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

Movie Review

Any Maine fisherman knows that "the bedroom" is more than where he lays his head at night. It’s also the part of a lobster trap where, having entered, the unfortunate crustacean can no longer back out. And traps have to be checked often because, if more than two lobsters get stuck in the bedroom, they fight to destroy each other.

Seafaring Frank Fowler finds himself trapped in more ways than one. A recent high school graduate, he’d be content to work on a fishing rig forever. But his physician father wants him to get an Ivy League education, and his mother just wants to control his life. On top of that, he’s dating Natalie, a woman who is several years his senior with two children and a divorce that’s not quite final. Lately, her husband Richard has been hanging around, and he’s increasingly volatile. The metaphor is set. There are too many people in Frank’s bedroom, and things are about to get messy.

It sounds like a setup for a blunt-force trauma thriller, but In the Bedroom doesn’t go there. Instead, it’s the Fowlers’ sleepy New England hometown that sets the pace. It’s breathtaking, but soberingly realistic. Sunny pastoral and maritime scenes are balanced by lawns that aren’t manicured and trees that want pruning. Layered into the beautiful cinematography is a story that’s understated and carefully paced.

Frank repeatedly tells his mother that he’s not serious about Natalie ("It’s just a summer thing"). But he continues to pursue her, and things get more serious than he intends. A frantic phone call from one of Natalie’s boys brings it all to a head. Richard is in the house and he’s treating Natalie roughly. The boys are scared. Frank, exhibiting maturity beyond his years, comes to the rescue and almost manages to diffuse the situation, then takes a bullet in the head. And that’s where In the Bedroom begins its study of grief and family relationships.

What happens to a marriage when tragedy occurs? How can the world go on when your life is falling apart? Bitterness. Rage. Helplessness. Confusion. Matt and Ruth Fowler—phenomenally portrayed by Tom Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek—bare the souls of a couple who have been wounded beyond belief or consolation by the death of their son. Everyday life is a biting irony. Coping mechanisms are counter-productive. And in desperation to do something some people make choices that can't be undone.

positive content: The lessons to be gleaned from In the Bedroom stem not from characters who set a good example, but from an open invitation to learn from their mistakes. Among them: 1) Destructive patterns established early in marriage may be easy to ignore for a while, but when a crisis hits, they become huge liabilities. 2) Honest communication between spouses is essential to the success of a marriage. 3) The consequences of divorce are far-reaching. 4) Parents shouldn’t try to live their lives through their children. 5) The choice of a dating partner shouldn’t be a casual decision.

spiritual content: With a plot that begs for comfort of an eternal nature, it’s disappointing that In the Bedroom shies away from spiritual answers. The priest who officiates at Frank’s funeral and offers periodic counsel is of the bland sort who never talks about God or the supernatural.

sexual content: Dr. and Mrs. Fowler are shown in bed several times, mostly just talking. His puns often play as double entendre, but they’re not over-the-top. Frank and Natalie are shown kissing, but never in bed together (still, it is understood by everyone that they are having sex, even though she is still married to Richard). Elsewhere, a middle-aged man ogles Natalie, and in the heat of an argument, Ruth accuses Matt of encouraging Frank’s relationship with Natalie because he secretly yearned for her too.

violent content: We hear—but don’t see—Richard shoot Frank. Afterward, a gruesome close-up of Frank’s destroyed face is shown. Also, a man is shot three times at close range, but the lighting is low and the scene is not bloody.

crude or profane language: About 10 uses of the f-word, often as slang for sex. A handful of s-words and a dozen other milder profanities also crowd their way into the story. God’s name is repeatedly taken in vain, including multiple uses of Jesus and Jesus Christ as swear words.

drug and alcohol content: Beer and wine are consumed with meals. The priest drinks beer at a picnic. Matt goes to a bar several times and Ruth accuses him of drinking to drown his sorrows (we never see him drunk). Natalie smokes cigarettes, and after Frank’s death, Ruth becomes a chain smoker.

other negative elements: Matt and his friends play poker for small stakes.

conclusion: The career-driven dad; the controlling, unresponsive wife; the son who bucks his parents’ expectations; the single mom looking for new love; the angry ex-husband. We’ve seen these people in so many movies that they’ve become stock characters. But In the Bedroom is not a story of straw men and razor-thin personalities. Each mind is complex. Each heart is capable of unexpected things. This film’s deep character development, mature emotional content and reserved pacing remove it from the realm of interest for most teenagers, but it is exactly these elements, along with masterful acting and captivating camera work that put it on the short list for Oscar nods. As such, many movie aficionados (teen and otherwise) will be sure to watch it.

In the Bedroom’s treatment of grief, crisis, dysfunction and the human heart is so deep and thought provoking (not to mention emotionally exhausting) that, in its throes, it is difficult to predict how it will conclude. When it did, sadly, I was more than a little disappointed. Though the climax doesn’t fall squarely into the typical Hollywood pattern, it’s still too formulaic to be worthy of the film’s first two hours, which are so far removed from big budget triteness. But my qualms aren’t rooted solely in critical analysis. The ending (which I won’t reveal here) is also morally problematic. Added to harsh language and the intensity of murder, it will prove a strong deterrent for families.

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





Tom Wilkinson as Dr. Matt Fowler; Sissy Spacek as Ruth Fowler; Nick Stahl as Frank Fowler; Marisa Tomei as Natalie Strout; William Mapother as Richard Strout; William Wise as Willis Grinnell; Celia Weston as Katie Grinnell


Todd Field ( )


Miramax Films



Record Label



In Theaters

On Video

Year Published



Lindy Keffer

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!