Manna from Heaven

Movie review by
Liz Perle, Common Sense Media
Manna from Heaven Movie Poster Image
Well-meaning movie will bore younger kids.
  • PG
  • 2005
  • 120 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Honesty is a big theme

Violence
Sex
Language

Occasional moderate explitives

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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 a very sincere and well-meaning comedy. It 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.

Talk to your kids 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

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