Anything Is Possible

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Anything Is Possible Movie Poster Image
Inspirational faith-based movie has heavy themes.
  • NR
  • 2013
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Faith; loyalty; trust; believing in yourself; the strength of community in hard times.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Parents and adults are engaged and present, though not always straightforward. Nathan isn't told the truth about his father's identity, but parents and his community work in his interest to make sure he's taken care of. Kids are well-intentioned and have realistic concerns and flaws, though often speak in maturity that seems beyond their years. Some kids throw rocks at a house and break a window but later admit it and accept responsibility.

Violence

Footage of the wreckage of tsunami; discussions of kid having heart surgery at age 3; men tell husband wife is missing and has possibly died overseas; some references to PTSD; visits with a sick kid receiving and recovering from chemo in the hospital.

Sex

Married couple kiss.

Language

"Hell," "damn."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Anything Is Possible features a mother in a military family possibly killed overseas, with the family held in suspense for the duration of the film. The family is further broken apart when the 10-year-old boy is put in an orphanage while his father's identity is determined, and for a period he runs away but remains unharmed. There are some intense scenes and conversations about grief and loss, some brief scenes that involve sick kids at a hospital, and references to PTSD and emotional heaviness throughout as they await news of the mother's fate. The film emphasizes the triumph of hope, character, and community, with a focus on using musical talent as a coping mechanism, but the mature content is better for older kids and may be too intense for kids who have actually lost a parent to military service.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJack V. August 16, 2017

Ethan Bortnick is amazing

To say that this movie has a "faith based" message is slightly misleading. The message is very positive and encouraging, but there is absolutely no ex... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Nathan's mom Maggie (Lacey Chabert) is off to help tsunami victims in Japan, but when military men arrive to tell them she's missing in a bridge accident, Nathan (Ethan Bortnick) and his father, George (Jonathan Bennett), are left on their own. Then Social Services arrive to inform them that until they can determine proof of George's paternity, Nathan will be put in an orphanage. From there, the community must learn to wait patiently for news of Maggie, while Nathan uses his musical talents to pass the time.

Is it any good?

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE is a positive movie about character and community, and it works a strong angle promoting faith and belief in getting through tough times. It depicts a strong community organizing around a suffering family and doing whatever it takes to help a local orphanage stay afloat and help a boy reunite with his rightful father. That said, it also promotes a likely very unrealistic idea about the odds of coming back after going missing in any military or rescue operation overseas.

For younger kids there's some heavy emotional content as it is, but for kids who've lost parents to military service, the ending may be a bit much. Otherwise, it's a solid film that can spark discussion about coping that features some impressive musical chops from real-life child piano prodigy Ethan Bortnick.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the ending. Does it seem believable to you? Why, or why not?

  • How does Nathan's talent help him cope? What do you do to get through tough times?

  • What does Anything Is Possible show us about military families and the sacrifices they make?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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