Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 10:08 Posted by Clash Tuesday, 02 October 2012 09:55
Film And DVD Reviews by Phil Boatwright
CREDITS: Lynn Collins, Michael Ealy, Bruce McGill. Written & directed by Brent McCorkle. 9/21/12
FILM SYNOPSIS: Samantha Crawford is living a storybook life .. until her husband, Billy, is killed in a senseless act of violence. In the aftermath, Sam loses her faith and her will to live. But a death-defying encounter with two children leads to a reunion with Joe, her oldest friend. As Sam watches "Papa" Joe mentor the kids in his under-resourced neighborhood, she begins to realize that no matter life's circumstances, the love of God is always reaching out to us.
The story was inspired by the real life of Joe Bradford, who leads Elijah's Heart, a ministry to children and families in under-resourced communities. Joe was recently highlighted in a Baptist Press story about Unconditional, and the movie's ACT partnership program.
REVIEW: A touching, sensitive, well-constructed drama, Unconditional is a welcomed surprise. Writer/director Brent McCorkle does a fine job with the technical aspects, despite his low budget. He’s managed to organize a competent team of behind-the-camera folk and has been fortunate to cast Lynn Collins in the lead role. The cast is solid, but Ms. Collins is a standout. She plays a woman whose whole life was wrapped around her soul mate. But we are not here just to be an attachment to another person. Collins’ Samantha learns she has purpose and that she isn’t really alone. Those who seek to reverence God and acknowledge Christ are never, ever alone.
The film has an intriguing take concerning coincidence in our daily lives. Are the details of life governed merely by happenstance? Or are they a part of a great plan? Do things happen by chance or do they purposely serve to develop our nature? This is a movie that will ultimately uplift the soul and give the viewer a renewed perspective on life and our reason for being here.
PG-13 (a man is shot and killed; a distraught woman considers suicide, going so far as to put the gun to her mouth, but fate intervenes; a child is struck by a hit & run driver, but survives; a man in prison is beaten and nearly killed, but the violence does not become overly graphic, nor is it exploitive; the action serves to further the story and lessons are learned from tragedy and near tragedy; some blood). Intended Audience: Made for mature viewers, it also works for teens.
Besides providing a monthly column for Baptist Press, he reviews films for www.previewonline.org. He also is a regular contributor to "The World and Everything In it," a weekly radio program from WORLD News Group, which also publishes WORLD Magazine.
For information about Phil Boatwright, go to moviereporter.com.
Profanity – God’s name followed by a curse or the abusive use of Christ’s name
Obscenity – a swear word, indecent language
Expletive – minor curse words such as damn or hell
Crudity – vulgar, often coarse situations or dialogue dealing with bodily functions
Adult Subject Matter – situations or subjects unsuitable for or difficult to comprehend by children