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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Sometimes a dose of fear is useful. Let your faith be stronger than your fear.
Positive Role Models
Mandy is a nice girl going through a difficult transition after death of her mother and move to strange new place. When she gets into an accident driving a new friend's off-road vehicle and causes property damage, she's apologetic but afraid to tell her dad. A woman says she was mad at God but then remembered God has a plan.
Violence & Scariness
Mean girls taunt a new girl at school. Mandy tries to force her horse to jump too high too soon, resulting in the horse's leg injury. A woman remembers her 8-year-old daughter, who died of leukemia. A girl's mother died recently. A boy performs community service to make up for breaking some windows.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Champion Heart (also known as A Horse from Heaven) is a familiar, faith-based story featuring a troubled teenage girl and a troubled horse as they work to heal each other. High school mean girls and bullying behavior are on full display. A woman remembers her 8-year-old, who died of leukemia, and a teenager mourns the recent loss of her mother. A character forces her horse to jump too high too soon, resulting in the horse's leg injury. When a character gets into an accident driving a new friend's off-road vehicle and causes property damage, she's apologetic but afraid to tell her dad. There are some horse poop jokes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This pleasantly watchable film isn't much more than a rehash of a tired old recipe. See also: Rodeo & Juliet, Healed by Grace, Christmas Ranch, Rodeo Girl, The Horse Whisperer. In this case, take one self-absorbed teen girl, mix with equal amounts hard work and cute guy, and play for 90 minutes. The flavorless, simplistic, but inoffensive fare that results won't bother anyone, but it won't inspire anyone either. Director and co-writer David de Vos plays the dad of Mandy, and Mandy is played by his real-life daughter, Amanda de Vos, credited as Mandy Grace here. A Champion Heart relies on stock characters and a paint-by-numbers script with acting to match. Devan Key as Bradley is the exception: He has a spark that a better script might have developed.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.