What Makes a Movie a Success?

There’s never been a movie that appealed to everyone, a motion picture without a single critic. Take two films awarded Best Picture, Chariots of Fire and Braveheart. One Chariots critic went so far as to state that the movie was “an affirmation of clouded and second-hand values—and, as a result, it becomes vulgar.” With Braveheart, […]

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Of ‘Goonies’ and ‘Bridges,’ Pilgrimages and Relics

In the Middle Ages, many Christians believed that taking a spiritual pilgrimage to visit holy shrines and relics would give them a chance to experience God more deeply. Jerusalem represented the ultimate destination for faithful followers of means. But for the vast majority of believers, such a journey was, practically speaking, impossible. Instead, they might […]

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When Miley Met Hannah

We often talk about how pop culture—movies, music, video games, TV, the Internet—influences young people who consume it. But what about those who produce it? Especially if they’re quite young, how does being the at the epicenter of a pop-culture phenomenon influence them? One supernova star whose influence—for better, for worse—we’ve chronicled over the last […]

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What Spy Movies (and Grandma) Say About Media Discernment

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is not the headiest of movies, but it still got us thinking. In this, the second episode of the Plugged In Vodcast, Paul explains why spy movies always make him think of his grandma and how a particular conversation with her got him thinking about the ways we make exceptions […]

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Taking Your Dating Cues from Hollywood

Earlier this week, Lisa Anderson, director of young adults for Focus on the Family and host of the wildly popular and incredibly entertaining The Boundless Show,  spent some time on Focus on the Family’s daily broadcast chatting about her new book The Dating Manifesto: A Drama-Free Plan for Pursuing Marriage With Purpose. You can catch […]

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Mom’s ‘Extreme’ Movie Advice to Son is Right On

What would you do if your teen wanted to see the recent movie Pitch Perfect 2? Author and blogger Glennon Doyle Melton said yes to her son Chase’s request to see the movie. But she didn’t want her son to be just a passive viewer, so her yes was a conditional one. And the conditions […]

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Art & Culture: Personalizing Politics

Plugged In has often said that the entertainment we engage and indulge in has the power to mold how we see and think about the world—whether we realize it or not. And in the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision making gay marriage legal in the United States, openly homosexual actor Harvey Fierstein is—perhaps […]

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Did ‘Internet Evil’ Influence a Young Mass Murderer?

A young man has once again unleashed murderous rage upon unsuspecting victims, this time in the hallowed halls of Charleston’s historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. And once again, a nation is trying to make sense of the crime. Given the online manifesto left behind by accused 21-year-old shooter Dylann Roof, it’s clear that his […]

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Miley Cyrus Has Become the Poster Child for Consent

America’s sexual revolution has been underway for some time now. And at least as far back as 1967’s so-called “Summer of Love,” traditional and biblical understandings of the purpose and place of sexuality in our lives have been under open assault. But what began as a countercultural movement has in the ensuing decades become anything […]

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A Jurassic Connection

Well, Jurassic World hit the big screen BIG. As we reported, it gobbled up the prize for “largest global first weekend box office ever” with an Indominus rex-sized $511 million plus change. And now, since nearly everybody in the country has either seen it, are planning on seeing it or have talked at length to […]

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