Miracles From Heaven
Miracles From Heaven
Director: Patricia Riggen
Writers: Christy Beam, Randy Brown
Cast: Jennifer Garner, Kylie Rogers, Martin Henderson, Brighton Sharbino, Brighton Sharbino, Queen Latifah, Courtney Fansler, Bryce Zentkovich, Eugenio Derbez, Kelly Collins Lintz, John Carroll Lynch, Brandon Spink, Rhoda Griffis, Erica McGee, Wayne Pére, Bruce Altman
Synopsis: A young girl suffering from a rare digestive disorder finds herself miraculously cured after surviving a terrible accident.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material, including accident and medical images
6.7 / 10
- Acting was pretty good.
- Script was halfway decent. A bit corny at times, but it was tolerable.
- Direction was OK
- Although some of the events that happened were slightly exaggerated, and in some cases made up, for dramatic effect, the story stays relatively true to what actually happened allegedly based on various articles.
- Story was a bit too corny, which undermined some of the film's more dramatic moments.
- Some of the events in this film were made up like the cancer victim that shared a room with Annabel, which never happened. Not to mention some of the events were exaggerated for dramatic effect. (i.e. Annabel's dad owning a business, which he never actually did when these events happened)
- There's a lot of exposition that bogs down the film's overall run time, so the pacing is a bit slow.
- While the acting for the most part was commendable, the children in this movie weren't that good. If anything, you could tell that they weren't really into their perspective roles. However, the movie didn't really focus on them too much, as it was more about the parents' reaction to these events more than anything, so it's a bit forgivable.
Damn you Hollywood! Another film where you leave me speechless about what to say again!
I'm either the most qualified person to review this film, or I'm the least qualified to do so. Like most pro religious movies, your entire enjoyment of "Miracles From Heaven" will largely depend on whatever level of faith you happen to have, or lack thereof. If you're a devout believer in god, then chances are you might love this movie. You'll come out of it saying how this is just further proof that god exists, and how he works in mysterious ways. You might even cry at how emotional this film can get over one little girl's predicament.
But if you're an atheist, then you might look at "Miracles from Heaven", and think it's pure nonsense. You might roll your eyes, and think the parents are nothing more than a bunch of a**holes for not only teaching their kids religion, but also citing how this exploits their kids for their own selfish ambitions.
As for me, I honestly don't know anymore. If I had to review this movie a few years ago, I might've said it was too preachy, but the thing is I'm not sure if I can. Without going into too much detail about my family's personal life, one of my in laws was close to dying recently. In fact, the doctors weren't even sure if she was going to make it at all. Her condition was so rare that the surgery she needed had only been performed twice up to that point.
And judging by the doctors' initial reactions, it didn't seem like they had much success with the previous two. Unable to do anything, I prayed to god the night before the surgery. Again, I'm not going to divulge exactly what I said, but I will say this much. After the surgery, she not only came out of it alive, but she's apparently the most successful case they've ever had. It's a miracle unto itself. Granted, one can argue it was just a coincidence, and that god had nothing to do with the skilled hands of the surgeons. Fair enough, but to be honest, I'm not sure.
And it's because of this dilemma, I'm not sure how to approach a movie like this. Granted, the circumstances are different, but the premise is still the same. Like my in law, this too was based on a true tale about a girl that had a rare condition that put her life in jeopardy. A condition so rare that not even most specialists knew how to treat it. Yet all it takes is a bit of kindness and faith, and things somehow work out for the best. Maybe, god does work in mysterious ways, or maybe he had nothing to do with the miraculous survival of the little girl this was based on, or my in law, who shall remain nameless for privacy reasons. But who knows?
While I can't comment too much on the religious aspects of this movie because that'll already be determined by whatever level of faith you have, I will say this much about the movie. During the film, it showed how various people went out of their way to help this girl; whether it was directly or indirectly. Granted, I know this is based on a real life story, so you can't stray too far from the source material. However, i can't deny that it can come off as a bit corny half the time.
It's interesting to note that some of the events in this film were exaggerated for dramatic effect like all alleged real life stories are. For instance. The cancer victim that was Annabel Beam's roommate in the hospital was never real. Both her and her Atheist father that found Jesus were made up for dramatic effect. The Beam family also did have an appointment with the Boston hospital, so they didn't just waltz right in without an appointment like it was suggested in the film, and Angela was actually white. I guess they felt adding Queen Latifah would not only add diversity, but probably increase ticket sales as well.
Although it's true the film did exaggerate, and make up certain elements for dramatic effect, it mostly stays true to what actually happened allegedly. Granted, I know there's been hoax stories before regarding near death experiences like "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven", but it's unproven if "Miracles From Heaven" would fall into that category. At best, you'd have to take the Beam's family's word for it because there's really no way to tell if the story actually happened the way that it did. All I know is that according to multiple sources, the uncurable condition Annabel had was real, and she miraculously came out unharmed after her fall in the tree. Whether she visited heaven or not is debatable, but it's hard to argue against the results.
As I mentioned earlier, I too probably would've cited bulls*** on this movie if I had reviewed it years ago. However, after seeing what happened to my in law recently, I can't say for sure. Maybe god does work in mysterious ways, or maybe it was nothing more than a coincidence. I can't really say.
"Miracles From Heaven" can be corny as hell, and it features a lot of exposition that bogs down it's run time. However, it's harmless for what it is, and it's actually a very heartfelt and endearing story. Is it possible that this story could turn out to be hoax someday like "The Boy Who Came Back Heaven?" You bet. Anything is possible. But as I mentioned before with my in law, stranger things have happened, so it's not always easy to dismiss such possibilities.
As for whether or not I'd recommend this film to anyone, I'll simply say this much. If you're a fan of pro religious movies, then I'd say say knock yourself out with it. If' you're not, then I wouldn't bother. As I alluded to earlier, the quality of most said pro religious films will largely depend on whatever faith level you already have, or lack thereof.
© 2016 Steven Escareno
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