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

The Warriors—the latest urban turf-war offering from Grand Theft Auto publisher Rockstar Games—takes its title, setting and plotline from the 1979 movie of the same name. It puts you in the shoes of nine characters in the Warriors gang, which has been wrongly accused of assassinating a rival leader. Not incidentally, that rival leader had been trying to rally New York's 60,000 gangbangers into an army to take on the city's 20,000 police.

Now, they're all after the Warriors, bent on impeding your gang's progress ... permanently. The "only" thing that stands between the Warriors and safety is 20 miles of hostile inner-city territory.

Urban Neanderthals
The Warriors game-playing logic is decidedly Neanderthal: Beat every enemy in your path into bloody submission using any blunt—or sharp—implement at hand. That list begins with your own body parts (fists, elbows, feet and knees), but also includes baseball bats, wrenches, crowbars, broomsticks, sledge hammers, meat cleavers ... even frying pans. Incredibly, the brutality depicted—and required—in this game makes the Grand Theft Auto series almost look tame by comparison.

In keeping with this urban-warfare theme, virtually every activity characters engage in is illegal. The first level, for example, is a training exercise in which a young tough named Rembrandt learns to fight by mercilessly pounding drunken vagabonds. After that gang initiation, Rembrandt goes on a crime spree with another Warrior who coaches him on how to steal car stereos, mug innocent pedestrians and break into stores to pocket cash (all necessary activities throughout the game). To restore their health, characters need to buy "flash," a snorted drug similar to cocaine. It goes without saying—but needs to be said—that the police are sworn enemies.

From Intense to Bored
The back cover of just about every video game sold in America includes a content-descriptor box. The Warriors' includes the phrase "intense violence." What's the difference between mere "violence" and viciousness that warrants the modifier "intense"? On a purely technical level, it means a lot of bloodshed—sadly, no big surprise for those familiar with this genre.

On a more subjective level, however, I found the intense hand-to-hand combat in The Warriors more dehumanizing than games that deal death via automatic weapons. In the first level, for example, Rembrandt relentlessly throttles bums with his hands and then bludgeons them with a baseball bat. Even after it seemed I'd learned these basic offensive moves, the drunks kept coming and coming ... and coming.

Most games include some kind of life-bar that indicates how close an enemy is to death. But The Warriors' game mechanics made it difficult to discern how close I was to dispatching these combatants. At one point, I concentrated all my blows on a single, dim-witted soul, hitting him over and over and over—what seemed like hundreds of times. Still, zombie-like, he kept getting up for more.

Perhaps 20 minutes into administering this mindless, pointless beating to homeless men, I thought, This is entertainment? As I kept playing, that initial (and upon reflection, justified) revulsion slowly morphed into something I'm positive the game's designers didn't intend: boredom. The sheer gratuity of the game's violence left me detached and disinterested in proceeding any further.

Nevertheless, I wonder if everyone who plays The Warriors will respond that way. It's worth considering how those who engage in hour upon hour of this interactive "entertainment" will eventually be shaped by it. It's impossible for me to believe games such as this one can contribute anything of value to the way its players view real human beings.

Survival of the Fittest: The Game
On a philosophical plane, The Warriors is the latest entry in an emerging genre of urban fighting games that illustrate social Darwinism: Protect your turf, and kill everyone else. Only your survival matters. Other similar M-rated titles, such as 50 Cent: Bulletproof and True Crime: New York City, strive to outdo one another in terms of violence, bloodshed and profanity. They differ slightly in their execution, but the overall effect is the same as what I experienced with The Warriors—excess piled upon excess, to the point of vacuous, sadistic absurdity.

As our Plugged In team reviews movies, TV, music and video games, we work hard to give credit where it's due. Even in products with objectionable content, we try to identify positive messages. But there is simply nothing positive to say about The Warriors and its ilk, games that glorify soul-numbing cruelty and all manner of futile, self-destructive behaviors.

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


Xbox, PlayStation 2, PSP


Rockstar Games


On Video

Year Published



Adam R. Holz Kevin Simpson

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!