Plugged In Movie Awards: Best Christian Movie

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We close out our Plugged In Movie Awards nominations with our picks for best Christian movie, and man, what a tough year it was. Faith-based films have never been better, and Hollywood made it extra tricky to decide even what, exactly, constituted a Christian movie. Could Martin Scorsese’s Silence or Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, both […]

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Pop Culture’s Top 10 Movers and Shakers (2016 Edition)

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Well, not every year can be a winner. For many of us, 2016 was a time we’d rather forget. Everyone seemed so angry this year. We saw it in the nearly interminable election cycle. We saw it in the constant barrage of protests and counter-protests. Why, the atmosphere was so explosive this year that even […]

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Culture Clips: Fixer Upper Couple Trouble

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Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of the HGTV show Fixer Upper, found themselves at the center of controversy last week for their choice of church. The devout Christian couple attend Antioch Community Church. The church’s pastor, Jimmy Seibert, “takes a hard line against same-sex marriage and promotes converting LGBT people into being straight,” according to […]

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A Big Year For Jesus (at the Movies)

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Christians sometimes complain, especially this time of year, that Jesus is being taken out of everything. We bemoan the lack of traditional Nativity scenes on public property. We lament when people wish us “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” Last year, Starbucks was lambasted for serving up a plain red cup for the holidays instead […]

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Arrival and Us: Are We All Speaking the Same Language?

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Almost everyone likes Arrival. The $24.1 million worth of people who saw it thought it was just fine. (It gets a “B” from viewers, according to Cinemascore.) Secular critics thought it was fantastic. (It’s got a 93% “freshness” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and plenty of reviewers are calling it one of the best movies of […]

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Vodcast: The Curious Case of Doctor Strange

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Myth and the Curious Case of Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange is nothing if not an odd, curious duck. Both the character and the movie, to be clear. The “good” doctor himself is a bit of a roguish hero who, while outwardly projecting confidence and bravado, inwardly struggles with a massive identity crisis due to a severely misplaced sense of self-worth. The movie itself, […]

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When Doctor Strange Went to Ephesus

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Doctor Strange is casting its lucrative spell on the box office. It’s Marvel’s latest successful introduction of a character whom only really “inside baseball” comic book fans likely even knew existed. And in translating the mystical story of Dr. Stephen Strange to the big screen, director Scott Derrickson has managed to do something paradoxically compelling: […]

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If Celebrities Have Pop Culture Triggers, We Probably Do Too

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Demi Lovato has suffered through some high-profile battles with addiction. Because of that, the singer and actress knows herself well enough to recognize what she’s got to stay away from if she wants to maintain her sobriety. Talking to Glamour magazine, Lovato recently said that she hasn’t seen a particular film because she knows it’s […]

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When Madea Scared Jack

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Projections can be scary things. Just ask Jack Reacher. You see, many prognosticators had forecast Tom Cruise’s latest, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, as the prohibitive favorite to win the weekend’s box office battle. But they underestimated the magnetic appeal of a certain moo moo-wearing movie matriarch: Madea. Tyler Perry’s no-nonsense, wisdom-and-vulgarity spouting alter ego startled […]

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Vodcast: Is The Birth of a Nation’s Grittiness Actually a Good Thing?

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The new Birth of a Nation movie is rated R, and rightfully so. But its subject matter has us wrestling again with a tricky concept: maybe, just maybe, harsh content can sometimes serve a purpose. The truth of the matter is this: Life—both modern and historical—is not as cut and dry as we like to make […]

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Vodcast: How Messy, Gritty Religion Invades The Magnificent Seven

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Villains aren’t the only ones who use faith for less-than-shiny purposes. Sometimes the good guys do it, too. Sometimes we use our faith in ugly ways, like when we use it to justify actions that are entirely self-serving. We may catch ourselves using it as an excuse to do what we want to do. We can all […]

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What Does it Mean to Be Christian … and an Actor?

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The Magnificent Seven lands in theaters today, starring Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington and burgeoning superstar Chris Pratt. Next week, another box-office megastar, Mark Wahlberg, will unveil his latest action flick, Deepwater Horizon. All three actors, incidentally, are Christians. “Put God first in everything you do,” Washington recently told the graduating class of Dillard University, a […]

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