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Parents' Guide to

The God Committee

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Medical ethics drama is short on heart; swearing, surgeries.

Movie NR 2021 98 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

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

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Austin Stark's cerebral medical film highlights how many shades of grey exist in between right and wrong and good and bad. Life-saving doctors are often in a position to "play God," but never more than in this film, which centers on the difficult decisions made by organ-transplant committees. Some viewers may be surprised to learn that a panel of medical professionals determines which patients are worthy of receiving life-saving organs and that factors like substance use and having a family support system in place impact their decisions. While the scenario in the movie is an extraordinary situation, it's not out of the realm of possibility. The fact that filmmakers solicited contributions from a team of real-life medical experts who do organ-transplant work is felt in crafting an honest portrayal of a fictional situation.

That said, for a film about heart, there's not a lot of it here. This drama is as cold as an emergency room gurney. We're only given one character to care about, Dr. Jordan Taylor (Julia Stiles), who delivers lukewarmth compared to the worn-down pragmatist committee head (Janeane Garofalo) and her cranky but brilliant senior colleague (Kelsey Grammer). In this world, even compassion is built on facts. Ultimately The God Committee is all about the brain, posing a question that may activate viewers' own thoughts: Who should hold the authority to decide whose lives are more valuable than others? And, more importantly, are you living a life worth saving?

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