Parents' Guide to

Allelujah

By Stefan Pape, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

U.K. hospital drama has upsetting scenes, smoking, language.

Movie NR 2023 99 minutes
Allelujah movie poster: The cast of the film, including nurses, doctors, patients, and family members.

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Based on a play by Alan Bennett, this British drama is a film that pulls the rug from beneath the feet of the viewer, but in doing so, undermines it's purpose. Allelujah, for all its flaws, works mainly as a political piece, a film that helps show the compassion and diligence of nurses and doctors. In the United Kingdom, with cuts to the National Health Service prevalent, the film goes to great lengths to show why funding is so vital, and what it means to patients to have proper support and care, and how much that means to their family members who are suffering alongside them. All very positive stuff, and it needs highlighting and celebrating. But the film takes a dark turn, and without giving a spoiler, it diminishes all of the above. Now that's absolutely fine, and in some ways commendable in the way director Richard Eyre lulls the viewer into a false sense of security before suddenly shifting the tonality. No story has an any obligation to remain upbeat and positive, after all. But it's just in this particular case, with some poor writing and mediocre performances, the film's one saving grace was that it is, at the very least, important. But then when you question whether that's even the case -- there's not a lot left to cling onto.

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