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.

Game Review

"Why so serious?"

So says the evil Joker in The Dark Knight, the bleakest Batman movie ever. And, though the Joker wasn't talking to Batman, he might as well have been. Never the cheeriest of superheroes, Batman has recently become the cinematic poster boy for heroic angst. Indeed, the entire city of Gotham has become a place of nightmare, filled with shadows and darkness and impending doom.

Not exactly the right stuff for a kids' video game.

Unless, of course, you take Joker's snarling question at face value and ask LEGO to make a kinder, gentler (and funnier) Gotham.

Why So Silly?
LEGO Batman: The Videogame appears to reject today's bleak Batman and instead takes its cues from campier incarnations from days of yore: The Dark Knight is in his familiar gray outfit from the comics and Saturday-morning TV. Robin gallivants in chipper red, yellow and green duds. The music comes from Michael Keeton's 1989 Batman, and the game's plot is straight from the gamemakers' imaginations. Here's the best part: While today's cinematic Batman is the ultimate loner, this game is best played with a pal.

For half the game's 30 levels, players put on Batman's cowl (or Robin's mask) and fight their way through Gotham's seedy underworld, populated by a gazillion villains, most of whom can be easily (and literally) dismantled with a few well-timed whacks. Along the way, Batman and Robin use grappling hooks and batarangs, drive the Batmobile, change into new outfits (which give the dynamic duo special powers, like walking up walls or the ability to place and detonate special bat-bombs) and build virtual LEGO structures—many of which they need to advance to the next stage.

It's a relatively simple game, designed more for casual players than obsessive ones. Press one button and you punch. Press another and you jump. The game does a good job of training you in more "expert" maneuvers as you go along, and solving puzzles breaks up the monotony of, well, breaking up the bad guys.

But while LEGO Batman is simpler than some of those other video games out there, it has moments that will prove frustrating for some players. In the very first level, I was smashing bad guys, placing bombs and throwing grappling hooks like crazy when, all of a sudden, I got stuck behind a virtual wall and couldn't get out. (I had to ask my children for help.)

It's actually the cutscenes that are the most enjoyable segments of the game, anyway: An overanxious Robin leaps off a ledge while a more pragmatic Batman opts to take the stairs. Bad guy Clayface skids around in an office chair like a 6-year-old while his fellow villains plot and scheme. These little snippets are, in fact, far better produced than the Hanna-Barbera Batman cartoons I remember from my youth.

Crash! Bang! Pow!
But while Gotham may be a brighter place in LEGOland, it's not altogether sunny.

Compared to Robin's crayon-colored getup, the landscape around him feels a bit gritty. And the story, while miles away from Christian Bale's movies, is arguably a wee bit bleaker than those of previous LEGO games (Indiana Jones, Star Wars). Mayhem here is part of the intended fun, and players are encouraged to break as many objects as possible—from streetlights to walls to LEGO people galore. And while it doesn't appear that any cute little LEGO characters actually die during gameplay, hundreds are smashed into little LEGO bits. And when Batman sends the Joker to prison, there's a cutscene that shows the villain pointing a gun at his own head. (A flag that says "Bang!" unfurls when he pulls the trigger.)

The most problematic element of this game may come through the ability to play the bad'uns. Once you finish the first 15 levels, you've got to set aside law and order to become a dastardly supervillain, wreaking havoc as the Joker, the Riddler, the Penguin or a smattering of other nefarious nitwits. Now, instead of battling bad guys, you're walloping policemen, sending LEGO parts flying.

Also, the Joker carts around a special hand buzzer that, when he zaps someone with it, reveals an underlying LEGO skeleton. Another villain, Bane, is apparently able to break his victim's back (in LEGO fashion, of course) when using a special move. Players are asked to steal gold, too. And some of the characters are designed to evoke seductiveness—if not actually achieve it in their blocky LEGO form: Catwoman's dressed in leather and swings her hips suggestively during a cutscene, and Poison Ivy wears what appears to be a bathing suit of lettuce. (One reviewer said it made her look like she had a green, hairy chest.)

So it's a mixed bag of grappling hooks, batarangs and block-knocking silliness, to be sure. And what you think of it is all about what you compare it to. Stack it up side by side with a pile of real LEGOs in your living room, and it's a little disconcerting. But build it inside the movie world of The Dark Knight, and it'll put (as the Joker might say) a smile on your face.

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

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Record Label


Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 2, PSP, DS


Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment


On Video

Year Published



Paul Asay Trent Hoose

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!