2015 Plugged In Movie Awards: Winners

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Announcing the winners of the third annual PLUGGED IN MOVIE AWARDS!

PIMA-2015-Kids-blogtopBEST MOVIE FOR KIDS

Nominees: Big Hero 6, Dolphin Tale 2, The LEGO Movie, Muppets Most Wanted, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

Plugged In’s Pick: The LEGO Movie
This was a tough choice for us. All the movies here are solidly entertaining. All have some great messages. In the end, it came down to Big Hero 6′s poignant story of a would-be hero and his blow-up robot and LEGO’s tall tale stressing that everyone is awesome … and joyfully unique and therefore valuable. Finally, we felt that the bricks built the best case.

Readers’ Pick: The LEGO Movie
Readers showered praise on the same two films we gravitated toward—and then added a third to mix: How to Train Your Dragon 2. But in the end, not even Baymax could hold back the avalanche of LEGO votes that came pouring in.

PIMA-2015-Teens-blogtopBEST MOVIE FOR TEENS

Nominees: Belle, The Giver, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, Maleficent

Plugged In’s Pick: The Giver
The teen category is where the blockbusters live. Three of the five films here earned at least $240 million at the box office (with Mockingjay – Part 1 standing as 2014’s highest-grossing movie overall). But while The Giver might not have soared into that rarefied financial air, it sure reached great heights when it came to presenting a powerful story. This adaptation of Lois Lowry’s 1993 bestseller is loaded with resonant themes involving free will, the preciousness of life and the double-edged power of emotion—and stars a couple of Academy Award winners (Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep) to boot.

Readers’ Pick: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Those with furry feet, rejoice! After The Desolation of Smaug got locked out of the PIMA nominations last year, The Hobbit series made a triumphant return to consideration and was rewarded by readers as the Best Movie for Teens. But just like Bilbo’s steady slog toward the Lonely Mountain, it wasn’t easy: Both The Giver and Mockingjay – Part 1 received strong support, and some readers were aghast that not a single superhero movie made it into contention. Perhaps the numerous write-ins that Captain America: The Winter Soldier garnered will give ol’ Cap some measure of cold comfort.

PIMA-2015-Adults-blogtopBEST MOVIE FOR ADULTS

Nominees: The Hundred-Foot Journey, Interstellar, Into the Woods, Selma, Unbroken


Plugged In’
s Pick: Unbroken
Some quibbled that Louis Zamperini’s Christian faith got short shrift in Angelina Jolie’s adaptation of his life (and Laura Hillenbrand’s excellent book). But Louis’ spiritual journey certainly wasn’t all-out ignored in this riveting, resonant and truly inspiring movie. It’s not always an easy to watch: Most of it, after all, takes place in Japanese prison camps, where conditions are harsh and harrowing. We felt, though, that it puts you back on your heels for all the right reasons.

Readers’ Pick: Interstellar
Christopher Nolan’s spiritually tinged space epic struck a powerful chord with our readers, soaring past Into the Woods and Unbroken in the voting. This unquestionably beautiful and, for some, deeply moving fable may wear well as the years go on.

PIMA-2015-Christian-blogtopBEST CHRISTIAN MOVIE

Nominees: God’s Not Dead, Moms’ Night Out, Son of God, The Song, When the Game Stands Tall

Plugged In’s Pick: The Song
Hardly anyone saw this film based loosely on Solomon’s writings in Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes. At least not in theaters. It earned just a little more than $1 million. We think the movie world missed out on a real gem. The Song is a resonant, realistic fable for grown-ups that represents perhaps the next step forward in Christian moviemaking.

Readers’ Pick: Moms’ Night Out
Who knew that Christian movies could be funny? Our readers did—or, at least they found it out after watching Moms’ Night Out. This entertaining romp starring recognizable stars Sean Astin, Sarah Drew and Patricia Heaton (not to mention a funny Trace Adkins) rounded up readers’ votes and stormed to a narrow victory over God’s Not Dead. (But note that if we had counted exclamation points as votes, God’s Not Dead would’ve pulled ahead by a nose!)

Who wrote this?

Steven Isaac served as editor for Plugged In’s NRB- and EPA-award-winning website for more than a decade, orchestrating, managing, scheduling, shaping and tweaking at least 750 reviews and articles annually. He’s a husband and a father of a teenager.


Have something to say? Leave a comment.

charitysplace More than 1 year ago
My favorite movie of 2014 was Winter's Tale. Wow. It spoke to my spiritual beliefs on so many levels -- good and evil, how we live until God's task for us is completed, that we may never know our true purpose, because we cannot see the whole picture, it just ... I cried the first time I saw it. Then I bought it, showed it to two of my friends -- and we all cried together and then had a discussion about God's unique uses for each one of his children. I even showed it to my parents and they were touched by it.

"Belle" was also quite good, about racism and a woman's place in the Georgian period. And I saw "The Hundred Foot Journey" last week; it was also delightful. Out of all the fantasy / sci-fi films, "Maleficent" was my favorite. Such a good story about forgiveness and love replacing a desire for revenge. "The Hobbit" also touched my heart; but strangely it was more the eventual reconciliation between Thranduil and Tauriel that did it, as they bonded over their loss, than any of the special effects.

All in all, not a bad year for movies. Though I didn't see a lot of them.
Kal El More than 1 year ago
I can accept (and in some cases even agree personally with) these picks. The one I am really bothered by is the fan winner for best Christian film. Not only did the beautiful and moving "Heaven Is For Real" not even make the nominees list, but then the questionable "Mom's Night Out" wins the fan vote?
I struggle to even call MNO a Christian movie, undermining men/dads the way it does, and I'm deeply concerned (though unfortunately not too surprised) that the church would disregard or fail to notice the counter-Biblical subtext in that. I hope Christian comedy grows successful in the future, so long as it also grows in wisdom and character, with writing that can appropriately honor BOTH men AND women.
I won't support MNO in any way shape or form, however, because Satan's subtle assault on fathers, husbands, and dudes in general is not what my God and His Word say and that's just too wrong to endorse, even if the movie does attempt to wear a 'we're a family friendly church movie' mask.
Matthew Henderson More than 1 year ago
I saw MNO
Not anti-dad
Kyle Thompson More than 1 year ago
As a dad, I laughed at the good and bad dad references.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Giver and the Hobbit were the two best movies for teens this year, hands down
Samantha Shank More than 1 year ago
Wow, pretty surprised Moms Night Out beat out Gods Not Dead! Gods Not Dead was like the Christian movie of the year!

And, I think Into the Woods didn't do well because it was a musical haha
JonLangford97 More than 1 year ago
Sorry but the Hobbit was awful.
Nolan Ryan More than 1 year ago
I'm surprise Into the Woods did not do better among readers at least. It was so wonderful! Still, there were so many great movies this year! Moms' Night Out was a great pick (but a little shocked it beat God's Not Dead).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great picks, I just wish Interstellar would have won the Adult Movie choice. It was the best film of the year!
Richard Jones More than 1 year ago
It is my opinion, of course, but 'Into the Woods' ...is NOT a good movie for Kids,
Teens, or Adults!   They ways that the writers changed the classic fairytales may
relate more to modern-day society, BUT it is NOT a good (ie: honorable) part of
modern-day society!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Into The Woods was my probably my favorite disney movie of the year! It was brilliantly written, beautifully poised, and triumphantly portrayed. I would recommend it for kids, teens, and adults! I saw it five times and I still continue to watch it! Everybody, go watch it!
catchthecat More than 1 year ago
Quick correction: Bilbo did NOT go to Mount Doom. That was Frodo. ;)
Steven Isaac More than 1 year ago
Right you are. So many Middle-earth movies, so little time to watch them all ... every year on their anniversary dates! We've changed the destination to the Lonely Mountain.
Jin Kim More than 1 year ago
I honestly thought Big Hero 6 should have won over The LEGO Movie, which was essentially a 72-minute long commercial. I agree with The Giver and Unbroken; though I was disappointed to see that Heaven Is For Real was not a nominee and Moms' Night Out did not make the official pick.
bobed More than 1 year ago
I think you're being short-sighted about The Lego Movie. In reality, it was a 72-minute long rejection of consumerism and monotony, and a celebration of creativity.
Carlton DeLéon More than 1 year ago
Wow, I pretty much agree with the results for every category, however I'm disappointed that there wasn't a diamonds in the rough category like last year.  The Judge, Nightcrawler, Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, American Sniper, maybe even Whiplash could all have been included, and offered much more substantial themes than a fair amount of the movies on your list.  
Jin Kim More than 1 year ago
Best Movie for Adults basically replaced Diamond in the Rough. To me, it was all the same to me, except for this year, where the nominees were more uplifting.
Carlton DeLéon More than 1 year ago
Well possibly, but the content in said category was hardly for adults, the movies included could have easily been included in a family or teen category.  What I think is missing are the challenging films, the ones that leave you thinking long after the film is over.  (Now I'm not saying Unbroken was not challenging, but it seemed the only one that could have been categorized as adult).  The films I mentioned in my first comment certainly are more suited for an adult category in my opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It sounds like you mean more "risque" movie. I am an adult and saw all of them except for The Hundred-Foot journey and really liked them all. They were all great stories and clean, however, certainly nothing like extreme excitement or thriller movies like American Sniper or Gone Girl. The questions these adult friendly movies bring up do not strike as deeply at our core like these others unless we let them.
Koolkash Kazakhstan More than 1 year ago
That would have been great if such a category had existed.  Whiplash was one of my favorite films of the year.  I would, however, have included Calvary on the list.
Jude Young More than 1 year ago
YES!!!   The Hobbit was SO GOOD!!!