Prayer Focus
Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
MOVIE REVIEW

Unplanned

MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for some disturbing/bloody images.

Reviewed by: Tim Curran
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
• Adults • Young-Adults • Teens
Genre:
Drama
Length:
1 hr. 46 min.
Year of Release:
2019
USA Release:
March 29, 2019 (wide—1,059 theaters)
April 5, 2019 (1,516 theaters)
April 12, 2019 (1,555 theaters)
Canada: July 12, 2019
DVD: August 13, 2019
Copyright, Pure Flix Entertainment click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Pure Flix Entertainment Copyright, Pure Flix Entertainment Copyright, Pure Flix Entertainment Copyright, Pure Flix Entertainment
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Pure Flix Entertainment

Life Before Birth
Have questions about life before birth, or a woman’s choice about pregnancy and abortion? Discover reliable answers.
Copyright, Pure Flix Entertainment

Planned Parenthood’s Newest Report Exposes Its Lies” (ACLJ 2018 article—American Center for Law & Justice)

Copyright, Pure Flix Entertainment

Transformation and humbling of the human mind and heart

Other films on a similar topic
Copyright, Pure Flix Entertainment Copyright, Pure Flix Entertainment Copyright, Pure Flix Entertainment
Featuring: Ashley BratcherAbby Johnson
Brooks RyanDoug
Robia Scott … Cheryl
Jared Lotz … Shawn
Emma Elle Roberts … Marilisa
Robin DeMarco … Kathleen
Robert Thomason … Mike
Tina Toner … Renee
Sarah Hernandez … Elena
Maura Corsini … Megan
Lezl Gonzales … Taylor
Kaiser Johnson … Jeff
Andee Grace Burton … Grace
See all »
Director: Chuck Konzelman
Cary Solomon
Producer: Fabiano Altamura
Mark Cheatwood
Megan Harrington
See all »
Distributor: Distributor: PureFlix. Trademark logo.
Pure Flix Entertainment
Soli Deo Gloria Releasing

“What she saw changed everything”

Editor’s Note: This film is the true story of former Planned Parenthood “superstar” Abby Johnson, one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the nation—awarded the 2008 Employee of the Year. Her passion surrounding a woman’s “right to choose” led her to become a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood—the No. 1 abortion provider in the country, fighting to enact legislation for the cause she so deeply believed in, at that time.

Pureflix is back again, bringing to theaters what is in all likelihood their most controversial film yet. This production documents an eight year span of time in the life of Abby Johnson, a former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas. A project tackling the grievous subject of abortion is bound to draw attention, and this movie is no exception. I know I wasn’t alone in anxiously anticipating its theatrical release.

With tactful but gritty realism, the film takes the viewer through the highlights of Abby’s career with PP, showing her success in climbing the organization’s leadership ladder, until a fateful face-to-face encounter with the grim truth of the actions that daily take place in her workplace.

The picture, dealing with a lot of sobering content, is almost devoid of humorous moments, and I believe that’s because this film isn’t meant to entertain us, but to rather reveal the hideously evil, grotesque monster that is abortion. The filmmakers, in doing this, are mirroring the decisions of Allied troops in WW2 to escort German citizens through the liberated Nazi death camps so they could personally witness the wickedness they’d turned a blind eye to in their own backyards. This film is very careful and clever in visualizing the issue of abortion, but as I’ve detailed below, still delves into very dark, violent places.

At the beginning, I was taken aback by the methodology used to present Abby Johnson’s story. It took nearly an hour of viewing before I realized their intent was to portray everything transpiring through Abby’s eyes as she understood it, despite the wrongness of her thinking at that time. So, don’t be put off by what appears to be a flippant manner of handling an extremely delicate topic. Instead, watch the events of Abby’s Planned Parenthood unfold as a silent viewer of her misguided ambitions.

Content of Concern

This film, as has been widely mentioned in the media, social and otherwise, is rated “R.” While I do understand that this was likely a calculated move by the MPAA to sabotage the theatrical success of the picture, having seen it, I’d say that the movie borders right on the edge of a heavy PG-13 to Restricted rating. The act of abortion is unequivocally “R” rated. I categorized it as “Heavy,” because child sacrifice is horrific and not to be taken lightly.

Violence and Disturbing Material: In the first five minutes or so, the most violent and sickening scene transpires, one that those following this movie’s journey to the big screen are familiar with, namely the CGI visualization of an abortion on an ultrasound screen. The viewer watches as a baby’s life is literally sucked away. During the sequence, tubes are seen carrying blood, bodily fluids and pieces of human flesh from the womb. This shot takes place again at a later point in the film.

A character takes an abortifacient pill, and the effects are portrayed in a realistic fashion, with blood draining down her legs, momentary shot of baby body parts on a shower floor, and puking. The camera slowly pans over the scene at the end for some seconds, and the bloody aftermath is revealed.

Abortion protesters are seen holding a sign twice with a graphic image of a dead baby on it, but this is seen at a distance. There is a shot where the protagonist examines an aborted baby up close, but no blood is shown. A dramatic scene documents a botched abortion in very bloody detail, as a girl is seen hemorrhaging. Blood is seen on a Planned Parenthood worker’s shoes, and her little daughter questions her about it.

The first half or so of the movie contains extensive disturbing and troubling scenes of a verbal and visual nature that all revolve around the subject of abortion. No matter what your views are on this social issue, you will at some point find this film unsettling and likely highly upsetting. You’ll probably get emotional too, so bring some tissue.

Profanity: “D*mn” (1), “H*ll” (1), “Oh my G*d” (3)

Crude language: “Kick some a**” (1), “Scr*wed” (1), “P***ed off” (3)

Nudity: A woman is briefly seen in a tank top and reveals cleavage when she bends over for a couple seconds. A character wears a very tight dress in one scene, and, in another, a woman is garbed in an off-the-shoulder outfit, but shows no cleavage. In a fairly lengthy sequence, a female is shown wearing nothing but a long t-shirt that at one point almost exposes her rear.

Sexual Content: An unmarried couple kiss once and disappear into a room—implying intercourse. Two married people embrace at one point. A married couple is seen in bed together twice, fully clothed. The dialog includes mentions of sex, periods, the pill, fornication, and adultery. A man tells a pregnant girl that, “… you couldn’t keep your legs closed.” A couple discuss plans for the day, and the woman says, “I might get lucky,” referring to the possibility of sex. There are a number of mature conversations that take place, understandably so, due to the subject matter covered in this movie.

Alcohol: A man is seen on a couch with a beer in his hand and others on the table before him. A married couple are portrayed as social drinkers, but never shown in a state of drunkenness.

Spiritual Lessons

Christians speak of the power of prayer and are seen holding prayer vigils in the movie, following the directing of the Bible (Philippians 4:6-7).

Some anti-abortion protesters unrighteously taunt and harass staff and clients at the clinic, but their behavior is correctly condemned by a Christian woman (Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 5:44).

A pastor rightly quotes from Psalm 139:14 in a sermon about the sanctity of human life. Though not used in the film, Jeremiah 1:5 is another excellent verse that pertains to the issue. A female character erroneously refers to a baby as just a fetus, in direct contrast to these Scriptures.

One secular character, in particular, deals with and speaks of the murder of the unborn in such sickeningly cold and unemotional terms, with no visible signs of remorse, that it reminded me of the Bible passage that talks of those who have seared their consciences (1 Timothy 4:2). In contrast, a repentant woman mentions that her conscience will not allow her to continue engaging in sinful acts.

In a prayer, a Christian character quotes from 2 Chronicles 7:14, in speaking of the need of our nation to repent of our wicked ways.

A Christian man makes an attempt to be blameless before man by documenting the peaceful protestations of his fellow believers, so that he can dispel the notion that they are violent, antagonistic, or in any other way, unChristlike towards those who frequent the Planned Parenthood clinic (Acts 24:16).

A woman is shown in a state of utter contrition and brokenness (Psalm 51:17) over the knowledge and weight of her sin. Her husband correctly counsels that only humble repentance can lift this burden (Acts 3:19), and she then seeks the forgiveness only Christ can bestow on us.

At various times in the film, Christians display the unfathomable love of Christ as spoken of so beautifully in God’s Word (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

For a follower of Christ, what is LOVE—a feeling, an emotion, or an action? Answer

A female character speaks of not loving her aborted children enough to carry them to term, which accurately acknowledges the selfish, sinful motivations that are part of the root cause of abortions.

A man rightly speaks of the amazing grace and mercy of God (Exodus 34:6).

Production

Pureflix continues to step up their game with each new movie they release. “Unplanned,” though filmed in secret, is skillfully crafted. The plot and character development leave little to criticize. The actors all perform believably.

I was pleased to see that the creators didn’t strive to demonize one side while sainting the other one in a cartoonish manner. Instead they honestly portrayed the naivety of so many Planned Parenthood employees to realities of their job, and also conveyed the sometimes unbecoming and wrong behavior of those broadly termed “pro-lifers.” They also were able to avoid being heavy-handed and preachy when broaching spiritual aspects, which will make the film easier to invite unbelieving friends to, knowing they’re not in for just a 2 hour sermon. There is only a single point in the movie where I believe things were pushed a little too hard during a conversation, but that was on a political level, not a spiritual one.

There are several behaviors that the protagonist displays that cause contention among different groups of Christians. The viewer might also take issue with the seeming nonchalance of some believing characters towards serious matters. This production isn’t depicting things as they should be, but rather as they were. I urge you not to get hung-up on these side issues, but to focus on the larger picture, the topic of abortion.

I can, with a clear conscience, recommend this movie to other Christians for viewing, but not without caution. This is not a film for young children. Because so many young people are customers of Planned Parenthood in this nation today, I would say this is a must-see picture for teens and adults. If you’ve got misgivings about being able to handle the emotional impact of the most upsetting parts, wait until the DVD is released and view it at home. For everyone else, ask God if there is anyone in your life that needs to see this movie, and then invite them to the theater with you. Yes, being disturbed is expected, but, remember, if you are, how much more so must the Lord be grieved by this nation’s wickedness?

  • Violence: Heavy
  • Sex: Moderate
  • Profane language: Mild
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Mild
  • Nudity: Minor
  • Occult: None
Editor’s Note: Since leaving Planned Parenthood, Abby Johnson has reportedly helped nearly 500 former abortion workers, including 7 doctors, also leave their jobs and find fulfilling careers outside of the abortion industry.

Fox & Friend interview: “Actress’ pro-life movie role leads to a shocking revelation

Actress Ashley Bratcher was nearly aborted by her own mother, which she didn’t find out until filming began. “I was born for this role,” said Bratcher.

Editor’s Note: Apparently, the film has had to fight an unusually difficult and unfair uphill battle. James Hirsen (NewsMax) reports, “As the producers sought licensing rights for songs that they felt might assist the mood of certain scenes in the movie, they received the cold shoulder from the music industry.”

The film’s co-writer/co-director Cary Solomon says, “The [MPAA] standard used to rate our movie is being applied inconsistently as it relates to bloody images on-screen. In fact, [the new slasher murder film] ‘Happy Death Day 2U’ has far more blood and gore than our film, and it received a PG-13 rating. And the blood in ‘Unplanned’ is in no way gratuitous.”

U.S. Senate’s Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution

The U.S. Senate’s Judicial Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), hosted a hearing (April 10, 2019), titled “Stifling Free Speech: Technology Censorship and the Public Discourse,” which addressed whether social media giant Twitter and other tech companies are censoring conservative speech, including UNPLANNED. Chuck Konzelman, the film’s co-director/producer/co-writer testified.

Read Konzelman’s distressing testimony

Making matters worse, Hirsen noted that “…the Christian music giant K-LOVE [essentially] banned from its airwaves any promotion for ‘Unplanned’.” Abby Johnson reports that K-LOVE’s response was “that they don’t want to promote anything ‘political’.”

And in AUSTRALIA: “Do you know what is one of the most revealing films that won’t be shown in AUSTRALIAN cinemas this year? It’s the movie UNPLANNED, even though it’s currently trending in the top five movies in the United States.” See: “Ten reasons why we’re being denied the truth about Planned Parenthood” in the Spectator [Australia] (off-site—April 4, 2019)

Link to official Web siteOfficial site for more information
Life Before Birth
Have questions about life before birth, or a woman’s choice about pregnancy and abortion? Discover reliable answers at Christian Answers.

Article of interest:Still Lying: Planned Parenthood repeats (and repeats) debunked claim on illegal abortion deaths” (off-site—April 4, 2019)

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


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This motion picture is hard to watch at times, mostly because of the verbal descriptions, and several visuals of the systematic, cold-blooded murders committed in the clinics. However, it is worth seeing. The movie is well acted, well written, and well directed. It is a powerful indictment of the modern day Nazis masquerading as a women's right movement, much like Hitler cozened and beguiled the Germans in his evil plan to destroy the Jewish people.

Biblically-speaking, there are a few graphic images of the murders and the aftermath, which is equally bloody, a few mild profanities, no blasphemy, and no sexuality apart from a few mild innuendos.

Ignore the R-rating for disturbing and bloody images. “Scarface” (1983) is probably THE BLOODIEST cinematic photoplay ever, compared to this one, “Saving Private Ryan,” “The Passion of the Christ,” and “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi.” See this movie, but leave the younger children at home.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
D, age 33 (USA)
Positive—Wow. Heart breaking, but well made and didn’t send a bias message. Abortion is wrong, but we are all still human and can be confused when desensitized. Just only how it really happened.

It broke my heart when the ultrasound abortion scene happened. If we only imagined our little ones in that situation, it would tear us apart, which is how broken women are after they have one. We must pray hard for the healing of the women who had abortions and hope they come to know Christ’s love, forgiveness and redemption.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Paulina Kray, age 25 (USA)
Positive—We went to see “Unplanned” on opening night, and noticed the lone marquee for the movie had been broken and the poster destroyed. We checked the reviews, and noticed the negative ones all mentioned who they hate in the first 3 words… Republicans… Christians… So we were really curious to see what this film had to offer.

It turned out to be a first rate mainstream movie and surprisingly fair. More than I would have been armed with the same knowledge. Frankly, it was no surprise to hear Planned Parenthood was pushing very profitable abortions at a rate of 38 a weekend in the one clinic. What was new was the detail on the mechanics of how they do what they do. At times, viewers felt like we had an undercover narc’s view of an MS-13 shooting—except the narc was one of them till the end.

It wasn’t till the last 15 minutes, that the star Ashley Bratcher joined the rest of us in horror. If I had to pick a film that left me with the same feeling by the end, it would be “Erin Brockovich.” No matter what your starting position, you will learn a lot from this film. I recommend it highly.
D Flynn
Positive—A note of warning to post-abortive women. This film will be distressing at the very least, and possibly worse. I strongly recommend you have someone with you who cares for you strongly when you see it, and have some sort of support system available to you. You may want to wait until it is available on a smaller screen. There is forgiveness and healing in Christ, don’t ever forget that.

This movie was brutal. It did not shy away from the ugliness that abortion is, at all. I feel it absolutely did deserve the R-rating. That being said it is a story that must be told. Especially as it is a story of triumph that God can bring in the ugliest situation, especially when His people pray and love. It is absolutely worth seeing.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
Laura, age 50 (USA)
Positive—I watched “Unplanned” the other night in a city just outside Seattle. I must say that in the past I have been disappointed in Christian movies due to the poor acting, questionable storyline, and low production values. Only movie I thought worthwhile and defied the above was, “God Is Not Dead.” But “Unplanned” hit the mark for a riveting and yes, educational movie about abortion.

I am a retired RN. I already knew a lot about abortion, but the movie showed me much more. I was unaware of the toll that doing abortions day after day has on the medical and support staff at those clinics.

The only criticisms of the movie is that I wish that they had had “dated” some of the major segments of the movie. For instance, what year was it when the the young blond girl had her abortion and ended up hemorrhaging sitting in a chair while recovering from her procedure? See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Lee Hopley, age 68 (USA)
Positive—This movie tells the true story of what goes on in a Planned Parenthood clinic. Not only did Abby work as a Director of a Planned Parenthood clinic, the doctor and nurse in the scenes have also worked for many years in clinics, and they re-enact exactly what goes on behind closed doors.

This gripping movie is very impactful to viewers and brings this reality into light. I strongly recommend bringing your teenagers to see this movie so they understand the truth about Planned Parenthood. If they ever find themselves in a desperate situation, there are many organizations that are ready to lovingly help them through parenting, and people who would love to adopt their child and give them a happy home.

I worked in the movie industry for over 13 years and the acting and the production quality is excellent. Unfortunately, Hollywood is going to rate this as a 1, because they do not want this message out! There are many movies and shows on television that are far more bloody and disturbing, and the R-rating for this movie is not justified.
MountainMaloney
Positive—Well done movie, that is not bashing either side. Just stating the facts. And for anyone who has had an abortion, there is a very moving and healing end. Tastefully done. Professionally done. High quality. Full of love and kindness and hope and healing.
Sue Elaine
Positive—One piece of advice: when a movie centers around a controversial topic, especially one that isn't popular with the media, take it with a grain of salt. One thing I always notice about films with polarizing topics is how they portray people on both sides of the fence. Is one group made out to be a hero while the other is villainized? Is everything so black and white? Despite the critics’ reviews that you may have read (I think they already had their own biases and portrayed the film in an unrecognizable way), I really felt like they portrayed the Planned Parenthood workers in a compassionate way. These were women who really thought they were helping, and I think that perspective was valid and respectful.

Admittedly the woman in charge was portrayed as a shrewd businesswoman, but I have to believe that in any business setting, people at the top tend to be concerned with the bottom line. The women actually getting an abortion were also treated with compassion.

Many critics have said that this film is “propaganda,” but as someone who is pro-life, I think it’s really an accurate portrayal of the pro-life mindset. Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, I’d encourage you to see this film at least to understand the other side. It’s nice to see ideological enemies treated with compassion in such a volatile world.
NDH
PositiveAll my life I have been pro-choice and believed it was right. After seeing this movie my eye are fully opened. Plan Parenthood is nothing more than modern Auschwitz killing machine. The murdering of innocent babies is not just wrong but plain cruel to mother and the unborn. I have researched PP and discovered the place all clinics in low income neighborhoods. I also learned the founder was a admire and correspondent of Adolf Hitler. She also believed in eugenics and was a supporter of The Klu Klux Klan. Shame on anyone who supports or funds PP.

I will fight for the rights of the unborn and seek the defunding PP. This is a must see movie, tell all your girlfriends they need to see the truth. Former P___y Hat
Suspence8526
Positive—You are going to hear a lot of critics lambaste this movie for being propaganda. You will hear Planned Parenthood deny just about everything Abby Johnson says based on the accounts of this movie. You will hear a lot of news agencies not give commercial airtime for this movie on account of “reasons.” Why am I saying this, because you need to see this movie and understand why the above happens. The movie does a very good job at explaining it.

“Unplanned” is based on the memoirs of Abby Johnson who worked in a Planned Parenthood facility. She was a clinic director and had quite a few experiences during her tenure there.

In the end, the movie tells a story, and you will have to decide whether you believe her or not. The movie itself is simplistic, but the first 10 minutes will shock you. You will be uncomfortable at what you are watching. That’s the idea. That’s the point. In fact, I highly recommend anyone who is pro-choice, to at least watch the first ten minutes of this movie. It is… moving, and just… you need to see it. Everyone needs to see that. Regardless if you think Abby’s account is over the top, regardless if you think the movie is propaganda, the one scene in Procedure Room 2 is devastating, and it is exactly what Abby Johnson saw. That scene in itself should be the scene that either tells you, believe in Abby or not. I believe her.

I think her account should be heard and I think it’s worth people to watch the movie and understand what happens in a Planned Parenthood. The movie itself is basically an account of what happens in the clinic. The rest is rather basic for a movie. The acting is certainly not top notch. The budget is certainly tight. But I found the elements effective for the message it was making, and I found the conversion story intriguing.

I was not bored watching the movie, and I felt the pace was fine. I think it could have been edited shorter, but I wasn’t looking at my watch or bored with characters. “Unplanned” is a good movie. It’s not an excellent movie, but it is effective. The message is clear, and it is a good message. I recommend it.
David Klecker
Comments from young people
Positive— This is a must see movie for all male teens, female teens, and all adults. It shows really well all the awful and horrific things that happen with abortion to both the mother and baby. It was such a difficult and sad movie to watch but I think this was because of the movie’s perfect portrayal of what Abortion really is. This movie really deserves a better reputation and more support so it can gain more viewers everywhere in the world.

I’m a part of a pro-life group called the Treasure Valley Teens For Life and I knew how awful abortion is before I watched this movie. After I left the theater I became transformed it really opened my eyes to the appalling effects of abortion. See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
Jacqui T, age 15 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.