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

It's 1961, and East-West relations are tense. Like, Tom Brady-Roger Goodell tense.

Nikita Khrushchev is pounding podiums with his shoe. John F. Kennedy is tossing around the Nuclear Football. The Soviet Union gobbles up countries like moon pies, and Americans dig fallout shelters in their backyards right next to the grill. This isn't just a slightly chilly section of the Cold War: This is a let's-live-in-a-Frigidaire-on-Pluto-and-bring-along-some-dry-ice-while-we're-at-it Cold War. If the United States and Russia were suburban neighbors, you'd bet there would've been plenty of toilet paper in the trees and rotten eggs splattered on doorsteps.

Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin would be prime international TP'ers if they had their way. Napoleon, CIA agent extraordinaire, is everything Mother Russia thinks it hates about America: He's gratingly handsome, disturbingly corrupt and unabashedly materialistic. And it would surprise few 1960s-era Americans that KGB operative Illya is a borderline psychotic (spychotic?) with a love of chess and some serious father issues. Sure, the two spooks share a mutual respect. They've even run into each other a time or two. Literally. But they get along about as well as Kanye West and Taylor Swift at an MTV sleepover.

Or they would if it wasn't for the Nazis.

If there's anything Americans hate worse than Communists in 1961, it's Nazis. Give a Nazi a fork, they figure, and he'll threaten the U.N. General Secretary with its bristling tines. Give a Nazi a throw pillow, and he'll proceed to pummel the nearest third-world country with it.

Now, it seems, a strange splinter group with Nazi-like tendencies is trying to build a nuclear bomb, using the expertise of a captured German scientist to do so.

As much as America and the Soviet Union may hate each other, they'd sure like to still have a world in which to hate. So their respective governments formally introduce Illya and Napoleon, and give them an unprecedented joint mission: With the help of the scientist's beautiful daughter, find the bomb and put an end to this Nazi mischief.

Yes, it seems, the Cold War's chilliest combatants have decided, if just temporarily, that it's time to bury the hatchet. Let's just hope Napoleon and Illya don't try to bury it in each other.

Positive Elements

You can't take too much issue with gentlemen trying to save the world from nuclear destruction, can you? The fact that these two guys are so different, I suppose, makes their partnership all the more inspiring. Sure, they may have different philosophies, different outlooks and wildly different tailors. But they still find enough commonality to do the job as it needs to be done—and indeed, discover a wellspring of friendship while they're at it.

Illya also develops a certain affection for the scientist's daughter, Gaby. They're aided in this by their cover story—that he's a Russian architect and she's his fiancée. But given the lengths to which Illya goes saving the woman illustrates that she's more important to him than just a job.

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Napoleon's last name may be Solo, but that doesn't mean he spends many evenings alone. He's a chronic womanizer, and it's suggested he has two intimate encounters here. One is with a hotel employee who walks around his room in nothing but lacy, diaphanous panties. (We see her from the rear and side.) The other is the prime villain, with whom he shares a session of moaning and panting and floor shaking. (We hear them from the room below.)

Illya and Gaby, who is drunk at the time, lovingly "wrestle" and intertwine before she passes out. Later we observe Illya reaching under Gaby's dress to adjust a listening device that she has strapped to her upper thigh. There's talk of prostitution and being "easy." Cads flirt with the supposedly engaged Gaby. Women wear sultry outfits.

Violent Content

An old Nazi doctor referred to as "the fifth horseman, doctor of the Apocalypse" earned lasting fame as a practitioner of torture, and he clearly loves his work. He brags about it and shows off pictures of his victims. Others say he enjoys working slowly. Blood trickles from a man's nose after the doctor straps him to a chair that blasts electricity through him.

Eventually the tables turn. The doctor is strapped into his own device and electrocuted. While his death was not intentional, neither Napoleon nor Illya seem particularly broken up about it.

Several people are shot and killed here. One is executed at close range. (We see the body on the floor.) Others are taken down via sniper. A man is stabbed to death, and blood flows from his mouth. Illya performs what he calls "The Kiss" on a guard—rendering him unconscious while leaving him standing. Fights break out, sometimes with policemen. Someone threatens to kill every living relative Napoleon has. Someone nearly drowns. Illya chokes Napoleon. The two fight in a men's bathroom, crashing through stall walls.

A bomb explodes on a ship. A truck plunges into the water. Cars crash and are ripped up. We see footage from World War II, as well as from Cold War conflicts.

Crude or Profane Language

One or two uses each of "a--," "d--n," "h---," "p---y" and "balls."

Drug and Alcohol Content

As mentioned, Gaby gets drunk. When Illya snidely asks if he should get her a bigger glass for her whiskey, she says she plans to finish the bottle that evening: The only question is whether Illya will help her. (He won't.) Napoleon drinks Scotch laced with a sedative. Others are shown imbibing wine, champagne and hard liquor. One woman says she's been on a champagne and caviar diet for three weeks. People smoke. A dossier reveals that someone was a "former alcohol and opium addict."

Other Negative Elements

We see Napoleon's boss relieve himself at a urinal (from the back). Illya threatens to put Gaby over his knee.

A former jewel and art thief, Napoleon uses his light fingers at a fancy shindig. And it's stated that he's supplementing his income through not strictly legal means. His dossier says he's a gambler.


Director Guy Ritchie is known for his visual panache, and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.—based on the 1960s television series—is all about image and fashion and music and how the thing feels. But while it's strong on style, it shirks story.

It's hard not to compare The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, which arrived in theaters just a few weeks ahead of it. Both have a clear appreciation for early James Bond flicks and the tense, groovy 1960s. And both are, within their genre at least, relatively restrained when it comes to outright objectionable content. Foul language, violent conflict and needless sensuality are present, to be sure. Still, it's rare to see a PG-13 action movie that tallies fewer curse words than you can count on a hand or two.

But whereas Ethan Hunt and his fellows in Mission Impossible feel like real people who thus engage in real heroism (a few high-flying stunts excepted), Ritchie's U.N.C.L.E. feels about as real as a music video. Its prime characters are not so much good or righteous or even likeable as they are cool and smooth and beautiful—moving tableaus less concerned with saving the world than they are what they look like while doing it.

I said earlier that it's hard to take issue with folks trying to save the world. And yet this film doesn't feel particularly heroic. It feels strangely cynical, and its pseudo aversion to cursing—while welcome—can't completely ameliorate the moral hole at its core.

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



Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo; Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin; Alicia Vikander as Gaby; Elizabeth Debicki as Victoria; Luca Calvani as Alexander; Sylvester Groth as Uncle Rudi; Hugh Grant as Waverly


Guy Ritchie ( )


Warner Bros.



Record Label



In Theaters

August 14, 2015

On Video

November 17, 2015

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!