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Heaven Is for Real Review

Movies.com Critics

3.0

Dave White Profile

Everything is fine. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    47

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Stephen Farber

    Wallace made a lot of shrewd decisions to sock this movie home, but he can’t entirely overcome the dramatic thinness of the original material.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Bill Zwecker

    This company of actors pulls together and delivers a lot of punch to a pedestrian script inspired by quite an amazing tale.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    A wide-eyed 4-year-old makes a fairly convincing case for the existence of an afterlife in Heaven is for Real. But it's Greg Kinnear — with his characteristic affability — that just about seals the deal.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Heaven Is for Real reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 9+

Extremely earnest drama explores issues of family and faith.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Heaven Is for Real is a faith-based family drama inspired by Nebraska pastor Todd Burpo's best-selling memoir about his son Colton's alleged experiences in heaven when he was 4 years old. The movie, like the book, proposes that, during surgery, young Colton (who never died on the operating table) somehow visited heaven, proving that the afterlife exists. While there's not much questionable content in the movie overall, a few scenes show characters in pain or injured, and there's one scene in which the Burpos' school-aged daughter punches two boys making fun of her brother. There's also a fair bit of kissing and marital affection (though certainly nothing that could be considered graphic), as well as one suggestive (but unheard) comment. Young kids may not understand some of the movie's mature issues, and some families may feel more comfortable with the religious subject matter than others.

  • Families can discuss who you think Heaven Is for Real is intended to appeal to. Do you think it's for people who already profess a faith, or will it appeal to others equally?
  • How would you describe the movie's point of view about faith?
  • The movie is based on a memoir. Do you believe that Connor might have actually visited heaven? Why or why not? Does it matter whether you believe?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: The power of faith is a central theme of the film, which encourages viewers to consider their own beliefs. It also provides a positive depiction of a happily married couple who aren't bored or unhappy with their marriage.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Todd is an engaging orator, a kind pastor, and a loving husband and father. Colton is matter-of-fact about his experiences and doesn't say anything to try to change anyone's mind; he's sure of himself. The Burpos have a strong and faithful marriage that's portrayed as affectionate and passionate, even though they don't always agree.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: A grown man falls and suffers a painful fracture during a softball game; he later has debilitating kidney stones that cause him to collapse in public and scream in pain. A boy has a near-fatal case of appendicitis. A girl punches two boys who make fun of her brother.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Several kisses and embraces between a married couple. The wife whispers something (presumably suggestive) in her husband's ear about what she'll do if he agrees to go on an impromptu vacation.

  • language false0

    Language: A couple of uses of "Lord" and "God" as exclamatory phrases.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Products and brands visible or featured include Adidas, Ford, Spider-Man, Peg Perego, Coca-Cola, Palmolive, Florida's Natural orange juice, Google, and Sony Vaio laptop.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable

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