October Baby

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
October Baby Movie Poster Image
Faith-based drama about adoption, abortion, forgiveness.
  • PG-13
  • 2012
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

For those in the pro-life community, October Baby has positive messages, though it promotes that message in an emotional way that may or may not be appropriate for all families. It also promotes forgiveness, acceptance, honest communication, and learning to trust again after betrayal. Characters find faith-based solutions to their problems.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Hannah is an intelligent, loving young woman who's troubled without knowing why. Viewers take a critical journey with her as she matures, confronts secrets and lies that have had a tumultuous effect on her life, and ultimately forgives those involved. While her friend Jason is supportive, caring, and unselfish, her adoptive parents (a very controlling father and a passive mother) make mistakes and show little respect for their daughter's intelligence or stability. But ultimately, they, too, benefit from introspection and faith.

Violence

One disturbing scene in which a medical nurse graphically describes a late-term abortion that had catastrophic results.

Sex

A clear effort is made to show that the teens involved aren't sexually active. But the story is propelled by an unwed teen pregnancy that led to a late-term abortion years earlier.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One young man suffers from a hangover and black eye after having had a drink called a "hand grenade." He remembers little except that he was picked up by police for disorderly conduct. The leading character takes prescription drugs for legitimate medical issues.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that October Baby isn't meant for young or sensitive kids. It focuses on very heavy issues that parents are likely to want to discuss with teens who watch: family deception, the would-be grim consequences of a failed late-term abortion, and a young woman's struggle with anger and depression. In a particularly disturbing scene, a witness recalls the graphic details of the abortion attempt. The filmmakers (brothers who wrote, directed, produced, shot, and edited the movie) bring a clear Christian point of view to the material; after a dizzying array of complications, everything is resolved through faith and a devotion to religious values. Despite October Baby's subject matter, there's no sexual activity; there's also no swearing or offensive language, no on-camera drinking or smoking, and no violent action.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 4, 8, and 10-year-old Written byElizabethW October 21, 2012

emotional film about the power of forgiveness and the reality of what abortion is

Great film for teens and adults. The acting was great and it brings tears to your eyes. It ends with a great positive message on forgiveness. It wasn't... Continue reading
Adult Written bycrashtx1 April 10, 2012

Somewhat uneven but overall good message

The reviewer did a pretty good job. The plot was slow moving and overly complicated, and my wife and I were still trying to sort out some of the flow after the... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byShadow 32 June 23, 2020

Definitely a five star.

I don't know why Commonsense gave this movie only a 2 star rating, it was amazing and it confronts things that would make people very uncomfortable in our... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byCooltiger37 March 31, 2019

Better produced than most Christian movies, but still slightly flawed; mature themes

While I am giving this film a 13+ rating to caution parents about the film's prominent theme of abortion, to be honest, I think that as long as (preferably... Continue reading

What's the story?

When Hannah Lawson (a heartfelt performance by newcomer Rachel Hendrix) unexpectedly collapses, her doctor stuns the 19-year-old with the news that not only is she adopted, but her premature birth was caused by a failed late-term abortion procedure. Her continuing medical problems (epilepsy, asthma, hip impairments) are also asserted to be a result of that early birth. Hannah's parents apologize and try to rationalize their secrecy, but the girl is devastated. She prevails upon her best friend, Jason (the sincere and likeable Jason Burkey), to include her on a spring break road trip to New Orleans with his friends. She hopes that they can stop over in Mobile, Alabama -- the city in which she was born -- to find her birth mother. What follows is Hannah's discovery of more heartbreaking news that her parents kept from her, as well as a series of hurtful encounters -- with Jason's girlfriend, with the nurse who assisted in Hannah's delivery, and with the biological mother who didn't want her. Angry, confused, and frightened, Hannah has to come to terms with her real identity, her parents' betrayal, and a world turned upside-down.

Is it any good?

Earnest and well-meaning, OCTOBER BABY will most likely appeal to a Christian audience that already shares its guiding principles. A warm-hearted romance, good performances, and solid production values are marred by a slow pace, overly literal music choices, and illogical story elements. The plot relies heavily upon coincidence; the tragedies and lies pile up, and as they do, it becomes very hard to suspend disbelief. And the scene in which the delivery nurse (Jasmine Guy) describes the abortion attempt and Hannah's subsequent premature birth seems purposefully shocking (as well as unlikely) in order to drive home a particular point of view. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what different audiences might get out of October Baby. If you're religious, do movies like this one help reaffirm your beliefs or introduce new ones? If you're not religious, what can you learn from them?

  • What are some of the different attitudes in movies and television about teen pregnancy? Why do you think kids are interested in shows like Teen Mom?

  • Talk about honesty between parents and kids. When, if ever, is it OK for parents to lie or keep secrets from their children? Teens: If you've ever been caught lying, how did your parents deal with it?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dramas

Themes & Topics

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