Many encouraging, hopeful, redemptive movies are in theaters the third week of October. These include the following in box office order: Incredibles 2 (PG), for older children through adults; Christopher Robin (PG) for all ages; Unbroken, Path to Redemption (PG-13), appropriate for older children through adults; God Bless the Broken Road (PG), suitable for older children through adults; and Beautifully Broken (PG-13), for teens through adults. Also, this week the timeless and timely TCM classic, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is in theaters.
Fathom Events brings another timeless and timely movie to theaters in TCM Big Screen Classics’ Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Unwittingly, Jeff Smith (James Stewart) is appointed as a U.S. Senator by a corrupt political party machine headed by the Governor, a publisher, and Senator Paine (Claude Rains). Paine, hopes to keep Senator Smith from prying into a pending bill for an unnecessary but profitable dam. He suggests to naïve Mr. Smith that he sponsor a bill for a boys’ camp. In the meantime, Smith’s secretary, Saunders (Jean Arthur), who is on Paine’s payroll, has become disillusioned and has also fallen in love with Mr. Smith. She lets Smith in on the truth that the dam and camp share the same land site! Mr. Smith is shocked and challenges Paine with exposure. However, Paine tells the senate that Smith owns the land. But Mr. Smith fights back with a heroic one-man filibuster. This movie picturizes the need for courageous heroes with integrity and armed with truth to stand against and to defeat corruption in government.
Incredibles 2 is a sequel to Pixar and Disney’s classic animated movie, The Incredibles, in which the family protects civilians when a supervillain hypnotizes them to harm them. Incredibles 2 is another fun, exciting, family superhero movie with humor, heart, and overall moral value (there are a few inappropriate words). It is a movie for the whole family with themes of challenges of parenthood and family life; making good moral and courageous choices; and overcoming screen addictions and harm.
Christopher Robin continues as a top pick movie for all ages. Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, and Owl make their first appearances in a live-action film as charming three-dimensional characters. In this delightful, heartwarming movie, the grown-up Christopher Robin, who as a boy has encountered many adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with his merry band of lovable stuffed animals, has now lost his way. Christopher has become an overworked husband and father who is missing out on family events because of a demanding boss. To the rescue, Christopher’s childhood friends come into his grown-up world to help Christopher Robin remember and reclaim the world of the loving and playful boy who is still inside him. Because of the efforts of Winnie-the-Pooh and company, Christopher Robin, begins to see things from a fresh perspective and comes up with a plan to save his company as well as his job. He also rediscovers the joys of family life, the value of friendship, and remembers to appreciate the simple pleasures in life once again.
Director Marc Forster believes this story has never been more relevant. “I think it’s something we desperately need in the world,” he says. “We could all use a little bit of Pooh’s heart and wisdom right now….The simpler things in life are, indeed, often those that make us the happiest. And in Christopher Robin, we see a man who has lost sight of that which tethered him to humanity in broad strokes, and who is reminded of his better self through reconnecting to his childhood, his own imagination, and to a love of wonder. Pooh say, “There’s always time for a smackeral of wonder.” See my interview for this delightful movie.
Unbroken, Path to Redemption begins where Angelina Jolie’s 2014 movie Unbroken ends. It presents Olympic athlete Louis Zamperini’s intense struggles and journey in finding faith and a relationship with Jesus Christ when he returns to the U.S. This is a heart-grabbing movie with good production values and a strong ending. After Zamperini’s return from imprisonment in Japan during World War II, he struggles with symptoms of PTSD that lead him to alcoholism, but he finds faith in the Christ and transforming victory over intense struggles. The movie is dedicated to late Billy Graham, portrayed by his grandson, Will Graham.
God Bless the Broken Road tells the timely, inspirational story of a young mother who loses her husband in Afghanistan and struggles to raise their young daughter without him. The film focuses on many significant topics: surviving grief and loss; the importance of the support of family and friends; the camaraderie of soldiers; the bedrock of faith and more. The movie honors the sacrifices of soldiers and families in the United States Military.
This honest but hopeful movie features the following: Harold Cronk as director (God’s Not Dead, God’s Not Dead 2); actors Lindsay Pulsipher (True Blood, The Hatfields & McCoys), Makenzie Moss (Steve Jobs), Andrew Walker (Date with Love, Steel Toes), Kim Delaney (Army Wives, NYPD Blue), Robin Givens (Riverdale), Gary Grubbs (The X Files, The Astronaut’s Wife), Arthur Cartwright (Do You Believe, Gran Torino), LaDainian “LT” Tomlinson (NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame, NFL Network Analyst), Madeline Carroll (Flipped, I Can Only Imagine), and Jordin Sparks (Sparkle, Left Behind).
In this engaging movie a devout, loving, young mother struggles to do the best she can on the home front in the wake of her husband’s death. This is an uplifting film for the whole family. It tells the heartfelt story of a young widowed mother who, in the wake of losing her husband finds the strength and courage to love and believe again. See my interview for this inspiring movie.
Ashes transform into beauty and pain is transformed into passion to help others in Beautifully Broken. This movie is based on a true story that shows real and powerful redemption. Beautifully Broken is an amazing, heart-grabbing movie with scope and universal Truth about the authentic story of the convergence of a refugee’s escape, a prisoner’s promise, and a daughter’s painful secret. In this touching, hopeful movie, as three fathers fight to save their families, their lives become intertwined in an unlikely journey across the globe. As ashes in their lives turn into beauty, they learn the healing power of forgiveness and reconciliation. These three fathers (one American and two Rwandan) stop at nothing to protect their children. In this true story, a child sponsorship through Compassion International changes real lives of real people, who include the giver and the recipient.
The story begins with William Mwizerwa who is a father who, with his family, are fleeing the Rwandan Genocide. William, his wife, and his daughter narrowly escape death from soldiers’ machetes and guns. In a Kenyan refugee camp, William learns that he can participate in a program that can take him to America where, once he establishes residency, he can bring his family.
Despite the hardship of leaving his family, William goes to America and meets Randy Hartley, who is facing challenges with his family. Randy’s daughter Andrea is becoming increasingly rebellious due to a secret assault that she shares only with a child sponsorship pen pal, a Rwandan girl, Umuhoza, whose family has also been affected by the Rwandan genocide.
Out of a growing friendship, Randy and William inspire and help each other to work to keep their families together and eventually develop an outreach center to assist refugee families from war-torn countries, which also brings William’s wife and daughter to America. Randy asks William to guide his family to Rwanda for Andrea to see her Rwandan pen pal. Randy and William’s family go to Rwanda where more trials, but amazing redemption awaits. William learns that if everyone believed in the concept of “an eye for an eye” the whole world would go blind.
Randy Hartley, a financial advisor from Nashville, had his life changed after a chance connection between a Rwandan refugee and the Rwandan girl his family sponsored. The connection and journey of an American and Rwandan families has been produced into a major motion picture, Beautifully Broken. See my inspiring, exclusive interview with Randy on Sonoma Christian Home.
Although dates can change, here is what is known about the “what and when” of some of the most promising redemptive and family movies due in theaters this year: Palau the Movie (TBA); Indivisible, 10/26; The Nutcracker and The Four Realms,11/2; The Grinch, 11/9; A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War, 11/11; Wreck-It-Ralph, 11/21; Mary Poppins Returns, 12/21; Walking with Herb, 12/30, and more.
New coming 2019 movies include: Frozen 2; The Penitent Thief; East Oil Texas; Thai Rescue; Lego Movie Sequel; Run the Race; Dumbo; My Brother’s Keeper; Disneynature’s Penguins; Aladdin; Toy Story 4; Star Wars Episode IX; Indiana Jones 5; Dora the Explorer; Overcomer; and many more. Watch for interviews and insightful stories for these movies on Sonoma Christian Home.
What we see and think about becomes a part of us and affects our mental, physical, and spiritual health. It is important that we make good choices in movies and media for ourselves and for those in our care. With some careful research, it is possible to find good movies that enhance our well-being that are entertaining while also inspiring, uplifting, and edifying, as they show the good consequences of good actions and the bad consequences of bad actions.
Top picks this week in box office order include: Incredibles 2 (PG), for older children through adults; Christopher Robin (PG) for all ages; Unbroken, Path to Redemption (PG-13), appropriate for older children through adults; God Bless the Broken Road (PG), suitable for older children through adults; and Beautifully Broken (PG-13), for teens through adults. Also, this week the timeless and timely TCM classic, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is in theaters.
Uniquely, each week Sonoma Christian Home publishes the top picks for the best choices in movies in theaters for all ages that are not only entertaining but edifying with quality production elements. Sonoma Christian Home also provides valuable reviews and substantive interviews for these top picks in family-friendly and edifying movies.
Please continue to search for and support the best movies for your friends and families. Be aware that the titles and trailer of some movies may make some movies look family-friendly when they are not. Buyer beware!
The best is yet to come when we continue to support the ongoing reformation in content and renaissance in artistry in media and movies. As audiences continue to see good family and redemptive movies in theaters, keeping them at the top of the box office, more good movies like them are being made. Watch for many top picks this year of redemptive movies that continue to improve in the ongoing renaissance of artistry and reformation of content in movies. Remember that consumers can facilitate the success and wide global distribution of good redemptive movies.
To learn more about this author, please visit Dr. Diane Howard