Finding Faith

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Finding Faith Movie Poster Image
Christian-based film about child predators aims to educate.
  • NR
  • 2014
  • 104 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Finding Faith has positive messages about seeing the good that comes from tragedy, about the importance of community as a support system, and about keeping your faith in the face of great doubt.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Parents are incredibly engaged and present, and teenagers are realistically naive while also good-intentioned. A female teenager maintains a good spirit in the face of great tragedy.

Violence

The movie features sustained peril throughout, with a menacing tone and multiple references to the preying upon of teenage girls by child predators, though nothing is explicit. A teenage girl is chloroformed, kidnapped, and forced into a truck by a predator who intends to sell her into the sex-trafficking industry. His female accomplice is shown being beaten in the background and later is said to be dead. She is shown often with a battered, bruised face with dried blood. Their infant child is shown in the mix and at risk. Guns are drawn and shot at a shooting range and drawn and shot later as a SWAT team tracks the kidnapper. A man is stabbed in the leg with a knife, and blood is shown dripping off a car. A man is shot from a distance and falls to the ground but survives.

Sex

Though no explicit sex or sexuality is shown in the film, the movie has an air of implied sexual abuse as an inevitable outcome of kidnapping teen girls to sell them into sex trafficking. A man shows up to meet what he thinks is a 13-year-old girl only to find she's an undercover officer. A teen girl is referred to as "Virgin Cotton Candy." A man caresses a teen girl's face in a leering manner. Teenage girls are shown awaiting their fate to be sold to men based on their assumed virginity. 

Language

Some abusive language is used, such as, "Shut up," and, "I'm going to kill you."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A man is shown drinking a can of beer, and some empty beer cans are shown lying around to imply sustained drinking. In one scene, a man is shown slurring his speech and stumbling as if drunk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Finding Faith is a Christian film depicting the real-life events of the kidnapping of a teenage girl who was selected online by a man posing as a boy her age and who intended to sell her into the sex-trafficking industry. It follows her kidnapping, her captivity over three days, and the eventual outcome of her ordeal. Though there is little explicit violence and almost no bloodshed or graphic scenes, it has a high level of consistent peril and mature themes, particularly concerning the kidnapping and selling of teenage girls into the sex-trafficking industry. Best for older kids ready for serious discussions about online safety.

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What's the story?

When Faith Garrett (Stephanie Bettcher) meets a cute boy online named Eddie Blue, she's flattered that someone in Florida who seems so much more mature than boys her age is interested in her. At first, their interactions seem harmless on social media, but when Faith is kidnapped by a child predator, the ordeal tests her community from all sides -- her family, her church, and Sheriff Brown (Erik Estrada).

Is it any good?

FINDING FAITH is not a particularly great movie in the traditional sense, but it has a message that aims to educate families about the real risks of online predators. And it does so in a way that's less fear-based and hyperbolic than the typical Hollywood dramatization might. It's an openly faith-based film, but many of the lessons are useful even if your family prefers the secular community. It demonstrates that online predators can pose as cute 16-year-old boys, that teenage girls are the most vulnerable target, and that sex trafficking is not a terrible tragedy that only happens in distant, far-flung countries but a problem right here. Moreover, here we have a teen girl who is not from an at-risk family but rather from an engaged, church-going family and who has good grades, excellent friends, and engaging extracurricular activities -- all things we might assume are buffers from vulnerability but are not enough without a solid understanding of the online landscape today.

It's probably not a first choice for a Friday night family movie, but for kids of a certain age, and parents looking to engage about online safety, it can be a more moderate way to start the conversation, as it's drawn from a real-life story and not a Hollywood script.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about online safety. What are some things you can do to be sure you can trust the people you share information with online? What do you do to stay safe when you use the computer? Read online about the realities of child predators as well as safety precautions you can take at home.

  • How does this movie compare to other depictions of child predators online that you've seen? Is it realistic? How so, or why not?

  • What were some of the positive things that came out of this ordeal for Faith, her family, and her community?

Movie details

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