A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Promotes finding joy in helping those less fortunate, thinking for oneself, and apologizing for bad behavior. When mistakes are made, lessons can be learned. "Facing the consequences of one's actions is a part of life."
Positive Role Models
Heroine is basically a well-meaning, focused teen; however, she gets distracted and makes mistakes in judgment. The story shows her finding her way back, becoming an even more responsible, thoughtful, and generous person. Parents and authority figures are solid, with the exception of a stereotypical businessman villain. No ethnic diversity.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Emma's Chance is a wholesome story about facing up to consequences, fulfilling responsibilities, and finding purpose in the process. Principal events were filmed on the actual Red Bucket Equine Rescue facility in California, the nonprofit horse ranch portrayed in the story. So while the story of Emma and "Chance," a gallant stallion, is fictional, the horses photographed are the real residents of Red Bucket, and the character of Susan Peirce, played by an actress, is the real-life founder of the operation, fondly known as "the land the horses own." High school pranks, along with some of the "mean girl" perpetrators of those pranks, set the story in motion. The heroine, an all-around good kid, gets momentarily led astray. Other than that, there's nothing to worry about for tweens and teens. There may be no surprises in what is essentially a conventional film, but it's family-friendly, with lots of horses filmed in beautiful surroundings. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A teenage girl trying to find her way, a worthy cause, and beautiful horses mostly make up for what is at heart a routine story with stock characters and fully expected outcomes. Performances are fine; the production is competent all around, and knowing that the Red Bucket Equine Rescue is, in fact, a real place and the horses photographed are the ones who live there is an added bonus. Despite its lack of nuance and originality, it's a heartfelt film with some solid messages and lovely visuals -- fine for tweens and teens, the target audience.
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.