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Today’s Prayer Focus

Ordinary Angels

MPA Rating: PG-Rating (MPA) for thematic content, brief bloody images and smoking.

Reviewed by: Raphael Vera

Moral Rating: Better than Average
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Family Teens Young-Adults Adults
Genre: Drama
Length: 1 hr. 56 min.
Year of Release: 2024
USA Release: February 23, 2024 (wide release)
DVD: April 30, 2024
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Relevant Issues

Based on a true story that took place in Kentucky (1994)

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Death of beloved wife wife and mother

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Widower with young children that he dearly loves

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Lead actor Alan Ritchson stars in Amazon’s “Reacher” series (2023-2024) and identifies as a believer

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Helping others in dire need


Rallying an entire community to work together to help

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

What are good works and what is their reward?

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Severe winter storm that threatens to dash all hope

About SNOW in the Bible

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What is FAITH and why is it important? Answer

About hope

About despair and fear

Family relationships

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Issue of pain and suffering

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer?

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

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Does God feel our pain?

ORIGIN OF BAD THINGS—Why are they in our world if a good God created us? Answer

Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is?
Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer

Featuring Hilary SwankSharon Stevens
Alan RitchsonEd Schmitt
Amy AckerTheresa Schmitt
Nancy TravisBarbara Schmitt
Tamala JonesRose
Skywalker HughesAshley Schmitt
Drew PowellPastor Dave Stone
See all »
Director Jon Gunn
Producer Kingdom Story Company
Stampede Ventures
See all »
Distributor: Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. Trademark logo.
(Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.)

“Find your purpose”

The film opens with the birth of newborn baby Michelle, “a gift from God” as her mom calls her. Fast forward five-years and the dad, Ed Schmitt (Alan Ritchson) is now saying good-bye to his dying wife and is forced to contend with his little girl who is now fighting for her life.

Enter Ms. Sharon Stevens (Hilary Swank), a hair salon owner with her own set of problems. A loner, estranged from her adult son, she is stirred by the plight of Michelle (Emily Mitchell), and decides to go see a family she’s never met during their mom’s funeral. Despite her awkward encounter with Ed, she spontaneously takes it upon herself to help and begins by doing a fundraiser at her salon for the girl.

When she shows up with the money she raised, Ed is taken aback but his mom, Barbara (Nancy Travis), welcomes Sharon into their home and soon into their lives. The hospital bills, the ongoing high cost of Michelle’s medicine, and the limited work Ed has seen repairing roofs has the family on the brink of bankruptcy. However, they now have a benefactor in Sharon, who has decided to shoulder the Schmitt’s problems as if they were her own. If she can’t pull her own life together, at least she can save theirs.

“Ordinary Angels” is based on the true story of how the well-meaning Sharon imposes herself upon the Schmitt family, guiding a prideful and reluctant Ed in saving his home and little girl, while facing a series of seemingly impossible obstacles. The film is that rare, positive account of the difference that people, even those once considered strangers, can make in the lives of others.

Objectionable Content

LANGUAGE: Minor. Generally positive with only one “Thank God” that was semi-flippant, and one low-key exclamation of “Oh my G*d”, the film by no means gives the impression of being disrespectful to our Lord. Other off-color words such as cr*p (1x), pi**ed (1x) are heard and “stupid” is uttered by Sharon to herself many times at her own actions.

VIOLENCE: Minor. Sharon dances up on the bar and falls drunk. Little Michelle is shown coughing up blood due to her fatal illness. Ed gets angry and raises his voice but never gets physically violent.


WOKE: None

ALCOHOL: Moderate. Bar scenes featuring Sharon drinking heavily, waking up to a drink before breakfast as well as drinking so much she passes out when kids are present.


Several themes are explored throughout Ordinary Angels such as faith, purpose and charity.

FAITH — Ed’s mom, Barbara, during one of his low points advises him, “not to lose your faith over this”, to which Ed responds cynically, “My faith?”, showing how far he has fallen. Later, he cries out to God, “What did I ever do to you?” Often, we can find ourselves overwhelmed by our troubles, but God wants us to know that He is near and to trust in Him.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. —Psalm 34:18

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. —James 1:2-3

Our almighty God commands us to display that ‘faith in action’ is shown by helping one another. This is summed up beautifully in scripture by the half-brother of our Lord Jesus, James.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed, ” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. —James 2:14

Purpose-Early on, at an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting, Sharon takes to heart the call to ‘find purpose outside yourself’ which is how she ends up at the funeral. This begins a chain of events neither she, nor Ed could have foreseen, a reminder of God’s purpose in our lives.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” —Jeremiah 29:11

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. —Ephesians 2:10

Charity-There is no other way to describe so much of what happens in Ordinary Angels than to say people are being inspired to be charitable. Sharon may have been the first, but God blessed her efforts in calling others from all walks of life to help save Michelle. Holy scripture is replete with God’s call to be giving and to provide for those less fortunate than ourselves.

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. —Luke 12:33

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: It is more blessed to give than to receive. —Acts 20:35

When asked what someone must do to have eternal life our Lord Jesus responded:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself. —Luke 10:27

Clarifying ‘who is my neighbor’, Jesus told the parable of ‘The Good Samaritan’ (Luke 10:25-37) wherein He explains that ‘everyone’ is our neighbor.

Sharon is a modern day ‘good Samaritan,’ flaws and all. And that is the principal message of the film, that in our own way we can be ‘ordinary angels,’ or everyday heroes to anyone that crosses our path.

At the beginning of the film, Pastor Dave Stone called each of us to pray daily for God to ‘intersect our lives’ with someone we can spiritually encourage, even physically help without expecting anything in return from them.

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. —Matthew 6:3-4

Closing Thoughts

Alan Ritchson turns in a subtle performance as the stoic, and prideful Ed with Emily Mitchell playing well the role of the sympathetic and adorable Michelle. The catalyst of the film is Hillary Swank’s performance as the ‘larger-than-life’ Sharon, who despite her outward efforts to help the Schmitt family, is broken inside and suffers her own fall or ‘dark night of the soul’ before finding redemption.

“Ordinary Angels” begins slowly, heavy with exposition but ends up a heart-warming, even charming film with a satisfying final act. The movie’s positive messages amidst real life situations are a strong reminder that we are all called to ‘do unto others’ and in turn we will find we are doing God’s will. Recommended.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. —Galatians 6:2

  • Drugs/Alcohol: Moderate
  • Violence: Minor
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Minor
  • Profane language: None
  • Nudity: None
  • Sex: None
  • Occult: None
  • Wokeism: None

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

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive— We went to see it as a family, around fifteen of us from age eight to age 70 and everyone enjoyed it. It was fantastic. The storyline was gripping and ran the gamut of emotions. Most of us cried it was so compelling, particularly knowing it was based on a true story.

The acting was excellent, as was the cinematography. While not overtly religious, it showed the importance of faith in trying times. The challenges this family went through were beyond comprehension.

The whole movie was uplifting and heart-wrenching, but worth every cent. I’ll more than likely see it again. This is the best movie we have seen in years.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
Dennis, age 70 (USA)

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