Faith-based historical tale; mature themes, violence.
No reviews yet.Add your rating
No reviews yet.Add your rating
Common Sense is a nonprofit organization. Your purchase helps us remain independent and ad-free.
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.
Suggest an Update
A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Boonville Redemption is the dramatic, faith-based story of a young, small-town girl as she struggles to come to terms with having been "born out of wedlock" Set in 1906, violence is commonplace in Boonville. Death by gunfire and natural causes, the damaging effects of the horrific earthquake in nearby San Francisco, and the ruthless behavior of a cruel man all impact the plot. In addition to his abusiveness (he viciously hits his wife and child), the man is a sexual cad, a mean drunk, and wields enormous power over most of the townspeople. Good people and solid values come up against the pervasive evil that lives in Boonville -- and those people and those values triumph because of the power of godliness, faith, and religious teachings. Mature themes and the fact that several kids are imperiled make this message-driven tale appropriate for mature kids only.
There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
What's the Story?
Melinda Lawson (Emily Hoffman) thinks she's old enough now to know the truth in BOONVILLE REDEMPTION. She knows she was born when her mother was unmarried. She's had to live with whispers, insults, and a very brutal stepfather who never lets her forget about her "sinful" beginning. Of the many mysteries that confound the young heroine, the most important is the identity and whereabouts of her father, about whom no one will speak. There have been rumors about jail, perhaps abandonment, even about a violent death, but Melinda simply can't get anyone to tell her the truth. Her local pastor, on the verge of revealing all to Melinda, is shot and killed. So when stepfather Maddix (Richard Tyson) sends her away to help care for her aging Grandma Mary (Diane Ladd), the young girl sees it as an opportunity. Perhaps, the time is right for her to learn the story from the elderly woman. Building a warm relationship with her grandmother and making a new friend, a peculiar but kind-hearted boy, boost Melinda's spirits, but not for long. As soon as she has bits and pieces of the truth, tragedy strikes and Melinda returns to Boonville. What the distraught girl hasn't learned is that lies almost never stay hidden. There are others in Boonville for whom the time is also right. Seeking redemption and forgiveness, Melinda receives help from those others, some of them very unexpected.
Is It Any Good?
Well-meaning but artless, this folksy, religious drama has a heart, but relies on a predictable plot and one-dimensional characters, so there's little to recommend. Faith-based values are gently delivered, and thoughtful. Boonville Redemption was able to attract some reliable character actors (Diane Ladd, Ed Asner, even Pat Boone is appealing as the film's narrator and town doctor), but the writing and direction gives them no opportunity to do their usually fine work. The action sequences, including off-screen gunplay and the themes of illegitimacy, spousal abuse, and drunken infidelity, make this for teens only, but it's hard to imagine that it would engage them.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the setting for Boonville Redemption. How does the fact that the story takes place in 1906 affect the plot? For example: What attitudes have changed about marriage and family? How are men's and women's roles different now, and in what ways are they the same?
Did you know that "Boontling" was an actual language spoken in the real town of Boonville, California at that time? And the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 was one of the U.S.'s most catastrophic incidents? Find out more about the historical relevance of these two American events.
In addition to telling an entertaining story, the creators of this movie have a secondary, and perhaps equally important, purpose. What is that purpose? Is it important for audiences to recognize a filmmaker's intention? If your answer is yes, why?
What is the meaning of the terms "faith-based" and "message-driven" as they relate to this film?
- On DVD or streaming: November 8, 2016
- Cast: Pat Boone, Diane Ladd, Emily Hoffman
- Director: Don Schroeder
- Studio: Boonville Redemption The Movie
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Friendship, History
- Run time: 95 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
Our Editors Recommend
To Joey, with Love
Heartbreakingly beautiful doc about devout singers' lives.
Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors
Inspiring, faith-filled tale has emotion, serious themes.
When Calls the Heart
Book adaptation with feel-good, faith-based themes.
Heaven Is for Real
Extremely earnest drama explores issues of family and faith.
For kids who love faith-based movies
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate