Parents' Guide to

The Ravine

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Grisly faith-based crime drama has iffy messages.

Movie R 2022 121 minutes
The Ravine Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
age 16+

Forgiveness brings reformation, peace and healing

I just watched this film, and must admit that I am perplexed by the critic’s review. While I agree on the rating 16+ due to the intense subject matter of the film, I felt it was an incredible film about finding meaning in senseless tragedy, and embracing a path of forgiveness towards those who cause hurt and pain to others. The messages in the film were profound: we often want to know the why of horrible circumstances and tend to question God when said circumstances happen. What I walked away with after viewing this film was that we must remember we are all human beings, and that all of us battle our own demons. Some of us win these battles, but, some of us lose. Some of us let the light surround us, but others allow for the darkness to consume them. In the end, we do need to be held accountable for our decisions. But we also need to keep in mind that all of us are capable of both the best and the worst that humans can do. And this is why forgiveness is so important, and why forgiveness makes sense. My favorite line of the film was “without trust, there is no faith”, referring to one’s relationship with God. This film also shows a good job of showing the positive affects forgiveness can have in peoples lives. I give this a 5 star rating, and God bless the family who shared their own journey through this story. It was redemptive and moving.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Grim from the get-go, this true-crime thriller is a confusing drudge that has good intentions but terrible execution. That's partly because we're watching the catharsis of first-time producers/screenwriters Robert and Kelly Pascuzzi (who wrote the book the film is based on), who are trying to create something positive out of real-life tragedy. Indeed, the Pascuzzis turn the loss of their friends into something good for them, but there's just nothing here for anyone else. Many spiritual messages blow through, almost making sense, rising and then disappearing like hot air.

The Ravine's problems are many. The acting and cinematography are fine, but the writing and direction are not, with lengthy exposition, speeches, and the cliche of giving the movie's one Black character special powers. It's also odd that one of the movie's speeches is about treasuring the dead, because the film does not. Viewers are given little to no meaningful information about the victims. And it feels downright disrespectful that instead of cutting away from the gruesome moments, the slayings of the wife and son are shown in horrific detail, on repeat. Plus, the psychological examination of the troubled husband/perpetrator is oddly sympathetic: We learn that Danny Turner (Peter Facinelli) was a popular high school football hero who went to jail for breaking into a house and beating a man nearly to death. In a development intended to show the power of forgiveness, the victim of that crime speaks up on Danny's behalf to get him released early. He makes good for while, but then he murders his family, so the take-away is problematic. But ultimately, the film's focus isn't on the players in the homicide, it's on the suffering of their friends, the Biancis. And other than tousling the surviving child's hair, the couple seem to have little involvement in the terrible events beyond their own narcissism of making a horrible tragedy all about them.

Movie Details

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