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

Maureen lives in a world of ghosts and monsters.

As a medium—someone attuned to forces and things beyond understanding—she often seeks out the spiritual entities for pleasure, for profit and sometimes for deeply personal reasons, too. They're around us always, she says … even if she's not completely sure what they actually are. "Whether they're the souls of the dead, I don't know," she admits.

Her twin brother, Lewis, shared this dubious gift. He was more positive that the inexplicable things he saw and heard were proof of life after death, a world beyond. Now he's in that world himself, if there is one—stolen from the living by a heart condition that Maureen has as well.

"We made this oath," she confesses to someone. "Whoever died first would send the other a sign." And so Maureen waits in Paris, where he lived and she lives. She searches. She pleads to the empty air for a sign, a word, a gesture, that would confirm that dead Lewis is still out there. Somewhere.

The monsters, on the other hand, are often very much in the land of the living. Maureen works for one—the demanding fashion celeb Kyra. They rarely speak: Kyra gives directions via sticky note and text. Pick up those leather pants. Choose a camisole for me to wear next weekend. Be a dear and update my computer, would you? Maureen's waking days are spent rushing from designer to designer, from jeweler to photographer, apologizing for her boss along the way. Sorry, Kyra decided to keep the pants … yes, I know I promised you'd get them back. Or, *Yes, I know she's an hour late. She'll be here soon …

*Then one night at her brother's old house, trying to determine from the new owners whether the place is "haunted" or not, Maureen feels a presence—a malevolent spirit. It turns on faucets, carves a cross on a table and finally materializes in front of her. "You're not my brother," she tells it. "You're not my brother." Out of its mouth pours a river of ectoplasm. And then it vanishes. Maureen runs away, terrified.

Soon after, the texts begin.

"I know you," the first says.

The second: "You know me."

The messages go on, and Maureen slowly feels a chill crawling over her.

"R u real?" she asks.


"R u alive or dead?" she texts.

No answer.

"Alive or dead??"



Maureen lives in a world of ghosts and monsters. Perhaps one of them is texting her. But which one is it?

Positive Elements

It's hard to applaud much of what anyone does here. Maureen is about the only character we're supposed to feel any level of sympathy for. But while she's smart and likeable and vulnerable, the only time she actually does something "good" is when she rightly reports a murder to the police and, perhaps, helps them catch the culprit.

Spiritual Content

As you've likely surmised, Personal Shopper is all about spiritual content—though we should not mistake that for Christian content. While a spirit does seem to mark a rudimentary cross on the wall, it's hardly a statement of orthodoxy.

We see apparent spirits turn on faucets, hold and knock over glasses and perhaps use elevators. Sometimes we even see these spirits. Maureen researches some spiritualists of the past. One painter she studies claims to have gotten messages about what to paint from the dead. (That artist's work presaged modern art by several decades, it's said.) Maureen watches an old movie about poet and novelist Victor Hugo, also a well-known spiritualist, and we see him leading séances. ("I am the breath of god," one spirit seems to say in the Hugo movie. "I am the instigator of bad dreams.") Maureen learns a form of tapping communication from Hugo's methods. We hear that there are "two aspects to the heavens: sun and souls." We hear that a historical spiritualist allegedly connected with figures from the Bible.

Others wonder about the nature of the spirit world. One man (who's begun seeing Lewis's now-widowed wife) tells Maureen, "Many religions believe the soul wanders around for a while before leaving this world." He says that he can feel Lewis's presence. ("That might be your guilt talking," Maureen gently suggests.) Maureen's boyfriend, working in faraway Oman, tells Maureen that life after death is an illusion.

[Spoiler Warning] In the final scene of the movie, Maureen has fled Paris and has just arrived in Oman to spend time with her boyfriend. There, she seems to get that sign from Lewis that she's been waiting for. She asks him questions, and he seems to knock in reply. But some of his answers seem odd. "I don't know you," she tells the air. "Lewis, is it you?" she asks again. "Or is it just me?" She hears one knock—yes.

Sexual Content

Two scenes, one of them fairly lengthy, picture Maureen topless. In one, she's wearing only skimpy underwear as she tries on her boss's clothes and what appears to be some kind of BDSM gear that goes around her bare torso. There's also a masturbation scene in which it's clear what she's doing, but the camera avoids any more nudity.

Maureen's strange, disturbing relationship with her mysterious texter eventually grows creepily sexual. The relationship (such as it is) is hinged on elements of the forbidden. And as Maureen tells her suitor, "No desire if it's not forbidden."

The relationship takes on provocative overtones early in the film, when Maureen asks during their first text conversation if she's communicating with a man or a woman. "What difference does it make?" the texter responds.

As they chat, Maureen seems to turn into a shy-but-curious schoolgirl. She understands this communication is wrong, but she's too intrigued, too excited to stop. It's the texter who encourages Maureen to take the next forbidden step: trying on Kyra's clothes, something deeply transgressive in their working relationship. Just the fact that Kyra forbids Maureen to try on her clothes, naturally, makes those clothes all the more enticing. The texter eventually rents a hotel room for Maureen—a place in which she can try on more of Kyra's clothes—and asks Maureen to text him a picture of herself in a shimmery, backless gown.

"I prefer you like this," the texter says.

"I feel ridiculous," Maureen says. "I don't know why I came."

"Keep the key," the texter cautions, like a lover conscious of his or her allure. "You'll be coming back."

Elsewhere, Maureen meets Kyra's ex-lover, Hugo. Kyra, worried that her husband will discover the affair, apparently ended the relationship, but Hugo confesses to Maureen that he wants to keep it going.

"Are you in love with her?"

"Love?" Hugo says, amused. "No. Never crossed my mind."

Violent Content

Maureen walks in on a horrific murder scene, one in which blood covers the walls, pools on bedsheets and stains the floor. The victim's body lies on the bathroom floor.

After Maureen discovers the body and she goes to the police, the texter contacts her again. "Did you tell the cops about my texts?" it says. "ANSWER ME."

Maureen describes the ghost she sees as, "Really angry. Very violent."

Crude or Profane Language

At least eight f-words, along with three s-words. We also hear "h---," "a--" and a crass word for the male anatomy.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Maureen drinks quite a bit—sometimes beer, sometimes vodka poured straight from the bottle. She smokes, too, as do other characters.

Other Negative Elements



Personal Shopper gives us a ghost story unlike any I've seen. Less a horror film than a moody, sensual thriller, the film delves into realms of the bizarre and forbidden, dreamily following Kristen Stewart's Maureen through the streets of Paris and deeper into her own personal rabbit hole.

The film has drawn critical raves and cemented Stewart as one of the era's best indie-flick actresses around. (As someone who reviewed some of her Twilight movies, it feels very strange to write that).

But all due acting props aside, Personal Shopper's a bit of a mess. It's not just the nudity here that gives us pause. It's not just the unorthodox spirituality that pervades the film from beginning to end. Or the fact that the movie seems to reject the idea of organized religion even as it embraces one bizarre form of spirituality after another. No, it's the film's obsession with sex and spirit—and the taboo, transgressive relationship between them—that makes it so unsettling.

It doesn't feel quite that corrupt, of course. But director Olivier Assayas definitely wants us to feel the unease of Maureen's obsession with the forbidden—to slip into her surreptitiously borrowed shoes and feel the thrill as she zips up someone else's dress, modeling for—the film wants us to believe—a nearby ghost.

Just as Maureen's world seems to straddle life and death, Personal Shopper is a movie made on the borders of propriety and the profane, embracing the secret, dark thrill of smoking in the junior high bathroom or fooling around on your own parents' bed. And while Personal Shopper reminds us that pleasures forbidden are often forbidden for a reason, it's more concerned with reminding us that they can feel pleasurable. "No desire if not forbidden," Maureen texts. And that might lead some viewers down dangerous rabbit holes of their own.

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



Kristen Stewart as Maureen Cartwright; Lars Eidinger as Ingo; Sigrid Bouaziz as Lara; Anders Danielsen Lie as Erwin; Ty Olwin as Gary; Hammou Graïa as the Police Officer; Nora von Waldstätten as Kyra


Olivier Assayas ( )


CG Cinema



Record Label



In Theaters

March 10, 2017

On Video

October 24, 2017

Year Published



Paul Asay

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!