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Parents' Guide to

A Long Way Off

By Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Faith-based family drama uses excess to teach lessons.

Movie PG 2014 100 minutes
A Long Way Off Poster Image

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For families of faith, the film's messages will resonate loud and clear without the slightest bit of ambiguity. From the opening scenes of simple farm life and stoic men and religious symbolism to the fast-paced city full of opportunities to blow money, drink heavily, and indulge in sin, it's obvious A LONG WAY OFF has an agenda: to retell the Prodigal Son parable for modern times. But the lack of subtlety, the after-school-special-with-a-budget vibe, and the strong agenda overdo what are some probably decent messages about staying in touch with your parents, respecting Dad, and not blowing your inheritance without a tad more research. Secular families will not find as much to hook into here, because otherwise the main character's missteps and consequences appear almost comically exaggerated for a predictable end. There's a lot of heavy drinking, bar scenes, and partying, so it's best for older kids who can contextualize the reason for the relentless focus on excess on the inevitable road to redemption.

Movie Details

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