Faith Under Fire

Movie review by
Stephanie Myers, Common Sense Media
Faith Under Fire Movie Poster Image
Lackluster faith-based drama about tragedy; drinking, peril.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 88 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

There's a time for everything on earth. Friends will help and support others when in need. Having faith will help you start healing. Personal experiences with grief can help others in similar situations.

Positive Role Models

Pastor Dan Underwood doesn't give up on Tom, keeps trying to talk to him about his wife's death. He prays for Tom and keeps offering his friendship even when Tom refuses. When Tom does reach out, Dan provides support and advice in a subtle way. Tom's 7-year-old daughter wants him to be positive and embrace life. Once she gets sick, she encourages him to start dating again and to start going to church, since she doesn't want her father to be angry and sad. 

Violence

Deals with tragic loss (including parental loss) and grief. In one frightening scene, firefighters go inside a burning house looking for a little girl who's trapped inside and separated from her mother. Main character punches his pastor in the face. Talk about getting punched, having a black eye. Tom yells at the pastor and at God while in church. Tom takes a loaded rifle and sits in a room by himself, crying, implying that he's having suicidal ideation.

Sex

Several characters share kisses during a New Year's Eve party.

Language
Consumerism

Visible brands include Diet Coke and Kroger leaf spinach.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adult characters drink socially during a New Year's Eve party. Tom drinks a bottle of beer at home. In another scene, he's in a bar drinking and calls for a ride home because he's too drunk to drive.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Faith Under Fire is a faith-based drama about how a man handles the unimaginable tragedy of losing his wife to cancer and, two years later, finding out that his 7-year-old daughter is battling the same disease. Upsetting scenes show a parent dying. Big blazing fires are also shown: In one frightening scene, firefighters go inside a burning house looking for a little girl who's trapped inside and separated from her mother. Expect a few physical altercations, too. The main character punches a pastor in the jaw and shouts angrily at God several times. He also takes a loaded rifle and sits with it in a room, implying suicidal ideation. A few scenes show adult characters drinking alcohol in a social context; in another scene, the main character drinks too much and needs to call for a ride home. Characters talk about going to church and having faith, but the film isn't heavy-handed on the topic of religion. It focuses more on general positive messages such as helping out friends in need, finding support in unexpected places, and being able to use your personal grief and tragedy to provide comfort and solace to others who are suffering.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAmyWhitmore December 19, 2020

Sorry to see such a negative from this site.

If you get past the fact that this was a low budget film, and the expectation of happy ending, you will appreciate the realism of the story and not the fantasy... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

FAITH UNDER FIRE tells the story of firefighter Tom Hatch (Nick Vlassopoulos), who lost his wife to cancer and is now watching his 7-year-old daughter, Tiffany (Tenley), fight the same battle. Through a series a flashbacks, viewers get a glimpse of Tom's life before his wife got sick and learn that they used to go to church occasionally. But in the present, Tom's faith has gone. He's angry, sad, and confused about why this is happening to him and his family -- and he blames God for it. He goes to church to try to find answers, but in his anger and frustration, he ends up punching the pastor. Undeterred by his actions, Pastor Dan Underwood (Dean Cain) keeps reaching out to Tom to try to get him to let go of his anger and have faith in God. One of the doctors (Kevin Sorbo) caring for Tiffany also tries to help Tom. With Tiffany in the hospital, Tom's hours at work begin to decline. His co-workers are supportive and understanding, and when it seems like he won't be able to take any more time off, they step up and offer to give him their vacation and sick time. When Tiffany takes a turn for the worse, Tom ends up speaking with Pastor Dan and hearing his story and how faith changed his path in life. Now Tom must decide whether his faith will be restored -- or extinguished forever.

Is it any good?

This poorly acted drama with a rough storyline has a muddled message about faith. Throughout Faith Under Fire, we're shown that Tom needs faith and to reconnect with the church. The movie's main message is that even though bad things happen, you should have faith in God. What the movie fails to establish was how much of a relationship Tom previously had with church. He talks to Tiffany about how they used to go to church years ago, but even in the flashbacks we don't get an understanding of what his faith really looked like. And due to the weak acting, you never really connect with Tom or feel his pain. While supportive, his co-workers are primarily there for comic relief.

Even the film's title does a poor job of accurately reflecting what it's about. It would have made for a much stronger premise if Tom had been shown to be a faithful member of the church with an established relationship with Pastor Dan whose faith was being tested by the tragedy he's facing. Then his faith really would have been under fire. But as it is, viewers don't get the sense that he had that much faith to begin with. And the other positive messages that the film does have just don’t come through clearly, which makes for a tedious viewing experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Faith Under Fire explores faith. Do you consider this an uplifting film, a sad one, or both? What positive messages did you take away from it?

  • Who do you think the movie's target audience is? Do you think only Christians can appreciate what it's saying about dealing with tragedy, or is it for all groups?

  • Pastor Dan references the Bible passage about there being a "time in every season for everything on Earth," including tragedy. How does this fit in with what Tom is dealing with in his own life? Do you think that the film portrays a time for tragedy? Why or why not?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love stories about faith

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