Movie Review: BreakthroughQuick Plot Summary: The miraculous true story of a young teenager that fell through ice and basically died and came back to life.
Suggested Ages: 12+
What makes this well-made movie powerful is that you are watching what basically amounts to a true story of a boy that is alive today with no repercussions that not only shouldn't be alive, but even if he was to be alive should have major brain damage. In other words, this movie is a showcase of the miraculous healing power of God. And given the lack of good movies that showcase that, it's refreshing to see one.
I LOVED how they showed the boy's mother refusing to allow anyone to speak anything negative about the boy (including the doctors in the room). She was a fighter in faith for her son. Unfortunately the movie then showed that she allowed the voices of others (including her husband and pastor) to "bring her back to reality" and the movie makes this point of how we just need to submit it all to God. While I do agree we always need to live submitted to God, it frustrated me that they started off showcasing such strong faith but then seemed to try to make the point "but you know, don't get your hopes up". They even had the pastor then pray a prayer for healing with the ever-popular "if it be Your will" line tacked on. The only person I saw in the movie that was actually believing God and speaking life (and not speaking doubts) was the mom, but the movie then seemed to go out of its way to try and make her "more sensible". I don't know the degree to which that's all what really happened or to what degree that was the filmmakers trying to offset the initial bold portrayal of faith by the mom to appear more "reasonable" to the majority of Christians that live in doubt and don't really understand about faith or healing, but either way it definitely frustrated me. And the filmmakers just couldn't resist pulling the same thing countless Christian movies have done by bringing up a question of God's goodness (in this case literally asking the question "why does God heal some and not others?") and then not providing any sort of satisfying answer, which all just leaves a question-mark for the viewer and serves no purpose. This film could have been much more of a powerhouse faith movie. But, at least compared to most Christian movies, it at least gets half-way there, and in any event, obviously the boy did make a miraculous recovery.
This is an emotional film showcasing the bond between mother and son and is definitely thought-provoking. It's definitely a powerful showcase of a miracle. And if you have the DVD or Blu-ray, in the special features you can see an interview with the actual mother and son. As for ages to see this, this film I would say is pretty well-geared for 12 and up. Younger could possibly watch but it might be harder for them to process. But 12 and up I think will likely find this both an entertaining and meaningful film - it can be a good portrayal for teens of both the realities of life & death and thus what's important in life and also of the supernatural power of God.
Reviewed by Christopher Long,