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

When the daughter of a neurotic Chicago podiatrist gets set to marry the son of a deep-cover CIA operative, it's the odd-couple dads who experience the most prenuptial stress. Circumstances are especially hard on poor Jerry, the foot doctor who gets dragged-kicking and screaming-into Steve's wild, dangerous world of international espionage. Obsessive though he may be, Jerry just wants to see his little girl have a memorable wedding. Steve wants to get to the church on time as well, but he's also busy trying to nail a notorious smuggler out to procure a Russian sub on the black market. Convinced that Steve is a rogue agent, the FBI doggedly pursues him, adding to the chaos. Needless to say, the hijinks crest just in time for the kids' big day.

positive elements: The film scolds absentee dads by making an issue of Steve's workaholism. He doesn't know his son's friends, can't recall where Mark went to college, and is constantly excusing himself from social gatherings so that he can "save the world." In the end he tells Mark, "You are my world." Jerry also admits to failures in fathering, mainly suffocating his daughter with loving control. Realizing that their families are in mortal danger, Steve and Jerry go on a suicide mission in order to save them.

spiritual content: On separate occasions, Steve alludes to "the almighty" and the "big man upstairs" as he expresses a belief in divine providence. The wedding ceremony is an odd hybrid of Jewish tradition and Buddhism (a female rabbi and a Buddhist monk are both in attendance). Mark's mom practices Eastern meditation.

sexual content: Weak attempts at comedy include remarks about pimps, hookers, masturbation, orgasms, strippers, penis size, sodomy and a foot fetish. The bridesmaid confesses to sleeping with the groom (which, after the initial shock wears off, doesn't seem to matter much to the bride). Mark's mother tells virtual strangers that the only redeeming thing about her ex-husband Steve was his prowess in bed. When Steve pays her a compliment at the end of the movie, you hope maybe they're about to give their marriage a second chance. No such luck. She replies suggestively, "I still hate you, but I do have a room back at the club." KC & The Sunshine Band sing "Get Down Tonight," which has sexual overtones ("do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight"). Although he claims to detest homosexuality as a rule, the effeminate French smuggler develops an attraction to Jerry that includes ludicrous come-ons and a stolen kiss. Jerry emerges from a hot tub in a revealing thong. Women wear skimpy bathing suits and show cleavage. Dressed down to panties, the bridesmaid sticks her backside into the camera. A business conversation between Steve and a strange woman in a bathroom stall plays out with a sexual double-meaning.

violent content: The opening sequence looks like something out of The Bourne Identity or a James Bond film. A man is shot to death, sparking a car chase that involves crashes and automatic weapons fire. The smuggler fires wildly at a fleeing traitor, missing him. He also surrounds himself with armed men. Bad guys of various persuasions rattle off rounds of ammunition without hitting much. A large wave knocks people around at a formal event. A plane crashes and burns. A submarine explodes. A man uses hand gestures to retell how Steve saved him in Vietnam by shooting the enemy in the head. Steve beats up an assailant in a rest room. He later judo-kicks guards and pulls a knife on them. A woman nails Jerry with a blow to the head and pulls a gun on him. She later knocks him cold with a single kick. The smuggler is a misogynist who admits to killing his wife, and shoves another woman out of a speeding boat.

crude or profane language: Just over two dozen profanities. The most egregious are one f-word, several s-words and exclamatory uses of God's name.

drug and alcohol content: There is frequent alcohol use at dinners, parties and business meetings. The bridesmaid gets plastered. Steve shoots a guard with a tranquilizer dart, gasses a car full of FBI agents, and slips a roofie in Jerry's drink to knock him out. The bad guy reportedly smuggles cocaine.

other negative elements: Deception, blackmail, theft and other tools of the spy trade imply that the end justifies the means. Jerry encourages his daughter to make her wedding day special with the comment, "This is the wedding you remember" (is he assuming she'll have others?).

conclusion: Brooks and Douglas have insisted that this film is not a remake of the similarly titled 1979 comedy starring Peter Falk and Alan Arkin. The studio's press notes say that it is. After seeing The In-Laws, the fact that the right and left hands aren't in agreement isn't a big surprise. It's indicative of the movie's incoherence. Not only is this comedy not very funny, but the lazy scripting and severely strained logic of several key scenes late in the film torpedo what little patience the audience has left. If all it took for the FBI to back off was Steve's climactic five-second explanation that he was a deep-cover operative, why did he wait so long to explain himself? There's no rational reason, except to prolong the chase. And what of Steve's associate, Angela? The critic's code forbids me from revealing a twist involving her, but let's just say it only makes sense for the sake of throwing the audience a late-breaking curveball. Toss in crude sexual references and I was ready to flee the theater. Serpentine! Serpentine!

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



Albert Brooks as Jerry Peyser; Michael Douglas as Steve Tobias; Robin Tunney as Angela Harris; Ryan Reynolds as Mark Tobias; Lindsay Sloane as Melissa Peyser; Candice Bergen as Judy Tobias


Andrew Fleming ( )


Warner Bros.



Record Label



In Theaters

On Video

Year Published



Bob Smithouser

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!