God Bless the Broken Road

Movie review by
Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media
God Bless the Broken Road Movie Poster Image
Heavy themes, war violence in keep-the-faith drama.
  • PG
  • 2018
  • 113 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Many faith-based messages that center on maintaining a belief and trust in God when life isn't going well. Put love into action. Bless a veteran. Take time to appreciate life's blessings. Persevere.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Perseverance is demonstrated by all characters. After a change in fortune, one woman works long, thankless hours to take care of her daughter. Three women try to connect with an overwhelmed, estranged friend. A disabled veteran shows up every day in hopes of sharing a meaningful story with a woman. A NASCAR driver keeps training to improve his steering, even after humiliation, setbacks. A grandmother continues to show up to be in her granddaughter's life, even when not welcome. Diversity in the film's Kentucky community, including a church with a black pastor and congregation of various ethnicities. A police officer is kind, helpful. Members of the military, their families make brave sacrifices in service to America.

Violence

A U.S. Army squad is ambushed by Afghani fighters; a battle erupts with gunfire, missile launchers. Characters are struck by bullets and injured; no blood is shown, but a hero character dies on camera. A race car driver has a fiery crash that removes the outer shell of his car. Bullies taunt children, leading one of the victims to charge and attack them. A woman exhibits painful grief after getting terrible news. Arguing among characters/family members, with some cruel things said.

Sex

A man pursues a woman romantically; they date, but affection is limited to a peck on the cheek and an arm squeeze.

Language
Consumerism

One character is a NASCAR driver; sponsorships are everywhere. Brands shown most frequently include Firebird, JEGS, Interstate Batteries, Hot Wheels, and Coca-Cola. Other brands seen on billboards, stock cars, and/or racing gear include Little Debbie, Budweiser, Bud Light, Simpson, Van Doorn, Sunoco, Dodge RAM trucks, Kirkey, Great Clips, Keller, General Tire, Ball Park Franks, Boyce, American Oil, and Festida Foods. Facebook is mentioned. Profits from the film will go to DAV, Disabled American Veterans charity, and the organization is highlighted in the movie's feel-good ending. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that God Bless the Broken Road is a Christian drama about the challenge of maintaining your faith when life isn't going well. It centers on a grieving military widow (Lindsay Pulsipher) who's struggling to make ends meet and stay connected to her daughter. While there's no iffy content related to profanity, sex, or substance use, it explores mature themes/topics including grief, dealing with banks and foreclosure, payday loans with high interest, and the main character's anger at God. There are also scenes of war violence that include missile launchers and gunfire. Two military members are seriously or fatally injured as a result; the sequence isn't gory but is intense and frightening and may be particularly affecting for viewers who have loved ones in the armed forces. Family conflict results in a young girl running away from home, which is depicted as serious and concerning but concludes with a laugh. The film explores dating again after the loss of a spouse, but the budding romance doesn't get physical in any way. The only lust shown in the film is that for NASCAR, with many racing scenes (including a serious crash) and brand sponsorships plastered everywhere. As the movie is intended for a Christian audience, it revolves around church, gospel songs, and Sunday school lessons; there are also clear messages about the importance of perseverance and taking time to appreciate life's blessings.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12 year old Written byKandP's Mom September 7, 2018

Good family film for all

Saw this with my 12 and 14 yr old kids. Both enjoyed it. Racing for my son and love story for my dtr. Very little violence. One scene shows military in a gun... Continue reading
Adult Written bystexia September 7, 2018

not for kids!!! But great for adults and older teens!

This movie is really good and interesting. I loved it. I am so sick of Christian movies with bling-ed out, half dress rich people. These people were real and i... Continue reading

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

What's the story?

In GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD, Amber Hill (Lindsay Pulsipher) loves leading the church choir. But after her husband, Daniel (Liam Matthews), is killed while serving in Afghanistan, Amber pushes everyone away, especially God. Two years after Daniel's death, Amber works tirelessly to keep the family financially afloat, but it's not enough, and she's in danger of losing the only thing she and her daughter, Bree (Makenzie Moss), have left: their home. While bills continue to mount and Amber's mother-in-law (Kim Delaney) is a constant thorn in her side, Amber and Bree rediscover the lighter, fun side of life when they start spending time with a visiting race car driver (Andrew Walker).

Is it any good?

This faith-based drama weaves a story that combines God, the military, small-town life, country music, and NASCAR; if it seems like it's pandering to a specific audience, it is. That's because God Bless the Broken Road (which comes from God's Not Dead writer-director Harold Cronk) isn't about recruitment or inspiring debate -- it's serving up a movie to an audience that's not likely to see movies that don't have those elements. The movie's many messages aren't hard to miss; they're declared clearly within the dialogue, usually a few times. But the film's purpose -- to show how "the broken road" is actually a blessing in Amber's life -- may be fuzzy to all except the target audience.

Production values are solid, and the film comes off like a Hallmark movie in every way, including casting frequent Hallmark player Walker in the role of Amber's respectful gentleman caller. Familiar faces pop up playing smaller, supporting characters -- including Kim Delaney and Robin Givens (both give total pro performances), as well as American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, former NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson, and stock car racer Cody Coughlin. But it's Pulsipher who capably carries the film, making every viewer an empathetic companion.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the sacrifices made by members of the military and their families. Does God Bless the Broken Road make you more empathetic to the challenges faced by the families of those serving our country?

  • The film suggests that people "put love into action." Which characters exemplify that? What does that mean to you?

  • How do the characters demonstrate perseverance? What about teamwork? Are characters more successful when they try to accomplish goals alone or when they come together?

  • At the end of the film, the title song "God Bless the Broken Road" is performed. What do you think the song means in relation to the movie?

  • Did you notice the product placement in the movie? Do you think the brands displayed in the racing and restaurant settings made the film more authentic? What's the impact of advertising on kids?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love inspirational films

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate