Plugged In Movie Awards: Best Movie For Teens

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Another day, another batch of nominees! This time we turn to movies for teens. It’s a perennially tricky category to pick for, and this year yields a truly eclectic mix of movies, pitting some of the year’s top-grossing flicks against a couple of little-seen gems. As always, read our full reviews before you or anyone […]

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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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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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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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The Walking Dead Has Gone Too Far … Even For Some of Its Fans

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At least 17 million people watched the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead—massive numbers in today’s fragmented television landscape. More people watched the villain Negan beat two characters to death with his barbed bat Lucille than watched Sunday Night Football that evening. I was one of them. You can find our review of the […]

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Parents: The “Nintendo Switch” Console Could Actually Be Good for Your Family

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Image of the Nintendo Switch logo (Copyright Nintendo 2016)

A Nintendo property is blowing up the Internet… again. Even though it isn’t Pokemon-related, it looks like it could be another game changer. What I’m talking about is the announcement of the Nintendo Switch, which Nintendo hopes will be its comeback in the Sony-and-Microsoft-dominated video game market after the lackluster performance of the Wii U. Why is […]

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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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Shining a Light on Ebola and Those Who Serve Its Victims

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People often say that, maybe besides someone who samples restaurant food for a living, I have the best job on the planet. When analyzing my position here in Plugged In, these folks are convinced all I do is watch movies and get paid for it. Then when they learn that I, on occasion, get invitations […]

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Vodcast: Is the New Ben-Hur Better Than the Old Ones?

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Judah Ben-Hur just gets better and better with age. And, depending on who you ask, the same is true of his movies. The latest retelling of Lew Wallace’s epic 1880 novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, limped through the box office during its opening weekend—perhaps not altogether unlike some of the horses in the […]

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The Olympics: Like Real Life, Only Better

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Bad things happen. Even at the Olympics. Looking at this year’s games in Rio, you can point to any number of mistakes, accidents and bone-headed moves. Just ask Ryan Lochte. Or Al Trautwig. Or the technicians in charge of the Olympic diving pool. But sometimes, the Olympics transcend all that. They go beyond even their […]

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They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our … What?

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I was reading a Los Angeles Times interview with comedian Amy Schumer. She talked about a Twitter to-do from some weeks back, when fellow comedian Leslie Jones—one of the stars of the new Ghostbusters movie—was temporarily pushed off the service after being inundated with hateful, often racist tweets. “It was just so much hate at […]

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Is It Possible to Unplug Anymore? Even on Vacation?

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Ah, vacations. A time to unplug, unwind and get away from our frazzled, workaday, always online world. Only apparently, we don’t. According to a survey conducted by Intel Security, most of us still check emails, post funny videos on Facebook and do, well, pretty much everything we do online when we’re at home or work. […]

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