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Parents' Guide to

Jack of the Red Hearts

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Good acting in thought-provoking but predictable drama.

Movie PG 2016 94 minutes
Jack of the Red Hearts Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 1 parent review

age 9+

Incredible movie & Wonderful storyline theme

Understanding and working together with a child doesnot need any college degree but your devotion to the child's mind and your desire to work through the tasks with them together, whatever it takes for an adult to go for it. Kids donot know how to deal with themselves, and here comes the need of adults to help them out with necessary guidance. This movie theme has set the coarse in very organic way, and the role of characters Jack by Anna and Glory by Taylor was played so well & felt so real.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

With fine performances from Robb and Janssen, this family drama is touching but stereotypical in its portrayal of how a girl with autism helps change an unethical young woman's life for the better. That Jack lasts even a few days as Glory's live-in caretaker seems unbelievable (and borderline insulting to professionals who've dedicated themselves to caring for and educating children with special needs). Although director Janet Grillo, working from a screenplay by Jennifer Deaton, wisely makes sure Jack faces consequences for her actions, the set-up is a bit predictable. There's never a doubt that Glory will finally express herself verbally and make breakthroughs with Jack, who has to steal another caretaker's folder to even have a clue what she should be doing with the girl. Robb, a talented young actress, gives Jack the right balance of a con artist's charm, a former foster kid's street smarts, and a determined older sister's desperation.

Broussard is equally as impressive as Glory's clever brother, who simultaneously crushes on "Donna" but has serious doubts about her qualifications -- like when she doesn't seem to know who Annie Sullivan or Helen Keller are and casually uses the "R"-word -- something he calls her on. The story edges into melodrama at times, and the fact that Glory's activities, diet, and therapies are portrayed as destroying her family both financially and emotionally may concern families with special-needs children. Ultimately, Jack learns a lot about herself and how to help Glory, and that's laudable, but the movie reduces Glory to a vehicle for Jack's character growth and maturity in a way that's formulaic. Still, Jack of the Red Hearts is worth seeing and discussing the issue of autism, how characters with autism are depicted in popular culture, and why the narratives about families with special needs to evolve and focus on them, not just their families and helpers.

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