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Parents' Guide to

Dial a Prayer

By Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Somber meditation on belief, redemption has heavy themes.

Movie PG-13 2015 97 minutes
Dial a Prayer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

Deserves a better ending

I just feel like the movie isn't over yet. There is no triumph, and although that happens in real life at certain times, there is usually ultimately resolution - especially where the Lord is concerned. I feel like the movie makers took a cop out by avoiding a true and triumphant redemption through Christ in order to avoid offending non-Christian viewers. The main character made a lot of bad choices throughout the film, which made me uneasy, but I figured "she is in the redemption process, this will get better." But it never did. I was especially disappointed with Cora's last meeting with Bill when she tells him she knows what she needs to do next and then criticizes the work they do at the call center. That conversation and her subsequent throwing out of the binders basically shows me that she hasn't actually learned a thing. Pretty disappointing.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

This is a somber film with complex themes that imparts positive messages without singing to the rooftops about any of them. In part it's about being the odd woman out on religious beliefs, but it neither lampoons religion nor celebrates atheism. Rather, it begins with a woman who could not be less connected to the tenets she's about to have to espouse, and it shows her slowly grow more at ease with them, even if she never quite signs up for membership. Still, it leaves viewers with a sense of the importance of community for everyone, particularly that having faith in people is a good thing, even if that faith isn't traditional religious observance.

Acting from Brittany Snow and William H. Macy are what make this film work, as their characters struggle to reconcile their distinctly different perspectives on life. This isn't a slam dunk for either camp when it comes to religious belief, but for open-minded Christians and fans of indie films without too tidy resolutions, it's a well-acted, provocative look at what it means to redeem yourself and the often uneasy coexistence our deepest personal beliefs can create with our fellow humans.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: April 10, 2015
  • On DVD or streaming: May 26, 2015
  • Cast: Brittany Snow , William H. Macy
  • Director: Maggie Kiley
  • Inclusion Information: Female directors, Female actors
  • Studio: Vertical
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 97 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, brief strong language, some drug use and suggestive material
  • Last updated: June 19, 2023

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