Family movie night? There's an app for that
Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Accepting the consequences of your actions; rebuilding trust; possibility of redemption; forgiveness; doing a job well even when your heart isn't in it.
Positive Role Models
Cora is a troubled 26-year-old who committed a terrible crime of vandalism with a group of other 20-somethings that leads to a woman's severe injuries, and she struggles to accept her actions and how to redeem herself but eventually works toward forgiving herself and others. Her mother is loving but doesn't always see her clearly or strive to understand her. Cora's father is largely absent and tries to solve problems with money. The director of the Dial a Prayer office believes in Cora in spite of her ambivalence about the work they're doing. Many of her coworkers encourage her and look out for her even though it's clear she doesn't want to be there.
Violence & Scariness
A group of 20-somethings smashes a religious statue with a bat, then a woman lights fire to a church; it's later revealed a woman was badly hurt as a result. A woman hits a pedestrian with car; she is shown flung against the windshield, but no one is hurt.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Implied sex after a man and woman make out against a hotel room wall and are shown in bed the next morning, the woman wearing the man's shirt. A man and woman grope and kiss on a bed; a couple kisses and gropes at a party; a man describes a woman as a "hottie."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
"Wake the f--k up," "bulls--t," "hell," "s--t," "a--hole," "Jesus," "sacrilegious scum."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Two women snort cocaine at a party and rub it on their gums; casual drinking at bars, including a woman stumbling home drunk the next morning; people inebriated at a party; casual cigarette smoking throughout.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dial a Prayer is a dark, provocative film about a troubled young woman doing community work for a crime by working at a prayer call center. The crimes of vandalism and arson are shown through flashback; it's revealed that an innocent woman was badly hurt. Two women snort cocaine, there's casual smoking and drinking, and a scene of a party shows drunk 20-somethings. Sex is implied. Profanity includes "f--k" and assorted other expletives. Though the film is heavily entrenched in religious beliefs and attitudes, it doesn't align itself directly with belief or atheism. There's some light poking at the chirpy earnestness of the prayer call center workers, but the film mostly tells the story of a woman trying to fix her life in the midst of a small-town religious workplace setting and how the experience changes her. Better for teens or older who can handle the lack of a clear message. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
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.