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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie's main purpose is to offer moral lessons about the real meaning of wealth, how a person's spouse and children are their fortune and legacy, how being there for someone means more than what you can buy them, and how being "rich" is about more than money. The movie also has faith-based themes like the idea of creating a "golden list" of 10 things you're grateful to God for each day.
Positive Role Models
Jason is so caught up in his family's business affairs that he doesn't realize he might lose the love of his life. He later ask for forgiveness and sets things right. Red works hard to acquire his wealth, but he also dismisses the role of education and later becomes so singularly focused on money that he's basically used as an ATM by his children.
Violence & Scariness
Red enlists in World War II and is shot but saved by a fellow soldier. Audiences see the blood from the bullet wound in a brief shot.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some flirting and a few brief kisses between teenage Red and Hannah.
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Insults like "hick," "hillbilly," "stupid," and "selfish," plus "hell."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Ultimate Life is the sequel to 2007's faith-based inspirational drama The Ultimate Gift. Like the original, this follow-up has lots of feel-good (if overly obvious) messages about what money can (oil rigs, big houses) and can't buy (love, happiness), and how it's a person's friendships and family that count as their true legacy, not their monetary fortune. There's little objectionable content, but the movie's messages and themes about a well-lived life and the importance of family over fortune are best suited for tweens and up. There's one violent scene when a main character fights in World War II and is shot (but survives his injury), as well as some flirting and kissing and infrequent use of words like "hell." 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 is the kind of inspiring, feel-good, mildly sermonizing movie that would work either as a Hallmark special or (with more overt references to God and scripture) as a Sunday school presentation. In those contexts, the movie provides exactly what you'd expect: a simple storyline with heartwarming lessons for men about how to be a good husband, father, friend, and man. But unless it's the object of a church-approved outing, the movie, directed by Michael Landon Jr., isn't nuanced or entertaining enough to merit the price of admission.
With its predictable plot and uneven acting (the cast includes quality veterans in small roles and a couple of unimpressive newcomers in bigger parts), The Ultimate Life suffers from being even less compelling than its predecessor, which at the very least had a more dynamic actor (Drew Fuller) playing Jason and a more interesting story of him having to "earn" his inheritance. This flashback to Red's ambitious journey to becoming a self-made man is far from Citizen Kane. It's just a corny portrayal of how money is great, but it's not what brings lasting happiness.
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