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Parents' Guide to

Believe Me

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Con men bilk the faithful, and no one gets punished.

Movie PG-13 2014 93 minutes
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Russell, Fisher (a ringer for William Devane), and co-star Sinqua Walls are all good actors, but their performances alone can't clarify what the script leaves murky. The 1960 film Elmer Gantry covers this subject -- religious hucksterism -- far more compellingly, raising the deeper question of whether all preaching might fall into the category of hucksterism insofar as it exploits people's dedication to faith (by definition, a strong belief in something without proof of its existence).

Such logical lapses may leave parents with a lot of explaining to do, far beyond the basic issues of morality and selfishness. The film even ends mid-sentence, which is the perfect metaphor for an idea that doesn't know how to resolve itself.

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