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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Loved ones who die could help you from the afterlife.
Positive Role Models
Riley defies her non-believing mother by believing in God, heaven, and supernatural powers. Her grandmother laments that Riley's mother doesn't believe. A greedy and insensitive newspaper owner tries to exploit Riley's powers to sell papers. Riley's dad is kind and understanding.
Violence & Scariness
Riley falls out of a tree. She faints when people wanting cures surround her. A man reaches to help her and for undisclosed reasons she cures only him of the entire group. Offscreen, a cat is hit by a car. Riley heals the cat but it's later reported the cat dies.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two married people kiss.
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"Knothead," "carrothead," "dipstick," and "nimrod."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A girl with cancer is said to be on chemo. A boy with asthma is supposed to take medicine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the faith-based Heaven's Door deals with the death of a 12-year-old girl's grandfather and her belief that he's contacting her from heaven and bestowing healing powers on her. Other emotional challenges include the death of a pet dog, the girl's parents' imminent divorce, and the illnesses of those who flock to the girl to be "cured." The girl herself later seems to be pronounced dead but then returns to life in an unexplained way, with perhaps the intervention of her dead grandfather. None of this is fully explained. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
All the many ways in which this movie is internally inconsistent, nonsensical, and downright messy are too numerous to list. That said, Heaven's Door is designed to appeal to Christians who believe in angels, divine intervention, communications between the living and the dead, and in the ability of certain chosen individuals to use spiritual powers that derive from the dead to heal the sick. For those reasons, believers may find the movie's many story and editing problems acceptable drawbacks. For example, Riley, who is starting to take on the illnesses of those she's cured, learns that the healed are getting sick again. On the other hand, Ben, the hospital janitor, whose eyesight was restored, is NOT relapsing. So why isn't Riley losing her vision? Who exactly is giving her the power to heal people? God? Jesus? Angels? Is it her dead grandpa Nate? Why does Nate's widow ask Nate to help the ailing Riley? What can he do? Why doesn't she ask God?
Most confusing is the sequence in which Riley walks from her hospital room to the room of a girl with cancer. Riley cures the kid, then seems to drop to the floor. With no explanation, a doctor walks down the hall in scrubs, seemingly from surgery. When was the surgery? What was it for? It feels as if the director didn't shoot enough coverage to fix last-minute story changes, then prayed that divine intervention would fix it all. Equally maddening, we are told that heaven is not a far-off place with puffy clouds, but the camera cuts to puffy clouds at least three times throughout the movie.
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.