The Lamp

  • Review Date: October 4, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Faith-based twist on the genie-in-a-bottle story.
  • Review Date: October 4, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids might learn a little about the foster care system.

Positive messages

Very strong faith-oriented message. Marriages are healed, grief is overcome, and relationships are created and strengthened thanks to faith and belief.

Positive role models

Stanley and Lisa learn to find the power in themselves to overcome their misfortunes. Josh  sticks up for the other foster children and learns to keep a positive attitude while living in foster care.

Violence & scariness

Flashbacks to the accident that took the life of a little boy, along with a similar close call of another character. Josh has anger issues and gets into a fistfight that isn't shown, but her injuries are seen, and she later deliberately throws a pitch in a rival's direction during a baseball game. A kid gets hit on the head with a home run ball and falls to the ground. Stanley also smashes the lamp with a hammer, and his arguments with Lisa early in the film are intense.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film about making your dreams come true is oriented around a family dealing with the grief of losing a child. It has some arguments and implied violence that might be difficult for younger viewers. The movie has a strong faith-oriented theme that could inspire some and turn off others.

User reviews

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What's the story?

Stanley (Jason London), a successful writer, sinks into depression after the tragic death of his son, Eddy. Two years later, his career is falling apart, his bills are unpaid, and the grief is ending his marriage to his wife, Lisa (Meredith Salenger). But when an oil lamp is donated to a yard sale by their neighbor Miss Esther (L. Scott Caldwell), a "genie" named Charles (Louis Gossett Jr.) arrives and grants them wishes, under the condition that they "just believe." While the wishes can't bring back their son (that's part of the contract they sign), Charles gives them 30 days to decide what they believe is most important in life. For the next month, Stanley and Lisa -- with the help of the foster child next door -- begin to learn what they value most and how they can achieve these dreams if they, as it says on the oil lamp, "just believe."

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Families looking for a wholesome, faith-based story about characters coming to grips with their misfortunes, need look no further than THE LAMP. It's a simple tale of believing in yourself and your own resources and initiative to improve your standing in life. It has a clear and inspiring lesson to impart, and the story is the conduit toward the message.

 

That said, families seeking something more than a message in their movie-watching may want to look elsewhere. Even with its twist on a classic theme, The Lamp drags in parts, and the story isn't the most original or creative. Families who have experienced adoption may especially find some of the film's story to be forced and far-fetched.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about wishes. How might you make your wishes come true? What's the role of other people -- or faith in a higher power -- in making dreams come true?

  • Charles says that "all things are possible if you just believe." What is an example of this in your own life?

  • Talk about grief. How do the characters in the movie deal with grief? How realistic is their struggle?

Movie details

DVD release date:September 20, 2011
Cast:Jason London, Louis Gossett Jr., Meredith Salenger
Director:Tracy J. Trost
Studio:Trost Moving Pictures
Genre:Drama
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of The Lamp was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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