Christian media resource reviews movies and other entertainment from a ‘biblical worldview’ – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) — Christian adults who want to guard the minds and souls of their children — and themselves — while considering popular movies, television, music, games, and books will want to check out Focus on the Family’s Plugged In, a resource that sketches the moral contours of the latest big media releases with deep-dive reviews.

The goal of Plugged In, according to its director, Adam Holz, is to “giv[e] parents the info they need to make wise and discerning and biblical” media-related decisions for their family and help their children to navigate these decisions as well.

Holz explained to LifeSiteNews that their reviews are not concerned with media’s artistic merits or quality, but rather with “objectively chronicl[ing] all of the content you can expect to find there” and highlighting both positive and negative moral elements, including use of sexual content, violence, profanity, drug use, and spiritual references.

Families should note that Plugged In doesn’t generally give clear “go or no-go” recommendations since, Holz explained, it seeks to serve families who use different criteria for their media decisions. The reviews are designed to highlight potential “red flags” so that adults can decide for themselves whether they or their children will engage with any given content.

Holz pointed out that the review conclusions, however, still tend to lean in either a positive or negative direction. They also provide “thumbnail sketches” that give an at-a-glance look at the level of caution adults, teens, and children, respectively, should have regarding the media content.

“A lot of times we don’t find out until after the fact” [that] a movie or TV show “was terrible … We would rather equip you to make a good decision on the front end than do damage control after the fact,” Holz said.

While Hollywood and other media sources are often at odds with a Christian worldview, identifying a good film is worthwhile for the real power it holds to positively influence lives, Holz acknowledged.

“Scripture is filled with stories because stories have an incredible power to inspire,” said Holz, going on to point out that they can create all kinds of emotions, like gratitude or fear.

“When we’re engaging with a story, I think we sometimes let our defenses down. We want to be transported into the world that they’re showing us. There’s always the possibility of influence,” said Holz, adding, “It can be a positive, inspiring and redemptive influence.”

He enthusiastically mentioned the recently released Jesus Revolution as an example of such a film.

“It’s one of the best movies about faith that I have seen. We can look at our culture and think everything’s going downhill. But movies like that … can remind us that one person’s prayer, one person’s faith, one person’s obedience can make a difference,” Holz said.

Holz hopes that Plugged In can serve not only as an aid in evaluating individual media releases but also as a launching pad for fruitful discussions about moral issues by “modeling a critically thinking and biblically thinking approach to the big questions: How do we think about sexuality? How do we think about violence? How do we think about the things that our culture values? And how do we equip our kids to navigate those things as well?”

Holz gave LifeSiteNews an overview of upcoming youth-targeted movie releases to keep an eye on, with some ideas as to what to expect. Please note that most of these films have NOT yet been viewed and reviewed by Plugged In team members.

Guardians of the Galaxy V3 (May 5 release): “This is the latest Marvel movie. These are PG-13 movies that have quite a bit of profanity. Chris Pratt’s character is going to use the F word … That’s not a welcome development. We’re certainly seeing Disney’s progressive ideas woven into a lot more stuff. I think we can expect to see more of that.”

The Little Mermaid (May 26 release): Holz pointed out that Disney is using a “more diverse representation of some of the characters” in this story but cannot yet comment on any potentially morally concerning film elements.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (June 2 release): The whole multiverse concept here is that we have lots of parallel universes with similar characters that may doing slightly different things … Spiderman has to gather spider heroes from different multiverse expressions. Holz’s team cannot yet comment on any potentially morally concerning film elements.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (June 9 release): The film has “moved away from vehicles and into animal transformers … The PG-13 template is well established at this point. We can be virtually certain that we’re getting a mix of high-octane violence, probably some profanity and probably some suggestive material.”

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