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

In 1984, Jeff Bridges portrayed a genial visitor from another world in Starman. Seventeen years later, it seems the interplanetary tables may be turned. In K-PAX, Bridges plays a Manhattan-based psychiatrist who comes face-to-face with Prot, a nice guy who looks and sounds human, but claims to be vacationing from a home 1,000 light-years away. Is Prot for real? Does he actually shuttle back and forth across the galaxy on rays of light? Or is he a convincing delusional who just happens to possess a superhuman knowledge of astronomy, as well as the ability to see ultraviolet light and remain unaffected by certain drugs? (Don’t worry, I won’t tell.) As scientists and psychiatrists ponder the evidence, Prot quietly has a miraculously positive impact on the mental hospital’s other residents. Whereas the doctors offer them drugs, Prot offers them hope. In fact, he says he’ll take one person with him when he returns to K-PAX on July 27 at 5:51 a.m. eastern time, causing quite a stir among his fellow patients. Meanwhile, the closer Dr. Mark Powell gets to Prot, the more he genuinely wants to help him, solve this mystery and—if his hunch is correct—rescue his new patient from a deeply hidden secret. But he has to do it before time runs out.

positive elements: As Dr. Powell’s colleagues, who’ve just been introduced to Prot’s case, jump to cynical diagnoses and propose using experimental drugs on him, Powell rises to his defense, suggesting, "How about getting to know him first?" Prot is kind, optimistic, accommodating and interested in the lives of others—a contrast to the professional, clinical interest the doctors seem to take in their patients. Workaholism is shown as destructive to family relationships. Rachel Powell has a firm grip on her clan’s emotional needs, and lovingly encourages Mark to reconsider his priorities. Prot does the same. When Dr. Powell asks if he might someday see K-PAX, Prot responds, "You should see more of your world. In fact, you should see more of your own family." It sparks a reunion between the psychiatrist and his college-age son (the two haven’t spoken in some time). There’s a lot here about not taking one’s family for granted. On K-PAX, the society at large raises children rather than the mother and father, making the traditional nuclear family a nonentity there. So when Prot visits the Powell home and discusses "biological connections" with Rachel, she tells him, "You don’t know what you’re missing." A pathophobic (deathly afraid of harmful bacteria) freed from his psychosis concludes, "Dying is something you have no control over. Why waste your life being afraid of it?" It’s implied that sensitivity and hope can do more to cure mental illness than prodding and pills—a subtle, yet powerful illustration of why Christians holding the keys of life must share them with people who need Jesus.

spiritual content: Prot indicates that Jesus and Buddha might have been onto something by expressing pacifist views. When a mental patient hoping to accompany Prot to his home planet asks if he can take his Bible to K-PAX, the answer is, "of course." There’s also evidence that Prot spent time at a Salvation Army shelter before arriving in New York. Such indications that he is familiar with and sympathetic to Christianity are great if Prot is indeed an alien gathering philosophical truth, but if he’s really mentally ill, they could suggest that he’s a sick man who found little help from those ideologies. Dr. Powell’s big breakthrough with Prot comes as a result of hypnotizing him, a spiritually dubious practice treated here as a viable tool for diagnosing a person’s state of mind. While praising Christ’s take on nonviolence (recommended in Matthew 5:35-42), Prot says that the "eye for an eye" idea is "stupidity" (a bit harsh considering God divinely gave that law to Moses for a reason in Exodus 21:23-25). Near the end of the film, a line seems to promote the concepts of karma and reincarnation until a follow-up line all but contradicts it.

sexual content: Prot explains to Dr. Powell why K-PAXian reproduction isn’t nearly as pleasurable as it is on earth. There���s a reference to a violent rape.

violent content: A woman is mugged in a train station. There’s talk of one mental patient trying to strangle another. While under hypnosis, Prot lunges for Dr. Powell’s throat. Prot talks about the way cows are slaughtered. The film’s most disturbing scene, while not unduly graphic, flashes back to (and describes) the brutal rape and double-murder of a man’s wife and young daughter.

crude or profane language: There are just over two dozen profanities, including five s-words and one f-word (if you don’t count a rapid series of six or seven incidental uses of "bulls---" by a yammering mental patient).

drug and alcohol content: On several occasions, psychiatrists prescribe drugs as a knee-jerk response for stabilizing the mentally ill. Powell’s wife asks him to pick up a bottle of wine for dinner. Beer and wine are consumed at a backyard barbecue. As they say goodbye, Prot and Dr. Powell drink Scotch.

other negative elements: When Dr. Powell asks Prot how people on his planet distinguish between right and wrong, he naively replies, "Every being in the universe knows right from wrong" without implying that there’s any universal moral standard or consequences for violating it. He also suggests that individuals are entirely self-aware and self-sufficient with the comment, "All beings have the capacity to heal themselves."

conclusion: Any movie with a "hug your kids" homily that tells viewers not to take their families for granted deserves a round of applause. At first, we’re left to wonder if Prot’s description of socialist child-rearing on K-PAX ("It Takes a Village ..." sans parents) is going to be positioned as a preferable model. Fortunately, it isn’t. Quite the contrary. Dr. Powell learns a valuable lesson about the fragile glass menagerie that is the home, and takes steps to make every moment count. But aside from that message, prolonged reflection on K-PAX will likely yield sadness and frustration. Sadness because the film ends on a decidedly bittersweet note (more bitter than sweet). Frustration because, once fully clued in on Prot’s background, certain moments from throughout the story defy logic and seem like nothing more than red herrings inserted to keep the audience in "is he or isn’t he?" mode.

Kevin Spacey reminds us why he’s one of the finest actors of his generation. His performance is worth the price of admission. That and the film’s pro-family sentiment are the best things about K-PAX, which is a thoughtful piece of entertainment. But it’s one that (as Steven Spielberg’s A.I. learned earlier this year) may stumble at the box office for failure to leave people seeking an escapist sci-fi fairy tale truly uplifted. It’s a dim rainbow without the hoped-for pot of gold. Beyond the movie’s moving, yet disappointing conclusion, many families will object to moments of implied brutality, harsh language and the treatment of hypnosis as a handy crowbar for prying into the human mind. K-PAX isn’t a bad film, but it certainly doesn’t live up to the potential of its premise.

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





Kevin Spacey as Prot; Jeff Bridges as Dr. Mark Powell; Alfre Woodard as Dr. Claudia Villers; Mary McCormack as Rachel Powell


Iain Softley ( )


Universal Pictures



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!