Parents' Guide to

Seven Days in Utopia

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Great actors and good messages, but very predictable plot.

Movie G 2011 98 minutes
Seven Days in Utopia Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 13+

Find yourself, learn and listen to others.

Movie has a very strong message. Story of a man who was very conflicted about what life has to offer. Great message about learning who we think we are, and finding what life offers. Nice spiritual movie.
age 8+

Sports psychology 101= life skills

One of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Much of the movie will talk to an audience that is hungry for change through forgiveness and humility. A movie that can offer a discussion afterward to what the main character was able to do with pressure from others... self-destruct?, blame others?, or acceptance and recenter? I so appreciated Robert D.'s sageness. We need more mentors in our society! They didn't go too far down the stereotypical romantic connection that it took away from the theme of the movie. And didn't have to offer the sexual scene. Not a movie for everyone, yet I saw my younger self in the main character with past anger and resentment, so it spoke to me and got my son curious to look within a bit.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (2 ):

The acting is so good here, it's a shame the message misses its mark. There's nothing wrong with an inspiring sports movie; some of the best in the genre -- Hoosiers, Remember the Titans, Miracle -- are classics that families will be watching together for generations. But there's a line between inspiring and evangelizing, between moving and cheesy, and this golf drama crosses completely over into eye-rolling territory. It's not the actors -- the cast boasts two Academy Award winners (Duvall and Melissa Leo), plus Black, Hurt Locker vet Brian Geraghty, True Blood vamp Deborah Ann Woll, and Emmy winner Kathy Baker. It's the movie's Cars-meets-Karate Kid-via-Sunday School plot that drags it down. Not to mention that golf isn't the most exciting sport to begin with, so there's a generally soporific tone to the entire endeavor.

On the bright side, the cinematography is lovely (lush greens and blues), Black never looks awkward swinging a golf club, and the soundtrack features a memorable selection of contemporary Christian tunes. Duvall's take on a Mr. Miyagi-ish mentor is quite amusing, although possibly unintentionally so -- as in the scene when Johnny ludicrously allows Luke to take the controls of a small airplane as it begins to plummet through the air. Painting and fly-fishing are one thing, but flying a plane? No. The movie's general message that winning is never more important than what's in your heart is a wonderful lesson for all budding athletes, but the delivery is too heavy-handed.

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