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Cinema Dispatch: Miracles from Heaven

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Miracles from Heaven and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by Patricia Riggen

These movies are just going to stop, are they?  Well certainly not as long as Sony’s Jesus Department (Affirm), Roma Downey, and The Kendrick Brothers haven’t been driven out of Hollywood for being hacks.  Oh who am I kidding?  No one has EVER been driven out of Hollywood for being a hack.  Still, these crappy religious movies are starting to look more and more like crappy regular movies now that their attracting big name talents like Jennifer Garner.  Does the fact that this movie attracted an ACTUAL actor instead of one who’s only looking to be in Christian cinema (or are desperate for cash) mean that this might be one of the better films to come out of the Christian Film Revolution?  Even if it is, does that mean it’s actually a GOOD movie?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the tragic and uplifting story of the Beam family who were met with an unbelievable crisis when one of their daughters Annabel also known as Anna (Kylie Rogers) is diagnosed with an incurable intestinal disorder that leaves her unable to eat and in constant pain.  For the most part, the movie is from the perspective of her mother Christy (Jennifer Garner) who takes the brunt of the action and the emotional toll by doing everything she can to get her to the best doctors and come up with ways to pay for all these expensive treatments.  The trailers are a tad misleading considering that the fall from the tree that cures Anna (spoiler alert) doesn’t happen until the last twenty minutes of the movie, so it has more in common with something like 90 Minutes in Heaven than Heaven is For Real, considering the majority of the movie is about the suffering rather than the aftermath of the divine intervention.  Still, is it an inspiring and heartwarming story BEFORE we get to the Deus Ex Machina?  Does Jennifer Garner actually manage to elevate this material above its very simple premise?  Couldn’t God have come up with a way to heal her WITHOUT giving her a concussion!?

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“This is the fire department, Anna!  If you can hear me and are still conscious, don’t make a sound.”     …     “Well I’D call that a good sign, wouldn’t you?”

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