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

Jim Terrier is a former special forces guy. A trained killer.

Of course, that's not widely known. As far as most of the people around him in the Congo are concerned, he's just part of a private security team protecting a group of workers. Even his girlfriend, Annie, has no idea what Jim did in the past.

Or what he's about to do in the future.

You see, Jim and his team aren't just in Africa to keep contracted airfield builders safe. They're also assassins. And when the signal comes down from some shadowy authority, Jim and his team fly into action: They set up and quickly assassinate a Congolese official with a well-placed sniper bullet to his unsuspecting head.

Jim isn't really happy about any of this. It's his job, yes, but he's wondering how much longer he can keep doing it. He's having questions. Doubts. On top of that, since he was the trigger man on this last hit, he'll now have to leave the continent. And to be quite frank, he's head-over-heels for his surgeon girlfriend. But that's what must be done.

Fast-forward eight years, and things have changed for Jim. He's left his former profession, partly because of those nagging doubts and partly because of his health. Post-concussion syndrome is giving him blazing headaches and producing memory loss.

On the positive side, though, he's out. And that's good. Instead of spilling blood, he's digging wells and ensuring clean water flows in undeveloped parts of the world. He's back in the Congo, of all places, this time with a totally different focus. And Jim's happy to be doing things that help him forget his past.

Others aren't.

While working on that humanitarian project, Jim realizes he's been marked for a hit. He deals with one ragged team of murderous thugs easily enough. But he's pretty sure there will be more. And he's getting a sense that his current woes are all connected to that assassination he was a part of the last time he was in Africa. Perhaps it's time to look up his old associates and find out what they know.

Because when you're a man like Jim Terrier, you're never truly out. And that's bad.


Positive Elements

Jim is willing to do whatever it takes to protect Annie when her life is endangered. And despite the many years he spent as a hit man, Jim says the span of time since leaving that violent way of life has truly changed him. He no longer wants anything to do with the horrors of his mercenary past. He eventually turns over vital information about those twisted events to the authorities.

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

We see Jim and Annie partially dressed and in bed twice—once while having sex. Annie wears little more than a sheer shirt in those two instances. They kiss passionately several times. In another scene she's thrown to the floor, her shirt falling open and partially exposing her breasts. She steps out of the shower in a towel and begins to drop it just as the camera looks away. We repeatedly see Jim shirtless as the camera admires his muscled physique.

Violent Content

The first splash of flesh-rending violence hits the screen when Jim looks down the sights of a cannon-sized sniper rifle and proceeds to launch a four inch shell through the windshield of an SUV. It smashes the safety glass like tissue paper, rips through the throat of a man in the front seat and shreds the face of the intended target in the back. It's a pseudo slow-mo ballet of blood that lets us know exactly what we can expect thereafter.

Men have their necks, guts and crotches hacked with knives and machetes. Some are viciously beaten, leaving their faces badly bloodied. A guy is pistol-whipped. Arms, legs and necks get snapped. Hands are stabbed and blown apart. A woman is struck hard by a man, her forehead streaming blood. Another woman's face is left bruised and swollen.

A thug has his skull crushed by a shovel. Several men are shot gruesomely (including one who is murdered execution-style and another with a rifle barrel jammed under his chin before the trigger is pulled). Men burn in a fire and get torn apart by grenade shrapnel. More are run over and gored by a raging bull. Even more are obliterated by an exploding mine (along with the apartment they're in).

And I haven't even mentioned the steady parade of firefights between Jim and any number of heavily armed pursuers.

Crude or Profane Language

About 35 f-words and at least a dozen s-words. God's name is combined with "d--n" twice. We also hear "b--tard" a couple of times.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Jim almost always has a cigarette dangling from his lower lip. Others smoke too. All these toughs regularly toss back booze. Twice, a guy is visibly drunk. Jim pops prescription meds for his headaches and uses an ammonia inhalant to clear his foggy head. Annie is kept drugged by her captors.

Other Negative Elements

Thanks to Jim's post-concussion syndrome, he's regularly beset with headaches so sudden and painful that they drive him to his knees. We then watch him vomit.

Jim steals a car and a sport coat. He crosses paths with several old associates, including a guy named Felix, who's now with Jim's former flame, Annie. The latter man's devotion to Annie is sullied by alcohol-fueled jealousy that leads him to verbally abuse and push her down in one scene.


In this one-dimensional thriller, Sean Penn plays an aging-but-still-lethal mercenary who's equal parts grizzled muscle, deeply furrowed facial folds and smoldering intensity—which perhaps explains the ever-present plumes of cigarette smoke he's always exhaling.

Sound familiar? Let's just say that somewhere Taken's Liam Neeson is still mumbling about having "a particular set of skills"—skills that The Gunman's producers have obviously copped here in an attempt to reboot Penn's long-in-the-tooth career in similar fashion.

It all feels as weary as the perpetually scowling Penn looks. Add in convoluted story machinations and a rote romance and there's really nothing about The Gunman or its characters to draw us in and make us care in the least. Which leaves us with little more than a string of slickly produced action sequences featuring broken bones, gushing wounds and blown-out foreheads.

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!