Redemptive Movie Reviews


Why do the great stories we find in movies seem to stir us and resonate with us so deeply?  Because they are all sourced from the one great story.  The larger story.  Our story.  

The giants of culture have been borrowing our story for years in the films they direct and produce.  By identifying the redemptive stories embedded in all those great films, we feel like we are taking it back, one review at a time.

The Darkest Hour

With Hitler rampaging across Europe, the newly elected Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill, must convince his countries leaders to not negotiate but stand in the face of tyranny. One of 2017's most redemptive films was also one of my favorites.

  • IMDB 7.4

  • Rotten Tomatoes 85%/83%

  • (PG-13)

Mcfarland, usa

This is one of those great redemptive stories that you can also watch with the older kids. A coach getting a final chance, Kevin Costner, gives the local migrant working children their best chance at a better life by starting a cross-country team. While trying to change their lives his life gets changed in the process.

  • IMDB 7.4

  • Rotten Tomatoes 80%/88%

  • (PG)


The true story of a 5-year old Indian boy who gets separated from his family on the streets of Calcutta, gets rescued through adoption by an Australian family, and then as a young adult goes on an unlikely journey to find his way home. A beautiful story of restoration and the power of a family's love.

  • IMDB 8.1

  • Rotten Tomatoes 86%/91%

  • (PG-13)

the company men

It isn't until Bobby Walker loses everything that he values (title, income, car, status) that he finally realizes what really matters. Once he finds out that what he values doesn't have anything to do with his job, he is able to go back to a similar role, but as a different and better man. He shows us that the necessary restoration of a person's life often comes on the other side of our most challenging seasons.

  • IMDB 6.8

  • Rotten Tomatoes 67%/55%

  • (R)


The true story of a folk artist from Nova Scotia who takes a job as a housekeeper to survive. The awakened glory she finds in her painting not only changes her life, but gives her the confidence and currency to change the life of the man she works for and eventually marries. A beautiful story of restoration and the uncovering of a person's glory.

  • IMDB 7.7

  • Rotten Tomatoes 89%/89%

  • (R)

we bought a zoo

From a desire to start over after the loss of his wife, adventure writer Benjamin Mee moves his two children to the countryside to renovate and re-open a struggling zoo. A beautiful story of healing and restoration for Mee’s family, the zoo, and many others. Based on the true story of a zoological park in Devon, England. Appropriate for most of the family.

  • IMDB 7.1

  • Rotten Tomatoes 66%/71%

  • (PG)


Oakland A’s GM, Billy Beane has a problem. The budget he has to field a team is only a fraction of the teams he is competing against. But he makes a huge bet on Peter Brand’s mathematical approach by building a team with lower cost players to replace superstars in the aggregate. While thumbing his nose at 100 years of baseball tradition, his 2002 team wins 100 games, just misses the world series, and sets an American league record with 20 consecutive wins.

  • IMDB 7.6

  • Rotten Tomatoes 94%/86%

  • (PG-13)

About Time

The men in Tim’s family have an incredible secret; they can travel back to any point in their life. While time travel is a tried-and-true movie technique, this story takes a uniquely redemptive turn. At first Tim goes back to right the wrong of things in the past. But what Tim ultimately realizes is that he lives every day as if he were living it over again, there is no need to travel back in time at all. A great lesson for all of us.

  • IMDB 7.8

  • Rotten Tomatoes 68%/81%

  • (R)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Walter lives a very tedious professional and personal life and compensates by regularly daydreaming a more significant story. One small decision leads him on a life-changing adventure that leads him to life, love, and becoming a completely different man. One of the more uplifting and inspiring films in recent years.

  • IMDB 7.3

  • Rotten Tomatoes 51%/70%

  • (PG)

The Queen of Katwe

Phiona sells corn on the streets of rural Uganda when she discovers the game of chess at 10 years of age. A natural aptitude and the love and dedication of a coach help her develop into a champion and escape the impoverished conditions of her life. Queen is the powerful true story of overcoming unbelievable obstacles to find a better life. This one is from Disney and for the whole family.

  • IMDB 7.4

  • Rotten Tomatoes 93%/87%

  • (PG)

The Greatest Showman

P. T. Barnum is a serial entrepreneur in all the best and worst of ways. He is a man of compromised character who wants worldly riches and personal acclaim. This whitewashed Disney-like depiction, however, is a family friendly joy-ride from start to finish. An overriding theme of finding purpose and value in someone despite their limitations is the prevailing theme. I dare you to watch it and try to get the songs out of your head.

  • IMDB 7.8

  • Rotten Tomatoes 55%/88%

  • (PG)

isle of dogs

From the incredible mind of Wes Anderson comes a stop action masterpiece that is as entertaining as it is visually stunning. Despite the fantastical tale that provides backdrop to the story, the tale really is about a boy, the love of his lost dog, and his heroic quest to locate him. If you are a West Anderson fan, you’ve likely already seen it. If you haven’t, take the chance.

  • IMDB 8.2

  • Rotten Tomatoes 91%/88%

  • (PG-13)