Talk about a little movie that could. Not a lot of fanfare until a couple weeks ago, but this movie was in the top four at the box office over the weekend, up against heavyweights like Kong, but this one has covered its budget in the first two weeks of release.
I have not read this book, I'm told that if you loved the book, you'll love the movie and that they stayed very close to the story line in the book. It's a very uplifting movie, there are moments that will bring tears to your eyes, but the end result is a very positive one. Mack was raised in the believings of Christianity, but his father, an elder with the church, is an abusive alcoholic, making Mack's views on religion more than a little skewed and he turns away. He marries a lovely woman (Radha Mitchell) and she raises their three children to believe. Mack (Sam Worthington) and his family then suffer an unthinkable loss. Their daughter is abducted and, after some time, assumed murdered and the family falls into despair.
Mack receives an invitation from Papa (the name his family uses to refer to God) to visit a shack in the mountains (there is significance involved.) He decides to go and once there, he meets Papa, Jesus and the spirit and his journey really begins. Octavia Spencer as Papa is worth the price of admission on her own.
It's funny, before I write one of these, I sometimes like to read other reviews, both by professionals and by the public, to see if my impressions are totally off base. In this case, most of the "professionals" panned the movie wildly but I read few negative reviews posted by the public; on Rotten Tomatoes, only 18% of professionals gave it a good nod, but 86% of the public did. I'm not surprised by that.
So make up your own mind and go in with an open mind. I personally appreciated the fact that they tried to address the oft asked question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" and the casting, which was interesting and effective.
Rated PG13 for some of the themes regarding daughter, I'm guessing, because I saw nothing objectionable. The plot itself is over the heads of younger children and they'll be bored.