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

Jesus' sacrifice on the cross grants forgiveness, Pastor Matt tells his congregation. But what does it demand of those who embrace it? Or, as he says, "If you believe ... what are you going to do about it?" That's the core question in the next film from the producers of 2014's Christian-movie hit God's Not Dead.

Matt's the first to wrestle with that question in this ensemble drama that weaves together the stories of more than a dozen characters—some of whom are already believers in Christ, some who aren't there yet.

On his way home one night, Matt has a serendipitous encounter with a witness named Malachi who's shouldering a life-sized cross through Chicago, preaching the gospel to anyone who'll listen. "Do you believe in the cross of Christ?" Malachi asks Matt at a stop sign. "I'm a pastor," Matt replies. "You didn't answer the question," Malachi counters.

Their conversation is interrupted by shattering glass as four toughs steal a van. Malachi confronts them, prompting their leader—a gangbanger named Kriminal—to put a gun to Malachi's head and ask if he's ready to die. "I'm ready," Malachi responds unflinchingly. "Are you?"

That fearless act of faith is the first domino in a chain of events that ultimately influences everyone in the film.

Matt's convicted by Malachi's spiritual fortitude, so much so that he decides to help a pregnant, homeless teen he sees rummaging in a dumpster. Matt's wife, Grace, isn't happy about him bringing the girl home, so they agree to put young Maggie up in a hotel ... and agonize over what their responsibility to her is. We then see Grace's frustration give way to compassion as the older, infertile woman helps the desperate younger one during the final weeks of her pregnancy.

Meanwhile, someone else's conscience has been pricked by Malachi's witness: Kriminal's younger brother, Percy. As Kriminal and his crew plot a hit on a rival gang, seeds of faith take root in Percy's heart ... and begin to change his values.

From there one plot point after another jumps into the raging stream of interlocking coincidences.

Otherwise known as providence.

J.D. and Terri, retired members of Matt's church, have grappled for years with the loss of their daughter to a drunk driver. A second sermon from Matt about the cross spurs them to relinquish their grief and take action, opening their doors to a homeless woman named Samantha and her young daughter, Lily, who've struggled since the death of Samantha's husband.

The janitor at the church (who Samantha and Lily meet in the emergency room of a local hospital) goes out of his way to offer hospitality to the down-on-their-luck mom and daughter ... never mind that Joe's "luck" has hardly been any better.

And another congregant, Bobby, is an EMT who leads a dying man to Christ. Even when he finds himself in legal jeopardy after the man's widow files suit against him for proselytizing, Bobby refuses to budge on his beliefs, though his wife (a nurse named Elena) is aghast that her husband would risk his job and their finances "merely" to maintain his spiritual integrity.

The tension in Bobby and Elena's marriage is complicated further by the unexpected arrival of Elena's younger brother, Carlos, a retired Marine whose traumatic experiences in Afghanistan have left him with debilitating PTSD. He's on a bridge and almost ready to jump when he glimpses a young woman on the other side who's contemplating the same self-destructive choice after being abandoned by her father. Instead of jumping, they get coffee—and swap hard stories.

Speaking of bridges, the very same one Carlos and Lacy contemplated hurling themselves from becomes the focal point for the film's finale, linking most of these believers and seekers together in a life-or-death moment that demands all the active faith they can muster.

Positive Elements

There's plenty of positive, inspirational content here, with most of it closely associated with characters' faith (which we'll look at in "Spiritual Content"). One of the few players whose positive actions aren't obviously Christian is Carlos. He's paralyzed by memories of not helping a fellow soldier who died, then beats back those tormenting memories by rescuing several other people. Maggie tells Grace her stepmother wanted her to get an abortion, but that she felt the baby kick and fled the clinic before the procedure.

Spiritual Content

We hear (and see, via wooden crosses that Pastor Matt gives his parishioners) repeated references to Jesus Christ, His sacrifice and the need both to accept Him and live for Him.

For Matt and Grace, that means helping Maggie through her pregnancy. It's a tough path for Grace, her tears telling us how much she longs for her own baby. But she humbly counsels Maggie and even goes to her ultrasound appointment with her. Maggie, for her part, is considering giving up the child for adoption and believes that Matt and Grace would be ideal parents. After a traumatic accident on the way to the hospital, Grace helps Maggie pray and accept Christ.

For J.D. and Terri, putting feet to their faith means volunteering at a soup kitchen. After hearing Samantha and Lily's hard story, J.D. heads out in a driving nighttime rainstorm and finds mom and daughter huddled together in their car. He invites them to move in (filling the room the couple's beloved daughter once lived in).

Joe's beliefs continually motivate him to make thoughtful, sacrificial choices. He gives up his spot in line for Lily at the ER. He gives Samantha and Lily keys to his apartment for the night (before they meet J.D. and Terri), sleeping on a bench outside to make room for them. He also plays a key role in encouraging Percy—who's running from police with a bag of money—to stick around for a church service. Thus, Percy hears the gospel for the second time and prays for God's forgiveness. And then he tries to explain his newborn faith to his brother.

Bobby does everything he can to save someone who's been crushed by a huge pipe during a construction accident, then helps the injured man ask for Christ's forgiveness before he dies. That infuriates the man's wife, a self-proclaimed humanist, who aggressively seeks to have Bobby punished. Bobby believes he must tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth in a court hearing, even if it costs his family everything. (Elena wants him to modify his story, but eventually comes to share her husband's convictions.)

Bobby also heroically rescues the lawyer who's making his life miserable, which prompts her to reconsider Christianity. Likewise, her boyfriend, the critical and unbelieving Dr. Farrell (who works with Elena), keeps having encounters with people whose faith gives them courage and strength in the face of adversity and death.

[Spoiler Warning] One such character is Joe, who is dying of cancer. In fact, he does die … only to come back to life several minutes later, saying he's been healed. It's an event that deepens little Lily's faith and helps Samantha and Elena embrace faith, too.

It's easy to spot the large life lesson here—that Christians should demonstrate their faith. The film begins with this portion of James 2:17: "Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." And in two sermons, Matt fleshes out that truth, telling his congregation that if they answer the question "Do you believe?" affirmatively, they have to do something about it. "Belief requires action," he preaches. "Belief takes you to your knees, then brings you to your feet."

Sexual Content

Bobby and Elena kiss. Maggie is pregnant.

Violent Content

Kriminal points a gun at two men (separately) and threatens to kill them. (Both of his victims are Christians who say they're ready to die if need be.) Elsewhere, he and his gang crash a van into a house, and we see flashes of gunfire. Two other shootouts result in injury and a death. Kriminal angrily throws his brother against a wall. Kriminal and Percy evade police in a reckless chase, first in a car, then on foot. A huge, multi-car accident is filmed quite realistically, with crumpling metal, shattering glass, and airbags slamming occupants back and bruising their faces. One car nearly plunges into the water, another explodes (shortly after someone's pulled out). A woman bleeds to death.

Seeing scars on Lacy's wrists from a past suicide attempt, a doctor accuses her of trying to again kill herself by eating something she was allergic to. Lacy and Carlos stand on a bridge and look down over the railing as they come right up to the threshold of jumping.

Crude or Profane Language


Drug and Alcohol Content

Two people drink wine on one occasion.

Other Negative Elements

It's clearly not the wisest course of action for Percy to give stolen money to Matt or for Matt to accept it—even hesitantly. (We do see the consequences, though, when Matt's violently confronted by Percy's brother, Kriminal, who comes to reclaim the cash.)


Faith in Christ can sometimes get reduced to an idea that excites us or a feeling that warms us. Do You Believe? begs believers to remember that faith was never supposed to be just an idea or a feeling, but a conviction that transforms the way we live day to day, a belief that reshapes our values and choices.

If that sounds like a sermon you might hear in church, well, that's because some of the most important scenes in Do You Believe? actually are sermons in a church. And the balance of the film works like an illustration for those sermons, offering images of what such a faith might look like when it's wholly embraced and acted upon.

At times those dramatic sermon illustrations intentionally cross over into melodrama, as if to more directly drive their points home. And as many movies (and especially Christian movies) often do, Do You Believe? ties up its narrative loose ends in something akin to happily ever after—something that doesn't always happen quite so quickly in real life.

But the conflicts most of these characters face are real: a soldier haunted by his failure in combat, a pregnant teen running away from home, a young woman devastated by her father's abandonment, an aging couple gripped by grief over their daughter's untimely death, a widow and her daughter who find themselves thrust into homelessness. And the conflict-resolution cycles surrounding them remind us that our lives matter to God, that forgiveness and redemption are gifts He wants to offer and that receiving those gifts comes with the responsibility, as the Apostle Paul put it in Ephesians, of "living a life worthy of the calling you have received."

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





Ted McGinley as Matthew; Tracy Lindsey Melchior as Grace; Madison Pettis as Maggie; Mira Sorvino as Samantha; Makenzie Moss as Lily; Brian Bosworth as Joe; Lee Majors as J.D.; Cybill Shepherd as Teri; Delroy Lindo as Malachi; Shwayze as 'Pretty Boy' Percy; Senyo Amoaku as Kriminal; Mavrick Von Haug as Nefarius; Valerie Dominguez as Elena; Liam Matthews as Bobby; Joseph Julian Soria as Carlos; Alexa PenaVega as Lacy; Sean Astin as Dr. Farrell; Andrea Logan White as Andrea


Jonathan M. Gunn ( )


Pure Flix Entertainment



Record Label



In Theaters

March 20, 2015

On Video

August 4, 2015

Year Published



Adam R. Holz

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!