Posted in Growing in the Lord, Movie Monday, movie reviews

Movie Monday: Sabina

This week’s Movie Monday movie is Sabina: Tortured for Christ, the Nazi Years. It is the story of Sabina and Richard Wurmbrand, co-founders of the Voice of the Martyrs.

The movie opens in the 1930s with an inside look at Sabina’s life. She’s spunky, silly, and worldly. She’s also an atheist, as is Richard, the man she marries. Little matters in their lives except selfish pursuits and having fun.

But God has a way of changing hearts for His glory, and Sabina’s and Richard’s hearts are no exception.

Both are from a Jewish background, and both became two of the most amazing examples of Christian love.

Major themes throughout this well-produced and well-acted movie (Raluca Botez, who plays Sabina, is an especially gifted actress), include forgiveness, selflessness, and reliance on God. Even after coming face-to-face with the German who killed Sabina’s family, she still reaches out to him with the love of Christ, along with risking her life to save him and other German soldiers.

Why would someone do such a thing? Especially in light of the horrific murders her family members endured at the hands of the Nazi soldiers during WWII?

In the movie, Sabina mentions that she couldn’t even fathom such a thing were it not for Christ’s strength within her.

Throughout the movie, we see how God changes hearts. He places people in our lives at just the right moment, and He continues to grow us in our faith, many times through challenges and struggles. We see an example of a strong and godly marriage, founded on faith.

Sabina is a touching and well-done movie. It’s convicting on many levels, and has a strong redemption theme. Indeed, no one, not even a Nazi soldier who places no value on human life, is beyond that redemption. It is a powerful movie about the impact of the Gospel.

Rated PG-13, this movie is not for children. It contains some frightening moments, although never includes gratuitous violence. And while I would not recommend this movie for anyone under 13, it does provide an excellent family discussion, so I encourage parents to watch this with their older teens.

Sabina is a captivating movie and one that I highly recommend. It’s one that is well worth the time to watch, and is a potent reminder to pray for those brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to be persecuted for their faith.

I give this movie my highest rating of five out of five stars and is a must-see. More information about it can be found at sabinamovie.com.

Below is the trailer:

Before you go, check out these other posts:

Movie Monday: Play the Flute

Movie Monday: Fearless Faith

Movie Monday: Little Women

Mom-Approved Movie Listing

Reading Suggestions for Kids of All Ages

What is Love?

The Top 10 Blog Posts of 2021

10 Ways to Encourage Others

Posted in all things Christmas, Christmas, movie reviews

All Things Christmas: Favorite Movies of the Season

What’s the Christmas season without snuggling under a blanket in your favorite recliner and munching on popcorn while watching your favorite Christmas movie? Add a steaming cup of hot chocolate with puffy marshmallows and a peppermint stick, and you have the perfect setup.

Here, in no particular order, are my picks for favorite movies to enjoy not only for the Christmas season, but all year round.


The Nativity Story
Beautifully produced, realistic, and touching, The Nativity Story reminds us of what Christmas is all about.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
It just doesn’t get any better than timeless Charlie Brown classics! Another one we watch every year, A Charlie Brown Christmas is, for the first time, no longer available on network television. But thankfully it is available for purchase and streaming.

The Christmas Cure
Love this family-oriented story with plenty of humor, love, and some dramatic moments. You can find my full review here.

The Christmas Card
Sweet romance movies just really doesn’t get any better than this. Check out my full synopsis and movie review here.

Christmas Angel
As always, Della Reese provides a command performance in this delightful story of friendship. Add a touch of romance between characters played by phenomenal actors Kevin Sorbo and Terri Polo and you’ve got a must-watch for the entire family.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
A touching must-see movie about how reaching out to others can make a difference. For my full movie review, go here.

Wish for Christmas
When a high school girls makes a wish, she has no idea that it’s going to change everything – and not for the better. A mix of humor and drama, this also includes a great lesson of putting others before ourselves and a great one to watch with teens.

Christmas Oranges
A wonderful story for young and old viewers alike. For my full movie review, go here.

Broadcasting Christmas
A fun story about how competition can lead to love.

Silver Bells
A story with a great lesson about the true meaning of Christmas. For my full movie review, go here.

Silver Bells
One of my absolute favorite Hallmark Hall of Fame Movies, Silver Bells is a classic true love story about second chances.

A Dog Named Christmas
A heartwarming movie for all, but especially those who love dogs.

Christmas With Tucker
Another heartwarming movie highlighting family bonds and a special dog.

The Angel Doll
A little girl with polio and a caring big brother set on making his sister’s Christmas special.

Dashing Through the Snow
Looking for a relaxing evening with a romantic comedy? This one is a must-watch.

Switched for Christmas
When two sisters who are completely opposite with completely opposite goals in their lives switch things up for Christmas, what could possibly go wrong? For my full review, go here.

The Christmas Ornament
A beautiful love story about second chances.

Once Upon a Christmas Miracle
A heartwarming movie based on a true story.


For more family movies, please check out my extensive Mom-Approved Movies Listing on this blog.

Merry Christmas!


Before you go, check out these other posts:

All Things Christmas: Favorite Songs of the Season

thankful for the small things

13 verses to comfort the fearful heart

8 things I want my daughters to know

the importance of avoiding false teaching

the importance of avoiding the gossip trap

conquering the joy zappers of life

it’s release day!

Posted in Movie Monday, movie reviews

Movie Monday: Little Women (2019)

Little Women has had several movie adaptions made. The one that sticks in my mind the most is the adaptation from 1994, which starred Winona Ryder, Kirstin Dunst, and Susan Sarandon. I’ve always loved this movie for many reasons: the importance of family, the love between sisters, and because I’m a writer myself, Jo’s dream of being published.

I recently viewed the adaptation from 2019, which stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, and Laura Dern.

This particular version goes back and forth between the present and the past, mainly through Jo’s eyes. It contains the same characters as the original book and screenplay – the feisty and fiery writer wannabe, Jo; the calm and gentle actress, Meg; the fashionable and bratty Amy; the sweet and gracious Beth; and the fun-loving and dashing Laurie.

Talking Points

There are some excellent themes families can discuss with tweens and teens. The movie highlights contentment several times throughout, including the March family not having much food to eat and Meg’s marriage to a hardworking, but poor, man. Generosity is highlighted and seen especially in Marmee’s and Beth’s tender care for those less fortunate. Self-sacrifice is seen when Marmee suggests that her girls donate their breakfast to a starving family nearby. At first reluctant, the girls soon see the graciousness in Marmee’s suggestion. There is also the theme of forgiveness and the importance of Ephesians 4:26 “…Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” The theme of family is woven throughout and it is clear that the March family is close and cares deeply for each other, even if they don’t always get along.

Concerns

There are only a few concerns in this version: namely, an unfortunate use of the Lord’s name in vain uttered once and there is an instance of Jo sneaking alcohol and Laurie being drunk at a festivity. Laurie’s rebellious nature surges to the forefront after his rejection from Jo.

As was the 1994 version, this adaptation is also suitable for the entire family, although those under nine will likely not be interested in the entire movie. If you are looking for an enjoyable movie filled with drama, some humor, and a bit of romance, Little Women is just the ticket. I highly recommend it and give it 4 1/2 stars out of five. For more movie suggestions for the family please see my Mom Approved Movies Listing.

Before you go, check out these other posts:

Movie Monday: The Legend of Five Mile Cave

All things Christmas: Favorite Movies of the Season

Movie Monday: God Bless the Broken Road

Movie Monday: Hailey Dean Mysteries 3-film Collection

21 awesome family movies you may never have heard of

9 recently-released family movies for your next family night

9 movie series sure to be a hit on your next family night

Posted in Movie Monday, movie reviews

Movie Monday: Chronicle Mysteries – Recovered

movie monday chronicle mysteries

If you love suspense movies, Recovered, the first movie in the new collection of Chronicle Mysteries series, is just the ticket. Set in small town Pennsylvania, Alex McPherson (played by Alison Sweeney) makes it her goal to solve a cold case while keeping the audience of her well-followed podcast informed of each development.

No one knows what happened to Alex’s friend, Gina, after a car accident on a fateful night 20 years ago. Can Alex solve find the missing pieces to the puzzle? Why does someone not want the truth to be found?

Alex uses The Harrington Chronicle, a newspaper owned by her uncle, as her landing spot where she conducts research for her project. There, she meets the leading man, Drew Godfrey (played by Benjamin Ayres).

Those who are accustomed to clean suspense movies (Sue Thomas, F.B. Eye, Signed, Sealed, and Delivered, and Garage Sale Mysteries to name a few) will not be disappointed with this newest series starring Alison Sweeney.  For those of you movie buffs, you may recall that she also starred in the Murder, She Baked mystery series with leading man, Cameron Mathison.

Recovered is an enjoyable movie with twists and turns, adventure, humor, and, of course, a bit of romance. It’s perfect for a family night movie and contains nothing objectionable; however young viewers may be frightened by the car wreck scene (nothing graphic) and a duel with the bad guys.

I give Recovered a five out of five stars for those 10 and up. I can’t wait to watch the second installment!

 

 

Other posts on this blog that you may enjoy:

Movie Monday: Beautifully Broken

Mom-Approved Movies Listing

Movie Monday: God Bless the Broken Road

Movie Monday: Free Burma Rangers

proud to be an American

Posted in Movie Monday, movie reviews

Movie Monday: Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Road Less Traveled

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What happens when the POstables find a seemingly old disposable camera in the lost and misdirected mail with pictures on it? And not just any pictures, but one including a note with a child’s writing begging to be reunited with his dad?

Was the child kidnapped? If so, where is he/she now? The pictures offer few clues.

signed sealed delivered road less traveled

The POstables set out to find the answer. And so the adventure across Colorado begins in the old Winnebago that Rita’s parents gifted Norman and Rita. Along the way, the group not only discovers the surprising answer to their mystery, but also some important things about their relationships along the way. Will Rita complete the 100 things she “must” do according to a wedding magazine before she and Norman get married? Why is Norman being so evasive? And who is Alex Brighton – the one who continues to text Shayne? Does Oliver have reason to be concerned?

Humor, romance, drama, a mystery, and clean wholesome viewing occur once again in this episode. It contains nothing objectionable. However, young children may be frightened by the “kidnapping” theme. It is appropriate for tweens and up.

 

Those of you who follow the Movie Monday reviews on my blog likely realize that the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series is among my favorites. It’s right up there with the Sue Thomas, F.B.Eye Series,Where Love Found Me, The Redemption of Henry Myers, The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry, Finding Normal, Beautifully Broken, Unbroken: Path to Redemption, and Beyond the Mask. All awesome movies for family night (among many more too numerous to list, but that can be found on my Mom-Approved Movie Listing).

As a matter of fact, I can’t wait to watch the next installment of Signed, Sealed, Delivered when Rita and Norman finally head to the altar. Will Shayne and Oliver be next?

Posted in Movie Monday, movie reviews

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!

 

Posted in Movie Monday, movie reviews

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.

 

 

Posted in 1, Movie Monday, movie reviews

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.

 

Posted in Movie Monday, movie reviews, Patriotic

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.

 

Posted in Movie Monday, movie reviews

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.