Unbroken

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

FILM SYNOPSIS: Unbroken chronicles the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II after surviving being lost at sea for 47 days.

PREVIEW REVIEW: This is a solid film, well acted, moving, and instructive. It is also brutal, the filmmaker (Angelina Jolie) making the point that we can persevere no matter what we must endure. Itís even suggested that the main protagonist was able, through his faith, to forgive those who thrust evil upon him. People in his life lived their religious convictions in front of him, which caused Louis Zamperini to eventually turn to Christ.

Alas, for me, it is not the great film I was hoping for. Itís a good film that will leave you with a positive message, but the film only hints at the spiritual convictions Mr. Zamperini held. This ability to forgive is only given to us via a couple of written lines at the very end of the production.

At 137 minutes, the film runs long due to the fact that we are subjected to endless scenes reflecting his time spent suffering at sea, then in a POW camp, while Zamperiniís conversion and healing process are given virtually no screen time. Thatís the great film that wasnít made! Thatís this manís legacy Ė how a soul can find healing and peace.

In the filmmakerís defense, there is nothing more difficult to bring to the screen than a depiction of spiritual healing and forgiveness. Matters of the spirit are unseen by eyes that donít view with faith. But there have been other films more successful with addressing the question of how one comes to forgive monsters. While I do think Unbroken is worth your viewing, Iíll leave you with two films that are more open with how we can forgive others.

DVD Alternatives: Amish Grace. The true story is about the aftermath of the 2006 schoolhouse shooting in the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. The bookís title best summarizes the productionís theme Ė Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy. Riveting, emotionally stirring, a powerful TV experience. Full review.

The Scarlet and the Black. Made-for-TV true story of a priest (Gregory Peck) who harbored allied POW escapees and the Nazi official (Christopher Plummer) who tries to catch him. The film is long (155 min.) but the message contained at the end of the picture should not be missed. A true example of Jesusí compassion will help remind each of us to love our enemies

BONUS MATERIAL: Read Preview Editor Phil Boatwright's expanded review, which includes an interview with Louis Zamperini's son Luke.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor:
Universal

Summary
The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: A few minor expletives and four or five obscenities, mostly the s-word.

Profanity: One ďGod d---Ē, hey itís not a movie until someone profanes the name of God.

Violence: To make a potent point, the film is filled with brutality, mostly taking place in a POW camp; the film reveals the brutality of the Japanese toward their victims during WWII.

Sex: None

Nudity: Brief male nudity as prisoners are stripped in the camp to further humiliate and demoralize them.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 137 minutes
Intended Audience: Mature viewers


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