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

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

Caroline Found was the best.

Everyone from Iowa City West High School thought so, especially her teammates on the volleyball team. Caroline—called "Line" by her friends—wasn't just the team's setter. Not just its captain. She was the squad's smiling, shouting, beating heart, always with a smile or joke at the ready. Her zest for life was unbridled, contagious. She didn't just lead the team to a state championship in 2010: She lifted them there.

"This is our year, Kel," she tells her best friend, Kelly, in 2011. "Our year."

And then, without warning, Line was gone—her life snuffed out aboard a moped she wasn't supposed to ride.

For some, it was as if the sun clicked off.

Her father, Ernie, is the first to hear the news. He's alone when the police come to his door, and he crumples into their arms when he hears.

Coach Kathy Bresnahan is in bed when she learns. She grieves as deeply as almost anyone. But at Line's funeral, she can't even shake Ernie's hand. She leaves the reception and runs away, back to her gym and to her game plans.

And Kelly … well, she feels as if her right arm's been cut off. Line had always been the instigator, the encourager, the sometimes troublemaker. Without her, Kelly feels not just lost, but incomplete. How can the volleyball season go on? How can life itself move forward?

Coach Bresnahan tells Kelly that the team's looking to her to know how to react, how to take the next step. "Even with everything going on in her life, [Line] played volleyball," the coach tells her. "I think we need to play volleyball."

But the court stays empty. Ernie holes up in his house. Kelly cries in the bathroom. The first game after Line's death: a forfeit. The team couldn't bear to show up.

But Kelly realizes that that's no way to honor her friend. "Line would've hated [forfeiting]," Kelly tells her teammates. "The thought of playing volleyball again makes me physically ill, but I'm going to do it."

And so she does. So they all do. And if you read the movie's title, you know what comes next.

Positive Elements

Anyone who's truly experienced grief—the loss of a child, a parent, a best friend—knows how cataclysmic it can feel. How life itself can seem drained of color and meaning. To move past grief can take more than time: It can take a Herculean will to move forward. But that's just what we see from the main characters in The Miracle Season. While still grieving a beloved young woman’s death, each of these characters, in their own unique ways, decides to live a little like Line.

Take Kelly, long the quiet sidekick in Line's superhero epic. In Line's absence, she gradually and gracefully assumes the mantle of leadership for the team. She's still quiet, make no mistake. But she exhorts and encourages her teammates just as Line had done, pushing them to work, perform, achieve and—in the end—even have a little fun.

Coach Bresnahan embraces Line's legacy, as well. The taciturn coach has long avoided every party, eschewed every show of intimacy. But as the team rallies around Line's inspirational spirit, she begins to open up. "I'm sorry there's been so much pressure on you guys," she says. "I told you to win for Line, as if that would somehow make sense of how she died. … If we want to show how much we miss her, we should play—with joy."

Ernie, too, finds strength to go on, along with solace in those around him. At first, he has a hard time even watching a game. But eventually he becomes something of a rally point—encouraging the team and indeed the whole school to "Live Like Line." He also becomes a surrogate father of sorts to Kelly, too. When she expresses unease at taking Line's place as setter for the team, Ernie assures her that she's not replacing Line; she’s just doing what Line would've wanted her to do.

And when Kelly struggles with the idea of returning to competitive volleyball, Ernie encourages her to push forward. "All the handouts say to channel your anger and guilt into something," he tells her as he chops wood. "This is all I've found. Maybe you can find something better."

Spiritual Content

Line's death is, obviously, a devastating blow to Ernie. But his wife (and Line's mother) suffers from cancer, too. During Line's church-based funeral, Mrs. Found is wheeled to the sanctuary in a wheelchair, but she insists on walking in "on her own two feet." And when she gets to the casket, she leans over and says, "No matter what, we'll be together." The movie tells us that she died the next day.

This tragic double whammy does a number on Ernie's Christian faith. When a friend of his calls Ernie to offer his heartfelt condolences and wishes God's blessings on him, Ernie snaps. "God hasn't exactly shown up for me lately," he says, and hangs up the phone.

But that moment marks Ernie's lowest spiritual ebb. He later meets the same friend in church. "I think it's time for me to express some long overdue thanks," he tells his pal as they sit in a pew together. "I was so angry." Ernie goes on, talking about how blessed he feels to have had the love and companionship of both his wife and daughter. "I know how blessed I am," Ernie says. "I can't blame Him for wanting [Line] back," Ernie adds. "She's a keeper."

Sexual Content

Early in the movie, before Line dies, Ernie tells her that he's going to the hospital to visit her mother. Line jokes that maybe Dad's "getting lucky" with Mom. (They do kiss, but that's the most we see. "After all these years, we still got it," he says.)

Line also forces Kelly to introduce herself to a new (male) student. Both Line and Kelly ogle the guy a bit from the car. Later, at a party, Line quizzes Kelly about whether the two of them have kissed yet. (Kelly says no, but says that it's not out of the realm of possibility.)

They do become an item before the end of the film, and we see the couple kiss.

Violent Content

Line's accident takes place off camera: We hear that she was killed in a moped accident, but we see neither the crash nor its aftermath.

Crude or Profane Language

God's name is misused four times, along with a couple of near-uses (such as "for gar sakes"). Someone says "p-ss" and "sucked."

Drug and Alcohol Content

Someone jokes about the team's success being built on "good old steroid-fed Iowa beef." Two adults drink what one refers to as "champagne," though it looks a lot more like bottles of beer.

Other Negative Elements

Line doesn’t tell her father about the moped she's driving around. "Your dad is going to kill you," Kelly says. "Not if he never notices it," Line tells her. Line also makes a game of eating a whole pizza on an apparent dare as her teammates cheer her on. Coach Bresnahan is not amused, and she forces Line to spit it out (messily) in a waiting trashcan.


After Line dies, Kelly is torn by guilt. She goes to Ernie to confess what she believes was her culpability in Line's death: "I knew that Line had the moped," she says tearfully. "I knew that she was taking it to the hospital. If I had told you—"

Ernie cuts her off.

"If," he says. "Do you want to hear my list of ifs?"

If he hadn't taken such a hard line on mopeds, maybe he would've known she was using one. If he'd known, he could've at least made sure she was wearing a helmet. If he had taken Line to the hospital earlier in the day like she asked, she wouldn't have felt the need to drive there that evening.

If. If. If.

"There's no end to the ifs," he tells Kelly.

He's right.

We all have a lot of ifs lurking in our lives. If we had said this. If we hadn't said that. If we had just tried harder. If we just could have been more forgiving.

We all have regrets. Even if we haven't lost a daughter to a tragic accident ourselves, we all have regrets. And they have a way of gnawing at us.

The Miracle Season, based on a true story, offers viewers a lot, from its strong performances to its inspirational narrative. But most of all, this drama reminds us that dwelling on the ifs in life is no way to live it. We can't concentrate on the misstep we just took: We have to think about the next step. The only way forward is through.

It's a rare film that I don't feel iffy about recommending, by the way, but I feel like I can recommend this one with little reservation. While it's not perfect, either aesthetically or from a content perspective, The Miracle Season keeps its nose pretty clean and its story pretty compelling. And while I wouldn't want to tell you whether to see it, I'm glad that I did.

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





Erin Moriarty as Kelly; Helen Hunt as Kathy Bresnahan; William Hurt as Ernie Found; Danika Yarosh as Caroline 'Line' Found; Jason Gray-Stanford as Scott Sanders


Sean McNamara ( )


LD Entertainment



Record Label



In Theaters

April 6, 2018

On Video

July 31, 2018

Year Published



Paul Asay

Content Caution

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!