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.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Album Review

When most people have marital troubles, they may confess them to friends or go to counseling. When Beyoncé has marital troubles, she makes a concept album.

Yes, an R&B concept album. It's a format we're more used to seeing from the likes of rockers Green Day, My Chemical Romance and Muse as they pump out pseudo sci-fi sagas of totalitarian regimes run amok. You know, angry political stuff. Not transparent personal stuff.

And if nothing else, Lemonade—as in the old saw, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"—is immensely, enormously personal. Beyoncé unpacks in pining, agonizing, raging, profane detail what certainly seems to be the sustained accusation that her husband, rapper Jay Z, has been unfaithful—an insinuation that's further reinforced by the hour-long video montage (initially aired on HBO) that accompanies the album.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Beyoncé wastes no time giving the album's thesis statement in the first two lines of the first song, "Pray You Catch Me." She sings, "You can taste the dishonesty/It's all over your breath as you pass it off so cavalier." And what follows on Lemonade is an emotional slog through the process of dealing with her deep relational suspicion (be it autobiographical or an elaborate piece of performance art) that her husband has cheated on her. It's a journey of shock and anger that ends with Beyoncé's resolve to forgive her unfaithful man and make the most of the love she insists is still present.

Surprised? It's true. Beyoncé moves from hurt and rage toward reconciliation, exuding a strong desire to make her marriage work. "Forward" imagines a return to a better normal ("Go back to sleep in your favorite spot just next to me"). "All Night" promises, "All I want, ain't no other/We together, I remember." Bey also tells her man, "Found the truth beneath your lies/And true love never has to hide/ … Our love was stronger than your pride/Beyond your darkness, I'm your light."

But before all that, "Pray You Catch Me" finds Beyoncé wanting her husband to know that she knows ("I'm prayin' you catch me listening"). It's one of many tracks that digs into the minute ways his actions do deep damage ("Nothing else seems to hurt like the smile on your face/ … What are you doing, my love?"). "Hold Up" insists that there's no love more faithful than a wife's ("Step down, they don't love you like I love you/Can't you see there's no other man above you?/What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you"). She also details the insecurities that her suspicion stirs up in her heart ("I look in the mirror, say, 'What's up?'").

As wounded as she is, though, Beyoncé doesn't surrender her self-respect. On "Don't Hurt Yourself," she insists, "I am the dragon breathing fire/Beautiful mane, I'm the lion/Beautiful man, I know you're lyin'/I'm not broken, I'm not cryin'." She's willing to grant him one more chance, but no more than that: "This is your final warning/You know I give you life/If you try this s--- again/You gon lose your wife." "Sorry" says, "Looking at my watch, he shoulda been home/Today I regret the night I put that ring on/ … I pray to the Lord you reveal what His truth is."

"Daddy Lessons" delves into Beyoncé's relationship with her father. He made her a "tough girl," a "fighter," and he warned her to watch out for men who are "trouble." He also charged her with caring for the family after he was gone. Album closer "Formation" celebrates Beyoncé's familial and racial heritage. And on "Freedom," Jay Z's 90-year-old grandmother, Hattie White, says, "I had my ups and downs, but I always find the inner strength to pull myself up. I was served lemons, but I made lemonade."

Objectionable Content

Beyoncé pairs her rage with harsh profanity and threats of violence. "Hold Up" erupts with volcanic fury as she looks for evidence of an affair on her man's phone ("Going through your call list/I don't wanna lose my pride, but Ima f--- me up a b--ch"). "Don't Hurt Yourself" roars, "Who the f--- do you think I is?/You ain't married to no average b--ch, boy/ … Tonight I'm f---ing up all your s---, boy." Then she suggestively implies that maybe she'll have an affair too, to even the score ("You can watch my fat a-- twist, boy/As I bounce to the next d--k, boy"). She labels herself a "bad m-----f---er" with a "god complex," before saying cryptically, "When you love me, you love yourself/Love god herself."

There are more insinuations that Beyoncé might be cheating, too, on "Sorry," as Beyoncé spits, "Now you gotta see me wilding/Now I'm the one that's lying/And I don't feel bad about it/It's exactly what you get/Stop interrupting my grinding/I ain't thinkin' 'bout you." (Later, however, she suggests that such talk is just a bluff, insisting, "I ain't f---ing anybody.") "6 Inch" finds Beyoncé at a strip club, where she praises an exotic dancer for working "hard for the money/ … She grinds day and night/ … Six-inch heels, she walked in the club like nobody's business/G--d--n, she murdered everybody, and I was her witness." "All Night" offers suggestive details about a married couple's makeup sex. "Hold Up" alludes to the ways Beyoncé tried to please her man sexually, including oral sex and making love in a car. "Slay" brags, "I came to slay, b--ch," then offers an unlikely pairing between sex and Red Lobster ("When he f--- me good, I take his a-- to Red Lobster, 'cause I slay").

"6 Inch" casually mentions alcohol and Ecstasy.

Summary Advisory

Lemonade delivers a shockingly raw depiction of one woman's bruising experience with her husband's infidelity. And the movie-like video accompaniment adds a visual exclamation mark. There's more of everything onscreen: more rage (Queen Bey takes a baseball bat to cars while walking down a street), more sensuality (we see myriad revealing outfits and sexy dance moves, and the camera spies nude women from behind), more dignity (women form a sort of sisterhood where they find strength in one another when their men cheat on them), more pain (via frequent voiceovers about Beyoncé's emotional journey), more sex (through graphically explicit verbal references), and more faith (with many specific references made to Jesus).

It's a dizzying artistic tour de force plumbing the chaotic depths of agony, abandonment, betrayal, resurgence and forgiveness. There's much to laud: Beyoncé's self-assurance and honesty, her refusal to let her man's cheating define her identity or shove her into lasting bitterness, as well as her recognition of the importance of marriage and determination to fight for it.

There's much to critique, too, though. Many of the ways Beyoncé verbally, visually and explicitly unleashes her fighting spirit has a way of turning sweet into sour.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Top 5 iTunes album set for the biggest debut of 2016 with more than half-a-million units sold and streamed.

Record Label

Parkwood Entertainment, Columbia, Sony




April 23, 2016

On Video

Year Published



Adam R. Holz

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!