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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Building resilience. Questioning the world around you. Finding strength through faith. Respecting others' point of view. Studying hard to learn more about the world and challenge your own opinions.
Positive Role Models
C.S. Lewis is shown to be self-aware about his Christian faith but committed to it. Lewis' father is a harsh disciplinarian prone to exaggeration, but does his best to instill discipline in his children. Other characters show bravery when fighting during World War I.
The cast is predominantly White and male. More than one nationality among the main cast. Brief discussion of grief, post-traumatic stress, and other mental health issues.
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Violence & Scariness
Lewis discusses an interest in the supernatural. War violence, including gunfire, explosions, and the wounded and dead. Reference to the death of a parent.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief references to sexual attraction and an affair. Reference to paying to acquire someone's company.
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Language used includes one use of "dammit."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol socially and are shown handling unlit cigarettes. Smoked cigarettes shown in ashtrays.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis is a biopic of the Narnia author, which focuses on his journey from atheism to embracing Christianity as an adult. Based on a stage play of the same name, Lewis (Max McLean) is shown to be dedicated and intellectual from a young age, working hard to try and learn so that he can better understand the world around him. Violence rarely features, but there is a battlefield sequence as Lewis recalls his time fighting and being injured in World War I. Sex is not shown, although there are some references to Lewis finding females in his life sexually attractive and of a colleague carrying on a romantic relationship of which he disapproves. There is one use of "dammit." Smoking and drinking feature in moderation with the former not shown directly -- characters are seen holding unlit cigarettes while lit ones are seen in ashtrays. Due to the wordy monologues, the film is best suited to fans of stage-to-film adaptations or super fans of C.S. Lewis himself. The movie goes by the titles CS Lewis: The Most Reluctant Convert and The Most Reluctant Convert in some territories. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This adaptation of the stage play of the same name offers a guided tour through the chapters of Lewis' life that led to him becoming a Christian. The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis sees McLean reprise the role of the much-lauded author -- he also penned the original stage play -- and its his energized portrayal, complete with wordy monologues, that gives the movie its focal point. However, as with many adaptations of plays, much of what works on stage struggles to be replicated on-screen. The snippets of Lewis' earlier life -- portrayed by other actors -- mainly exist to fly through intellectual debates about the philosophy of faith at a rattling pace, resulting in a story that feels like what it is: selected passages adapted from Lewis' own autobiography.
So, while the passion of his faith is for all to see, eventually it becomes an underwhelming affair. The odd choice to show the beginning and end of McLean's performance with the real-life film crew calling "action" and "cut" is needless and pretentious, too. It only further robs this story of deeper characterizations and personal relationships that perhaps weren't there to be explored, but that would've made for a more compelling story.
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.