Three Days

Movie review by
Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media
Three Days Movie Poster Image
Romantic holiday tale deals with death and second chances.
  • NR
  • 2001
  • 100 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie highlights the importance of family and not taking loved ones for granted. It teaches that money can't buy happiness and also focuses on themes of forgiveness, making amends, and dealing with past issues in order to move forward.

Positive Role Models

The two leads are split into broadly "good" and "bad" characters. Beth displays kindness, compassion, understanding, and plenty of holiday spirit. Meanwhile Andrew is selfish, dismissive, and cold -- though his character improves during the movie.


Two characters are hit by cars and one is killed. There are scenes inside a hospital with characters hooked up to machines and a dead body is shown. A child gets trapped in a snow fort and has to be resuscitated. An elderly character uses an oxygen machine in a retirement home.


There is mild flirtation and a character goes into another's hotel room with the intention of having an affair. Affairs are mentioned on a few other occasions, as is a parent leaving their family. Characters kiss and hug, and are seen in the bedroom together after it is implied they have had sex -- though no sexual contact is shown.


Characters shop for presents and there is mention of taking the most expensive hotel room on offer. But the movie teaches that the most important gifts do not involve money.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine is consumed with meals on a number of occasions, but characters are never seen to be drunk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Three Days is a romantic drama about a workaholic and neglectful husband, who is given a second chance to show his wife he loves her after she is killed on Christmas Eve. The two leads, Andrew Farmer (Reed Diamond) and Beth (Kristin Davis), despite being married, have completely different personalities. Andrew is selfish and cold, while Beth is compassionate and kind. The subject of death is frequently mentioned. A dead body is shown in hospital, and characters are hit by cars, and trapped in a snow fort -- a child requires resuscitation. No sexual contact is shown, but there is the implication of sex, and characters kiss and hug on numerous occasions. Reference is made to affairs and a father leaving his family, which may be upsetting to some children. Wine is consumed with meals, but otherwise characters are clean living.

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What's the story?

In THREE DAYS, literary agent Andrew Farmer (Reed Diamond) has grown apart from his wife Beth (Kristin Davis), taking her for granted in favor of concentrating on his career. While he is on a trip just days before Christmas, Beth mistakenly believes he has had an affair and dies thinking her husband doesn't love her when she is hit by a car on Christmas Eve. But Andrew is offered a chance to make things right when an angel (Tim Meadows) lets him relive the past three days and give Beth the Christmas gift she really deserves. The only catch? She will still die on the third night -- unless, of course, there's a Christmas miracle...

Is it any good?

A little darker in tone than most holiday fares, this is not the feel-good fix you might expect from a Christmas movie. That Three Days revolves around an impending tragedy makes much of the potential romance feel bittersweet, particularly as the character of Andrew seems more motivated at times by guilt than true love. The story is well structured and tied up in a satisfying -- if largely predictable -- bow, but never fully manages to capture much hope or magic along the way.

Davis and Diamond make for a convincing married couple who have lost their connection, with Davis in particular proving warm and likable. Yet as their characters begin to reconnect, the much needed onscreen chemistry between the two is noticeably lacking. Ultimately it's the story of a Christmas miracle, yet one that would be much easier to root for if it felt a little more deserved.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the overriding message in Three Days. What does Andrew learn? Why is it important that we appreciate our loved ones? What are some of the things in life that can stop people prioritizing the things that matter?

  • If you were given a second chance to do something differently, what would it be?

  • Compare Beth and Andrew's attitudes towards Christmas and how they reflect their outlook on life in general. How do you think Andrew's past, including his relationship with his father, potentially affects his behavior in the present?

  • How does this movie compare to other Christmas movies

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love the holidays

Character Strengths

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