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

Who is John Galt?

That question continues to haunt plucky protagonist Dagny Taggart as the curtain opens on Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike. Dagny, as we learned in the first installment (Atlas Shrugged) of this cinematic adaptation of Ayn Rand's 1957 novel, is among a handful of determined capitalists struggling to stave off complete economic and social collapse—a collapse, they believe, that's being hastened if not engineered by a government bent on mandating "fairness" and "equality" at the expense of free enterprise and entrepreneurial ingenuity.

Joining Dagny in her struggle against the government's increasingly zealous regulation of just about everything is her illicit lover, billionaire steel manufacturer Henry Rearden; longtime friend and copper mine owner Francisco d'Anconia; and coal mine operator Ken Danagger. Arrayed against her are a constellation of foes, including rabid government regulator Wesley Mouch; her brother, James, the ostensible head of her family's railroad company; and Rearden's scheming wife, Lillian.

But there's more going on than just massive unemployment (24%), stratospheric gas prices ($42 a gallon) and nonstop protests by the poor. Even as Dagny struggles to keep Taggart Transcontinental Rail solvent, intrepid captains of industry, as well as artists, inventors and others who care about excellence, just keep … disappearing.

And it all has something to do with the mysterious man known as John Galt.

Meanwhile, Dagny has also discovered a mysterious motor—a motor, it seems, that runs off latent static electricity and holds the promise to create enough power to power, well, everything. If only she could find its creator so she could get it working again! But time is running out as the global economic crisis goes from bad to worse, prompting the government to start nationalizing companies … such as her own.

Positive Elements

Dagny and Rearden's continued resistance to governmental takeover is depicted as heroic as they cling tenaciously to their vision of capitalism's virtues.

When a government scientist suggests to Dagny that she patent the motor, she replies, "I don't want credit for something I didn't create." The scientist responds with something akin to awe, saying that she's a person of "uncommon character." Dagny's character is perhaps also evident in her growing awareness of the poverty all around her. Repeatedly we see her furrow her brow as she looks at poor protesters and other reminders of the savage toll the economy's fall has taken on people. It's unclear exactly what she's thinking, but it seems at the very least that she longs for a world in which all citizens might have a chance to find meaningful work and provision. (It's an inference I make based on her generously rewarding the hard work of one of her current employees.)

Elsewhere, Rearden risks his life to save a man in an industrial accident. The metal magnate also refuses to be intimidated or cowed by government agents' intimidating tactics. (The determination of whether or not he goes too far in his refusal to cooperate with new laws has everything to do with one's politics: If one deems the government evil in its long-armed tactics, Rearden is guilty of nothing more than standing firm in his patriotic duty to protect freedom. If not, then he is surely overstepping his rights as a citizen.)

Spiritual Content

Just before a cataclysmic train accident, a dispatcher suggests that the only thing left to do is pray.

Sexual Content

Dagny and Rearden continue the affair they began in the first film. They're briefly shown in bed together. (She's wearing a clingy camisole; he's still fully dressed.) Their kiss and rolling embrace fades to black.

Rearden is later shown returning to his own room, where his wife interrogates him about his whereabouts the night before. She knows he's having an affair, but she refuses to let him divorce her (as he'd like to do) because she's clinging to the power and influence that being his wife affords her. She calls him a "hypocrite" and a "lying, cheating man who can't keep his pants zipped." He replies coolly, "You're entitled to that."

James is shown in bed with his wife. (She's wearing a low-cut negligee.) Several female characters, Dagny included, wear cleavage-revealing tops.

Violent Content

Trains collide explosively in a tunnel. Tanker cars full of flammable material fly off the tracks into tunnel walls, sparking a conflagration that collapses the structure (we see) and kills (we hear later) all of the estimated 400 people aboard the two trains. An airplane crashes, breaking into pieces, some of which explode and burn.

Two other incidents also involve fire. An accident at Rearden's steel mill results in molten metal spilling onto the floor, triggering a blaze that shuts down the factory. (We see one man's arms on fire, and Rearden jumps to save another man from a falling beam.) A copper mine is destroyed by explosions, and we see fire shooting out of holes in the ground.

James is jostled roughly by protestors as he gets out of his limo and tries to walk into his New York City office. Someone observes that humans will always subjugate their fellows, and if not by way of money, then it will be with blood, whips and chains.

Crude or Profane Language

God's named is abused four or five times; three times it's paired with "d‑‑n." "H‑‑‑" is said four times, "d‑‑n" five times and "a‑‑" three times, while "b‑‑ch" and "b‑‑tard" are spoken once each.

Drug and Alcohol Content

People drink wine and champagne in several scenes. The camera zooms in on two still-smoldering cigarettes in an ashtray.

Other Negative Elements

An official blackmails Rearden into signing over his company to the government by confronting him with compromising pictures of Rearden and Dagny kissing. Rather than submit to government regulations and ownership of his company, d'Anconia masterminds the destruction of his copper mines, a ploy that not only destroys his company but further hobbles the already ailing world economy as well.

Rearden is proud of his completely self-interested motivations, bragging, "I do not recognize the good of others as justification for my existence."


In Ayn Rand's vision of the world, there are two kinds of people: There are those who create, who produce, who imagine a better future and who work hard to make that future happen; and there are the parasites who live off the wealth and value those entrepreneurs create. Throughout this story, industrialist Henry Rearden minces no words in describing people in the second category: "Thieves," "burglars" and "looters," he calls them, spitting the words from his mouth in contempt.

Unfettered capitalism can, as the film claims, free and motivate individuals to give their best efforts. And productive labor certainly benefits society as a whole as people pursue their own individual interests. In contrast, a government that grows too heavy-handed (illustrated by excessive taxes, burdensome business regulations, forced income redistribution and control of the markets) saps individuals and corporations of their motivation, contributes to cultural malaise and ultimately blunts the pursuit of excellence—even as the very imbalances and inequities that are supposed to be vanquished grow ever more obvious.

But the world Rand has imagined in Atlas Shrugged could hardly be more starkly defined and divided. There's no nuance here; no three-dimensional characters. It's an approach that lends itself to the film's increasingly melodramatic—and occasionally profane and sensual—take on the schism between heroic, die-hard capitalists and a nefarious government bent on assimilating everything in its misguided slouch toward full-on communism.

Lest anyone somehow miss the impossible-to-miss pro-capitalism theme woven throughout Atlas Shrugged II, its credits close with this quote from Rand: "Money is the barometer of society's virtue." For Rand, a noted atheist, a culture's accumulated wealth (and the power, influence and possessions that inevitably go with it) was the only thing that mattered. Anything that hindered such acquisition—the public good included—deserved stern scrutiny and sharp censure. Given that, the story continues to argue, the only proper stance is to fight for more and to fight to the death against anyone who might try to take it from you.

Rand's is certainly a conversation-provoking perspective … as well as a doggedly materialistic one that leaves little room for spiritual considerations in an utterly political landscape.

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





Samantha Mathis as Dagny Taggart; Jason Beghe as Henry Rearden; Esai Morales as Francisco d'Anconia; Patrick Fabian as James Taggart; Kim Rhodes as Lillian Rearden; Richard T. Jones as Eddie Willers; Paul McCrane as Wesley Mouch; John Rubinstein as Dr. Floyd Ferri; Robert Picardo as Dr. Robert Stadler; Ray Wise as Head of State Thompson; Diedrich Bader as Quentin Daniels; Bug Hall as Leonard Small; Arye Gross as Ken Danagger; D.B. Sweeney as John Galt; Sean Hannity as Himself


John Putch ( )


Atlas Distribution Company



Record Label



In Theaters

October 12, 2012

On Video

February 19, 2013

Year Published



Adam R. Holz

Content Caution

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!