Parents' Guide to

Mr. Church

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Clichéd drama has sad moments, drinking, stereotypes.

Movie PG-13 2016 104 minutes
Mr. Church Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 13+

Feel good tearjerker

This movie is phenomenal.
age 10+

It was more than I thought it would be....

Eddie proved his versatility and ability to shine in any role. He is a true artist, which is beyond just being an actor. He can take a crappy role and make it glisten like the sun...I say this because that kid was awful 😖 most folks would have left after 6 months...She was curious about him but never learned to share herself as in her thoughts, feelings etc. We call that selfish. Watch this with ur child as a learning tool of how not to be a brat or racist but to respect all people and learn something of value...that which u take ur kid to church to learn is given in the lesson of Mr. Church.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (7 ):

Evaluated just on Murphy and Robertson's performances, this relationship drama would be worth seeing, but the problematic stereotypes and cliched storyline make it a disappointing waste of talent. Murphy's portrayal of Mr. Church is thoughtfully understated and quietly forceful, forcing audiences to look beyond the actor's comedic genius to his considerable dramatic abilities. Robertson and McElhone are well cast opposite him, with Robertson in particular proving she's a gifted young actress who's able to convey much nuance.

Unfortunately, even if you take into consideration screenwriter Susan McMartin's real-life friendship with the personal cook she grew up with (although apparently some of the circumstances were quite different), Mr. Church quickly becomes a pretty blatant example of what Spike Lee first called the "Magical Negro." Mr. Church is a wise, caring, talented African-American man (he cooks, plays piano, sews, and even cries "elegantly") whose only purpose seems to be to help a troubled white character better understand herself. What little we learn of his back story is so limited that even that only serves to further the growth of Charlie's character. It's a shame, because the actors are quite impressive. But the movie is not.

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