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.


    No Rating Available

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

Imagine a world in which the biggest draw to collegiate stadiums is the battle between marching bands, not football teams. Imagine a world that allows these bands unlimited time to compete, oblivious to referees’ whistles and flags. Then imagine 70,000 fans not using halftime to secure a hotdog or visit the restroom, but focusing their undivided attention on the field. Drumline pictures just such a world.

Devon is a hotshot drummer, fresh out of high school and highly recruited by Atlanta A&T. But he carries a "big" secret: He can’t read music—a violation of AA&T’s cardinal rule. Still, he plays so well by ear that he’s able to hide it. AA&T has an extraordinary marching band headed by band director Dr. Lee. Lee delegates power to section leaders, giving them the authority to train students using a military boot camp approach. Section leaders come across as drill sergeants, doling out pushups and cleaning details as punishments. Lee’s old-school style isn’t restricted to his classical command structure. It also affects his music choices. He prefers songs such as "Flight of the Bumblebee" over tunes currently positioned on Billboard’s singles charts; a quirk that frustrates faculty and fans alike.

Until Devon arrived on the scene, a boy named Sean had been the band’s best drummer. But now this talented newbie is threatening his ego, not to mention his authority as percussionist section leader. It doesn’t help that Devon sports a big-time ’tude and fancies himself a Don Juan. But AA&T needs Devon if they’re going to knock out the perennial BET Big Southern Classic reigning champion Morris Brown College.

positive elements: When I was in school, band members were never given the respect they deserved. Drumline swings the pendulum as far the other way as possible, making talented band members the big men—and women—on campus. It’s as if quarterbacks wished they could play the tuba. While a happy medium would be nice, this picture does make being in the marching band not only seem worthwhile, but something young musicians should aspire to. And that’s not a bad message at all. The scenes featuring the bands competing portray first-class talent. In addition, Devon cares for his mother. He gives her flowers at his graduation. He calls her on the phone. And when he meets his father who abandoned the family, he’s quick to boast that he’s never been arrested and has earned a college scholarship. He wants his dad to realize he’s beaten the odds. When Devon fails to wake up his roommate for early practice, the whole band is punished by running laps—helping underscore the idea of teamwork. After Morris Brown’s band leader attempts to bribe Devon with an MBU scholarship in exchange for information about Dr. Lee’s plans, Devon refuses to compromise. [Spoiler Warning] Originally enemies, Sean and Devon become friends. I should note that although that’s a positive thing, it also feels forced and unnatural.

spiritual content: The band warms up to "When the Saints Come Marching In" on the first day of band practice. On one occasion Dr. Lee looks heavenward as if to thank the Lord.

sexual content: Two nightclub scenes feature students freak dancing. Female dancers often don short-shorts and extra-tight tops. Sensual dance moves (with camera angles calculated to accentuate them) are included in the bands’ routines. Sean claims that "playing drums is like making love—you can’t be looking down, getting your flow right." Coaching a fellow student in proper drum technique, Devon asks him, "When was the last time you got some?" He explains that you should "love your drum," demonstrating his point by grinding on the apparatus and letting loose sexual moans. Fortunately, Devon and his girlfriend don’t end up in bed, they just share a passionate kiss.

violent content: During a between-school drum battle, an opposing drum major throws a punch at Devon, resulting in a on-field melee.

crude or profane language: There are no fewer than a dozen s-words, plus a number of milder profanities. A bus driver repeatedly speaks of students "spanking that a--."

drug and alcohol content: At a party, students hold cups that may be filled with alcohol. A bus driver tells his passengers the band director needs a shot of booze because of his unpopular musical selections.

other negative elements: When Dr. Lee asks his band class if they would prefer to perform the music of LL Cool J or Snoop Dogg over more traditional band tunes, the students enthusiastically conclude they would. In one scene, Dr. Lee confronts Devon about lying on his application when he claimed to read music. Devon retorts, "I didn’t think it was that big of a deal."

conclusion: Drumline doesn’t push the PG-13 boundary very hard, but that not saying very much these days. It still allows for abrasive profanity, sexual jokes and sensual moves. But it’s not just objectionable content that one has to navigate. The filmmakers haven’t really given us characters we can solidly root for. Devon is a hard guy to like. Of course, we’re not supposed to like him at first because he’s all attitude and cockiness. Those things mellow and he does become more of a team player. But he’s still self-centered and shallow. He’s definitely not trying to change the world or even his school (which would have been nice). He’s just trying to be the best drummer at Atlanta A&T. Should we really be forced to care?

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



Nick Cannon as Devon; Zoë Saldana as Laila; Orlando Jones as Dr. Lee; Leonard Roberts as Sean; Afemo Omilami as President Wagner


Charles Stone III ( )


20th Century Fox



Record Label



In Theaters

On Video

Year Published


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!