Parents' Guide to

Tulsa

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Tear-jerking faith-based drama centers on substance abuse.

Movie PG-13 2020 119 minutes
Tulsa Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 12 parent reviews

age 18+

THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER

It's worth it! Great story, good actors. It's not boring at all, it's just a GREAT MOVIE. YOU MUST WATCH IT. Don't allow negative comments to influence you, people that were disappointed, it was because they allowed their personal religious views, to stop them to enjoy the great beauty that this movie carries. Pathetic negative opinions that are not sustainable enough to make sense. Watch the movie, YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!
age 6+

If you don't believe in God I'll pray for you

Let me tell you this is a great movie ,Can I help it so of these movie critics are atheists, Myself I just loved the movie God works in mysterious ways my friends.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (12 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Although it's usually fun to watch an alpha male's heart soften thanks to a precocious child, this Christian drama requires serious suspension of disbelief and suffers from stilted performances. The filmmakers mean well, of course, and the final act is authentically poignant, but for most of the movie, Tulsa comes off as a confused -- and confusing -- story. It's not a typical feel-good comedy with an unlikely adult-and-kid duo, and it's ludicrous to think that social workers would entrust a man like Tommy with the care of a girl who has yet to be verified as his daughter. Tommy's substance dependency is also depicted in an unrealistic manner, and the unfunny way in which he threatens the "mean girls" at Tulsa's school falls completely flat. Eventually there are a few more believable elements, but a lot of characters -- social workers, nurses, doctors, school officials -- act in ways contrary to what audiences would expect, given the urgent circumstances.

Another issue with the dramedy is that Tulsa herself is initially unlikable -- she's dictatorial and unkind to Tommy -- but audiences won't be able to fault her for wanting Tommy to shape up, stop drinking, and start acting like a father. Young Birch isn't at fault; she's one of the better actors in the movie, with the preacher, played by Cameron Arnett, being another standout. The rest, particularly Pryor and Johnson, don't adequately convey the emotional range necessary to connect audiences to the screenplay. Faith-based communities looking for another sentimental story specifically about the need for religious transformation may be more forgiving, but those simply looking for entertainment will be disappointed at Tulsa's amateurish acting and inauthentic plot points.

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