Heaven is for Real

 

Sony Pictures

 

Rating: PG

 

Reason for the Rating: Thematic material including some medical situations.

 

Plot Summary: When Colton Burpo, four years old, tells his dad that he went to heaven during surgery, his dad isn't sure what to believe.

 

PopFam Recommends: This is a slow-moving story, but one worth seeing with your kids. Lots to talk about after!

 

Your atheist neighbor and your preacher have something in common. It's true (and no, this is not the beginning of a joke). Everyone, whether we admit it or not, wants to know if heaven is for real. What happens when we die? Where do we go? Is there life after death or does it all just end?

 

Todd Burpo (Greg Kinnear) is a Midwestern, small town preacher who is always willing to pray for people who are hurt, questioning, or dying. He's a man of faith who believes in Jesus and is bringing his children up to do the same. He's active and well respected in his community, coaching the high school wrestling team, serving on the local volunteer fire department, and fixing garage doors for anyone who will pay. Life is good.

 

Until his son, Colton (Connor Corum), ends up in the hospital with a ruptured appendix. He's very sick and surgery might not be enough to save him. The thought of losing their son brings Todd and his wife, Sonja (Kelly Reilly), to desperately seek God and ask him to spare his life. Little do they know what God is doing with little Colton and how it will change them all. After the surgery, life returns to normal until Colton starts talking about seeing angels and meeting Jesus during his surgery. If almost losing Colton wasn't a big enough test of their faith, believing his story about heaven was about to become one.

 

As a Christian movie-goer, I've gotten used to faith based movies that are, well, sub-par. Low budget, questionable acting, poor writing. While some of this has improved over the years, I still associate "faith based" with "we didn't want to put much money into it." But Heaven Is For Real is different. The acting is actually good, which is to be expected from seasoned actors like Greg Kinnear and Kelly Reilly. The surprise was that Connor Corum was great as Colton. And the writing is excellent. The plot is slow moving, which could be hard for kids to sit through, but that's because the movie stayed true to the real life event (as told in the book).

 

I think the idea of near-death experiences is interesting to explore. Some will deny the veracity of such occurrences, but they certainly provide the opportunity for conversation and exploration into what the Bible has to say about heaven. Whether you believe Colton's experience is a true picture of heaven or not, this is a perfect opening to have discussions about heaven and the after-life with your family and friends. Don't miss it!

 

Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• Do you believe what Colton saw was real? Why or why not?

 

• What do you know about how the Bible describes Heaven? Explain it.

 

• Who is someone you would like to see in Heaven? Why?

 

--JW

 

Tags: Heaven,Burpo,Colton,Todd,Greg Kinnear,Kelly Reilly,Connor Corum,Heaven is for Real

 

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