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

The man. The myth. The legend: Justin Timberlake.

OK, perhaps I'm exagerrating just a bit. But it's no exageration to to say that this pop icon's fifth solo album, Man of the Woods, is one of 2018's most highly anticipated releases. And Timberlake's 16-track effort (which is enjoying a post-Super Bowl halftime show sales bump, despite mixed reviews for that performance) definitely showcases some new¬—and surprising—sides of the renowned singer.

The album cover gives us our first hint that this is not going to be a "SexyBack" retread. Instead, it sports a '70s retro feel, picturing one half of J.T. in a flannel and jeans, the other half in a suit. The message? Perhaps it's that Timberlake is more than just a snazzy, suit-and-tie kind of guy. He's also an everyday kinda guy, the image implies, the kind who might just be bringing flannel back, too.

The songs themselves fuse funk, pop, rock, soul and even country elements. (Grizzled country crooner Chris Stapleton is perhaps the biggest surprise guest contributor here.) We even get a few tracks that touch on fatherhood, marriage and fidelity. That said, the man who brought us "SexyBack" isn't quite ready to let it go just yet.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

“Young Man” delivers some poignant life lessons for Justin’s young son, Silas, who is almost 3 (and whose little voice is featured here, too). Dad tells his little guy, "Beautiful boy, got it from your momma,” and he advises that one day, “You gon’ have to stand for something/... And even when you fall, don’t stay down.”

In “The Hard Stuff,” Justin reassures a woman (he's married to actress Jessica Biel) that while “anybody can be in love on a sunny day,” he's ready to face “the hard stuff/The kind that makes you real.” Elsewhere in that song, Timberlake references the Almighty's awareness of his character flaws when he sings, "My God knows I'm not the man that I want to be." And on “Flannel,” he promises to be “someone to lean on” while he and his wife work through past emotional damage.

“Morning Light” finds J.T. gushing about love: “And I say to myself, ‘In the whole wide world of guys/I must be the luckiest alive.’” In “Breeze off the Pond,” he claims, “I’d be foolish beyond words to lose you” as he says that his relationship is “solid as oak, so you know it’ll never blow away.” Similar themes of intimacy and cherished love can be heard in “Montana” and “Man of the Woods" as well.

"Supplies” promises a woman, “I’ll be the light when you can’t see/I’ll be the wood when you need heat.” And in “Hers,” Jessica Biel shares that her husband's shirt is like “armor, like a barrier from the world/It makes me feel like I’m his.”

“Livin’ off the Land” tells the story of a blue-collar worker who does all he can to provide for his family: “And I break my back/And I work all night/... I’m just one man doing the best that I can.” Meanwhile, “Midnight Summer Jam” is an ode to Timberlake's Southern roots: “It’s in the air, hospitality/Anything you want, what’s mine is yours/... Y’all can’t do better than this.”

In “Higher, Higher” Timberlake shares that even though “stress is cruel, fame’s a lie” he and his wife continue to grow stronger by “climbing, more to gain/Gettin’ higher.” And in “Wave” he wants to go with her “to an island/Like we did last year, catch a vibe,” as together they’re “getting better/Aging like your favorite wine.”

Objectionable Content

While we understand that Timberlake is seemingly a very happily married man (which is a good thing) he often shares intimate (and even explicit) sexual details from his marriage.

In “Sauce,” a woman “got all of it,” and she's equated to “god herself” causing Timberlake to exclaim, “It’s always loose screws when you get close to me." From there, lyrics offer thinly veiled visual references to her anatomy, details too suggestive to include here. And in “Filthy,” J.T. says he has his “swagger back” as he tells a woman “put your filthy hands all over me” and asks, “what you gonna do with all that meat?” (the latter line an apparent reference to her body). He also warns, "No, this ain’t the clean version.”

In “Man of the Woods," Timberlake embarrasses a woman with his machismo, but apologizes by saying “it’s my pride” and says suggestively, "I hear the making up is fun.” In "Montana," we hear the f-word used sarcastically, and Timberlake also tells us, "we’ve been kissin’ for hours." Mildly sensual details are expressed in “Hers” as a woman wears a man’s shirt that “feels like, like his skin is over mine.”

Tough times tempt a woman to give up on a relationship in "Livin’ off the Land.” And in “Breeze off the Pond," we hear a reference to a couple that is "stoned." “Flannel” mentions two people who drown difficult childhood memories with alcohol, saying that negative feelings are “bound to go down after a couple empty cans.”

“Supplies” reminisces about a time Timberlake says he “flew in on a 3 a.m. just to show up and hear your sounds." Elsewhere on that track, we hear an s-word. Two more profanities (another s-word, "d--n") turn up on "Midnight Summer Jam," too.

Summary Advisory

When you think of the standard pop album, perhaps you think of something from Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, or Maroon 5. Perhaps Justin Timberlake would have once earned an automatic spot on that list, too. But this time around he’s taken some stylistic liberties with the genre.

The album cover, for instance, visually suggests that Man of the Woods might be a country effort—a suggestion reinforced by the presence on of Chris Stapleton on a couple of tracks. It's not, really. But Man of the Woods isn't, ultimately, a pop album, either. It's a little bit of … everything, as if Timberlake decided he wanted to make a record unlike anything he's done before. If that was his goal, he's succeeded.

That eclectic approach definitely hasn't connected with many mainstream reviewers, however. Esquire's Matt Miller wrote:

"Well, I’m here to tell you a little bit of good news: Man of the Woods is not a country album. It’s more like deep-fried Justin Timberlake. It's like stumbling across some awkward campfire party in a clearing in the middle of a forest. It's like eating a handful of poison berries from a bush and finding yourself scared, confused, nauseous, and lost among the foliage. It has harmonica solos, fiddles, pan flutes, and so many hand drums. It has a weird aversion to choruses and an oddly playful production. ... It’s his infamous denim suit resurrected as music."

My concerns are different than those. Despite some terrific lyrics about marriage, faithfulness and fatherhood, Timberlake still can't resist indulging his inner bad boy on many tracks. And those "smooth" moves can’t cover up questionable language or sexually explicit lyrics.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







No. 1 iTunes album.

Record Label

RCA Records




February 2, 2018

On Video

Year Published



Kristin Smith

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!