Natalie's Rose

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
Natalie's Rose Movie Poster Image
Faith-based, supernatural tearjerker has mature themes.
  • NR
  • 1998
  • 84 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

You don't need to get over a death of a loved one, you need to get through it. People need to find hope on their own.

Positive Role Models & Representations

John is a generous dad who sends his grieving daughter to her dead mother's ranch to heal. Natalie struggles to find reasons her mother was taken from her.


A woman dies peacefully, albeit prematurely, in bed surrounded by family. A man sustains a mild head injury after falling from his horse offscreen. A fatal car accident is described.


"Dad gummit," "snotty."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Natalie's Rose revolves around the death of a mother and the grieving husband and daughter she leaves behind, and this is a genuine tearjerker. The teenage girl assumes God is behind her loss and can't understand why she was dealt such a terrible hand. The movie is not explicitly Christian, but a belief in an all-knowing and highly interactive God is assumed. Religious/supernatural answers are provided in the form of gauzy ghosts, glowing angels, a disappearing horse, and an old rose that will not wilt. A man falls off a horse and gets hit on the head ,but the violence is mostly offscreen, such as, for example, when a fatal car crash is described.

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What's the story?

NATALIE'S ROSE is both the name of an ethereal horse that appears mysteriously and also a white rose that refuses to wilt a year after a woman's death. The horse and rose are both allegedly brought to Natalie (Heidi Creel) by God to heal her after the death of her young mother. Obeying her mother's dying advice, she travels from Seattle to her mother's childhood home, a Nevada horse ranch. There she struggles to understand why God took her mother from her. A beautiful white stray horse shows up. Natalie names her Rose and, in bonding with the animal, begins to recover from mourning. When she achieves full understanding, she announces that God needed her mother more than she did.

Is it any good?

This is a bona fide tearjerker, and in that capacity the movie is a success. When a young daughter watches her mother die, only the hard-hearted will not be moved. However, one's personal tolerance for the religiously supernatural will determine how compelling the viewer finds the depictions of gauzy ghosts, undying blossoms, and a disappearing horse. As a guide to recovering from the death of a loved one, this movie relies on man's anger against and then acceptance of God's presumed direct role in the personal fate of each and every one of us. This may be a sketchy proposition for some viewers. Kids looking for a fun horse movie should look elsewhere; this heavy tale could upset sensitive kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the techniques the movie uses to convey that certain people and animals are ghosts, angels, or otherwise impermanent creatures destined to fade into the ether.

  • How well does the movie convey where in time -- the past, present, or future -- the action is? Can you tell that time has passed?

  • Do you think you have to have certain religious beliefs to enjoy this movie? Why, or why not?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love horses

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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