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.


    No Rating Available

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

A guy leaps off a high-rise, committing suicide in the early morning hours. It's an all too common event in a big city.

Sometime before noon, an elevator in the same building breaks down, stranding its passengers between the 20th and 21st floors. And that's nothing to call CNN about either. In fact, to most people, it's just another day in Philadelphia.

But when odd and creepy things start to happen to the elevator car's five seemingly unconnected prisoners, Ramirez, one of the building's security guards, begins to see a pattern. To him it's all starting to sound like a story the old folks in his family used to tell when he was a kid. They told of a sinister sequence that would always begin with a suicide, a sort of human sacrifice that desecrates a place. That foul action would call forth an evil that moved among the people unseen. They called it the Devil's Meeting.

When Ramirez brings it up, though, everyone thinks it's nothing but nonsense. And they chalk it up to his Catholic immigrant superstitions. In fact, they all want him to just shut up. This isn't the time.

Then strange, twisted images start flashing across the security monitors. And the power in the elevator shaft keeps mysteriously cutting in and out. And the panicked passengers begin … dying.

Suddenly the authorities want to know a whole lot more about Ramirez's superstitious theories.

From the security guard's point of view, though, there's no longer anything theoretical about it. Ramirez is convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt: The shape-shifting devil himself is in that elevator.

Positive Elements

The folks stuck in the elevator with the devil are at each other's throats the whole way through, but the officer in charge on the outside, Detective Bowden, and all the other firemen and building personnel work selflessly and sacrificially in the face of grave danger to save those trapped.

Courage, redemption and forgiveness play key roles here, and they're themes that are mostly seen through a spiritual lens. …

Spiritual Content

One of the trapped five eventually comes to the understanding that their demonic tormentor has set upon them because of past sins. (One is a thief, one a manipulative gold digger, one a heartless thug, one a scam artist, and the last a killer.) The man admits the great guilt he's been carrying over the wrong he's done and agrees to willingly give his soul in exchange for the others.

The man he's hurt (who lost his family in a hit-and-run collision five years prior) has struggled with his pain and resulting alcoholism ever since. And though he's dreamed of finding the killer and getting his revenge, by movie's end he offers up words of forgiveness.

The devil's evil, murderous purposes and his great power are spoken of and demonstrated in supernatural occurrences throughout the film. He sneers at one of the elevator passengers, "You think you can be forgiven?!" But it's forgiveness that's ultimately shown to be his undoing. He's shown to be a magical shapeshifter who is able to casually thwart any effort brought against him—except for an act of absolution.

God, on the other hand, is only directly referenced once. Ramirez tells us that his mother would always close her story of the Devil's Meeting with the statement, "Don't worry. If the devil is real, then God must be real too."

A suicide note ends with, "I can hear the devil's footsteps draw near." A suicide victim holds a set of rosary beads in his hand. A frightened Ramirez drops to his knees and prays fervently in Spanish. He spots what appears to be a screaming face superimposed over a recording of the trapped passengers, but another guard pooh-poohs the idea, equating it to seeing "Jesus in a pancake."

While the two share a cup of coffee, an AA sponsor tells Bowden that it's time to consider "something bigger than yourself." Bowden brushes off the suggestion. Later, Ramirez speaks of the devil to Bowden, saying, "Everybody believes in him a little bit. Even guys like you who pretend they don't." In response, Bowden tells of the driver who killed his family and then just left an "I'm sorry" note behind. He concludes with, "So, no. I don't believe in the devil—we don't need him."

Sexual Content

One of the women in the elevator, Sarah, wears a low-cut top. Twice she's knocked to the floor, and the camera looks directly down her shirt.

Violent Content

Devil focuses on the gruesome deaths and murders of a number of its characters. We aren't shown the deadly incidents as they happen. Rather, our imaginations are called upon to fill in the blanks as the camera cuts away or the lights in the elevator black out—leaving thumping, screeching and crashing sounds behind.

We are shown the bloody aftermaths.

An example: In an attempted rescue, a man lowers himself down the elevator shaft from the building's roof. Through several missteps, his safety harness unhooks and he's left dangling precariously 20 stories up. The camera cuts to the interior of the elevator as he loudly crashes down on the car's roof and blood slowly pools in the ceiling panels. We later see the man lying prone, twisted and broken.

Another scene weaves in and out through a series of on-again-off-again flashes of light as the elevator's power is quickly turned on and off. When it's over, one of the passengers is hanging by the neck from an electrical cable.

Perhaps the most directly visible violence takes place near the beginning of the movie as a suicide jumper crashes down from 40 stories up onto the roof of a service van. The impact crumples the top of the van.

We see the damage done by glass shards, punches and strangulation, among other things. A neck is broken, the head turned around backward. A character is electrocuted and we see a badly charred face. A woman and child are seen lying dead after the automobile accident.

Crude or Profane Language

Over a half-dozen s-words spill out along with several uses of "a‑‑," "d‑‑n" and "h‑‑‑." God's name is misused twice.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Bowden speaks of once trying to drink himself to death. He states that he's now been sober for 90 days.

Other Negative Elements


This is the first flick from M. Night Shyamalan's new production house, The Night Chronicles. The writer/director wants to produce some of his original story ideas and "make them as a series of films by up-and-coming filmmakers and actors."

Devil is a creepy bump-in-the-dark pic that feels much like an extended Twilight Zone episode: The elevator victims' claustrophobic battles ratchet up cinematic tension while rescuers race against the clock to save them and find the true killer. There's also a morality play aspect. Characters wrestle with guilt over their past sinful actions while coming to grips with evil in the world and the power forgiveness can have over it.

"That's not to say that Devil is fun for the whole family," said a writer for bloodydisgusting.com who goes by the name Mr. Disgusting. "As glimpsed in some of the trailers and TV spots, the film actually begins with a suicide in the very building where the five elevator passengers become trapped."

Mr. Disgusting is right on the elevator button. Although we never see the most violent and visceral actions themselves—as lights blink off or the camera cuts away just before each slashed jugular or deadly fall—we do see the impaled, bleeding, snap-necked results. On top of that, the spirituality presented strays pretty far afield from anything actually biblical. God gets only the most miniscule of sideways mentions. And the omnipotent, shape-shifting demon at the heart of things torments the wicked and appears to wield ultimate power over their eternal fates.

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



Chris Messina as Detective Bowden; Bojana Novakovic as Young Woman/Sarah; Jenny O'Hara as Old Woman; Logan Marshall-Green as Mechanic/Tony; Bokeem Woodbine as Guard/Ben; Jacob Vargas as Ramirez; Geoffrey Arend as Salesman/Vince


John Erick Dowdle ( )


Universal Pictures



Record Label



In Theaters

September 17, 2010

On Video

December 21, 2010

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!