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.

Track Review

Imagine Dragons tends to visualize their lyrics through a glass darkly. They paint with the kind of smudged, impressionist brushstrokes that can be seen as positive, negative, inspiring, depressing, beautiful, awful or anything in between. It all depends upon your vantage point as you attempt to interpret them. In other words, these shoes may be made for walkin', but these lyrics aren't made for decipherin'.

The synth-drenched "Radioactive" couples that opacity with a massively catchy dubstep chorus, a combination that's earned the song airplay in commercials for NBC's  Chicago Fire and SyFy's Defiance, as well as in the movie  The Host and on the video game soundtracks for  Assassin's Creed III and MLB 13: The Show.

The song's title—if taken fairly literally—raises the specter of having endured a nuclear nightmare. And opening lines evoke exactly that kind of imagery: "I'm waking up to ash and dust/I wipe my brow and sweat my rust/I'm breathing in the chemicals/ … This is it, the apocalypse."

Gloomy, right? And so I'm instantly hopeful (and trepidatious) that the band will fill me in on how to respond to such a sour situation. Or at least how they'll respond.

Well, depending (again) on how you interpret some key words, the path forward seems to be one of determination. "I'm breaking in, shaping up, then checking out on the prison bus," frontman Dan Reynolds tells us cryptically. A bit later, we hear about awakening once more, as he adds, "I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones/Enough to make my systems blow/Welcome to the new age, to the new age/ … I'm radioactive, radioactive."

As an anthemic affirmation, then, it seems the band is proclaiming the state of being radioactive a good thing. Or, if not quite that, at least a reality of life in the "new age" that must be accepted.

Maybe that radioactivity will bestow strength and power for the fight to come. Because it is coming: "I raise my flags, don my clothes/It's a revolution, I suppose/We're painted red to fit right in." Who this revolutionary force or faction might be or what it's fighting isn't at all clear, I must say. But I've already covered that sort of sentiment here, haven't I?

As for humanity's ultimate survival, a line near the end of the track suggests there is hope: "All systems go, the sun hadn't died/Deep in my bones, straight from inside."

So whether in surviving a nuclear apocalypse or "merely" the toxic problems of our current age, and to the extent that listeners hear the song's repeated references to "waking up" as a good thing, perhaps "Radioactive" delivers a guardedly optimistic message. But if one decides to focus on all that "ash and dust" fallout, then perhaps not.

And anyone looking for clues in the video will find something else entirely. In it, the band is imprisoned beneath a shack in the woods, a shack in which are held—it seems—cock fights. We watch as gambling, cigar-chomping men hold up their money and cheer the combat below. It's pretty clear what's going on …

… until we actually get a glimpse of the combat below.

Down in the fighting pit, a red-eyed, yellow-horned, pink-and-purple people-eater, er, I mean, stuffed monster is challenging all comers—including lots of other decidedly less-fierce cuddly critters also made of cloth. All of these stuffed animals come to a grim end, with the malevolently stitched monster decapitating and ripping and trouncing each in turn.

It's violent, to be sure. And slightly ridiculous too, what with the white stuffing flying everywhere.

But a tiny pink bear won't take defeat for an answer. Apparently radioactive in his own right, this little guy fells his bullying opponent with a pink flash of light, then turns his beams on a couple of men, vaporizing them.


Soon the band is free, while the leader of the brutal fight club left imprisoned to face the furry wrath of all the previously abused and now half-dead stuffed animals.

That's meant to give us hope for the future, just like in the song. Or at least that's my impression.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes



Readability Age Range







Peaked at No. 3.

Record Label





April 2, 2012

On Video

Year Published



Adam R. Holz