The Girl Who Believes in Miracles
Without guidance, parable may confuse kids; smoking.
Based on 16 reviews
Based on 4 reviews
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The Girl Who Believes in Miracles
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Girl Who Believes in Miracles is a faith-based drama about a compassionate, humble Christian preteen who is given the power to heal. While in church, Sara (Austyn Johnson) takes to heart a sermon about the idea that, if someone truly believes in God and His infinite power, then anything is possible. She prays for a dead bird to come back to life, and it does. She's then able to heal others' disabilities and life-threatening illnesses, but ultimately, her personal fate is a sad one. Although it may be clear to Christian audiences and/or adults that her experiences are meant to mirror those of Jesus, kids may not realize without explanation that the movie is trying to demonstrate what Jesus' actions might look like in today's world. Kids may also be set up for confusion and disappointment when their own prayers don't seem to work -- for instance, in bringing a dead pet back to life (as happens in the film, when a dog is depicted lying on the street in blood). Iffy content includes bullying behavior, teens smoking and drinking (out of brown paper bags), and some harsh language, including "stupid" and "hell."
We Can Trust God Even When We Don't Understand EVERYTHING About Him
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What's the Story?
THE GIRL WHO BELIEVES IN MIRACLES is about a young girl named Sara (Austyn Johnson) who learns in church that, with faith, God can move mountains. A true believer, Sara prays for big changes for those in need, leading to miraculous results.
Is It Any Good?
It's hard not to watch this faith-based drama without scoffing in utter disbelief: A child who can cure cancer and bring dead creatures back to life? C'mon! But then, that's the point. Activating their skepticism is what could ultimately allow viewers to appreciate this well-intentioned but imperfect modern-day parable. Little Sara is standing in for Jesus, both literally and figuratively. Families are able to see what Jesus' actions might have looked like in today's world, and that could help bridge understanding for Christian kids who struggle with ancient worlds and wording. The challenge, though, is balancing The Girl Who Believes in Miracles' message about the power of faith by humankind with the power of the son of God. In other words: It's a bit reckless to suggest to kids that if they pray and believe enough, Fido will come back to life. And it could compound confusing and/or upsetting emotions for kids who pray for a loved one's terminal illness to go away and then it doesn't. Could kids think it's their fault -- that they just didn't believe enough or pray in the right way?
The story also has some holes and concerns -- the kind that are so big that even kids may question the script. And, of course, since Sara is Jesus-like, it makes sense that she's beyond perfect, but her "fresh curls at all times" presentation does lack some credibility. All in all, this film feels like it was a better idea than an actual finished product. But as an Easter release, it's not terrible. There's a desire among Christian families to watch something entertaining and relatable that both honors and explains the death and resurrection of Christ -- and with a little explanation by adults, this can do the trick.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about who the intended audience is for The Girl Who Believes in Miracles. How can you tell? Do you need to be part of that group to enjoy it?
How does Sara demonstrate compassion, gratitude, and humility? Why are these important life skills?
This film was timed to release at Easter, but Easter is never mentioned. Why is that holiday significant for this film?
Do you believe in miracles? Sara's miracles are big, but can you think of anything on a smaller level that would qualify as a miracle? Do you think science and faith work together?
How is Sara's story similar to the biblical stories of Jesus? How do the filmmakers ensure that we understand Sara is human and doesn't have superpowers?
- In theaters: April 2, 2021
- On DVD or streaming: May 17, 2021
- Cast: Austyn Johnson, Mira Sorvino, Peter Coyote
- Director: Richard Correll
- Studio: Atlas Distribution
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: thematic content, a brief fight and brief smoking
- Last updated: December 10, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Young boy's faith pulls heartstrings in sentimental drama.
Faith drama based on true story has some war imagery.
Intense peril in faith- and fact-based tearjerker.
Miracles from Heaven
Good acting can't save earnest, faith-based family drama.
For kids who love faith-based films
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