A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Before you do -- or don't do -- anything, do a cost-benefit analysis of the possible outcome. Faith in God is the solution to problems.
Positive Role Models
Mike Stubbs is a caring math teacher who has persuaded his wife, grieving for their lost son, to take in a high school student who was convicted for selling drugs. Stubbs also advises the school's Bible study club. He believes Brendan can turn himself around and supports and encourages the boy to be his best self. Brendan has had a rough youth but is trying to be a good and honest person. Det. Dwyer is overprotective of the Stubbs family and expects the worst of Brendan. Later he gives Brendan a chance. Eli is a menacing and violent criminal.
Violence & Scariness
A gang member is killed in a police raid of a drug-dealing house. Brendan's former gang stalks him, looking for a hidden drug stash. The gang members hit a biker with their van, sending him to the hospital with minor injuries. Brendan rescues a girl from a burning car. The gang members beat up Brendan. Brendan hits some of them with a shovel and then points a gun at them, but decides not to shoot.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A high school girl confides that she had had an abortion that she never told her ex-boyfriend or mother about.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A stash of heroin is captured by police.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that King's Faith is a faith-based drama. Brendan, the teenaged protagonist, was convicted for selling drugs and is trying to turn his life around, having found faith in a Christian God during his time in prison. The difficulty of leaving crime behind is illustrated as old associates come around to threaten Brendan's foster parents and new friends. Brendan is beaten up and a friend is pushed off the road. Both are seen later with bruises. Guns are waved and a dead body is shown in flashback. A high school girl reveals that she's had an abortion, which may have implications about her commitment to God. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Good performances by appealing actors make this a likable movie about teen redemption. Faith in God is touted as the number one cure to what ails the troubled kids here. Faith-based movies that dwell on magic and miracles may put off faith-neutral viewers, but King's Faith offers a subtler integration of faith into the lives of its characters, whether believers or non-believers. For example, honesty to friends and family is also advised as a method of recovery from trauma, and a girl who had had an abortion begins to heal after she lets her mother and ex-boyfriend in on her secret. Crawford Wilson as Brendan gives a believable and contained performance as a young man who is aging out of the foster care system with no one to turn to but the kind and caring foster parents who take him in after losing their own son, a police officer killed during a traffic stop.
Solid performances overcome intrinsic weaknesses in the story's conception. To maintain a kind of false plot tension, the script never sends Brendan to the police when his old gang starts threatening him. Certainly after Eli and friends beat Brendan up, the logical thing to do would be to call the police. He could also have told the police where the drugs were hidden, eliminating the gang's motivation for stalking Brendan. Such logical, real-life solutions would certainly make sense, but they wouldn't help manufacture drama, which is at its heart what this movie is about.
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.