A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Family loyalty, the importance of loving one's family even when they make it difficult, working through conflict, supporting siblings in their quest for identity and achievement, repairing broken relationships, balancing individual dreams with helping your family when in need, and the importance of finding your identity within a family all are stressed.
Positive Role Models
Characters are largely well intentioned, though they're working through anger, sadness, illness, or frustration. A man is angry over past hurts. Another man is reluctant to help his family because it conflicts with his dreams. Both work to reconcile their feelings and resolve the conflict. One woman is deliberately out to sabotage a local business and acts unethically at every turn to do so, including sabotaging a concert to raise money.
Violence & Scariness
Two men push each other until they both fall into a lake. A character passes away; he's shown on the ground, not breathing, and then the film cuts to his funeral.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man and woman kiss.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A woman is shown drunk, half-asleep on the couch talking about the car she wrecked while drinking. In another scene, two people must carry her from a children's playground, where she has passed out asleep after drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Changing Hearts shows a father struggling with terminal illness, who then passes away; he's shown on the ground, not breathing, and then the film cuts to his funeral. A woman with a drinking problem wrecks a car (not shown) and must be carried by her daughter from a playground where she's passed out. Difficult sibling relationships are marred by betrayal. There's the resolving of old wounds, a struggling family business, and the pull between individual identity and the role we play in our families. Though the film portrays strongly positive messages about sticking through tough times to support your family, there are some intense emotions and heavy themes probably best reserved for older 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?
The plot gives viewers more to chew on than the acting or production, which sometimes feel deliberately cheap and green-screened. CHANGING HEARTS explores interesting themes about family, particularly how we balance who we are and want to become with our obligations to those we love. Older kids closer to leaving the nest may appreciate those conflicts between living your life and serving your family, but for younger kids, the illness, drinking problems, and deep wounds of sibling rivalry portrayed here are too intense.
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.