The Plugged In Movie Awards 2020: And the Winners Are …


Welcome, welcome everybody. Don’t trip on the red carpet on the way to your seat. You all look very fine indeed, what with those tuxedos/evening gowns/sweatpants you’ve donned for this very, very special occasion.

We’re talking about the Plugged In Movie Awards, of course. It’s a ceremony far more lavish than the Oscars … or would be, if we had the time and, well, any money at all. Still, as you can see from the footage from the ceremony, we do our best.


For those not inclined to watch video, or for those of you who want more information on the selection process or to learn what you, our Plugged In readers/listeners thought were the best pics this year, read on.


Best Movie for Kids

The Nominees: Abominable; Aladdin; How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World; Klaus; Toy Story 4

Plugged In’s Pick: Toy Story 4

Did we really need another Toy Story movie? I mean, weren’t the first three good enough? Those were, admittedly, questions I was asking when I walked in to review Pixar’s newest film. But Pixar proved that there was another toy story to be told—one that asked some serious questions of its own. Toy Story 4 proved to be both an existentialist rumination and a wildly fun, clean kids’ flick—not an easy combo to pull off. But, to paraphrase Buzz Lightyear, it did it in style.

Your Pick: Aladdin

Y’all didn’t like Toy Story 4 as much as we at Plugged In. Perhaps it was the spork. No matter: You gave Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake your highest grade, with the final chapter in the How to Train Your Dragon saga flapping into second place.


Best Movie for Teens

The Nominees: Avengers: Endgame; Blinded by the Light; Harriet; Little Women; Togo

Plugged In’s Pick: Harriet

We didn’t overload this category with four-quadrant blockbusters this year as we often do. Even so, the race for the Teens’ title was stacked. Endgame was a fitting climax to a more-than-decade-long saga. Little Women is a Best Picture contender at the Oscars. Blinded by the Light and Togo were great pics in their own right. But in the end, we went with Harriet, the inspirational, faith-rich biopic about Harriet Tubman. This well-crafted film shines a light on someone who deserves it—educating and entertaining its audience at the same time.

Your Pick: Tie, Avengers: Endgame and Little Women

Your choices could not be more different from each other … and yet they’ve got some strange similarities going for them, too. Both feature time-honored, diverse characters that clash with each other at times, but who still care for one another when the chips are down. Both films stress sacrifice, determination and love. Both come with hard-earned happy endings. Only one, though, features a gigantic bedazzled glove that could destroy the universe.


Best Movie for Adults

The Nominees: 1917; A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood; The Farewell; A Hidden Life; Just Mercy

Plugged In’s Pick: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Every year, this is the category that we Plugged In staffers argue over more than any other. Some fought for 1917, the resonant World War I drama, even though it has some pretty difficult content to wade through. Others argued for A Hidden Life, Terence Malick’s beautiful story of faith and principled resistance. But A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a semi-fictionalized snapshot of Mister Rogers, ended up taking the prize. As Plugged In Director Adam Holz said, it’s a rare picture that you walk out of that makes you want to be a better person. And that’s what this film does.

Your Pick: 1917

The British war drama has picked up tons of honors this awards season, so why not add one more? This film is a fascinating blend of an intimate portrait—that of two soldiers making their way through the war’s horrific No Man’s Land—told on a sprawling canvas. It’s really effective as a movie and surprisingly impactful as a story. It shows us that, even in the most deplorable conditions, we can—and must—still try to do the right thing.


Best Christian Movie

The Nominees: Breakthrough; Jesus is King; Overcomer; The Pilgrim’s Progress; Unplanned

Plugged In’s Pick: Unplanned

For the first time in the history of the Plugged In Movie Awards, we decided to honor an R-rated film—and oddly, it came in the Christian category. This impactful, harrowing and at times difficult-to-watch drama unpacks one woman’s journey from abortion provider to pro-life advocate. The latest polls suggest that the United States is more accepting of abortion than ever: If more people watched Unplanned, those stats might change.

Your Pick: Unplanned

You were equally moved by this tricky story, with Overcomer sliding into second place. A few folks were wondering why Silence, God’s Not Dead 3 and Do You Believe didn’t make our list of nominees. The answer: Those films weren’t released in 2019.


Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous 4 months ago
You should do documentaries too. Lots of great films in theaters for those 1 or 2 night showings. The Russ Taff film I Still Believe was incredible. Even if you know nothing about Russ, it will move you and call certain people to action. Looking forward to another film called I Still Believe (Jeremy Camp story). What are the chances of two films with the same title in our tiny space?
Anonymous 4 months ago
I didn't wonder why Silence, Do You Believe, or God's Not Dead 3 didn't make the list. I know they weren't 2019 movies. I was merely saying that unlike those awesome Christian films my pick Breakthrough wasn't in the same league as those. It was a decent film but that's it. Those other Christian films I mentioned were ten times better is all. The people at Plugged In need to pay more attention when I say something. I know when films are released. I'm not that clueless.
The Mouse Of Non 4 months ago
If you're so sure you know how to do their jobs, why don't you just make your own Christian media site? Plugged In has guidelines in place and such, and while they tend to exaggerate a bit at times, this list is fairly decent for 2019s movies. 
Anonymous 4 months ago

PluggedIn just need to learn how to understand comments. I said this year's crop of movies wasn't as good as the others I mentioned, not that they were movies that came out in 2019. They just misunderstood what I said, and frankly it wasn't that tricky in the first place. They just weren't paying attention enough. From what they said they made it seem as if I was telling them they were 2019 movies, when I know for a fact they aren't. I do know what years movies come out.

Basically they made it seem like I don't know what I'm talking about, when I do. They just need to learn to read and understand things better. They're not a bunch of two year olds, lol.

Asher Borger 4 months ago
Why would you assume that they were talking about you? They could easily have been mentioning someone else... These comment sections aren't the only place where they get feedback.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I know they were explicitly mentioning me because I'm the only one that mentioned those movies in the comment section.
Anonymous 4 months ago
This is honestly hilarious, I can see the title now. 
"Commenter gets lightly roasted by review site and responds with insults."

Whether those three movies were better than this year's movies or not has absolutely nothing to do with this post or PluggedIn's movie awards in general. No matter how you slice it, you can't make yourself look good here. Just take the light banter and move along. 
Anonymous 4 months ago

Like I said Plugged In just need to learn to understand comments better. They make themselves look stupid by thinking I don't know what years movies come out. 

Bottom line is this past year wasn't a good year for Christian movies in general, especially compared to years past.

Anonymous 3 months ago
Your "bottom line" has nothing to do with this post, so you should probably move on. As it is this whole thing is very humorous. 
Anonymous 4 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Got my hopes up there with that bait and switch of 1917!

Still not sure why you guys didn’t nominate The LEGO Movie 2 though.
The Mouse Of Non 4 months ago
Yeah, LEGO Movie 2 was really good, though I haven't seen it but the one time I saw it in theaters.