A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Religious faith can help get people through difficult times. It's important to do what's right even when that's hard. Our actions have ripple effects on all those around us, and we have to face the consequences of our decisions. Sometimes just being there for someone is enough.
Positive Role Models
Fathers are essential role models for their sons. Billy has made mistakes in the past that he was unable to mend before his wife's death and his own old age. Nick has also made mistakes but realizes, thanks to Billy's inspiration, that he has time to fix them before it's too late. Both men want to be good fathers to their sons. Billy is self reliant and hard-working. Nick is still stinging from the loss of not growing up with a father.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of guns pointed at people, shot in warning, and used to threaten or hit people on the head. Nick barges into Billy's house at gunpoint with a bleeding wound on his side. He threatens Billy repeatedly. Billy is himself being threatened by three hired thugs whose boss wants to buy Billy's land. They tear apart his house and threaten him with baseball bats. Billy is a tough Vietnam veteran and says his generation grew up going to war. A bloody fist fight breaks out. Billy tells a joke that thunder is actually the devil beating his wife.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Billy had an affair. Nick's wife is pregnant. Nick and his wife hug.
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"Bulls--t," "hell," "ass," "stupid."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Billy and Nick drink beers in the evenings.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Father's Legacy is a faith-based film meant to provide inspiration for men about the essential role a father can play in his son's life. There's a lot of violence or threat of violence involving guns -- one man barges into another's house and holds him hostage at gunpoint. Other men use handguns and rifles to threaten each other. A group of thugs repeatedly threaten an old man to motivate him to sell his land, and their visits usually end in violence -- overturning the man's house, fist fights, and blows to the head. The film's key messages involve taking responsibility for one's actions and the impact they have on others, the importance of family, and the value of faith. Language includes "bull--t," "hell," "ass," and "stupid." 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 film has great intentions and solid performances, but its general predictability and some improbable plot turns undermine its quality. The fact that first-time feature filmmaker Jason Mac, who also plays Nick, kept A Father's Legacy to a tight 86 minutes with beautiful cinematography keeps it watchable. The third act is definitely the best, when the characters reveal their stories and discover their common ground. You know this is coming, but it's still touching when it does.
To get here, however, you'll have to suspend disbelief in a couple of early scenes when Billy succumbs to Nick's threats (how do the police at the door not see Nick's shadow behind a thin white curtain?) and then opts to help the younger man rather than turn him in. There are also some awkward time lapses (the men seem to go from breakfast to bed in back-to-back sequences), and the use of flashbacks isn't entirely smooth in the narration. Dialogues don't feel exactly forced, but there's also nothing very unique or new in these characters or their conversations. The film will mostly speak to a specific audience, Christian males, and those in need of its message of hope.
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.