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

Spend the morning with ecstatic friends. Check.

Dress up in the most beautiful gown ever. Check.

Get to the church on time. Check.

Get hit by a hurtling meteorite filled with space gunk. Check.

Suddenly expand to an enormous 49 feet 11 inches tall. Check.

To say that Susan Murphy's wedding day to-do list included some unexpected items would be the understatement of the year—maybe the millennium. And not just because kissing her fiancé post-meteor strike would entail nearly swallowing him. Right after her nuptials are obliterated, Susan gets nabbed by government officials, slapped with the not-so-nice moniker Ginormica and hustled off to a top secret holding compound.

Talk about a wedding day horror story.

And the horror seemingly continues when Ginorm ... er, Susan meets the other inmates at this special prison: the brilliant, insect-headed Dr. Cockroach; a macho half-ape, half-fish creature named Missing Link; the indestructible blue blob B.O.B.; oh, and the 350-foot grub Insectosaurus.

Being caged with this creepy crew is bad enough. But then the giant gal learns that the government plans to keep her locked up ... forever!

However, as Susan knows all too well, even the best-laid plans can change.

Enter the alien Gallaxhar.

Positive Elements

The members of Susan's ragtag crew are more misunderstood misfits than "monsters." They come to love Susan and put their lives on the line to save her. She does the same for them. And although the government has locked them away in order to "protect the public," these outcasts willingly step forward as mankind's champions as they repel Gallaxhar's alien invasion. Along the way, the movie teaches us to look past what we perceive to be others' physical flaws in order to see their true inner value. It also celebrates Susan's inner strength while giving a well-deserved drubbing to narcissistic males (who are threatened by her newfound moxie).

Susan is also dedicated to her fiancé, Derek, and willing to put her desires aside to accommodate his career goals. In fact, she stands steadfastly by him, in spite of their differences, right up to the moment he dumps her. In contrast to her flaky fiancé, Susan's parents are supportive of her new friends ... and size. Dad even cries at her would-be wedding.

Spiritual Content

Characters seem to be sincere when uttering the phrases "thank God for ..." and "please, God, tell me this isn't real." Susan and Derek prepare to take their wedding vows in a small chapel. But they never get to do so because she grows through the roof. A nonsensical song about "judgment day" mentions the Lord and flying saucers.

Sexual Content

When Susan begins growing, her wedding gown tears and seams split. Her garter snaps and knocks a man over. But the dress miraculously stays more or less intact, resembling a short miniskirt at the end of her transformation. (She wears fitted pantsuits for the remainder of the movie.)

A teen couple goes parking at night. The girl wants to smooch, but the boy's hesitant. Then a spaceship rockets overhead and neither of them is in the mood anymore. Brainless B.O.B. thinks Susan is a boy but still points out her "boobies." While speaking of Ginormica's huge size, General W.R. Monger catches himself somewhat suggestively cupping his hands in front of his chest.

Violent Content

Crash-boom cartoon action fills the screen in Monsters vs. Aliens. When the glowing meteorite nails Susan, for example, she seems momentarily crushed beneath it. Then she gets up and staggers toward the church with nothing more than a few smudges on her dress. Later, government troops shoot a large, tranquilizer-filled needle into Susan's backside. She extracts the needle and tosses it back—hitting a soldier in the foot. Upon meeting Dr. Cockroach, Susan whacks him repeatedly with a giant spoon.

When a huge robotic alien lands on Earth, the American president orders his generals to "do something violent." They comply with gusto, unleashing volleys of explosive missiles. The gigantic robot, however, wades through the detonations, smashing tanks and artillery units as he goes.

The most threatening scene involves a robot ripping apart the Golden Gate Bridge, which is filled with pedestrians and cars. Susan and her monster-mash guys soon come to the rescue, however. Another perilous moment involves Gallaxhar's threat to extract a meteor element from Susan, even if he has to "rip it out of her body one cell at a time." Two aliens are shot dead at close range. The president fires a handgun. Plenty of laser-zapping obliteration takes place in and around Gallaxhar's spaceship as well. (More alien deaths are implied).

Crude or Profane Language

One "my god"; one "OMG"; several uses of "oh my gosh." Exclamations include "what the flagnod?" and "holy Cheez-Its!"

Drug and Alcohol Content

When Susan meets her scary cellmates, she prays that she's simply having a drug-induced hallucination. At a party, Dr. Cockroach mixes the contents of several bottles of alcohol, concocting an explosive cocktail.

Other Negative Elements

Missing Link warns that if you scare Insectosaurus, he will "pee himself." The general (portrayed as a bully, yet treated as a hero) calls a scientist "nerd" and gives him an underwear wedgie. A government official must scan his hand, foot, eye, tongue, elbows—and bare backside—to gain access to a special conference room. A crisis forces the president to set the terror level at "code brown," because, he says, "I need to change my pants."


It's been argued that all storytelling is based on seven basic plotlines.

If that's true, then DreamWorks' latest animated actioner has got at least one of them covered in style: Girl becomes monster, girl meets other monsters, monsters battle aliens to save the world. (I think that storyline was number five on the list.) Monsters vs. Aliens brims with colorfully animated action and enjoyable characters, as well as humorous winks at other well-known monster-movie moments.

That's not to say this 3-D adventure (on most screens) offers flawless family entertainment, though. The scriptwriters occasionally swerve around the star chart in their quest for stellar laughs.

As has often been the case with DreamWorks' other animated efforts (Madagascar, Shrek, Shark Tale), problem areas predictably involve mild toilet humor, suggestive sight gags (such as the scanned backside bit) and a smattering of knotty language—all of which could easily have been avoided. While Monsters vs. Aliens is probably as good as it gets from DreamWorks on that score, the film nevertheless falls just short of the modern-day animated standard set by Pixar with films such as Finding Nemo, WALL-E and Toy Story.

Still, Monsters vs. Aliens majors on solid lessons about friendship and self-sacrifice ... and even takes the time to treat audiences to a rendition of Purple People Eater as the credits roll. All of which should keep old and (not too) young alike (mostly) grinning for its 94-minute ride.

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



Voices of Reese Witherspoon as Susan Murphy/Ginormica; Seth Rogen as B.O.B.; Hugh Laurie as Dr. Cockroach Ph.D.; Will Arnett as The Missing Link; Kiefer Sutherland as General W.R. Monger; Rainn Wilson as Gallaxhar; Stephen Colbert as President Hathaway; Paul Rudd as Derek Dietl


Rob Letterman ( )


DreamWorks Animation



Record Label



In Theaters

March 27, 2009

On Video

September 29, 2009

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!