stud to over-the-top cartoon to good-hearted mentor. And seeing Sylvester Stallone work his way through all those stages—while remaining true to the heart of the guy he first created—has helped us realize what sort of an actor he really is.

I say all that because, quite frankly, Stallone and his aging Rocky—even though he's in a supporting role now—is what's most worth watching in Creed. There's also a forgive-and-work-hard storyline that's punch-and-weave positive—though predictable, in a formulaic series-reboot kind of way. And the potential below-the-belt boxing boisterousness is kept fairly well reined in.

Even though the pic feels slow at times and at least a half hour too long, it's not too difficult to stay in your ringside moviehouse seat. I wish they'd left the profanity and sexual nods on the mat right along with the sweat and the blood, certainly. But there's something undeniably affirming and upright about the rest of this. Something that might even make you want to say "Yo!"

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



Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson; Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa; Tessa Thompson as Bianca; Phylicia Rashad as Mary Anne Creed; Tony Bellew as 'Pretty' Ricky Conlan


Ryan Coogler ( )


Warner Bros.



Record Label



In Theaters

November 25, 2015

On Video

March 1, 2016

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!