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.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Album Review

Rebecca St. James has been a household name in the Contemporary Christian Music world for almost two decades. Her younger brothers, who have served as her backing musicians? Perhaps not so much.

But that may be changing.

Born in Sydney, Australia, Joel and Luke Smallbone are the pop-rock duo For King & Country. And if the strong sales of their second full-length album are any indication—the disc spent its debut week camped out in the Top 3 on iTunes' album chart—they may soon be as well-known as their famous big sister.

Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong. features songs filled with faith references and encouragement to passionately trust God, artfully fusing those spiritual themes to an up-to-the minute, ambient and anthemic sound that brings to mind Imagine Dragons, OneRepublic, Coldplay and Switchfoot—not bad company at all for this fast-rising Christian band.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

"Run Wild" exhorts listeners to let go of mopey mediocrity ("The comfort of your misery you cherish dearly") and to appropriate the power of their true, courageous identity ("You're a lion full of power who forgot how to roar/You're an eagle full of beauty, but you can't seem to soar/ … Run wild, live free/Love strong, you and me"). The Smallbones encourage fans to flee the prison of regret ("To every soul locked in a cage/In the prison of your past mistakes/ … You can make your great escape"). And "Long Live" unpacks similarly faith-inspired carpe diem messages.

"Fix My Eyes" ponders how we might live life differently if given a second chance ("I'd love like I'm not scared/Give when it's not fair/Live life for another/Take time for a brother") and turns our gaze heavenward for courage and inspiration ("Find faith in the battle/Stand tall but above it all/Fix my eyes on You"). "To the Dreamers" inspires "broken … lonesome … homesick … wide-eyed believers" to keep "hanging on to hope by a thread."

The "Shoulders" mentioned in the song with that title are Jesus', and they're deemed a good place to rest our heads when life feels overwhelming. "No Turning Back" describes the forward-facing stance of those who were once beggars but now know they've been invited "into the courts of the King." "Steady" says of God's faithful presence, "You're a river, You cover me/When the bombs fall/You're the cavalry/ … You keep me steady." Echoing Psalm 19:1, "Already Home" unpacks how the starry night sky speaks of God's constant, attentive presence. "Matter" gently encourages those who've tasted defeat and brokenness to know that they matter deeply to their Creator and Savior. "It's Not Over Yet" delivers that same message to those battling despair in the dark. Album closer "O God Forgive Us" repents of fear and unbelief.

"Without You" features Luke's wife, Courtney, and articulates their absolute commitment to each other. Similarly, "This Is Love" ponders the possibility of lifelong love, come whatever may. We hear, "Richer or poorer/Better or worse/Could we be together?/Could we make it work?/If love is patient/And love is kind/Oh God, give me a sign." As the song continues, it builds on this wedding vow-like promise: "I'll kiss you only/Darling, I promise/To hold you gently/And still be the strongest/I'm yours completely/No matter what comes our way/I'll live you 'til the end of my days."

Objectionable Content


Summary Advisory

The last three years have delivered lots of life, both good and bad, to Joel and Luke Smallbone. In 2013, the band won a Dove Award for Best New Artist. Joel got married, while Luke and Courtney welcomed a son and battled through a digestive disease that threatened Luke's life.

Writing on the band's website about how his son inspired the band's latest album, Luke says, "A lot of my passion and zeal for life is because I have a wife who counts on me and a son who looks up to me and says 'Dada.' I can't believe how much love he has in his eyes when he says that word. I can see the complete trust and safety that my son feels when he is with me. When he began to walk, I often thought, if I could run wild like a one-year-old does and live a life that embraces adventure in that way, I think I would see life entirely differently."

As a result, Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong. clearly reflects the hearts of two faithful men determined to embrace life with zest and faith, and to inspire those who listen to do exactly the same thing.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range









Cracked the Top 3 on iTunes' album chart.

Record Label





September 16, 2014

On Video

Year Published



Adam R. Holz

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!