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

When New York psychiatrist Sam Foster fills in for a mysteriously ill friend, he inherits art student Henry Lethem, an apparently paranoid and delusional young patient who bluntly confesses his plans to commit suicide in three days on his 21st birthday. Sam lives with and hopes to marry a former patient named Lila, a college art professor he once saved from a suicide attempt. He immediately takes Henry’s threat seriously.

But Henry proves to be as elusive as he is resolved. As Sam desperately searches for the young man and clues to his past, he begins to sense a strange connection to Henry. Henry seems able to predict Sam’s future. And he claims his parents are dead and that he’s responsible, although Sam uncovers evidence to the contrary.

Lila urges Sam to keep reaching out to Henry, even though Sam is beginning to wonder if maybe he’s the one who is delusional. The closer Sam gets to Henry’s secrets—and the moment of Henry’s planned suicide—the more Sam and those around him seem to lose their grip on reality.

Positive Elements

Sam deeply cares both for Lila, whom he loves, and for Henry. He doggedly risks his health and wellbeing in his ongoing attempts to save Henry from killing himself. Lila also sacrifices herself in attempts to help both Sam and Henry. Out of her own experience with attempted suicide, she urges Sam to tell Henry “there’s too much beauty to quit.” In fact, Stay’s strongest message is that life is worth hanging on to.

Spiritual Content

One of the key questions of the film is whether something supernatural is happening, or whether what unfolds represents some kind of psychological delusion. Or whether it’s something else entirely. The film doesn’t, in the end, necessarily make any definitive statements about the supernatural or spiritual worlds. Whatever is going on, Henry is convinced he’s going to hell for his involvement in his parents’ death, as well as for the suicide he’s planning.

Sexual Content

Sam and Lila live together. In one scene, he tells her to take off her clothes; in another, he suggests taking a bath together. Interestingly—especially considering the movie's R rating—nothing sexual is ever shown between them.

A despondent Henry ducks into a “Peep-o-Rama.” While he weeps as images of his life flicker on a screen on the wall, he’s oblivious to the two women dancing in bikini-style outfits, one with a pole, another with a sheet, as other patrons look on.

Violent Content

An artistically realized car accident, that may or may not be real, results in burning wreckage. Traumatized and bloodied bodies, both living and dead, are briefly witnessed. In other scenes, two apparently unharmed people suddenly drip blood from unseen head wounds. A dog bites a man’s arm, requiring bandages and shots. When confronted by an angry passenger on the subway to put out his cigarette, Henry extinguishes it on his own arm.

Henry carries a gun in preparation for his suicide and once threatens Sam with it when the doctor won’t let Henry go. We see three deep scars on Lila’s wrists, and she describes her suicide attempt in some detail. Later, a suicide scene is shown in which Henry puts the gun in his mouth (but the camera looks away before he pulls the trigger, leaving doubt as to what happens next).

Crude or Profane Language

The f-word is heard 15-20 times, and the s-word is uttered close to a dozen times. Characters also use the names of God and Jesus for swearing 5-10 times. There are several milder profanities.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Sam and Lila drink at home. Lila, especially, seems to drink to deal with stress. Sam is concerned when he learns she’s not taking her antidepressants. Another character suffers the effects of combining alcohol with meds. Men drink in a bar.

Other Negative Elements

As another psychiatrist points out, Sam’s relationship with Lila, a former patient, is a violation of professional ethics.


The previews for Stay don’t even begin to hint at what this movie is really about, leaving the impression that it might just be another ghostly horror movie. And that misdirection may actually help, oddly enough, the film's word-of-mouth marketing, since this is the kind of story that seems to work best when the viewer has no idea what’s going on.

Stay is a trippy, sad, disorienting film that uses its unexpectedly moving and satisfying ending to snap the whole thing into focus, leaving moviegoers replaying scene after scene in their heads to fit it all together. Director Marc Forster (who has helmed movies as diverse as Monster's Ball and Finding Neverland) succeeds in creating a reality that often feels like a dream without letting the audience fully release the possibility that it might be something else entirely. It’s one of those movies where you always suspect that every detail passing by is significant, even as you’re baffled about where the story is headed. Using a muted visual palette, cool transitions that bleed one scene into another, and pitch-perfect performances from his actors, Forster’s artful, creepy, self-conscious storytelling is mesmerizing to watch.

The spell is broken, though, with obscenities and intense depictions and descriptions of suicide. The ending works against the film in a way, also. Although Stay raises worthwhile questions about life and death and beauty and art, the conclusion lessens the impact of those questions. How hard should we fight to hold on to life? Is the suffering worth the effort to live? Is there a next life? Are we accountable for our choices in this one? The final moments of screenwriter David Benioff’s imaginative script elevate the experimental nature of the film above the significance of its themes, rendering them mostly ambiguous. Aside from emphasizing the beauty and sadness of life, Stay’s ending truncates most of its hints at real answers.

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



Ewan McGregor as Sam Foster; Ryan Gosling as Henry Lethem; Naomi Watts as Lila


Marc Forster ( )


20th Century Fox



Record Label



In Theaters

On Video

Year Published



Christopher Lyon

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!