Parents' Guide to

The Lamp

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Faith-based twist on the genie-in-a-bottle story.

Movie NR 2011 92 minutes
The Lamp Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

A heartwarming story about loss, grief, and choosing to let go of the past.

This is a story about a real family, dealing with real struggles, and shows the viewer what happens when someone gets stuck in grieving the loss of a loved one. When healthy people get emotionally stuck, they know to seek help, keep talking through it, or work through the issue with the help of a therapist or church paraprofessional. Others -- like one of the characters of this story -- may be too distraught or stubborn to ask for help. That often wreaks relational havoc on the loved ones still living, and it will continue doing so until the individual either self-destructs or experiences some form of emotional disruption that jolts him or her back into the present. Watch the film to see how a magic lamp (actually the needs of the child next door) gets the character out of himself -- his recovery begins the moment he starts thinking more about the concerns of another than he does his own, and it is complete once he is able to sacrificially love another. I disagree with the Common Sense reviewer, who described this as a 'faith-based' story. There is not a single mention of God, for example, and the characters are never seen praying, reading scripture, or going to church. If anything, the storyline centering around 'just believe' could just as easily be experienced as a theme of Marianne Williamson's latest book or the name-it-and-claim-it crowd.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

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.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate