Manna from Heaven

Well-meaning movie will bore younger kids.
  • Review Date: July 22, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 120 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Honesty is a big theme

Not applicable
Not applicable

Occasional moderate explitives

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that one of the main characters is a saint-like nun who defies authority. There is occasional cursing, gambling and some of the characters are scam artists. This movie doesn't have much to grab younger kids' attentions.

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What's the story?

When a bucket of money falls out of a truck, young Theresa convinces her family that the money is a gift from heaven to split up. Years later, Theresa, who has become a nun, decides that it is time to pay the money back, so she calls the eccentric group back together to repay the \"loan.\" The problem is, nobody has the money, nobody wants to give back the money, they don't know to whom it belongs, and most of them can't stand each other. Theresa has some tall talking to do to get this querulous group on board, but her gift was always to see the best in everyone, and she eventually wins them over. Each one of them starts doing it for selfish reasons (Bunny and Ed are con artists who think they'll take the money and run; Inez, a hard-nosed casino card dealer is going to have no part in it until she starts falling for a secret service agent...) -- but in the process, get caught up in their community and something larger than themselves.

Is it any good?


Sweet as treacle, this very sincere and well-meaning comedy begins when a bucket of money falls out of a truck and flutters down on a close knit family (and friends) in a lower middle class neighborhood in Buffalo, New York. What follows is an witty, intelligent, feel-good comedy about rediscovering hope at any age. MANNA FROM HEAVEN's cast is excellent and all star (including Jill Eikenberry, Shirley Jones, Louis Fletcher, Austin Pendelton, the late Frank Gorshin, and an almost unrecognizable Shelley Duvall. None of the dialogue rises to the talents of the actors although the movie maintains a charming, easy pace.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what they would do if they were in the same situation and found lots of money. Another good discussion might being by asking kids what they make of the affectionately portrayed the scam artist couple.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 12, 2005
DVD release date:July 12, 2005
Cast:Cloris Leachman, Jill Eikenberry, Shirley Jones
Directors:Gabrielle Burton, Maria Burton
Run time:120 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:language and sexual references

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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