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Movies & DVDs

"The Book of Life" Deals More in Death and Questionable Truth

"The Book of Life" Deals More in Death and Questionable Truth

Full of humor, charming characters, and some interesting life lessons, but quite a lot of it is about death and what happens after.


Murray Excels as a Geezer with a Heart of Gold in "St. Vincent"

Murray Excels as a Geezer with a Heart of Gold in "St. Vincent"

Thanks to particularly inspired casting it's transformed from a standard indie movie, clichés and all, into something far more special.


"The Best of Me" is Easily the Worst of Sparks

"The Best of Me" is Easily the Worst of Sparks

Owns the least plausible and laughably awful ending committed to film in recent memory; nothing but a poor knock-off of The Notebook.


The Kendrick Bros Take Their Films Beyond Sherwood

The Kendrick Bros Take Their Films Beyond Sherwood

With several successful films like "Courageous and "Fireproof" now under their belts, Christian filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick are now putting the finishing touches on their latest motion picture, on the power of prayer, tentatively titled, Movie Five.


"Left Behind's" Gross Miscalculation: Too Little Eschatology, Too Much Disaster

"Left Behind's" Gross Miscalculation: Too Little Eschatology, Too Much Disaster

Rather than a timely, relevant story, this poorer Left Behind plays like a throwback to the 70s, when disaster movies were all the rage.


"The Good Lie" Makes for a Good Reminder

"The Good Lie" Makes for a Good Reminder

A powerful movie about family, love, faith and being found. The story of Sudanese refugees comes to life with grace, humor, and dignity.


Inspired by The Song of Solomon, but Feels More Like Ecclesiastes

Inspired by The Song of Solomon, but Feels More Like Ecclesiastes

The Song may not make it to the top of the charts but it is (loosely) inspired by Scripture and might be excellent for date night.


Filmmakers Seeking Child Audience Should Think Outside "The Boxtrolls"

Filmmakers Seeking Child Audience Should Think Outside "The Boxtrolls"

The directors dedicated so much energy to making it surreal and quirky that they forgot who, namely the younger set, will be watching.


"Maze Runner" Not the Most Novel Dystopian Tale

"Maze Runner" Not the Most Novel Dystopian Tale

Levels of intensity and violence push the PG-13 boundaries, but the film is competent considering it's another teen dystopian adaptation.


"Dolphin Tale 2" Just Treads Water

"Dolphin Tale 2" Just Treads Water

The pacing is sluggish, the storytelling predictable. Compared to the original, it's pretty inferior in the inspiration department, too.


"The Identical" Surprisingly Un-Identical to Blander Inspirationals

"The Identical" Surprisingly Un-Identical to Blander Inspirationals

Rather than follow a predictable trajectory of rebellion during the dawn of rock, it takes a refreshing track of spiritual exploration.


As with the Rapture, so Too "The Remaining": The Best Stuff's Gone from the Get-Go

As with the Rapture, so Too "The Remaining": The Best Stuff's Gone from the Get-Go

Most of the movie feels un-scary, unsure of its theology, inconsistent in its methods, but there are a few nuggets of subtle quality.


The Kendrick Bros Take Their Films Beyond Sherwood

The Kendrick Bros Take Their Films Beyond Sherwood

With several successful films like "Courageous and "Fireproof" now under their belts, Christian filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick are now putting the finishing touches on their latest motion picture, on the power of prayer, tentatively titled, Movie Five.


Sneak Peek: "Left Behind" Movie

Sneak Peek: "Left Behind" Movie

Get a look at the upcoming apocalyptic Action-Thriller movie starring Nicolas Cage, based on the New York Times bestselling novel that brings biblical prophecy to life in modern times..

Left Behind - In theaters on October 3, 2014.


Teen Romance on Life Support in Weepy "If I Stay"

Teen Romance on Life Support in Weepy "If I Stay"

Compared to, say, Twilight, If I Stay is a giant leap forward for young female protagonists.


"When The Game Stands Tall" Towers

"When The Game Stands Tall" Towers

Under the disciplined leadership of coach Bob Ladouceur, the De La Salle High School football team in Concordia, Ca. won 151 straight games. So what happens when a streak like that … ends?

We get this movie review from Focus on the Family's Plugged In


"The Giver" a Fair if Basic Treatise on Societal Control

"The Giver" a Fair if Basic Treatise on Societal Control

A parent-friendly thriller that allows a young audience to think about complex ideas and core human values for the first time.


"What If" This Film Had Snappier Dialogue?

"What If" This Film Had Snappier Dialogue?

On the rom-com scale, scores fair on chemistry between leads, poor on script. Too bad in a sex-free film where marriage is a noble goal.


Andrea Logan White Found God at Low-Point in Career

Andrea Logan White Found God at Low-Point in Career

Actress Andrea Logan White, who starred in the hit movie, Mom's Night Out, retells a gripping faith testimony - and how radio was the tool used to bring her to God.



"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is an Empty Shell

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is an Empty Shell

Those sword-swinging, ninja star-slinging mutant turtles are back for another rough-and-tumble rumble. (Not a creative enough teaser for you? Well, consider the source material we had to work with.)

Is the movie worth the price of admission?  Check out our review from Focus on the Family's Plugged In!


Sneak Peek:  "When The Game Stands Tall" Featurette - Behind the Huddle

Sneak Peek: "When The Game Stands Tall" Featurette - Behind the Huddle

Go behind the scenes and watch what the cast of When The Game Stands Tall has to say about the journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel), who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport.


"Get On Up" Isn't Pretty, but Captures the Essence of James Brown

"Get On Up" Isn't Pretty, but Captures the Essence of James Brown

Not your typical birth-to-grave biography. It's a little spastic and occasionally confusing but certainly keeps the intensity set high.


"Guardians of the Galaxy" - High Valor, Low Value

"Guardians of the Galaxy" - High Valor, Low Value

This exuberant, rollicking roller coaster of a movie has more problems than your typical superhero flick. Can it still find a heroic heart?  And should your family see it?


Beautiful "Calvary" about the Struggle to be Both Righteous, Human

Beautiful "Calvary" about the Struggle to be Both Righteous, Human

When a religiously-themed film has no agenda towards evangelism or secularism, it’s amazing how legitimately thought-provoking it can be.


"Hercules" Flexes Some Muscle

"Hercules" Flexes Some Muscle

This new Hercules is a completely different animal (and I’m not just talking about the lion our hero so famously slew with his bare hands...


"Courageous" and "Fireproof" Creators Wrap Fifth Film

"Courageous" and "Fireproof" Creators Wrap Fifth Film

Alex and Stephen Kendrick—creators of hit faith films FIREPROOF and COURAGEOUS—have just wrapped principal photography on their anticipated fifth movie—a family drama with humor and heart focused on the power of prayer and its primary role in the Christian life.


"And So It Goes" Should Go Away

"And So It Goes" Should Go Away

But where does it go? And how? Rob Reiner's rom-com never quite turns the corner toward true beauty as it crawls around with the caterpillars for just a tad too long.


"Planes: Fire & Rescue" Flies Higher Than Original

"Planes: Fire & Rescue" Flies Higher Than Original

This time the cute factor doesn’t get in the way of meaningful characters and it’s a much better picture as a result.


"Persecuted" Puts the First Amendment to the Test

"Persecuted" Puts the First Amendment to the Test

In the not-so-distant future, a powerful U.S. senator pushes for a bill that forces religious leaders to give equal time to other faiths. Just one preacher stands in its way.
Is it for your family? We give you this review from Plugged In!


Intelligent "Apes", Mindless Entertainment

Intelligent "Apes", Mindless Entertainment

Every cliché is covered, and there are plot holes big enough to drive a tank through, but it's all about the spectacle and effects.


"Earth to Echo" is Indifferent, Not Interstellar Entertainment

"Earth to Echo" is Indifferent, Not Interstellar Entertainment

Landing somewhere between E.T. and Super 8, this light-hearted lightweight of a feature never takes off.  Is it worth taking your family to see?  We have a review from Focus on the Family's Plugged In!


Mindless Action Lives on in "Transformers: Age of Extinction"

Mindless Action Lives on in "Transformers: Age of Extinction"

Transformers: Age of Extinction is a reboot of sorts. Mark Wahlberg plays a Texas widower raising a 17-year-old daughter.


"Alone Yet Not Alone" Only Works for Those Tired of Everything Else

"Alone Yet Not Alone" Only Works for Those Tired of Everything Else

Plays like a companion piece to Little House on the Prairie, but without engendering the same affection and falling dramatically flat.


Family Themes Breathe Fire into "Dragon" Sequel

Family Themes Breathe Fire into "Dragon" Sequel

How to Train Your Dragon 2 doesn't offer the same measure of surprise as the original but has different strengths of its own, including how regret and apology heal.


"The Fault in Our Stars" is No Garden-Variety Tearjerker

"The Fault in Our Stars" is No Garden-Variety Tearjerker

As sad and heartbreaking as it all is, this unordinary romance explores love, mortality and the meaning of life in such a memorable way.


"Edge of Tomorrow" Belongs on the Must-See List

"Edge of Tomorrow" Belongs on the Must-See List

Visceral and intelligent high-concept thrill-ride rigorously earns the accolade: "If you see only one movie this summer, see this."


"Maleficent" - Magnificent Effects, Menacing Storyline

"Maleficent" - Magnificent Effects, Menacing Storyline

Disney's most memorable villain (from Sleeping Beauty fame) returns to the screen, bent on all manner of wickedness. What can possibly stop this "mistress of all evil"? What might even have the power to redeem her? Could it be ... love?


"X-Men Days of Future Past" Has Action Present

"X-Men Days of Future Past" Has Action Present

Past, present and future are all up for grabs when Wolverine rips his way back to 1973 hoping to make a few X-traordinary changes.


"Godzilla" - Loud, Grim, and Doubly Dim

"Godzilla" - Loud, Grim, and Doubly Dim

Thematically and visually dark and characterized by joylessness, this reboot manages to take the popcorn out of summer blockbusters.


"Million Dollar Arm" is Major League

"Million Dollar Arm" is Major League

A sports agent stages an unconventional recruitment strategy to get talented Indian cricket players to play Major League Baseball.


Laughs and Truth Awkwardly Co-Mingle in Mom's Night Out

Laughs and Truth Awkwardly Co-Mingle in Mom's Night Out

Directors Jon and Andrew Erwin give faith-based humor with social and spiritual relevance their best shot and get two out of three right.


Legends of Oz: Dorothy Shoulda Stayed in Kansas

Legends of Oz: Dorothy Shoulda Stayed in Kansas

Begins with some of the most charming opening credits you've ever seen... and it's pretty much all downhill from there.


"Ragamuffin" Introduces Us to the Real Rich Mullins, and to God's Love

"Ragamuffin" Introduces Us to the Real Rich Mullins, and to God's Love

Short on budget and famous actors, but undeniable authenticity in the storytelling helps set it apart from many other faith-based films.


Andrew Garfield is Electric in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"

Andrew Garfield is Electric in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"

Light years ahead of its predecessor, boasting spectacular special effects (every scene gets more eye-popping) and quality storytelling.


"Bears" is True to DisneyNature Legacy

"Bears" is True to DisneyNature Legacy

True to its heritage, Disneynature captures nature on its own terms and its own schedule; with never-before-seen stories in our natural world that both astound and charm you. It's a pattern set by Walt Disney so many years ago.


"Transcendence" Doesn’t Go Above and Beyond

"Transcendence" Doesn’t Go Above and Beyond

Has an intriguing premise but gets less interesting, not more, once Will experiences transcendence.


"Heaven is for Real" is Better With Questions Than Answers

"Heaven is for Real" is Better With Questions Than Answers

What’s most compelling about Heaven is for Real is that it forces the faithful to truly wrestle with what’s being shared from the pulpit ...


"Rio 2" Runs Dry Too Soon

"Rio 2" Runs Dry Too Soon

As the flimsiness of the story becomes all too apparent, viewers may be wondering how much more they'll be able to endure.


Draft Day Not Necessarily a Winning Ticket

Draft Day Not Necessarily a Winning Ticket

Cleveland Browns GM Kevin Costner has to make this year's draft picks winners ... or lose his job. How's he going to pull that off and manage his own teetering private life too?
Is it a win with your family?  Catch the review!


"Captain America Winter Soldier" More Grey Than Red-White-and-Blue

"Captain America Winter Soldier" More Grey Than Red-White-and-Blue

Old-fashioned good-vs.-evil fun, even if you aren't sure which side is which among the not-so-subtle real-world political parallels.


"Island of Lemurs: Madagascar" is 40 Minutes of Wide-Eyed Wonder

"Island of Lemurs: Madagascar" is 40 Minutes of Wide-Eyed Wonder

A quick-running, G-rated, family friendly film about Madagascar that educates and inspires without dancing hippos or polka-dot zebras.


"Noah" Movie Review: Artistic License or Biblical Deviation?

"Noah" Movie Review: Artistic License or Biblical Deviation?

Drawing a clear line between the ways of God and man, Noah is rife with theological exploration that some may find heretical while others will find refreshing and artistic.
Is it appropriate for your family?  We have this review from Focus on the Family's Plugged In!


"God's Not Dead"... but This Film is at Times on Life Support

"God's Not Dead"... but This Film is at Times on Life Support

Though this cameo-filled affair tries to make a profound statement about bold faith, it falls prey to several predictable blunders.


"Muppets Most Wanted" Even Better Than Its Predecessor

"Muppets Most Wanted" Even Better Than Its Predecessor

Another star-studded affair that’s also very, very funny, equally showcasing the talents of comedic actors and creative puppeteers.


"Divergent" May be Derivative but It's Not a Dud

"Divergent" May be Derivative but It's Not a Dud

As with many modern adaptations, much is lost in translation for those who haven't read the books. But those who have should be pleased.


Taking a Walk on the Ark: Behind the Scenes of Aronofsky's "Noah"

Taking a Walk on the Ark: Behind the Scenes of Aronofsky's "Noah"

What I learned from a visit to the set of the biblical epic Noah, directed by Darren Aronofsky.


For Fans, "Veronica Mars" is a Fun Trip Down Memory Lane

For Fans, "Veronica Mars" is a Fun Trip Down Memory Lane

The mystery allows fans to see Veronica in her full detective glory again, but the case is never as intriguing as the relationships.


"Mr Peabody & Sherman" Both Hysterical and Historical

"Mr Peabody & Sherman" Both Hysterical and Historical

Two of history's most intrepid time travelers make the leap to movies! And there's really only one big question to ask: When Peabody's adoptive son Sherman gets in trouble, who does he call? The dogfather, of course.


Occasional Moments of Inspiration Mark Solid "Son of God"

Occasional Moments of Inspiration Mark Solid "Son of God"

A respectful telling of the life of Christ—perhaps too respectful—that, like so many other movies about Jesus, is a mostly solemn affair.


Pompeii Tries to Pull a Titanic... and Blows Up Instead

Pompeii Tries to Pull a Titanic... and Blows Up Instead

Yet another example of wasted potential, quickly devolving into flat, uninspired storytelling, one-note characters and decent effects.


Master Animator's Swansong - "The Wind Rises" is Elegiac, Inspirational

Master Animator's Swansong - "The Wind Rises" is Elegiac, Inspirational

If this is Hayao Miyazaki's final film, it's a fitting farewell to an artist who inspired wonder in millions of fans both young and old.


Humor is the Secret Weapon in "3 Days to Kill"

Humor is the Secret Weapon in "3 Days to Kill"

In terms of pure popcorn entertainment, 3 Days to Kill is actually a lot more fun than Taken and its so-so sequel.


Sneak Preview - "God's Not Dead" Movie

Sneak Preview - "God's Not Dead" Movie

Take an advanced preview look at the new faith-based movie that takes unbelief head-on and demands a verdict to prove that God's not dead!
With special appearances by Newsboys and “Duck Dynasty’s” Willie and Korie Robertson.

Coming to theaters March 21


"Winter's Tale" More Mystifying Than Magical

"Winter's Tale" More Mystifying Than Magical

What seemed like it might be a fantastic, magical story feels awkwardly stitched together, even laughable when not outright confusing.


"RoboCop" Reboot Looks Cool but Still Isn't Worth Revisiting

"RoboCop" Reboot Looks Cool but Still Isn't Worth Revisiting

While the warm pangs of nostalgia may be enough to satisfy some filmgoers, one can’t help noticing that RoboCop circa 2014 is as disposable and flimsy as the scrap metal the titular character is constructed from.


Sneak Preview - "Mom's Night Out"

Sneak Preview - "Mom's Night Out"

Get a first peek at a scene from the upcoming comedy, Mom's Night Out!
The beauty of Moms' Night Out is that it captures the heart—and humor—of everyday life. While it is a fictitious story, the characters are real, the laughter is contagious, and the scenes speak to us all!


Everything Stacks Up Superbly in "The Lego Movie"

Everything Stacks Up Superbly in "The Lego Movie"

This rapid-fire laugh machine is a wildly inventive, highly enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining family film when we least expect it


"The Monuments Men" is an Entertaining, Skilled Throwback

"The Monuments Men" is an Entertaining, Skilled Throwback

The patriotic schmaltz feels right. If we can't be sentimental about preserving culture, we've lost touch with what these characters did.


"Labor Day" Mixes Romance and Suspence

"Labor Day" Mixes Romance and Suspence

Depressed single mom Adele and her son Henry offer a wounded, fearsome man a ride. As police search town for the escaped convict, the mother and son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited.


"I, Frankenstein" is Anything but Alive

"I, Frankenstein" is Anything but Alive

Not even amusing in a "so-bad-it's-good" way. Should be the nail in the coffin of non-superhero comic book adaptations, but it won't be.


Unearned Ending Aside, Pro-Life "Gimme Shelter" Works

Unearned Ending Aside, Pro-Life "Gimme Shelter" Works

Not quite a documentary, but has an unflinching, realistic feel right til the end when it turns into a Lifetime movie with a bow on top.


Not Much to Crunch on in Forgettable "Nut Job"

Not Much to Crunch on in Forgettable "Nut Job"

Pretty much what Saturday morning cartoons would have been back in the day if they had been 90 minutes long and available in 3D.


"Jack Ryan" Breathes New Life in Clancy Classic

"Jack Ryan" Breathes New Life in Clancy Classic

It's a new star, a new director, a new look and a new history. Chris Pine gives us Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan in a cinematic reboot—without direct help from the late author's written words this time.


"The Legend of Hercules" is Epic... Epically Bad

"The Legend of Hercules" is Epic... Epically Bad

If only it had been clever. Or well-acted. Or better conceived. As is, it's even worse than you might expect.


Blatant Commercialism Can’t Sink Sweet "Walter Mitty"

Blatant Commercialism Can’t Sink Sweet "Walter Mitty"

A comedy that deals with serious themes but manages to stay light enough on its feet that any moments of heavy-handedness are forgivable.


Exciting Finale not Enough to Save Lumbering "47 Ronin"

Exciting Finale not Enough to Save Lumbering "47 Ronin"

More often dull, listless, and unengaging than outright bad or painful to watch...,


"Grudge Match" Boxes Ears Without Warming Hearts

"Grudge Match" Boxes Ears Without Warming Hearts

The winner is...? Certainly not the audience. Could have been fun were it not for the thick layer of smut coating virtually every scene.


A Spoonful of Sharpness Helps the Sugar Go Down in "Saving Mr. Banks"

A Spoonful of Sharpness Helps the Sugar Go Down in "Saving Mr. Banks"

Seems to serve as a family-friendly version of the art vs. commerce debate, but also packs an emotional and thematic wallop.


"Walking with Dinosaurs" is 'Awesome' in 3D

"Walking with Dinosaurs" is 'Awesome' in 3D

Feels like something you'd see at a good science museum. Dino-crazy youngsters will love it, and their parents won’t mind it either.


News Flash: "Anchorman 2" Full of Laughs

News Flash: "Anchorman 2" Full of Laughs

A goofy, unserious film that generates laugh after laugh, stopping well short of the raunch-fests that pass for movie comedies today.


Middle Earth More Thrilling Than Our Last Visit in Second "Hobbit" Installment

Middle Earth More Thrilling Than Our Last Visit in Second "Hobbit" Installment

Less bloated, this second installment stands as a premium Hollywood production that can teach other major lit-franchises a thing or two.


Disney Does it Again - Doubly - with "Frozen"

Disney Does it Again - Doubly - with "Frozen"

Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" comes to life in a retelling that will have families laughing and singing, and hearts melting.


"Black Nativity's" Dream Team Tells Universal Story with Universal Message

"Black Nativity's" Dream Team Tells Universal Story with Universal Message

I was moved. Black Nativity will bring people to tears, many to forgiveness, maybe even repentance, and inspire reconciliation.


Intensity Lights Up in "Hunger Games Catching Fire"

Intensity Lights Up in "Hunger Games Catching Fire"

The country of Panem is a horrible place, and lots of horrible things go on in this story about it. But it's a fictional reality that serves as a backdrop for sacrifice and heroism.


"Thor 2" Swings The Hammer Again

"Thor 2" Swings The Hammer Again

Marvel's favorite blond Asgardian is back, this time confronting an evil elf who hopes to destroy the universe. Which means hammers will be swung and heroes will be heroic. But will the universe be saved? More importantly, will your family like it? Plugged In weighs in with this review!


"Free Birds" is Anything but Family Fun

"Free Birds" is Anything but Family Fun

I was expecting Chicken Run with a Thanksgiving twist. Instead, I got a mean-spirited tale that left a bad aftertaste.


"Ender’s Game" is Beautiful, Beguiling and a Bit of a Headscratcher

"Ender’s Game" is Beautiful, Beguiling and a Bit of a Headscratcher

Despite getting bogged down in details that don’t always add up, one still can’t ignore Ender’s greatest strength, plenty of fascinating big ideas.


"I'm In Love With A Church Girl" is Rough Redemption

"I'm In Love With A Church Girl" is Rough Redemption

A drug dealer discovers the love of his life ... and then the greatest love in the world.


"Grace Unplugged" Reaches For The Stars

"Grace Unplugged" Reaches For The Stars

Follow your dreams, teens are told over and over again. But what happens when your dreams don't line up with God's heart? When reaching for the stars means burying your faith?  PluggedIn gives us a review of  Grace Unplugged.


Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Expands the Menu

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Expands the Menu

It's still cloudy, but the chance for meatballs was last week's forecast. Now it's tacodiles, shrimpanzees and apple pie-thons!   Focus on the Family's Plugged In gives us this review!


Carefree "Baggage Claim" Showcases Patton's Range

Carefree "Baggage Claim" Showcases Patton's Range

While its formula and tone are excessively simplistic, it carries its canned comedy rather lightly on the shoulders of Paula Patton.


"Battle of the Year" Triumphs with Inspirational Story, Physical Feats

"Battle of the Year" Triumphs with Inspirational Story, Physical Feats

Contains likeable characters pulling off jaw-dropping physical feats while teaching some valuable lessons about teamwork, too.


Rebecca St. James Featured in "A Strange Brand of Happy"

Rebecca St. James Featured in "A Strange Brand of Happy"

Singer Rebecca St. James is featured in "A Strange Brand of Happy," a faith-based film coming this fall!


Cameron's "Unstoppable" Stops Short of Providing Promised Answers

Cameron's "Unstoppable" Stops Short of Providing Promised Answers

May be lacking in many ways, but it does preach the Gospel and remind us that asking the tough questions is important to building faith.


"Getaway" Makes Sense as a Suggestion to Those Thinking of Going

"Getaway" Makes Sense as a Suggestion to Those Thinking of Going

Has a preposterous premise and action scenes that make the audience feel like they’re playing a video game.


"One Direction: This is Us" is Safe, Sincere, Staged

"One Direction: This is Us" is Safe, Sincere, Staged

In capturing a worldwide phenomenon, Morgan Spurlock clearly highlights the songs and what makes One Direction tick as people.


"Blue Jasmine" Introduces Woody Allen's Newfound Sense of Justice

"Blue Jasmine" Introduces Woody Allen's Newfound Sense of Justice

Cate Blanchett's powerhouse performance as the titular character is what the accolade tour de force is reserved for.


Lee Daniel's "The Butler" Spans Time and Race

Lee Daniel's "The Butler" Spans Time and Race

A fictional tale inspired by a real-life White House butler, this Lee Daniels movie steps not just into the racial divide of our country's last century, but also the relational divide between a father and son.


"Planes" Flies High in the Family-Friendly Skies

"Planes" Flies High in the Family-Friendly Skies

We've already seen chatting cars race like Lightning round and round on the ground. So now it's time to take to the Dusty sky, span the globe and see what's spinning up there.


 Endless Exposition, Lack of Humor Doom "Percy Jackson" Sequel

Endless Exposition, Lack of Humor Doom "Percy Jackson" Sequel

So poorly executed that it's safe to say all comparisons between Percy Jackson and Harry Potter will come to a screeching halt.


"Smurfs 2" Will Leave You Blue

"Smurfs 2" Will Leave You Blue

What is meant to be a family-friendly comedy sadly becomes a big blue blunder and waste of studio money.


"The Wolverine" is Another Slice of the Mutant's Life

"The Wolverine" is Another Slice of the Mutant's Life

Marvel's infamously ill-tempered, adamantium-clawed mutant slices through another section of his story—and through his enemies.  Is it safe for your family?  Check out the video review from Focus on the Family's Plugged In!


Bridges Breathes Life into "R.I.P.D."

Bridges Breathes Life into "R.I.P.D."

Flawed, but it only takes one special element to set a film apart. Here, it's a loony performance from the great Jeff Bridges.


Cute "Turbo" Coulda Used More Torque

Cute "Turbo" Coulda Used More Torque

An impossibly cute but decidedly conventional story about striving for the seemingly impossible dream.


Nothing Grown Up - or Funny - about "Grown Ups 2"

Nothing Grown Up - or Funny - about "Grown Ups 2"

What on earth did they do to earn their paychecks, sit around and drink beer all day until they came up with recurring plot points?


The Way, Way Back is Way, Way Overrated

The Way, Way Back is Way, Way Overrated

The only distinguishing characteristic is that it doesn't have one. The writing and direction lack distinction; the young lead is bland


"Pacific Rim" is Long on Destruction, Short on Story

"Pacific Rim" is Long on Destruction, Short on Story

This Transformers-meets-Godzilla battler is long on apocalyptic mayhem ... but not short brave humans caught up in the carnage.


"Lone Ranger" Should Keep Riding Off into the Sunset

"Lone Ranger" Should Keep Riding Off into the Sunset

So how wild is the west in this adaptation of The Lone Ranger?  And is it too wild for your little ones?  Focus on the Family's Plugged In gives us a review!


"Despicable Me 2" Delivers More Than Expected

"Despicable Me 2" Delivers More Than Expected

Plain and simple, a kid's movie: lots of fun to watch, the colors are bright, the laughs are many.


"White House Down" Not Your Usual State Affair

"White House Down" Not Your Usual State Affair

Full of explosions, car chases, and high-caliber bullets, White House Down is the intersection of Die Hard meets Olympus Has Fallen.

We get a full video review from Focus on the Family's Plugged In!


"World War Z" Grades Much Higher in the Alphabet

"World War Z" Grades Much Higher in the Alphabet

Plenty of action, a few amusing moments, a lot of zombies, and a whole lot of Brad Pitt. There are certainly worse combinations.


" Monsters University": The Parental Guidance of Pixar Movies

" Monsters University": The Parental Guidance of Pixar Movies

Not even close to being on par with Pixar's Toy Story sequels, but a genial nature and thoroughgoing inoffensiveness make it palatable.


On DVD: "The Confession" is Beautiful But Bewildering

On DVD: "The Confession" is Beautiful But Bewildering

Katie Lapp is a young girl raised in an Amish family, who has recently entered the modern world to search for her biological mother.


 Tired Action Scenes Aside, "Man of Steel" is Serious, Substantial

Tired Action Scenes Aside, "Man of Steel" is Serious, Substantial

When compared to most summer blockbusters and superhero movies, Man of Steel offers a superior balance of substance and style.


"Man of Steel" Gives Us a Superman for the Ages

"Man of Steel" Gives Us a Superman for the Ages

he filmmakers of Man of Steel hope to bring Superman’s story to a whole new generation of superhero fans who are accustomed to a more gritty kind of hero.


Don't Wait for Tomorrow to See "Not Today"

Don't Wait for Tomorrow to See "Not Today"

In a summer of bloated blockbusters, this is one of the few movies everyone should see because of the message it sends: slavery is real.


Lewd Humor Tarnishes "The Internship's" Underdog Story

Lewd Humor Tarnishes "The Internship's" Underdog Story

If you can tear your eyes from the geeked-out Google campus long enough to ponder the plot, you’ll realize you've seen this story before.


Clever 'Gotcha' Not Enough to See "Now You See Me"

Clever 'Gotcha' Not Enough to See "Now You See Me"

Plays like a movie equivalent of a CBS procedural: high in concept, production artifice, and plot holes, while low in character depth.


Sixth Time Has Charm in "Fast & Furious" Series

Sixth Time Has Charm in "Fast & Furious" Series

For those who like to celebrate summer with a good action film, this is the place to start: humor, tension, non-stop action and more.


"Epic" Never Quite Lives Up to Its Name

"Epic" Never Quite Lives Up to Its Name

With such a title, the bar is immediately set too high for what’s a fairly conventional good vs. evil battle with spectacular visuals.


Ironically, "Into Darkness" is Too Light on Meaningful Ideas

Ironically, "Into Darkness" is Too Light on Meaningful Ideas

There's enough action to enjoy it, but this new Star Trek installment continues to show unfulfilled promise and a lack of strong themes.


How Great is "The Great Gatsby?"

How Great is "The Great Gatsby?"

Some will find that this fresh-faced Baz Luhrmann/Leonardo DiCaprio movie infuses the classic book with new life. But is it a great Gatsby? Only our PluggedIn movie review team can tell you for sure!


Heart, Humor Converge in "Iron Man's" Best Chapter Yet

Heart, Humor Converge in "Iron Man's" Best Chapter Yet

While some comic book movies become lazy and predictable, genuine surprises and character development keep Iron Man 3 from growing stale.


Love Theme Emerges Clear as "Mud"

Love Theme Emerges Clear as "Mud"

Director Jeff Nichols effectively blends genres, numerous subplots and character dynamics – and does so with emotional weight and power.


As a Major Movie, "Oblivion" Fades

As a Major Movie, "Oblivion" Fades

Here and there, we see the glimpse of a great movie that could have been, but nothing—beyond the visuals and Cruise himself— are truly memorable.


"Home Run" is a Grand Slam for Family Values

"Home Run" is a Grand Slam for Family Values

Addiction is messy business, but deliverance is possible for those who humble themselves and turn to God for help. That's the core message in Home Run, a baseball movie only in construct.
Catch the movie review from Focus on the Family's Plugged In.


"42" is a Home Run

"42" is a Home Run

42 is a compelling portrayal of the life and career of Jackie Robinson, who helped shatter America's color barrier.


"The Host" Feeds on Two Hours of Your Time

"The Host" Feeds on Two Hours of Your Time

If this sci-fi/romance mash-up is representative of the current state of either genre, those genres are in big trouble.


Melodrama Hampers Anything Positive about "Temptation"

Melodrama Hampers Anything Positive about "Temptation"

Good intentions aside, Temptation is a racy presentation (complete with marital fallout) of infidelity in marriage.  Who in your family can see it?  Find out more in our movie review!


"G.I. Joe: Retaliation" is a No Brainer - Literally

"G.I. Joe: Retaliation" is a No Brainer - Literally

Mindless boomery and villainous cartoonery? G.I. Joe is back on the big screen, and Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis lend their brawn to boom this time around.
Focus on the Family's Plugged In has this review!


Fascinating "Admission" Makes the Grade

Fascinating "Admission" Makes the Grade

While most of the marketing suggests that it’s a charming romantic comedy with two likeable leads, that’s really only half of the story.


"The Croods" is Fun and Charming

"The Croods" is Fun and Charming

You wouldn't want to live with the Croods. But spending a couple hours with them? That might actually make for a pretty nice visit.


"The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" Isn't

"The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" Isn't

Unfortunately, this little comedy doesn't have a lot of incredible up its sleeves. Is it safe for your family?  Find out with this review from Focus on the Family's Plugged In!


Money Saving Moment: Save BIG at the Movies!

Money Saving Moment: Save BIG at the Movies!

Save BIG $ at the Movies!  Save money on movie tickets and concessions, plus find out how you can get exclusive invitations to FREE movie screenings.


"Oz the Great and Powerful" is Not Grandma's Wizard of Oz

"Oz the Great and Powerful" is Not Grandma's Wizard of Oz

This is not your grandma's "Wizard of Oz"! That's the refrain being sung about this non-musical reimagining. But could there possibly be more to this one than there is to that one? And is that "more" most obvious in good ways...or bad?


"Snitch" Stretches Family Values

"Snitch" Stretches Family Values

Dwayne Johnson turns in his "Tooth Fairy" wings to tackle the violent world of the underground drug trade...and the way our justice system interacts with it.  Is this stretch for the actor family-friendly?  Check out our review from Focus on the Family's Plugged In!


"Escape from Planet Earth" is Surprisingly Entertaining

"Escape from Planet Earth" is Surprisingly Entertaining

The premise is well-worn and far from original, but the execution of this family-focused story has a few flashes of brilliance.


There's No "Safe Haven" from Poor Reviews

There's No "Safe Haven" from Poor Reviews

Nicholas Sparks stirs up the sweet and sinister in a story that morphs from sappy romance to taut thriller.


"Parental Guidance" Reflects Family Dynamic

"Parental Guidance" Reflects Family Dynamic

We're all about parental guidance. Hollywood typically isn't. So we were pretty curious about what would happen onscreen in Parental Guidance, a Billy Crystal-Bette Midler comedy.
Focus on the Family's Plugged In gives us this review.


Hugh Jackman and the Cast of Les Misérables Weighs in on Famous Line

Hugh Jackman and the Cast of Les Misérables Weighs in on Famous Line

Actors Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, and Samantha Barks discuss Les Miserables' most poignant line: 'to love another person is to see the face of God.'


"Les Mis" Tries Hard but Peaks Too Soon

"Les Mis" Tries Hard but Peaks Too Soon

If Crowe and Jackman's characters were allowed to communicate through dialogue, rather than song, it probably would've worked better.


3D Improves the Exceptional "Monsters, Inc."

3D Improves the Exceptional "Monsters, Inc."

The monsters are back in 3D this time, and it's good 3D. So what's not to love?


"Jack Reacher" a Victim of Really Bad Timing

"Jack Reacher" a Victim of Really Bad Timing

Tom Cruise plays yet another action hero with panache, but the timing is awful for a film with so many gun-related fatalities early on.


"The Guilt Trip" is Not a Pleasant Journey

"The Guilt Trip" is Not a Pleasant Journey

This mother-son road trip movie hits its share of potholes and almost swerves off the road a time or two. But what's that we spy on the horizon?


Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" Rings False

Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" Rings False

Likely to leave fans hesitant and uncertain about the upcoming films, while newbies will wonder why this story is so beloved



"Playing for Keeps" is a Kick

"Playing for Keeps" is a Kick

A charming, down-on-his luck former soccer star returns home to put his life back together.  Focus on the Family's Plugged In tells us whether Playing for Keeps is good sport for your family!


"Rise of the Guardians" is Secular Holiday Mish-Mash

"Rise of the Guardians" is Secular Holiday Mish-Mash

So, how do you weave Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Jack Frost together to create something entertaining and moral?  We asked Focus on the Family's Plugged In for a review!


"Lincoln" is One Stunning History Lesson

"Lincoln" is One Stunning History Lesson

No stilted caricature, Spielberg humanizes this beloved leader without placing him on too high of a pedestal in the process.


"SkyFall" Resurrects Bond Brand

"SkyFall" Resurrects Bond Brand

Bond, James Bond comes back from the "dead", buries the hatchet with M and enlivens, once again, his lethal service to God and Country.
After 50 years of Bond flicks, we know what to expect from 007.  SkyFall is all that, but a bit grittier and scarred. 


"Wreck It Ralph" Helps Build Values in Kids

"Wreck It Ralph" Helps Build Values in Kids

The level-ups in this animated arcade game send-up are messages encouraging friendship, love, and self-sacrifice. But there are a few in-game "extras" that serve as obstacles along the way.
Focus on the Family's Plugged In reviews Wreck it Ralph


On DVD: "Secret of the Wings"

On DVD: "Secret of the Wings"

SECRET OF THE WINGS is a made for DVD fairy story featuring Tinker Bell meeting her winter fairy sister Periwinkle as the result of an act of disobedience.  The beautifully-animated, G-rated movie has no foul language or violence but receives a caution for showing children’s rebellion leading to long-term good.


Catch a Wave With "Chasing Mavericks"

Catch a Wave With "Chasing Mavericks"

The true story about young surfer Jay Moriarty tackling the mythical Mavericks surf break. Will this movie get you feeling amped, or leave you axed? Focus on the Family's Plugged In gives us the scoop!


"Atlas Shrugged II" is Riveting Free Market Cinema

"Atlas Shrugged II" is Riveting Free Market Cinema

Fighting Government Tyranny, ATLAS SHRUGGED: PART II is a riveting potboiler promoting free market capitalism and liberty in the face of tyranny and corruption.


"Alex Cross" is a Gritty, Graphic Turn for Tyler Perry

"Alex Cross" is a Gritty, Graphic Turn for Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry moves from playing the profane, overbearing grandma (Madea) to a leaner, meaner action star. But is the determined crime-buster he portrays in this gritty graphic thriller closer to Sherlock Holmes or Rambo? Find out if Alex Cross is safe for your family


"Here Comes The Boom" Has Big Fists and Big Heart

"Here Comes The Boom" Has Big Fists and Big Heart

Kevin James gets pounded in this MMA-inspired comedy. But underneath all the flying feet and fists we see something else: a really-strong, good heart.  Focus on the Family's Plugged In explains...



"Frankenweenie" Not for the Wee Ones

"Frankenweenie" Not for the Wee Ones

Creative and visually inspired at times, but thematically a dark film that may frighten younger viewers unaccustomed to dealing with loss...




"Taken 2" - More Rescues, More Mayhem

"Taken 2" - More Rescues, More Mayhem

Liam Neeson's back, but so are his foes.  This time they take his ex-wife.  So is this action thriller family friendly?  Focus on the Family's Plugged In weighs in. 


"Hotel Transylvania" Vacant of Value

"Hotel Transylvania" Vacant of Value

There are much better animated stories about overcoming fears and superficial differences which are far more family-friendly.


"Won't Back Down" Celebrates Parental Courage

"Won't Back Down" Celebrates Parental Courage

Two Women -- a parent and a teacher-- fight to turn their failing school around. Not everyone will like how they do it.  But will your family like the movie? 


"Unconditional" is Powerful Story of Healing

"Unconditional" is Powerful Story of Healing

Samantha Crawford's life is a storybook life until her husband Billy is senselessly killed.  But healing comes as Sam watches her friend Joe care for kids in his under-resourced neighborhood. 
Catch this review from Focus on the Family's Plugged In!


"Last Ounce of Courage" Makes a Statement for Religious Freedom

"Last Ounce of Courage" Makes a Statement for Religious Freedom

Film uses melodrama to ponder the injustice of young soldiers sacrificing their lives overseas while our religious freedoms get flanked here at home.
Focus on the Family's Plugged In gives us their take.


"The Words" Tries to Tell Too Many Tales

"The Words" Tries to Tell Too Many Tales

Wants to deliver a moral about choosing real life over living a lie, but the point comes across as tepid rather than deeply resonant.


The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure

The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure

From the man behind the "Teletubbies" comes an interactive and whimsical and sometimes consternating live-action-meets-puppet movie aimed directly at the ants-in-their-pants set.
Focus on the Family's Plugged In gives us a review!


"Premium Rush" Yields Premium Action and Profanity

"Premium Rush" Yields Premium Action and Profanity

How many traffic close calls and bad words can you pack into one movie?  "Premium Rush" tries to push the limit.  Focus on the Family's Plugged In gives us a review.


Dark but Imaginative "ParaNorman" is Outcast-Friendly

Dark but Imaginative "ParaNorman" is Outcast-Friendly

There’s a relevant message tucked inside this piece of stop-motion animation, but it's more geared towards adults than kids.


 See Jordin Sparks "Sparkle"

See Jordin Sparks "Sparkle"

More than "Whitney Houston's last movie," Sparkle is Jordin Sparks' moment to shine, and she definitely makes the most of it.


"The Odd Life of Timothy Green" Grows on You

"The Odd Life of Timothy Green" Grows on You

The film pushes its magicality almost to disbelief's breaking point, but thanks to a gifted cast, the movie’s message goes down like a spoonful of sugar.


"Hope Springs" for Marriages, Rom-Com Genre

"Hope Springs" for Marriages, Rom-Com Genre

It’s not too far-fetched to suggest that this film could genuinely help couples, and even save some marriages


New "Total Recall" a Rare Worthy Remake

New "Total Recall" a Rare Worthy Remake

Despite pushing the PG-13 boundaries, the film is a balanced thrill ride: dark but not depressing, gritty but not grimy, sometimes slick...


"Bourne Legacy" Means Bourne Again Violence

"Bourne Legacy" Means Bourne Again Violence

There's a new super-assassin fighting and fleeing the government, with a new girl to help him. But none of that can keep this movie from feeling very Bourne again.
Find out more from Focus on the Family's Plugged In movie review.


"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" Stays True to Wimpy Legacy

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" Stays True to Wimpy Legacy

School is out and Greg is ready for the days of summer, when all his plans go wrong. What on earth is he going to do all summer? Focus on the Family's Plugged In let's you know if his activities are family-friendly.


"Step Up Revolution" Has Max Moves

"Step Up Revolution" Has Max Moves

The Step Up dance card expands to flash mob scenes and community protests. Is it family friendly though? Focus on the Family's Plugged In gives us their take.



Now on DVD: Journey Transforms at the "Marigold Hotel"

Now on DVD: Journey Transforms at the "Marigold Hotel"

A group of strangers—each at a personal crossroads—grows from taking a journey they never expected when they stay at this hotel.


Now on DVD: Marvel's "The Avengers" Is Old-Fashioned Fun

Now on DVD: Marvel's "The Avengers" Is Old-Fashioned Fun

Marvel’s The Avengers reminds that summer movies—even overstuffed ones—can still provide a heavy dose of good old-fashioned fun.


Now on DVD: "October Baby" Delivers Powerful Message that Life is Beautiful

Now on DVD: "October Baby" Delivers Powerful Message that Life is Beautiful

October Baby deals with profound and deeply significant subjects: the inestimable value of human life and the horror of abortion, the difficulty parents have letting go, the importance of friendship, and the desperate need we all have to give and receive forgiveness.


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