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

Casino Royale is based on the Ian Fleming book and serves as a version of the James Bond origin story. Despite its modern-day setting, it follows the infamous British spy on his first mission as a licensed-to-kill "double-o" MI6 operative.

After earning M's wrath by publicly bungling the pursuit of a suspect in Madagascar for vital intelligence, Bond uses the lead to find a presumed terrorist connection in the Bahamas and there uses a man's wife to jump to the trail of a presumed terrorist attack in Miami.

Eventually, Bond is assigned to represent the British government in a high-risk attempt to clean out a terrorist money man in a high-stakes poker game in Montenegro. He is partnered with a female agent named Vesper Lynd, and the pair begins a cat-and-mouse game with the evil Le Chiffre, each side trying to outwit the other to win the $100 million-plus. Along the way, James and Vesper circle each other as well, deciding how deeply to give in to their obvious physical and emotional attraction to each other.


Positive Elements

As ever, James Bond remains unquestionably loyal to queen and country. To that end—and occasionally to save a girl—he endures torture and risks life and limb for the general good of all mankind. He also serves the British government as an instrument of justice, given free rein to execute those he deems worthy. (That's not entirely positive, of course. More on that in my "Conclusion.") Bond reveals his sensitive, nurturing side when comforting a distraught Vesper.

Spiritual Content

The head of a group of Ugandan "freedom fighters" asks Le Chiffre is he believes in God. He says no. In response to Bond's insistence that they share a hotel suite as part of their cover, Vesper retorts that her cover character is a strict Catholic and, thus, the door between them will remain locked. Bond replies, "I hate it when religion comes between us."

Sexual Content

In a notable change from most Bond films, this one, amazingly, does not feature the undulating shapes and silhouettes of female bodies in the opening credits. The rest of the movie does, however, indulge in the expected sexual content, featuring women in form- and cleavage-baring outfits and/or bikinis, and lots of shots of this significantly more muscular Bond with the majority of his clothes off.

Bond plans to bed the wife of a terrorist in order to obtain information about what he's up to. Asked why he likes married women, he replies that it keeps things simple. She wears a very revealing dress and kisses his exposed chest and stomach as the pair make out in full foreplay mode before being interrupted by a phone call.

Bond's second conquest, Vesper, comments on his "perfectly formed a--" at their first meeting, but her chilly resistance keep the two apart physically until there are more than just physical feelings involved on both sides. (Not exactly traditional morality, but it's something the other Bonds rarely bothered with.) The camera watches as they exchange sexual dialogue, kiss passionately, roll around (and off of) a bed together, and wake up naked and kissing in another bed. (There's a frame or two-long flash of his-and-her skin to drive home the point.)

Violent Content

Bond is not shy about proving that he's worthy of a double-o designation (meaning that an agent has scored two kills). Nor is he restrained in exercising his newly minted license to continue. His first takedown follows a brutal fight in a public restroom involving exchanged blows, face bashings against sinks and toilets, a near drowning and gunshots. It seems to trouble him for a moment, but he comments that the second one is much easier after shooting a traitor in cold blood.

Then the gloves are off. Men, armed or not, are killed by Bond and others. Death results from gunshots, drowning, falling, stabbing, choking, massive explosions, electrocution and a nail gun to the eye. Bond nearly dies after being poisoned. The camera sees plenty of blood and a few fatal bullet wounds.

A man with a sword threatens to cut a woman's hand off. We're told another woman was tortured for information before her corpse is found (and seen indistinctly by the camera). Bond endures an extended onscreen torture scene in which he is strapped naked to a chair. (He's seen from the side.) Le Chiffre then swings a heavy rope to repeatedly hit Bond in the testicles.

As if to show us that Bond wasn't always callous, one difference between this and previous films is that more than one violent and fatal exchange seems to leave him shaken and stirred. Similarly, Vesper, who is compelled to assist him in one killing, appears to suffer great emotional angst over the encounter. In all, the violence is both more brutal and given more weight than in a typical Bond outing, prompting Time critic Richard Corliss to declare that the film "should have earned an R rating instead of the indulgent PG-13 it received."

Crude or Profane Language

M's favorite swear word is "h---." It's heard as many as 10 times. She also takes Christ's name in vain. The British swear words "bloody" and "b-gger" are uttered, as are "a--," "d--n," "pr--k," "b--ch" and "b--tard."

Drug and Alcohol Content

Alcohol is ordered and consumed by most of the characters. While gambling, Bond experiments with a martini combination and is pleased with the results. He also drinks to steady his nerves after a near-fatal confrontation.

Other Negative Elements

A significant portion of the film involves high-stakes casino poker; it's pictured as glamorous, dangerous and costly. In Madagascar, a crowd cheers and bets on a mongoose-vs.-snake fight. After being poisoned, Bond is heard vomiting in an attempt to get the stuff out of his system. Part of the action takes place in and amongst a Body World bones-and-muscles display of human cadavers.


Much has been made of Casino Royale rebooting the Bond franchise for a new era. And though this "Bond, Chapter One" pays homage to the elements of 007 lore, there's no doubt the tone has been darkened to reflect our more serious days. Gone: Bond's trademark jocularity and cheesy one-liners; gadget-geek Q's snooty lesson on the latest spy toys; and one central villain with a ridiculous plan for world domination and a freak-show sidekick. Even the classic Bond elements left in place are deconstructed. Star Daniel Craig's version of the secret agent doesn't view the tux or the vintage '64 Aston Martin or even his first buxom conquest as a grab for impressive style or idle pleasure. Each is a targeted means to achieving a very focused end: winning at all costs, defeating the opponent, proving his worth.

Craig's Bond is a dangerous guy. You can see it in M's eyes when she finds him waiting for her in her house. You can see it in his own eyes after he kills killers. Not dangerous in the sense that, "I'm glad he's on our side," but dangerous in the sense that, "I hope he's on the right side, because I'm not sure he'd care as long as he wins in the end." At a time when we can be reasonably sure there really are guys out there licensed and eager to kill in the name of country—whether justified or not—Bond seems less naturally heroic and more morally culpable for his actions than ever.

Thus, in spite of telling a far better story and Mads Mikkelsen's nice turn as a desperate villain with refreshingly believable motives, Casino Royale offers less outright "fun" than previous incarnations. Golden Eye director Martin Campbell wants us to see that Bond has started down the path of trading in his soul—his ability to trust anyone as "good"—for the right and privilege of purging the planet of the worst of the worst. He's good at it, but is he a hero? He may be built like one, but there's a hint in the film's final moments that the world may need saving from Bond as much as it needs saving by him. And come to think of it, that's exactly the same relationship Hollywood has with this now re-energized franchise.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



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!