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Higher Ground Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Farmiga never seems to strike a false note in any role, but this is perhaps her most reflective and multi-layered performance.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The film is a deft, graceful and often poignant story of a woman's quest to find her own identity and a spiritual sanctuary that will give her life hope and meaning.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Higher Ground breaks crucial, sacred ground in American moviemaking.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 16+

Moving drama about faith and doubt dares to be smart.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this affecting, complex drama depicts a faithful woman struggling to reconcile her doubts with her religious beliefs. It's a bracingly honest portrayal that doesn't buy into the typical stereotypes of either the pious or the questioning. The lead character starts her relationship with God in earnest as a teen mom; the road that leads her there is revealed straightforwardly: She's shown having premarital sex (though there's no nudity) and struggling to understand the adults around her, many of whom have lost their moorings themselves. These are heavy themes, which -- along with the movie's sexual content (in addition to teens having sex, characters also frankly discuss body parts and how to pleasure the opposite sex) and swearing -- makes it a better fit for older viewers.

  • Families can talk about how the movie depicts Corinne and her faith. How does she compare to other religious/spiritual characters you've seen in other movies/TV shows?
  • How does the movie tackle the complex topics of Christianity, religion, and faith? How does it compare to other movies that have examined the same subjects?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The movie is an earnest, honest examination of faith and how different people form their beliefs and handle the struggle to remain faithful in the face of doubts.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Corinne is an impressively multi-dimensional character. She's religious, caring, inquisitive, supportive, questioning, and smart. And she embarks on her journey of understanding with great excitement, pain, and confusion. Everyone else is in the movie is very human, too.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A car crash puts a child's life in peril. A married couple fights; once, it gets ugly, with the man nearly choking the woman. Another couple screams at each other within earshot of their kids.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Teens are shown making out and seemingly having sex (viewers mostly hear grunts and hints of movement; there's no nudity). A married woman flirts with men who aren't her husband. A group of men discusses how to pleasure their wives; parts of the vagina are mentioned. Two women draw their husband's penises on paper.

  • language false3

    Language: Infrequent use of "damn," "piss," "ass," "s--t" and "f--k." A character gives another the finger.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Bulova, Miracle Whip, and Egg McMuffin are mentioned.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A woman is found to have cocaine in her luggage, which a child discovers and plays with.