Movie Monday: Unplanned

“What she saw changed everything.”

Unplanned

When Unplanned finally came to my small-town theater, I was excited to support this film that was unapologetically pro-life. Based on the true story of former Planned Parenthood Clinic Director, Abby Johnson, Unplanned is a movie that stays with the viewer long after the credits roll.

There are some difficult scenes to watch, namely:

At the beginning when Abby is called to assist with an abortion,

The scene with Abby in the bathroom after taking the abortion pill RU-486,

The scene with the young girl who nearly died when her uterus is perforated during an abortion,

And when Abby is called into the POC room at the beginning of her tenure at Planned Parenthood and we witness the tiny parts of a baby needing to be reconstructed to be sure the doctor removed all parts during the abortion.

Disclaimer: I did avert my eyes during several of those scenes.

There is also some minor language throughout the film.

Perhaps one of the ironies I discovered with the Unplanned movie is that horror flicks that garner an R rating show disgusting and oftentimes perverse themes. Bloody corpses, zombies, and the like are commonplace for that genre. (You can probably sense that I am not a horror flick fan and have seen only one in my life as a teen, and one I regret subjecting my eyes to).

In contrast, Unplanned shows the reality on film of tiny babies being murdered. It’s truth, not something from someone’s imagination like a horror film.

I loved how both Abby’s husband and her parents, while in disagreement over her choice of career, stood by her and prayed for her heart to be changed. Friends she made along the fence outside the clinic did the same. Prayer is powerful, and when God has a plan, nothing and no one can stop it.

Perhaps two of the biggest themes in the movie are redemption and forgiveness. Forgiveness not just of others, but of oneself. Abby struggles to forgive herself for her role in contributing to thousands of abortions and for her own abortions.

One of the other things I really appreciated about the movie was that it did not condemn women who have had abortions. As I discuss in my blog post the importance of life, a close friend of mine had an abortion years ago. She confided to me that, while she remains pro-choice, not a day goes by that she doesn’t think about her baby and what he or she may be like if she had chosen life. She struggles with forgiving herself.

Thankfully, we serve a mighty God, who can forgive us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). Abby discovers this in Unplanned, as she, too, has had not one, but two abortions.

Is Unplanned difficult to watch? Yes.

Is it intense and grisly in parts? Yes.

Will it leave you emotional and burdened for the preborn? Yes.

Is it a movie for children? NO.

Sadly, when we entered the theater, we noticed that several back row seats were filled with little children – some about three or four years old and none older than about seven. While this movie is an important one, it’s not one for children. I honestly cannot state that often enough. It’s not for children. It’s not even for young teens.

Due to the graphic nature, this movie’s target audience is older teens and adults. And those older teens should be watching it with their parent(s) and discussing it afterwards.

But while this movie isn’t for young teens, it’s important to begin discussing with your children the importance of life. Our girls knew that a baby was a baby from the moment God placed it in a mommy’s tummy. That was our simplest explanation when they were little and discussions were age-appropriate as they grew older.

I would highly recommend this movie. But be warned, it will change you. Bring a box of Kleenex and a prayer in your heart. It will leave you with a prayer for people to again someday see the value of life from the time a baby is conceived in the womb, a prayer for those contemplating abortion that they would choose adoption or to raise the child themselves, and a prayer for those women who have had abortions. That God would heal their broken hearts.

Rating: Five out of five stars.

Movie Monday: Beautifully Broken

Beautifully Broken movie monday.png

One of the things I love about reviewing movies is that I often come across amazing ones that stick with me long after the credits have rolled. Beautifully Broken is one such movie.

Three families worlds away face brokenness…and healing. Their lives intersect across the globe during the Rwanda Genocide of 1994. Three fathers face difficulties while attempting to protect their families. One father is on the run with his wife and daughter to escape the massive killings occurring in his beloved country. Another faces a difficult decision that must be made to save his family. And the third, across the ocean in the United States struggles with a wayward daughter and the terrible secret she’s kept hidden from he and his wife.

beautifully broken

One of the things that struck me most was the reliance on God by William, of the Rwandan Christians and main characters in the movie. As a husband and father, he took his job of loving and protecting his family seriously. He relied on God for his every breath. To see such an amazing display of love and reliance on the Lord was humbling and not something one sees often enough in our country.

The movie, based on a true story, offered excellent reminders to fathers and husbands to lead, protect, love, care for, honor, and cherish their families.

Another topic that was prevalent in the film was immigration to the United States. I appreciate the way it was done legally and through the proper channels, as intended.

Beautifully Broken is a movie of hope. Of redemption. And of forgiveness. Be sure to have  a box of Kleenex ready and consider purchasing this movie, rather than streaming it. You’ll want to watch it more than once – yes, it’s that good.

I rate Beautifully Broken a five out of five stars. It is appropriate for ages 16 and up due to a couple intense and graphic war scenes, and an assault (not shown).

 

 

Movie Monday: Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Home Again

signed sealed delivered movie monday.png

From the very first episode of Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I was hooked. Imagine my excitement when I discovered the latest installment in the series.

In Home Again, the Postables find a package with what appears to be an expensive vase. Who sent it and who was the intended recipient? After discovering the answers to these questions, they discover a family in dire need of help before they lose their family farm. Will they be able to assist the family in their dream of keeping the farm before it’s auctioned off to the highest bidder? Will they be able to convince one of the daughters who left years ago on bad terms to return home?

signed sealed delivered.jpg

In other news, Norman and Rita receive a visit from Rita’s parents. Things get off to a bad start right away. What can Norman do to make Rita’s father like him?

Signed, Sealed, Delivered boasts great story lines, humor, romance, and a little mystery all thrown into one. There is nothing objectionable – this is truly family fare at its finest. The characters are realistic, the acting superb, and the storylines heartwarming. The only downside in Home Again is one unnecessary use of the Lord’s name in vain.

If you are looking for a series for your next family night, I highly recommend Signed, Sealed, Delivered. But start at the very first episode. It’s quite possible you’ll become an ardent fan as well!

 

Movie Monday: The Christmas Cure

Movie Monday the Christmas cure (2).png

Sure, it’s no longer the Christmas season, but some movies are great to watch any time of the year. Case in point: The Christmas Cure.

Hallmark Christmas movies are plentiful. Some are top-notch, some are so-so, and there are a few I’ve hit the “pass button” on. The Christmas Cure is one that goes in the top-notch category.

Vanessa Turner decides to spend Christmas at home. A busy emergency room doctor in a large city, Vanessa is ready for some rest and relaxation in her small home town. She reconnects with her mom, dad, and younger brother, Kyle,  all of whom she has close relationships. She also reconnects with a man from her past – high school sweetheart, Mitch. After all these years apart, is there still chemistry between the two of them?

the Christmas cureVanessa’s dad decides to retire. He’s run the clinic, which is attached to his and his wife’s home, for a number of years. It will be difficult to walk away from a job and the patients that he loves, but he deems it’s time. Will Vanessa decide to continue her father’s practice, or will she return to a job, complete with a promotion, in the city?

There are many redeemable qualities in this movie. Vanessa’s parents, Bruce and Martha, love each other and have a happy marriage. The longevity and sincere love of their marriage is a breath of fresh air.

Dr. Bruce Turner has worked as a doctor in his clinic for numerous years. He still cares deeply about his patients and goes out of his way for them. He even makes housecalls. His daughter, Dr. Vanessa Turner, follows in his footsteps and is also a kind and caring doctor as well.

The sibling relationship between Vanessa and Kyle is endearing. They are close and back each other up when necessary. Kyle, as the klutzy younger brother, provides several instances of comic relief.

Vanessa and Mitch have an innocent love that has endured throughout their years apart.

There is nothing objectionable in The Christmas Cure, and it is suitable for the entire family. It contains humor, love, drama, and a wonderful story line interwoven through the lives of a family and a young man who they’ve taken under their wing.

I highly recommend The Christmas Cure and give it a five out of five star rating.

For a listing of movies, please see my collection of Mom-Approved Movie Listings.

 

 

Movie Monday: Duma

movie monday duma

Once in awhile, I come across a little-known movie that is, in my opinion, a “must-see.” Duma is such a movie.

dumaSet in South Africa in the present day, 12-year-old Xan and his father nearly run over a baby cheetah while driving home on an empty stretch of highway one evening. They take the animal back to their South African farm and raise it as a pet. Xan mentions that when you give something a name, it then becomes your friend.  After trying to decide on a name, Xan finally decides to give his new pet the name of Duma, which is “cheetah” in Swahili. It isn’t long before a wonderful friendship begins between Xan and Duma.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this movie is the portrayal of Xan’s closeknit family. Xan’s dad, Peter, is sure to teach his son all he knows about building things and taking care of a farm (which comes in handy later in the movie). Peter spends a considerable amount of time with Xan and, together, they test Duma’s speed by racing alongside the animal with a stopwatch.  There is also a strong love and devotion between Xan’s parents, even when they are in the midst of tragedy.

Duma is void of anything objectionable (there is a situation with “cultural” medicine practices, but nothing explicit); however, there are several intense scenes that will frighten younger viewers. When Xan embarks on an adventurous journey and a promise he made to his father to return Duma to the wilds where he belongs, Xan encounters the harsh elements, wild animals, a stranger, and near death due to a lack of water and food. Parents will also want to discuss Xan’s choice to leave on his own to help Duma find his way back to the wilds, rather than solicit his mom’s help.

Duma is one of those movies that I hadn’t heard much about, but that I am glad I purchased. Themes of family unity, forgiveness, loyalty, loving your neighbor, and grief all play integral roles in this movie. I highly recommend it for everyone ages 12 and over. (NOT recommended for those under 12).

For a listing of movie suggestions, followed by archived movie reviews, please see Mom Approved Movie Reviews.

 

Movie Monday: Indivisible

Movie Monday indivisible

Darren and Heather have a picture-perfect marriage. They are both committed to each other, to their children, and to the Lord.

Michael and Tonya are struggling in their marriage and have been for some time. Michael has anger issues and ignores Tonya on a regular basis.

One day, both Darren and Michael, as well as two other secondary characters in the movie, receive orders to deploy to Iraq. Darren will be deploying as a chaplain and for the first time; Michael and the other characters as soldiers.

Darren came back from Iraq a different man.

Michael came back from Iraq a different man.

One for the better, one for the worse.

What happens in Iraq changes both men forever. Darren sees things, experiences things, and faces loss that he’s never experienced before his deployment.

Can a couple with a strong faith rely on God to get them through a crisis in their marriage?

Can a couple of the brink of failure allow God to intervene?

Indivisible_FinalPoster.jpg

Indivisible is a touching story of faith, love, and patriotism. It details the realities of war, the difficulties our soldiers and their families face, and tackles the difficult topic of PTSD. While I have a grandpa who served in WWII and the Korean War; a father-in-law who served in WWII, and a cousin who served in Iraqi Freedom, I didn’t realize the extent to which our faithful servicemen and women give of themselves – their sacrifices – to keep or great nation free.

There is nothing objectionable in the movie; however, there are some scary parts that would frighten younger children.

Indivisible is based on a true story, and is one you’ll want to watch more than once. I give it a strong five out of five stars and highly recommend it for age 12 and older.

 

Movie Monday: Miss Potter

Movie Monday Miss Potter.png

Miss Potter is based on the life story of author and artist Beatrix Potter, known for her best-selling “Tale of Peter Rabbit” books. Having a gift for art since she was a child, Beatrix continued to hone her talent and seek publication as an adult. However, as one from a wealthy and upstanding family in the early 1900s, Beatrix was expected to take a different route with her life – to marry, have children, and host social events in her fancy home. She, however, had a different dream – to see her stories published in book form.

miss potterWhen Beatrix receives an acceptance from a large publisher, she is ecstatic. However, her mother is less than thrilled, and we see the conflict throughout the entire film. Her publisher assigns the publication of her books to the youngest brother of the owners of the company, a man named Norman, who is almost as excited as Beatrix is about her books. Will their partnership blossom into something more?

This movie is appropriate for all ages, although those under 8 or so will not likely understand the story line and might become disinterested.  There is nothing objectionable in this movie, although there is an incident where Norman is less than honest when he slips a bit of brandy into the elderly governess’ tea.  Spoiler alert – be sure to have a tissue box because there is an unexpected tragedy woven in the movie.

Miss Potter is a delightful movie and I enjoyed it for so many reasons. First, as an author myself, I could completely understand how the characters came to life in Miss Potter’s mind and how she loved to tell the stories of each character. Secondly, this movie contained all of the elements of a great story: romance, drama, and a bit of humor. It encourages all of us to follow our dreams.

I give Miss Potter a five out of five stars.

Join me most Mondays for Movie Monday, reviews from a Christian point of view of suitable movies for families – and yes, there are many!

For a listing of movies, please see my collection of Mom-Approved Movie Listings.

 

Movie Monday: Sue Thomas F.B. Eye

Movie Monday Sue Thomas F.B.Eye.png

IMGSue Thomas is a deaf woman who can read lips and speak. She’s lived a sheltered life for the most part, so when she’s accepted for a job with the F.B.I. hours from her hometown, she knows she’s embarking on an adventure.

Based on a true story, this series is one of the best I have ever seen and is on my top-ten favorites list of all time.  Sue Thomas F.B. Eye  has everything that makes a movie good – a touch of romance, drama, humor, action, and adventure. What’s more, the writers and producers managed to pull off this feat without the use of the distasteful Hollywood variety of violence, crass humor, foul language, and sexuality.

Sue Thomas F.B. Eye is a wholesome show, but it’s far from dull. Each episode includes the latest case to solve by Sue’s F.B.I. team, which includes:

Sue, a talented lip reader who helps solve many cases, but who struggles with being accepted because of her disability;

Jack, the lead investigator (with a dash of romance between he and Sue);

Lucy, Sue’s best friend and roommate, and the administrative assistant for Sue’s F.B.I. team;

Bobby, the Australian agent with a flair for fighting for the underdog;

Tara, who can figure out just about anything on the computer and is the technology guru of the group;

Demetrius, the serious, yet kind, agent who learns a lesson the hard way about how his workaholic tendencies affect his family; and

Miles, the annoying know-it-all who has it out for Sue in the beginning.

Some of the episodes include some scary parts that may be inappropriate for those under 10 only because of the theme.  One episode “Simon Says” is particularly scary and may frighten those younger than teens.

However, there is nothing objectionable in any of the episodes and Sue Thomas F.B.Eye is a perfect series for the entire family and one of our family’s favorite shows of all time.

I give the Sue Thomas F.B. Eye Series a definite five stars out of five and highly recommend it!

Movie Monday: God Bless the Broken Road

movie monday god bless the broken road

A gifted singer, Amber Hill takes seriously her role in directing the choir at church. She and her young daughter, Bree, are counting down the days until their husband and father returns home from his tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Unexpectedly one day while in church, Amber receives the news…her husband, Darren, has been killed in the line of duty.

Her life changes in a moment.

god bless thebroken road

Things take a dramatic turn for Amber and Bree. No longer interested in relying on God or anything to do with faith, Amber tries to get by on her own. Bree still attends church, but without her mom.

Cody Jackson is a race car driver given a second chance. Can he take the time to listen to advice and have a teachable spirit? Will he be able to get his career back on track? When his path crosses with Amber’s, will he be the friend she so desperately needs even though his heart might wish for more?

God Bless the Broken Road is a story of faith, love, and patriotism. It is a story honoring our vets. It’s a movie that shows the reality of what one faces when a loved one loses their life while serving their country.

This movie depicts the struggles even Christians face when going through difficult times. It does so effectively and realistically.

Excellent background music, which included the likes of MercyMe, Hawk Nelson, Citizen Way, and Audio Adrenaline. Micah Tyler, one of our family’s favorite Christian artists, makes an appearance in the movie and sings a couple songs as well.

There are a few intense moments depicting Darren’s last moments on earth. However, there is nothing objectionable in this movie, and it’s appropriate for older tweens and up. My only recommendation? Be sure to have a box of tissues nearby.

I give God Bless the Broken Road a full five stars out of five.

 

 

 

 

Movie Monday – Christopher Robin

Movie Monday Christopher Robin (2)

My first thought while watching the recent release of Christopher Robin was of the Disney movies my siblings and I watched as children. The Disney Sunday Movie series came on TV every week with Mr. Eisner doing the introduction. Some movies were classics, some were new, but all were good. This movie was heartwarming like how those I remember from yesteryear used to be. A time when Disney catered to families with wholesome fare. (For those of you who want to take a step back into time and watch the intro to the Disney Sunday Movies series, you can see it here).
Christopher Robin (2)

We see Christopher Robin as a grownup now, working furiously to save his job, to the detriment of his family. When Pooh and the gang locate him after numerous years apart, will they remind him of what truly matters?

Christopher Robin is a sweet movie with a lot to offer families. It entertains the youngest viewers with silly antics of Pooh and his friends. For older viewers, a good lesson is thrown in the mix. Will Christopher realize the importance of his family? Will he seek to put them first before his job? Will he learn to have fun again?

There are melancholy parts as well. As I watched, I couldn’t help substituting in my mind a cell phone for Christopher’s “bag of important things.” Sadly, it’s a common occurrence to see parents spending more time with their cell phones than their families. But that’s a topic for another post.

Humor, drama, and a bit of light suspense round out this movie. My favorite humorous part involves Pooh on the train. I won’t give away spoilers, but let’s just say a grown man with a talking Teddy Bear does prove to be interesting.

Objectionable content: One utterance of “Good Lord”.

My two teenage daughters recalled fond memories of watching Winnie the Pooh and Heffalump when they were younger. We all agreed that the movie Christopher Robin was well done and that the voices of the characters were believable – and just as my daughters had remembered.

This movie is a winner for the young, the old, and everyone in between. I give it a Tigger-filled 4.5 out of five.


Looking for other Monday Movie reviews? Check out these past reviews…

Movie Monday: A Bramble House Christmas

Movie Monday: Switched for Christmas

Movie Monday – When Calls the Heart: My Heart is Yours

Movie Monday: Where Love Found Me

Movie Monday: Finding Father Christmas

Movie Monday – Unbroken: Path to Redemption

Movie Monday – Seasons of Gray

Movie Monday – The Mighty Macs

Movie Monday ~ Safe Harbor

Movie Monday – Silver Bells