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The Ultimate Life Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 1.0

    out of 100

    Overwhelming dislike
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 10

    out of 100

    Variety Geoff Berkshire

    At least the narrative sloppiness and ineptly delivered themes in the script by Brian Bird and Lisa G. Shillingburg (freely adapted from the novel by Jim Stovall) feel of a piece with the entire production.

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  • 30

    out of 100

    The New York Times Daniel M. Gold

    The Ultimate Life is hampered by a predictable story, stereotypical characters and wooden acting.

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  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    This second feature based on a best-selling book by Jim Stovall is mainly repetitive in its themes and suffers from a melodramatic plotline and hamfisted execution.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 10+

Heavy-handed drama about true measure of wealth.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Ultimate Life is the sequel to 2007's faith-based inspirational drama The Ultimate Gift. Like the original, this follow-up has lots of feel-good (if overly obvious) messages about what money can (oil rigs, big houses) and can't buy (love, happiness), and how it's a person's friendships and family that count as their true legacy, not their monetary fortune. There's little objectionable content, but the movie's messages and themes about a well-lived life and the importance of family over fortune are best suited for tweens and up. There's one violent scene when a main character fights in World War II and is shot (but survives his injury), as well as some flirting and kissing and infrequent use of words like "hell."

  • Families can talk about The Ultimate Life's messages. What do you think the filmmakers are trying to say about fortune and family? What makes a person rich?
  • Red disregards a principal's advice because the man is educated but makes little money. Do you think someone's salary is the only measure of professional or personal success?
  • Why are rags-to-riches stories so compelling? What makes Red change his priorities? How does Red's journal influence his grandson, Jason?

The good stuff
  • message true4

    Messages: The movie's main purpose is to offer moral lessons about the real meaning of wealth, how a person's spouse and children are their fortune and legacy, how being there for someone means more than what you can buy them, and how being "rich" is about more than money. The movie also has faith-based themes like the idea of creating a "golden list" of 10 things you're grateful to God for each day.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Jason is so caught up in his family's business affairs that he doesn't realize he might lose the love of his life. He later ask for forgiveness and sets things right. Red works hard to acquire his wealth, but he also dismisses the role of education and later becomes so singularly focused on money that he's basically used as an ATM by his children.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Red enlists in World War II and is shot but saved by a fellow soldier. Audiences see the blood from the bullet wound in a brief shot.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Some flirting and a few brief kisses between teenage Red and Hannah.

  • language false1

    Language: Insults like "hick," "hillbilly," "stupid," and "selfish," plus "hell."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue