Twelve Mile Road

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Twelve Mile Road Movie Poster Image
Uneven faith-based family melodrama has heavy themes.
  • NR
  • 2003
  • 90 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Family; grief; healing; space to change and grow; dealing with your problems.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dad is patient and caring; Mom wants what's best for her teenage daughter. Other adults are engaged and present; most of the teenagers are presented as hardworking and honest. Central protagonist Dulcie is a troubled girl who taunts, provokes, and mocks to test boundaries but eventually finds meaning in her life.

Violence

A truck almost hits a girl, swerves, hits a cow, killing it; newborn baby dies, shown in coffin; girl feeds cow antifreeze; woman with bruised face says she's been hit by boyfriend; girl calls her mom and pretends she's the police, saying she's been raped and murdered; mom slaps daughter; man cuts cow open to save calf, but no bloodshed.

 

Sex

Some kissing; a woman in a nightgown; shirtless guy pours water over his head; girl tells friend to have an orgasm while looking at a guy; man and woman in bed after implied intercourse; teenage girl discusses fear of pregnancy; abortion discussed openly as an option to unplanned pregnancy.

Language

"Fat bitch," "fat ass," "screw you," "damn," "son of a bitch," "hell," "bastard," "my God."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Glass of wine in one scene.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Twelve Mile Road is a melodrama with mature themes about a troubled teenage girl's summer stay with her divorced father on his farm. It features teen pregnancy, an abortion discussion, the death of a newborn baby, animal cruelty, some profanity (including "bitch" and "ass"), and a farm animal death Though the message is ultimately a story about how a broken family heals itself over the years after a divorce, there are some clear pro-life, Christian messages and heavy themes best for older kids.

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What's the story?

Fed up with her daughter's acting out and bad attitude, divorced mom Angela (Wendy Crewson) sends troubled teen Dulcie (Maggie Grace) to live with dad Stephen (Tom Selleck) on his farm. Soon Dulcie makes friends with Dad's new girlfriend's daughter, Roxanne, learns to help around the farm, and begins to figure out how to give more meaning to her life.

Is it any good?

There are moments where the acting is solid, Crewson and Selleck as a divorced couple resonate, and some of the quieter but more authentic moments of life on the farm have a picturesque beauty. But the movie hinges on troubled teen Dulcie, who overacts through the film with tantrums and provocations that are never really explained and that don't seem to fit the quiet thoughtfulness of everyone else in the picture.

Plus, it throws some heavy punches in the maturity department: teen pregnancy, animal cruelty, a newborn's death, a frank discussion of abortion as murder, some evangelism, and profanity throughout. This is more likely to be a hit among Christian families who are looking for a reaffirming message, even if it throws a few curveballs. Likely to spark discussions.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Twelve Mile Road's Christian message. What does it seem to be? Does that resonate with you? Why, or why not?

  • Does Twelve Mile Road portray divorce accurately? Why, or why not?

  • What are some of the film's messages about family and faith?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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