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

It's good to be the prez.

Tim Timmerman, the student body president of Mount Vista High School, has the perks memorized. He struts around in his special, monogrammed president sweater. He graces the student body with his presidential charm during morning announcements. He has his very own hall pass—allowing him to perform critical presidential business unmolested by pesky hall monitors.

And man, does he do a lot of presidential business.

And just what is that presidential business? Well, presidential things, of course. If Tim's doing it, it must be, by definition, presidential. Skipping classes is super presidential. Getting lots of Cs? Verrry presidential. He represents ordinary high school students, so it's fitting that Tim gets aggressively ordinary grades. Sure, his GPA won't necessarily help him get into Yale (something he really wants), but hey, he's student body president. Surely he can talk some teachers into raising those pesky grades a letter or two.

Did we mention Tim's the student body president? President, president, president. Say it enough, and the mere word excuses just about everything, doesn't it?

Except the stuff that it doesn't. Turns out, your presidential hall pass doesn't count for much when the cops catch you car surfing with a marijuana joint in your pocket.

The joint wasn't Tim's—Principal Vogelbach even believes him on that count. But no matter: President Timmerman has proven, repeatedly, that he's not really made of the right presidential stuff. So Tim will have to face an official impeachment hearing. And in the meantime he's being stripped of his perks: no sweater, no hall pass, no nothing. Tim could become the least consequential president in American history this side of William Henry Harrison.

Worse, given Tim's aforementioned aggressively ordinary grades and the pending absence of his resume-padding presidency, his dream of going to Yale is just that: a dream.

But when one of his state's senators announces he's helping sponsor the "Hope of America" contest, in which the winner will become one of his D.C. pages, Tim realizes his dream may have legs yet. Getting chummy with a U.S. senator has a way of opening doors. And as luck would have it, rival Taft High School's student body president is the senator's daughter, Sydney.

Why, it'd be the most natural thing in the world for two student body presidents to get together and plan a mutual activity, wouldn't it? It'd be right and good and …

Oh, yeah. There's that whole suspension/impeachment thing. Well, Sydney doesn't necessarily need to know about that teensy-weensy detail about Tim's current presidential status, does she?

Yep, it's obvious: Tim Timmerman has quite the career in politics ahead of him.

Positive Elements

Tim and Sydney start out as something like photonegative twins: If Tim wants to use the presidency for his own selfish wants and goals, Sydney wants to use it as a catalyst to help both her school and the people in it. Her whole goal is to make a difference at Taft. And honestly, her do-gooding doesn't end when the bell rings, either.

Sydney's hearing is seriously impaired, so she spends a great deal of time volunteering for a local deaf school. Tim, in an effort to get closer to Sydney, winds up volunteering too. Some of Sydney's best qualities start rubbing off on the irresponsible sometime president, and Tim slowly changes from the sort of president that only Ferris Bueller could love to the sort of guy that even Principal Vogelbach could support.

[Spoiler Warning] Paradoxically, Tim's worthwhile turnaround culminates in a public admission of just how unworthy he is. He confesses to his role in vandalizing Taft with a dead deer (which is a big deal) and tells the student body that he's resigning as president and withdrawing from the Hope of America competition. Tim's admission amounts to a public confession of sin: It's only when we realize how far we've fallen that we can truly begin to climb back up.

Spiritual Content


Sexual Content

Tim and Sydney's relationship takes a predictably personal turn. As they plan a multi-school dance together, the two kiss. Sydney confesses that it's her first before they smooch again. These and subsequent pucker-presses aren't so much full-on lip locks as they are gentle displays of affection.

But Sydney's not the only woman with an eye on Tim. Miss Murphy, a teacher (or perhaps administrator) at the school, inappropriately has the hots for him, too. When Tim goes to her office for guidance, she flips on some romantic music and sidles close. And at Tim's birthday party (to which Miss Murphy is strangely invited to), she gives the birthday boy salsa lessons for the two of them. (If you know anything about sensual salsa dancing, you know it's not something that high school students and teachers should be doing together.)

Tim gently rejects the salsa lessons, handing Miss Murphy off to Tim's freshman lackey, Jessop. Those two apparently become, at the very least, close dance partners: After the credits roll, we see an additional scene from the not-so-distant future where Jessop and Miss Murphy are doing sultry Salsa dancing together at a school dance.

Garrett, one of Tim's friends, ogles a cheerleader (one of several wearing short skirts). He tells Tim how "hot" she is. Later, Garrett and that cheerleader make out, though mostly off-camera. They take a break from kissing to rise up into view of the camera for a quick bit of dialogue (panting as they talk) before falling back below the lens again.

A teacher wears tops and dresses that showcase shoulder and cleavage. Bill Clinton makes several appearances in Tim's dream, making vague references to his indiscretions. (He also compliments Tim on his courage, using a slang term for the male anatomy.) We see Sydney in a one-piece bathing suit.

Violent Content

Concurrent with his quest for the Hope of America prize, Tim's also playing the so-called "Assassin's Game," wherein competitors "shoot" each other with painless pellet guns. Contestants pay a few bucks to participate, and the last one "alive" collects the cash pot. As such, Tim spends a lot of time pointing guns at classmates, pulling triggers and running away—often comically and recklessly—from his adversaries.

Tim gets beaned in the face by a tennis ball, causing a bloody nose. (He stuffs a tissue in one of his nostrils to staunch the blood.) He masterminds a scheme to place a dead deer in Taft, and we see the animal's mangled carcass. Tim later dreams of an obviously stuffed deer, sadly shaking his head. Also in a dream, someone attacks Tim with a knife. A security guard ogles a police officer's Glock pistol.

Crude or Profane Language

We hear two uses each of "b--ch" and "d--n," about half a dozen uses of the word "crap" and one possible misuse of God's name. The word "fetch" (and variations thereof) is used three or four times as a stand-in for the f-word.

Drug and Alcohol Content

A student named Garrett and some of Tim's other friends use marijuana. When Tim sees one of them beginning to light a joint, he grabs it and stuffs it in his pocket, telling the would-be toker that he needs to get off of the drug. (Ironically, police later discover the joint in Tim's pocket.)

Other Negative Elements

Garrett and his friends heckle fellow high schoolers. Tim finagles cash out of Sydney's dad. Some of Tim's friends lie to protect him, and Tim himself often acts in a fairly weasel-like manner.


Unless you live in Utah, you likely haven't heard of Tim Timmerman, Hope of America. Its distributor gave it a fairly narrow theatrical release initially, hoping to go wider with time.

But here's the interesting thing: Its distributor is not a traditional movie studio, but VidAngel, an online streaming service that allows customers to "buy" online versions of movies with problematic content edited out. (VidAngel is currently embroiled in a court battle over this service, and the company has also purchased advertising on Plugged In in the past.)

VidAngel isn't the first streaming service to launch original content, of course. Netflix has been doing it for years with television, and has recently been making inroads in the movie world. Rival service Amazon has been doing Netflix one better. In fact, Oscar-winning Manchester By the Sea was distributed by Amazon. And now VidAngel is plunging into the fray, too.

"When [Director] Cameron Sawyer and his team showed us the movie, and told us that the big studios had turned it down because it's too clean despite how hilarious it is, we immediately knew this was the right first project to get behind," said VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon in a press release.

It's an interesting model, and perhaps a sign of good things to come for families concerned about problematic content. Harmon believes that Tim Timmerman will be an "instant cult classic," à la Napoleon Dynamite—another clever, relatively clean film made to appeal to Utah's prevailing Mormon sensibilities.

Mind you, there's nothing overtly religious about Tim Timmerman. But there's clearly a culturally conservative perspective represented here. Kids in the film generally listen to their parents and are respectful of authority. And, for the most part, they want to do the right thing. One student even stops hanging out with a "bad influence" because his parents didn't want him to spend time with that person. Another experiences her very first kiss. For those who watch a raunchy secular comedy and wonder, "Do kids today really act like this?", this flick gives a welcome answer: "Not all kids."

But while Harmon may say that Tim Timmerman was "too clean" for secular studios, it's not quite as squeaky clean as that phrase might imply. Kids use drugs here. They swear occasionally, using the word "fetch" as an f-word stand-in. And the odd subplot involving Tim and his lovelorn teacher left me feeling uncomfortable; the post-credit conclusion to that subplot was, to me, wholly inappropriate in an age in which teacher-student dalliances make the news regularly.

Those caveats aside, however, Tim Timmerman, Hope of America mostly offers gives families a nice, watchable alternative to more salacious comedic fare.

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





Eddie Perino as Tim Timmerman; Chelsea Maidhof as Sydney Anderson; Stephanie Drapeau as Monica Murphy; Andrew Caldwell as Garrett Stubbs; Seth Meriwether as Brandon Schlierman; Henry Monfries as Jessop; Drue Knapp as MacKenzie; Laird Macintosh as Sen. Pete Anderson


Cameron Sawyer ( )





Record Label



In Theaters

March 3, 2017

On Video

June 6, 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!