WHY WE CARE


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."

YOUR STORIES


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!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

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.

Game Review

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was an enormous success in 2007-08. Not only did the game set a new high-water mark for the COD franchise, it claimed a spot as a Top 10 best-seller and became one of the most critically acclaimed first-person shooters of all time.

It tells an involved counterterrorism tale that’s highly effective at capturing players’ heroic imaginations while sending them hunting for bad guys all over the world. And its blood pressure-raising missions are full of cutting-edge military weaponry, realistic gun battles, stealthy scenarios and exotic locales. On top of that, trigger-happy fans were instantly wowed by online play that rolled all of COD’s strengths into a fiercely addictive, competitive team brawl.

Jumping in With Both Boots
So you could have bet your last digital bullet that A) there was going to be a sequel, and B) it wasn’t going to change that winning formula a whit. And, indeed, the gamemakers at Infinity Ward went out of their way to let players know they’d be getting plenty more of the same—an effort that translated into a whopping $550 million in sales during this new game’s first five days of release.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is divided into three distinct parts: A single-player campaign mode tells the darkly serpentine main story. A Special Ops mode offers a collection of 23 increasingly difficult non-story-driven missions designed for two players. And a raved-about online multiplayer mode sets up to 18 gamers at each other’s virtual throats.

The action picks up five years after the last game left off when a new ultranationalist Russian terrorist steps up to fill the world’s bad guy void. And once again you slip into the boots and camo of several different soldiers who fight back against the rising tide of evil. By jumping around among the defenders, Modern Warfare 2 transports you all over the world—from the blinding snows of Siberia to rebel-packed urban combat in the streets of Rio de Janeiro to a war-torn Washington, D.C.

The Great Big Bad War
There’s more here, though, than meets the average hero’s thermal imaging gun scope. Because this highly anticipated sequel doesn’t just repeat the previous experience. In the gaming world there always has to be more—and more usually means stretching and pushing into ever-darker places.

There’s a pumped up flow of blood in Modern Warfare 2, for instance. Hundreds if not thousands of enemies fall and writhe in pools of their own gore. And some of the cutscenes give an even closer cinematic view of the congealed guts and brain matter that soak the surroundings. The language seems fouler than I remember from the previous game as well. An f-bomb explodes on contact, and the rat-a-tat-tat of the s-word, "d‑‑n," "a‑‑," "b‑‑ch" and "h‑‑‑" echoes across the landscape.

But more disturbing than that are the corrupting corridors the storyline takes gamers down.

Modern Warfare 2’s soundtrack composer Hans Zimmer expressed his surprise at some of the game’s content in a USA Today article: The game "has an emotional darkness to it," he said, "where sometimes you go, ’I can’t believe they are going to do this now,’ and then they do it. It’s full of those sort of moments where it just takes things further than anyone would expect."

Lethal Lies and the Soldiers Who Sell Them
One of the more controversial moments you might not expect involves a scene in which you assume the role of a soldier who infiltrates a terrorist group. Once undercover, you’re to take part in the bloody slaughter of civilians. Even if you refuse to shoot, you still watch as the men around you use large-caliber weapons to massacre hundreds of defenseless innocents at an airport.

You can skip this bit of badness, but the sinister turns and surprising betrayals don’t end there. And so the game ends up feeling oddly—and sometimes grotesquely—twisted. The good guys often aren’t. The moral landscape that surrounds them is murky at best. And even a war hero will find it tough to feel heroic.

Somewhere deep in the gameplay, a narrating general says, "All you need to change the world is one good lie … and a river of blood." In spite of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s vast arsenal of great gaming mechanics, it’s that one straightforward declaration that seems to sum things up: dark lies and buckets of blood.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

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!