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

Grammy-winning singer-songwriters Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush—otherwise known as the chart-topping duo Sugarland—have never fit into the classic country music box very well. As the old song goes, Sugarland is a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll.

But since the band's arrival in 2002, they've probably never been as pop-rock oriented as they are on their fourth studio album, The Incredible Machine. And I can't help but think that's due in part to help from Kristian's brother, Brandon (a former member of Train), and drummer Travis McNabb (from the alternative rock band Better Than Ezra).

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

"All We Are" charges listeners to pay attention to the cries of their hearts, "where deep inside, can you hear that call/Wakin' your heart and shakin' your walls." The title track highlights what it feels like to answer that call: "Feels like I'm flying/Wings made of light/Brand-new and shinin'/Like a shot rung out through the night." Nettles consoles hurting friends on "Little Miss" and on the lively "Find the Beat Again ("You've been blue for a while/And you just can't shake it/ … Still, I wanna say/Hey, hey/Things are looking better now"). "Stand Up" focuses on compassion and healing ("All the lonely people cryin'/It could change if we just get started/Lift the darkness, light a fire/For the silent and brokenhearted") and envisions a better tomorrow ('There's a comfort, there's a healin'/High above the pain and sorrow/Change is comin'/ … Calling us into a new tomorrow").

"Stuck Like Glue" celebrates a couple's loving commitment, with Nettles unabashedly proclaiming, "Absolutely no one that knows me better/No one that can make me feel so good." And when love is threatened by conflict, the couple rekindles a spark: "There you go makin' my heart beat again/ … You and me, baby, we're stuck like glue." "Tonight" expresses a woman's longing to be reunited with her beloved. And on the closing ballad, "Shine the Light," Nettles sings from the perspective of a woman promising her man that she'll always be there to encourage him, especially when things look dark: "So when your heart is heavy like a stone/From carrying its load/ … When shadows are closing in on you/Like a hand around your throat/I will shine the light."

On "Wide Open," the hopeful singer is receptive to new possibilities ushered in by change ("I've been waiting my whole life betting on a change/See it coming, getting better, getting better now. …/I'm running wide open/And it's a fine world"). She also sings about working hard to be able to take advantage of life's serendipitous opportunities, moments where hard work and destiny intersect ("Every life has a moment where sweat meets fate/On your mark, get ready, get ready now").

Objectionable Content

"Incredible Machine" includes a passing nod to lust ("Made of blood and love/And hope and lust and steam").

Summary Advisory

Describing some of the influences that shaped The Incredible Machine, the 36-year-old Nettles told Billboard, "We were talking about the music from movies like The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, and then we sort of thought, 'If John Hughes were still around today, God bless his soul, what songs would he be using in his movies?' … It's this beautiful take on the modern serenade, so heartfelt and romantic. That's what we wanted to create."

Bush added, "I love how grand a lot of [the 1980s] music was. Who's making those songs today—those anthemic songs that speak to the experience of anticipation, of what it feels like in those archetypal movies? We couldn't really come up with an answer, so we were like, 'Maybe we should write them. Maybe it's us.'"

And so Sugarland stepped up to accept its own challenge. The result is an album of solid, positive, uplifting tunes that will likely—and rightfully—expand this popular country band's already huge audience.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 203,000 units.

Record Label





October 19, 2010

On Video

Year Published



Meredith Whitmore

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!