A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
God is always around, even when bad things happen. God works in mysterious ways. The faithful aren't necessarily rewarded with the things they pray for. God doesn't have to prove anything to us. "Whether patients live to 6 or 100, it's nothing compared to eternity."
Positive Role Models
A woman who prays for her son's health is furious when her faith doesn't "work." A blind pastor preaches gratitude for all he has, rather than blaming God for all he lacks. Diverse characters.
Violence & Scariness
A belligerent guy causes trouble in a bar, knocking down a young boy. Someone dies in a hospital. A blind man slips in some spilled coffee, hits his head, and wakes up able to see. Mention of child abuse.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man learns that a drunken night created a child he didn't know about.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink beer. A hospital patient receives lots of medications and treatments.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Reason is a book-based faith-based story that uses a 6-year-old with leukemia to explore what it means for the faithful when bad things happen to good people. Death, blindness, miraculous healings, and serious illness make this an unlikely choice for kids. Talk of God and faith permeates the action and dialogue. A skeptic gives all the usual rationalist anti-God arguments, but the rest are firm believers, some of whom expect miracles in return. One character seems to be an angel who performs miracles. Someone dies in a hospital. A blind man slips in some spilled coffee, hits his head, and wakes up able to see. Mention of child abuse. A man learns that a drunken night created a child he didn't know about. Adults drink beer. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The Reason is a faith-based story that exploits tragedy to instruct us in the need to believe in God, even in tough times, offering the characters odd bits of magic to hold them until faith arrives. For believers, the message will resonate, as performances are good and the movie is a competently made message-delivery vehicle. Those who don't look to movies for instructions on how to live, or subscribe to the beliefs therein, will find this cloying and downright unrealistic. For example, doctors don't spend all their time waiting hand and foot on one single patient, as portrayed here.
Unlike other more successful movies about the possibility of spiritual underpinnings, such as It's a Wonderful Life or The Bishop's Wife, this lacks much in the way of creativity and the spark of whimsy that makes medicine go down easier. When a long-lost necklace shows up right after a family member's death, it's viewed as a God-proving miracle and posed as some kind of compensation for terrible loss. It suggests that the dead person is "doing well" somewhere other than among the living. To compare the value of a necklace with the value of a loved one will surely seem absurdly insensitive to anyone who has experienced grief.
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.