A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that War Room is a faith-based drama from the producers of Courageous, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants that follows the trajectory of a family going through some challenging times. As a result, the themes lean toward mature territory -- including infidelity, unemployment, and marital discord. While there's no language, sex, or drinking/smoking to worry about, it's possible that some scenes -- when a man tries to rob people with a knife, for example, or when a man shoves a woman -- could be upsetting for younger viewers (as could the idea of parents not getting along).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
High-powered couple Liz (Priscilla Shirer) and Tony Jordan (T.C. Stallings) seem to have everything: a big house, nice cars, well-paying jobs (he's a salesman, she's a real estate broker). But behind the glossy facade is a marriage that's fast unraveling. Tony is mean and distant, and Elizabeth is angry all the time. And their daughter is caught in the middle, her joy eroded by their disagreements. When Liz meets an elderly client, Miss Clara (Karen Abercrombie), who shares her own strategy for life -- she has a prayer room from which she talks to God about all of life's challenges -- Liz decides to establish her own version of a war room, with dramatic results.
Is it any good?
While this drama's script isn't fresh or surprising, and some advice veers toward gender stereotypes, deeply felt acting somewhat elevates WAR ROOM. Nearly all the actors are able to tap into an appealing authenticity that translates to the screen. And though it would have been easy to vilify those who wrong others, there's empathy for all the characters, even the disaffected ones. (Though that also lets them off the hook too quickly.)
It's too bad the film leans toward oversimplification (and that it somewhat suggests that a wife has to share the blame for how her husband treats her); it deserved a more nuanced script that didn't hit audiences over the head with its messages. Thank goodness for its sense of humor and some joyful moments (including an infectiously fun Double Dutch segment) -- they make the flaws nearly forgivable.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how War Room depicts a family going through problems. How does the movie explore how kids are affected by their parents' marital issues? Is it relatable and realistic?
The film also explores the financial pressures families face these days in a world where consumerism runs rampant. How does it handle that subject?
Do you think only families/viewers who embrace the movie's faith-based messages will appreciate it? Why or why not?
- In theaters: August 28, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: December 22, 2015
- Cast: T.C. Stallings, Priscilla Evans Shirer, Karen Abercrombie
- Director: Alex Kendrick
- Studio: TriStar Pictures
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 120 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: thematic elements throughout
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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