A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Prayer can bring people out of comas and keep them from being charged with vehicular manslaughter.
Positive Role Models
Benjamin is a decent man who is forced to work long hours at his job, leaving his wife and family feeling neglected. His sleazy boss has been cooking the books. An ambulance-chasing attorney tries to exploit the grief of unsophisticated parents coping with their child's injury.
Violence & Scariness
A man accidentally drives his car into a young girl. The accident puts her into a coma and doctors say she has no brain activity. The parents of a girl on life support decide to pull the plug before a miracle occurs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Acquitted by Faith is a faith-based movie. Violence comes in the form of a car accident caused by a dropped cell phone. A slick attorney hits a little girl in the road, sending her into a coma. The parents of a girl on life support decide to pull the plug before a miracle occurs. The morals include: don't text while driving (even though the driver wasn't texting), don't embezzle company funds, don't fire hardworking people from their jobs, and don't underestimate the power of prayer. Heartfelt scenes with devastated parents and injured kids will be upsetting to sensitive kids. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Acquitted by Faith seems to have its heart in the right place, but it lacks, among other important elements of good drama, an all-important emotional arc. Benjamin isn't a bad man at the start, so there's no indication that either newfound faith or anything else makes him a better man by movie's end. At first, he doesn't spend time with his family because his selfish boss works him too hard -- he'll lose his job if he takes time off. By the movie's end, he has a nicer boss, allowing him to spend more time with the wife and kids. Apart from suddenly carrying around a bible, nothing else in Benjamin's behavior indicates a new religious faith or a change in his attitudes about work, family, or religion. At times, the director seems to be going for suspense that has nothing to do with the rest of the plot. At one, point a man walks down the stairs in his house at night as suspenseful music plays, signaling impending doom, but no doom occurs and he goes back upstairs to bed. Dialogue is sometimes ridiculous in the context of the challenges at hand. In a completely absurd moment, after a terrible car accident, a wife assures her husband that because the girl he hit is on life support (and isn't dead), "It's gonna be fine!" "Fine" doesn't seem the appropriate word to describe a girl in a coma.
More important, while faith may be a great positive in many lives, the movie implies that a vehicular manslaughter charge, severe health issues, and job loss can all magically disappear if only people start to pray. Odder still, the actor's accents are all over the place. The ambulance- chasing lawyer claims to have grown up with Benjamin, but he and his wife have southern accents and Benjamin doesn't, nor does anyone else in town. The one element of excellence here is Jaci Velasquez, outstanding in her small role as the little girl's mother. Her performance rises above every other actor here, above the script, and above the direction.
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.