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 some people's eyes, Katherine Gun—a translator for the British Government Communications Headquarters—is nothing short of a hero. No, it's not because she deciphered some damaging Chinese or Russian intel, or anything like that. It's because she followed her conscience.

After encountering an NSA memo in early 2003 asking for information that would assist the U.S. and U.K. governments in leveraging reluctant members of the U.N. Security Council, Katherine balked. Well, OK … that's not completely true. Reading between the lines, the NSA memo was actually asking for dirt on those Security Council members to strong-arm them into supporting an Iraqi invasion.

Katherine, shocked by this official-but-secret request and its implied attempt to manipulate Britain into joining a war, makes a decision to do something about it: She leaks the GCHQ info to an old friend in the anti-war movement. She hopes it will get to the right people, be investigated somewhere by someone. Then the whole affair will blow up in the public square, and her conscience will be clear.

What happens instead is that the full memo ends up being published by a big London newspaper. And it isn’t long before investigations, and hard-boiled governmental officials, find their way back to one Katherine Gun.

Things do indeed blow up. But not exactly as she had imagined.

Not long after, a GCHQ colleague shows up at Katherine's door, ashamed that she didn't blow the whistle on the government's misdeeds. And Katharine comforts her, saying that this supportive friend didn’t do anything wrong.

Of course, the same can't be said for Katherine. She violated the terms of the Official Secrets Act, which is a pretty important law for GCHQ employees. In the government's eyes, Katherine became the equivalent of a spy spilling classified intel to the world. And that choice could well lead to public humiliation, the deportation of Katherine's husband and a long stretch of jail time.

Turns out being a conscientious hero ain't as great as it's cracked up to be.

Positive Elements

Katherine is convinced that U.S. and British government officials are lying about the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction that are allegedly present in Iraq. She's seen official documents that suggest as much. And she hates the idea of war, period.

So when the NSA suggests that something illegal might happening in that push-to-war pursuit, Katherine can't stay quiet any longer. "My motive was to stop war and save people," Katherine declares while being interrogated about her whistle-blowing actions.

Speaking out against injustice is the right thing to do. However, breaking the law isn't. And that's the moral fulcrum that this drama teeters on. In a way then, you could view this film as a cautionary tale about the potential consequences of taking illegal action. (That said, the film also goes to great lengths to justify Katherine's technically illegal choices, praising those choices as heroic because of her willingness to follow her conscience. Whether she comes across as a hero of villain here will likely be influenced by each viewer's political perspective.)

Spiritual Content

Katherine's husband , Yasar, is a Kurdish Muslim who's not yet an official British citizen. And that makes him something of a lightning rod in this story's post-9/11 setting.

Sexual Content

Katherine and Yasar cuddle and kiss in bed. It's implied that they're both unclothed, though we only see his bare upper torso and her bare shoulders. Later, we see Katherine in bed clothes.

A fellow GCHQ employee makes a snarky comment about listening to a secretly recorded, sexually tinged phone conversation.

Violent Content

We see TV reports and archival video footage depicting the war and destruction in Iraq. The film also uses shots of dead bodies juxtaposed against political speeches to emphasize the deadliness of and Kathrine's opposition to the war.

Crude or Profane Language

More than 20 f-words and three or four s-words join uses of "h---" and "a--hole." The British crudity "bloody" is spit out five times, and there are a couple of crude British slang references to the female anatomy. Jesus name is misused four times.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Several people smoke cigarettes.

Other Negative Elements

Lying is one of the central issues of this film. And you can spot it on both sides of the story's political tug of war. However, the story clearly condemns the deceptive, real-world political figures who lied and apparently sought to drive the world to war. Irked government officials push to have Yasar deported because of his wife's actions.


From this dramatic film's opening moments, it's no, uh, secret that Official Secrets is designed to spill the beans on instances of governmental subterfuge that you have likely never heard of. And it takes about 10 minutes of screen time to get the full gist of British whistle-blower Katherine Gun's story.

After that, actress Kiera Knightley diligently invests her portrayal of Katherine Gun with a mixture of quivering intensity and righteous passion. And director Gavin Hood applies all his directorial savvy to make this cinematic slice of political history into something … really important. In fact, several characters in the film actually pause at intervals to gaze directly at the camera and remind us of just how important it all is.

But truthfully, this is a very thin tale filled with more f-words and crudities than notable intrigue or dramatic high points. And even if you can steel yourself against the profane dialogue, you'll still be hard pressed to justify investing two hours of your soon-to-be history, and a nine dollar bucket of popcorn, in this would-be thriller.

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



Keira Knightley as Katharine Gun; Ralph Fiennes as Ben Emmerson; Matthew Goode as Peter Beaumont; Rhys Ifans as Ed Vulliamy; Adam Bakri as Yasar Gun; Matt Smith as Martin Bright


Gavin Hood ( )


IFC Films



Record Label



In Theaters

August 30, 2019

On Video

November 26, 2019

Year Published



Bob Hoose

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!