WHY WE CARE


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."

YOUR STORIES


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!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

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.

PLUGGED IN RATING

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

Turn on the news on any given day, and you'll likely see images of war and terror play out in front of your eyes. Often, this mass destruction is unfolding in the Middle East, a region that has endured seemingly perpetual warfare and chaos, with religious conflicts sparking military ones.

In 1972, however, life was different in the Mediterranean nation of Lebanon, north of Israel. Mason Skiles, a CIA operative working undercover at a teaching fellowship in Beirut, lives there peacefully with his wife, Nadia; their adopted son, Karim (whom they've rescued while in Lebanon); and their friends Cal and Alice. Both Mason and Cal are valued agents, men who understand Middle Eastern culture and politics.

One evening as they host U.S. officials in their home, Cal tells Mason that there is a problem with 13-year-old Karim: He’s wanted for questioning. But it can’t be. He’s so … innocent?

Yet, before Mason has a chance to protest, shots echo from within his home. Frantically, he runs to find that his wife has been killed and that Karim has been abducted—by the boy's terrorist brother, Raffik. And just like that Mason's life changes forever.

Now, 10 years later, Mason is back in the States. A depressed alcoholic and widower, Mason runs a small legal firm and prefers to remain under the radar. Until one day, that is, when he’s contacted by a secret agent who asks him to return again to the place of his nightmares: Beirut. He reluctantly agrees.

Mason arrives to find that the civil war and the Palestine Liberation Organization have turned his beloved former home into a place of desolate terror.

And though he’d prefer to drink away his sorrows, he will have little time to do so, as he is tasked with a life-endangering mission: to negotiate the safe return of his long-forgotten friend, Cal, who's been taken hostage. It's a mission that requires skill, finesse and the ability to negotiate with terrorists. And not only will Mason risk his life to see it through, he'll have to face the demons of his past as well.

Positive Elements

Mason is a loyal man who works hard to see results, despite his many struggles and issues. He strives to protect those he cares about, including family, friends and the reputation of his country. As a CIA operative, he is decisive, resolute and efficient. After many years of depression and grief, Mason returns to Beirut to help his friend (even when it involves risking his own life). In Beirut, he meets a woman named Sandy who becomes one of the only U.S. officials that he can trust. Together, the two try to rescue Cal.

Because of the chaos of modern day Beirut, a woman decides to place her children in a safe country before returning to search for her missing husband.

Spiritual Content

A civil war has broken out in Lebanon, and the country has been destructively divided between different ethnic and religious groups that include Christians, Muslims and Palestinians. Syria and Israel are involved as well, the latter of which hopes to take over the country. Before the civil war, one man describes Lebanon as “Christians in one corner, Muslims in the other and Jack Daniel's in between.”

We see women wearing both hijabs (head coverings) and burqas (full-body coverings).

Sexual Content

Couples kiss. Women dance provocatively and wear some revealing clothing. Men are shirtless on the beach. Women are seen in bikinis both on the beach and on a deck of playing cards. Someone mentions that a powerful warlord keeps a prostitute in his apartment as a sex slave. A woman briefly mentions her affair with a married man.

Violent Content

Multiple countries drop bombs on Lebanon soil. Terrorists and other guerrilla organizations abuse, beat and shoot people on the streets. Soldiers, terrorists and CIA agents carry weapons. Buildings and vehicles explode (often injuring or killing people). Some people are executed in cold blood: One man is shot in the head, sending blood flying. We see his body being dragged away.

Someone shows pictures of dead bodies to a CIA agent. He's looking for a terrorist who is responsible for killing many innocent men, women and children. We hear that the casualties from the war number in the hundreds of thousands.

A prisoner of war endures extremely poor conditions in his cell. We see the carcass of a dead animal in a market. A warning sign in a hotel cautions against leaving in case of a terrorist attack. We see a coffin being carried away.

Crude or Profane Language

God’s name is misused seven times, including several pairings with “d--n," while Jesus’ name is misused eight times. There are more than 30 uses of the f-word, some paired with “mother.” “H---” is used 12 times. We hear several uses of the s-word. Other vulgarities include "a--," "b--ch" and "son of a whore."

Drug and Alcohol Content

Characters drink beer, hard liquor, wine and champagne in various settings (parties, hotel rooms and bars, etc.). A man known as an alcoholic carries a flask filled with liquor wherever he goes. A few people smoke cigars and cigarettes.

Other Negative Elements

Corrupt government officials treat people harshly and accept hefty bribes. Some people are quick to give up private and classified information if it benefits them. Men congregate to play cards and gamble.

Conclusion

Throughout history, Middle Eastern countries have frequently been torn apart by religion, war, violence and dictatorship. And in 1975, Lebanon was no different. As more and more Palestinians began to enter the country in the '70s, that immigration contributed to a costly civil war that spanned 15 brutal years and claimed the lives of countless citizens.

And that's exactly where Mason Skiles finds himself for much of this film: right in the middle of the chaos.

Beirut violently portrays what life must have been like for those in Lebanon during the country's civil war. It also deals with the difficulties in navigating political issues during those times. Violence and harsh profanity permeate the script of this historical thriller. But we get moments of redemption and reconciliation, too.

History fans may be curious about this film's take on Lebanon's tragic civil war. But if you're considering buying a ticket to Beirut, know that you'll have to navigate that city's war-torn streets and cratered culture along the way.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Rosamund Pike as Sandy Crowder; Jon Hamm as Mason Skiles; Mark Pellegrino as Cal; Dean Norris as Donald Gaines; Shea Whigham as Gary Ruzak; Douglas Hodge as Sully; Idir Chender as Karim Abou Rajal; Kate Fleetwood as Alice and Mohamed Attougui as Raffik

Director

Brad Anderson ( )

Distributor

Bleecker Street

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

April 11, 2018

On Video

July 3, 2018

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Kristin Smith

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults
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!