Reviewed by: Pamela Karpelenia
“waging a war against God”
a married couple says they were religious until their young son died of cancer
Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer
Does God feel our pain? Answer
a father trying to rescue his daughter
courage / bravery
kidnapping / child abduction
When does one cross the line between seeking justice and becoming a vigilante?
use of torture
What is the Occult? Answer
the difficult job of being a police detective on such crimes
Hugh Jackman … Keller Dover
Jake Gyllenhaal … Detective Loki
Maria Bello … Grace Dover
Viola Davis … Nancy Birch
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|Distributor||Warner Bros. Pictures|
How far would you go to find your child?
The film opens with The Lord’s Prayer recited by Keller Dover (Oscar® nominee Hugh Jackman—“Les Misérables”). He and his son are hunting a deer for Thanksgiving. Keller and his wife Grace (Maria Bello—“Beautiful Boy”) and son and daughter then walk over to neighbors and good friends Franklin and Nancy Birch (Oscar® nominees Terrence Howard and Viola DavisTerrence Howard—“The Help”) and their two daughters to partake of deer on Thanksgiving.
In the midst of friendship, laughter, and fun, the two youngest girls leave the house to find a whistle. Within minutes their holiday joy turns to terror when the girls don’t return. Enter Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal—“Brokeback Mountain”) who has a record for solving every case he ever had, is assigned to the girls’ disappearance.
Within hours, a suspect is obtained—a mentally challenged man who attempted to flee officers. The families find some solace in his arrest, only to have it short lived, when he is released into the care of his aunt. This sends Keller into an anger-filled rage, and sends a God-believing man to extreme measures to find his daughter.
I chose this film based solely on the actors involved, then I saw the trailer. As a parent, I knew this film would be difficult to sit through. So let’s get started, first with acting.
The acting is hit and miss. Hugh Jackman is the portrait of a father. I believed every emotion and felt it as if he were pulling it from personal pain. Maria Bello, however, is type casted, and I grew tired of her playing the same ole role. Viola DavisMaria Bello, as always, gave a good performance. Terrence Howard’s acting left a lot to be desired. Finally, Jake Gyllenhaal—his entire performance is hit and miss, from the tattoos to the portrayal as a hardcore gumshoe. I couldn’t fully buy into it. The plot was a full scale who dun it, suspense-filled thriller shown from every angle.
Now to the objectionable content, there is plenty to go around. The violence is gruesome; not to spoil the plot, but a suicide is shown, a brutal beating and torture is shown. Language is intense, expletives include over 50 f-words, 14 s-words, a** (3)—not to mention the offensive overuse of the Lord’s name being taking in vain—“G*d-damn” (2), “Oh G*d” (2), “Jesus Christ,” “Jesus,” OMG (3), “My G*d,” “For G*d’s sakes,” “God,” “swear to G*d.” There is no sex or nudity, but considering the context of the film, your imagination is allowed to run wild.
Finally, the most important part of the film, the biblical aspect. This movie is truly a test and will be for those who choose to view it. We see a man reciting the Lord’s Prayer in the beginning of the film, who has his faith truly tested. His only daughter has vanished, and he feels the cops are failing. So he takes matters into his own hands. Right away we Biblically know this is wrong. The Bible clearly states vengeance is not ours. Keller abandons faith when tribulations occur in his life. He turns to everything, but God. We are called to rely on God in hard times. The film shows the fallen and sinful nature of man, and how desperate and depraved we become without God. In the film, a character states that killing children is how we wage war against God, it turns people into demons. Those words echoed.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.