Today’s Prayer Focus


also known as “Caiu do Céu,” “Câu Bé Triêu Phú,” “Ekatommyria,” “Milhões,” “Milionerzy,” “Milliók,” “Millones,” “Milyonlar,” “Εκατομμύρια,” “Милиони,” “Миллионы,” “ミリオンズ,” “百萬小富翁”
MPA Rating: PG-Rating (MPA) for thematic elements, language, some peril and mild sensuality.

Reviewed by: Jonathan Wooten

Moral Rating: Average to Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Teens
Genre: Crime Comedy Drama
Length: 1 hr. 38 min.
Year of Release: 2004
USA Release: April 29, 2005
Copyright, Fox Searchlight Copyright, Fox Searchlight Copyright, Fox Searchlight
Relevant Issues
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A young boy dealing with the recent death of his mother

What is DEATH? and WHY does it exist? Answer in the Bible

What is ETERNAL LIFE? Answer

What is ETERNAL DEATH? Answer

Who is a SAINT, according to the Bible? Answer

Who is Peter?

What is SIN? Is it just “bad people” that are sinners, or are YOU a sinner? Answer

About the fall of mankind to worldwide depravity

Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer

How good is good enough? Answer

Do NOT click on this button

Are you a good person? Answer

About Roman Catholicism

Personal testimonies of former devout Roman Catholics…

QUIZ—Catholicism and Protestantism.
Do you think like a Protestant or a Catholic?

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Featuring Alex Etel … Damian
Lewis McGibbon … Anthony
James Nesbitt … Ronnie
Daisy Donovan … Dorothy
Christopher Fulford … The Man
Pearce Quigley … Community Policeman
Jane Hogarth … Mum
Alun Armstrong … St Peter
Enzo Cilenti … St Francis
Nasser Memarzia … St Joseph
Kathryn Pogson … St Clare
Harry Kirkham … St Nicholas
See all »
Director Danny Boyle
Producer Pathé Pictures International [England]
UK Film Council [England]
BBC Films [England]
See all »
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures. Trademark logo.
Fox Searchlight Pictures, a sister company of 20th Century Fox, a division of The Walt Disney Company

Can anyone be truly good?

This is a story about a British family in transition after the mother’s recent death. Like a lot of kids, Damian (Alexander Etel) spends much of his time daydreaming. Unlike a lot of kids, he happens to be somewhat knowledgeable about the Bible and also has an unusual hobby. He has imaginary conversations with Catholic Saints. It becomes evident that this is his way of coping when we see him ask them if they have met his mother in Heaven.

The plot kicks into gear when Damian is greeted with a large bag of UK cash that literally falls from the sky. Damian calls it a gift from God and quickly establishes himself as the film’s moral compass. He resists the pleadings of his selfish big brother and decides that the money should be given to the needy. But there’s a catch. The UK is on the verge of switching to the Euro, so time is of the essence. The two boys embark on a series of humorous attempts to quickly disburse the funds.

There is a twist when Damian learns that the money is ill gotten booty from a train heist. He wants to return it, and his non-religious but honest father agrees. But when the family home is robbed on Christmas Eve, his bitter dad quickly changes heart.

Finally, the story climaxes and moral lessons are learned when a sinister foe returns to the scene of the crime.

Boyle is a gift director and his trademark eye-popping visuals are here in full force. He also skillfully straddles the line between sweet and saccharine.

The film is not without faults. Other movies have done a more focused job of showing that money will not necessarily bring happiness, including the dark, but superb “A Simple Plan”). Playing the father, the talented James Nesbitt (“Sunday Bloody Sunday”) is not given much screen time. We mostly have to assume what this widower is going through emotionally, and the romantic relationship formed in the film feels a bit contrived.

One can hardly blame the director though for centering the story around young Damian. At age nine Alexander Etel carries the film. Things could have ended up horribly corny with a lesser talent. Alexander avoids the pitfalls that plague most child actors by essentially not “acting.” He is the anti Haley Joel Osment—a kid who actually looks and talks like a kid. This is his dramatic debut.

Content of Concern

People aware of Boyle’s extremely offensive R-rated movies—“Trainspotting” (graphic heroin use and resulting depravity, strong language, sex, nudity and violence) and “28 Days Later” (a violent horror film with gore, nudity and foul language)—are probably curious to see what he did within the confines of a PG-rated movie, as he has not shied away from graphic material in the past.

LANGUAGE: Profanity consists of at least one use of “For Chr*st’s sakes” and “My G*d.” One of these is uttered by by St. Peter of all people. Vulgar language includes “P*ss off” and “B*stard,” plus the British slang “Bl**dy” and “Bl*mey” (a slang contraction of “[God] blind me.”

SEX/NUDITY: There is a glimpse of an unmarried couple in bed together, when Damian walks in on them apparently having sex or playing under the sheets. One is Damian’s father, and the other his new girlfriend. The father is bare-chested.

Additional Note’s from the Editor:
  • TV commercials repeatedly display a large-breasted woman with much cleavage showing. In one of these ads she is grabbed and kissed by her man (brief).
  • Pre-pubescent boys view a women’s swimsuit advertisement showing cleavage, and one says “she’s nice” and the other remarks that he’s seen better. The later then brings up a Website featuring close shots of women in cleavage-baring bras, and becomes excited when he believes that he can see a model’s nipple. The camera shows the shape of a nipple underneath the bra, but no other details. The boys then discuss what nipples are for (baby feeding).
  • It seems that some kids are displaying their bodies to other kids, with girls giggling over what they see—and money may be involved. However, no details are shown.

VIOLENCE: There is very little violence—a short robbery scene, and a brief moment of a child in peril).

Spiritual Issues

“Millions” is loaded with religious and Bible-related content. It isn’t the first movie to visualize 1st Timothy 6:3 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil”. “Millions” is unique though because it reveals Biblical truths overtly and with complete sincerity. It is refreshing to see a film where a character who speaks of God and the Bible becomes the hero and not a comedic punching bag.

The boy attends a Roman Catholic school where he is taught about Catholic Saints. The scenes involving the Saints are done with a touch of irreverence. The nun St. Clare is seen smoking what appears to be (but is not acknowledged as) a joint. A beheaded martyr jokes about his later execution.

While we never see the imaginative young Damian praying to them, it is important to read what the Bible says about this. Quite simply, it is wrong. Deuteronomy 18:10-12 — “Let no one be found among you who… who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord…” Those with a Catholic background might feel comforted by their perceived relationship with someone like St. Peter for example. But the fact that such a relationship is not even possible is just one of many things wrong with the concept. God wants us to have a relationship with Him and His Son Jesus.

We can admire the life of Peter and the example he set in leading others to Christ and furthering God’s kingdom. We can also definitely gain comfort in reading his letters and seeing how God aided him in his travels and trials. But if we elevate any person to a level where they come between us and God, that is idolatry and something Peter him self called pagan (1 Peter 4:3).

Damian’s father is an atheist, and tells him that nobody is in Heaven looking down on them… mom is dead, and we’ll never see her again.

“Millions” does have some positive spiritual moments. Damian references God several times. When he learns of the money’s origins and decides to return it, he explains frankly to his father and selfish brother that “God doesn’t rob banks!” Much of the film is set around Christmas (so much so that one wonders why it was released in March). But the season is used as more than just a sentimental backdrop. While rehearsing for the school Nativity play, an attentive Damian is not satisfied with his teacher’s rehashing of the tale and offers his own opinions about Joseph’s state of mind. This is one weird kid.

A character offers a folksy twisted account of Jesus feeding the five thousand. Those not familiar with the miracle should certainly read the correct version of events documented in the four Gospels.

Article Version: February 14, 2020

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—…I have to say that I found this movie completely enjoyable. When I heard critics trash “Pay It Forward” as manipulative, but appreciated as a DVD, I thought that a movie teaching morals would be good television material but not big-screen material. I was wrong. Every moment, every encounter, every revelation will keep you interested in what will come of Damian and the money. The association with the Saints was good for the most part. It would teach one about the goodness of giving, but also the difficulties too.

[***spoilers in next paragraph***] I think there may be some people, especially Catholics, who would take objection to some depictions of the Saints; like St. Agatha lighting up (was that a cigarette or a thick joint?), St. Peter cursing and disproving one of Jesus’ miracles, and the Ugandan saints, though one of the better-depicted saints, showing his decapitation wound. If there’s one Saint depiction I liked most, it was St. Nicholas as he appeared in a bishop’s uniform, not in Santa Clause garb as one would expect. So for the most part, I highly recommend “Millions.” It was loaded with charm and it was a very encouraging and optimistic movie.
My Ratings: Better than Average/4
Jon, age 32
Positive—My wife and I took our son and daughter (12-year-old twins) to see “Millions,” and though the movie had many positive elements, we found ourselves wishing that Christian reviewers had warned us more clearly about other elements which our kids found distressing. Multiple scenes depicted close-up images of scantily-clad women. Our daughter commented afterward that this cast a sleazy feeling over the whole movie and made it hard for her to feel normal even about the other women in the movie who dressed decently.

Also, though the movie has very little violence, it has a constant atmosphere of threatened violence or vague menace toward a young child—communicated through scary music, shadows, camera angles, etc. Our children commented afterward the movie “weirded me out.”

On the positive side, the movie dealt with issues of faith in a refreshing way. As an evangelical Protestant, I wished not just for less emphasis on talking with Saints (much less smoking/cussing Saints!), but also for more emphasis on Jesus. The movie is strongly faith-affirming, but it affirms a Christianity which has very little to say about Christ and nothing at all to say about his cross and resurrection through which (as both Catholics and Protestants agree) we receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Despite these nitpicks, my overall review of this movie is still positive.

It addressed some important issues about faith, providence, greed and concern for the poor. For me the most inspiring moment was “seeing” the 19th-century Ugandan martyrs—heroes of the faith who are too rarely mentioned by us Protestants—and being challenged by the Ugandan martyrs to remember the poor of Africa. I only wish I had been warned in advance of some of the elements in the movie which my kids said “weirded them out” or made them feel “sleazy.”
My Ratings: Better than Average/3
Joseph, age 45
Negative—I found this movie on Disney+. I had not heard of it before, but the info blurb made it sound interesting. This was a terribly offensive movie, and not ANYTHING like what you would expect to see from Disney! Nudity, fornication, theft, and in one scene, a so-called “Saint” completely changed the story of Jesus feeding the 5000, making it so the whole thing was a hoax and not a miracle at all! It’s a blasphemous movie full of lies and garbage. I kept hoping it would get better, but I ended up skipping/forwarding through the last half of the movie. It never got any better.

Don’t watch this one, and especially don’t watch it with children!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
Chrystal, age 43 (USA)
Negative—We watched this movie as a family because our 10 year old son had watched it in his Religious Education class at school! We were completely shocked at some of the scenes: the boys are left on their own most of the time, and, at one point, the older boy shows the younger boy a lingerie catalogue zooming in on the woman’s exposed nipple, which we were not expecting and found completely unacceptable for this age group.

The father is caught in bed by the young son with the lady he has met at the children’s school, both are naked and look shocked at the child walking in on them (especially considering the wife and mother of the children had died recently!)

Then there was the scene where the creepy baddy who stole the money in the first place is hiding inside the young child’s bedroom and climbs out to threaten him in the night!!

This is not a movie for young children, adolescent children may be more mature at choosing what the messages are, but as far as a movie teaching morals—the reviewers need to be far more honest about this movie, and its lack of morals! If the message was that you give away stolen money to people in Africa that was not actually explained: merely a closing scene with the actors dancing around an African village and water coming out of a well??

I would suggest it’s a movie more suitable for 13 years and older, and it would be a movie that would be good to discuss with parents, to highlight the good morals.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
Briar, age 42 (New Zealand)

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