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Heaven Is for Real
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Heaven Is for Real More at IMDbPro »

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42 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly pleasant in contradiction of critical reviews.

Author: rhhdvh from United States
17 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow, after reading the reviews that are at the extremes, I really didn't know what to expect. But I like to judge controversy for myself and so when the title came up at the $1.50 Theater we went. Surprisingly, the smaller auditorium was about ½ full. What a delightful movie, so far and away from what I was set up for by all the disparaging - bordering on hateful comments and low ratings. It makes we wonder if the low raters even saw the show, or have hearts of stone; their reviews discredit them. The movie is about a local minister, in a small church, who works several jobs to make ends barely meet, married with two small children. His parish loves him and life is marginally good. But then his four year old son gets a burst appendix, and their whole life gets turned upside down for fear their son will perish. The minister screams at God, his faith tested to the core. A pray chain is set up at the church, in the town, and the boy narrowly pulls through. Everyone is relieved and life gets back to normal. Or so it seems. But then the four year old begins innocently to reveal to his father, that he had had an out of body experience, and provides details of heaven, like seeing his father screaming at God in the hospital chapel. Over time, the boy continues to relate more material so that the father consults a psychologist who discredits the actual encounter as normal memory tricks. Somehow the news leaks out of the family, to the church and community, and public controversy ensues. What to believe? Yet still more and more facts come out from the child that could not be known to the child except from his encounter; that then convince the minister of heaven's reality, from his son's innocent testimony. The minsters faith waivers, but then finally returns to belief. The movie is a real tear jerker. The plot moves quickly and steadily; the acting is superb, the child priceless. It ends well, a happy ending and faith is explored. For me, it was a pleasant surprise and in all a fine little low budget movie that witnesses faith with honest reason and doubt. Definitely worth the $1.50 and the time.

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106 out of 193 people found the following review useful:

Pleasantly Surprised By This One

Author: patsworld from United States
17 April 2014

I read the book and really liked it, gave me plenty to think about. But in all honesty I couldn't imagine they would be able to make a good movie out of this. I was certain it would end up overly sentimental or artificial or that it simply would not live up to the book. However, they did it – hence the surprise. This movie IS the book brought to life on the big screen. The casting is superb. Greg Kinnear is the ideal father, Kelly Reilly is fine as the mom, and how they managed to find the perfect child to portray Colton Burpo is amazing. Connor Corwin is so natural and likable, he is wonderful in the role . This movie is not preachy. It does not tell the audience what to believe or not to believe. Like the book, it gives those of us who believe further evidence that we're on the right track. But for those in doubt, it gives you plenty to think about and leaves you with questions you must work out for yourself. It just might leave you with hope and the courage to think there might be something to this belief in Jesus and Heaven. All in all, this is a splendid movie and I'd recommend it, and the book, whole-heartedly.

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46 out of 76 people found the following review useful:

Sorry I Waited to See This

Author: Michael Dean from United States
28 June 2014

I loved this film.

I knew the basic plot going in, but was pleasantly surprised on how well the film was put together. There was comedy, drama, real-life all wrapped in one film. The acting was solid. Greg was great, Margo was awesome, Thomas and Nancy were solid and I was in love with Kelly. Conner was great at just being the innocent child.

I loved the scenery, the rural life, the wide open spaces, the cinematography and the family life complete with it's struggles. Add to that the trauma of a nearing losing a child then having a unique heavenly experience. Rather than simply preach to us, the film shared the real human flesh struggles of a man that was a minister, but still a man.

Even if not based on a true story, it would be a great movie.

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33 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

A family trying to make sense of what they must believe.

Author: Jesse Boland from Burnaby, BC Canada
2 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

To start Sorry if it offends you but I am no fan of religion, I do though love good movies so it makes no difference to me what they are about. In this case Greg Kinnear who has been on a bit of a kick in this general direction lately provides a fantastic performance as a Father trying to make some really tough decisions while the walls are getting thinner. Kelly Reilly is her usual fragile beauty (that you just know is going to go south in just a few years so she had best get it all in now) and still in morning from a recent loss that she will not talk about.

Over everything I Enjoyed the movie, and found that the supporting cast who are mostly well known TV faces, were very good, and helped a great deal with legitimizing the entire production. The kids of course though were the entire show, and they all shone brightly giving very real feeling to these characters, and letting the audience get the sense of family, and safety that is shared amongst this small tight community. I say go ahead, and watch it, yes it is mostly Reverend Lovejoy sermons, but it's the family, and community moments in between that give us all hope.

Jesse of

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83 out of 153 people found the following review useful:

Not overly religious and not preachy - which is a very good thing.

Author: Daniel Endy from United States
21 April 2014

I'm very spiritual but not very religious. This movie does an excellent job of sharing important information about the very real issues that near death experiences (NDEs) bring up. All the NDE stories have certain similarities and a judgmental God is not part of them at all. Religion doesn't matter either. All that matters is love for one another. IMO.

Those last few sentences were preacher than this whole movie -- which is a very good thing. It is very tough to tell a spiritual story without being preachy, but this movie does it very well.

If you have the slightest interest, you will enjoy this movie. Is it perfect? No, nothing is, but this movie is pretty good.

8 out of 10 stars. Acting is good too. Kudos to all involved in the production.

Epilogue: There's an odd phenomena happening with any movie that is religious or potentially religious, like this film. They get a lot of 1-star ratings. I'm certain these come from zealots. Mostly, I suspect they are militant atheists who think belief in God is the root of all of mankind's problems. I'm talking about the disciples of Richard Dawkins here. I'll bet serious money that most of the 1-star reviewers never saw the movie.

With a movie like this one there is another potential source of 1-star reviews, fundamentalists who like their religious ideas literal and straight from the bible. Those folks will not like this movie at all. Real spirituality is complicated.

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59 out of 107 people found the following review useful:

A Nice Family Drama, Not Even Remotely Preachy

Author: RichardSRussell-1 from United States
18 April 2014

Heaven Is for Real (1:39, PG) — borderline, 3rd string, original

You might be surprised that this film attracted an atheist activist like me. But I went to see it because — as part of my self-imposed obligation to catch EVERY science-fiction and fantasy movie that hits town so I can review them for my listserv and at SF cons — it looked like it might have some fantasy elements. I ended up classifying it as "borderline", which is where I put movies that are not clearly SF or fantasy but might be if viewed from a certain angle. This one leaves it open to interpretation whether little 4-year-old Colton Burpo actually experienced a trip to heaven while he was unconscious on the operating table at death's doorstep with a burst appendix.

The Burpos are presented as being among the nicest people you could ever hope to meet, and not in any "holier than thou" sense but as solid, down-to-Earth working folk, a kind, loving, and happy family. The dad, Todd Burpo, a part-time Protestant minister in Imperial, Kansas, is humble and declines the title "Reverend", saying "Call me Todd" even to members of his own congregation. He wears a work shirt and sits in the pews with the other congregants while the church service is doing other things, like Bible readings or singing led by Todd's wife Sonja.

The skeptical attitude is clearly articulated by several different characters in the film, including Todd Burpo himself, who's obviously having trouble wrestling with and reacting to what his son has been saying about his brief sojourn in heaven. And the conclusion is not some grand revelation or depiction of the "real" heaven but rather an informal sermon in which Todd (well played by Greg Kinnear) talks thru his uncertainties and tells his fellow congregants that "on Earth as it is in heaven" means that we should each value the little bit of heaven we share when we appreciate the people who love us.

Frankly, an avowed humanist couldn't have put it much better.

Still, there's the obvious fact that little Colton has been drenched in religion for almost his entire waking life, and that such total immersion surely accounts for everything he claims to have seen. And the Burpos had been having serious financial difficulties, a not-so-subtle motive for playing Colton's story for any financial benefit it might bring. Nor does the film stint from dramatizing those perfectly naturalistic explanations.

In short, if you were expecting a piece of pious propaganda, this isn't it. It's more like a nice, non-saccharine family drama with unusual subject matter, kind of along the lines of We Bought a Zoo. On my 9-point scale, it rates a 6.

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28 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

I prefer this..

Author: Cicero Dela SB from Detroit
18 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Instead of praising the bad characters in a story (see Disney's movies), I prefer this movie 10x10 times. Look around and observe the beautiful and the good among us. We were all born good, aren't we? If someone was born talented and gifted, they shall tell these people's stories, not unearthing devils and demons or witches, hurting this way people's harts and minds with apocalyptic creations. Why speculate simple people's and children curiosity and simplicity? I understand: they make money.., but by all means?

A 10 stars again, for art dedicated to the good cause...

Good luck for the creators of the movie!


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22 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Great best inspirational film

Author: bamoviegirl from United States
19 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I Saw heaven is for real it really inspired me. It was a great movie and one of the best movies ever made and that I've ever seen. I saw it again and I am a Christian and It really got me inspired. It was one of the best Christian movies I've ever seen that and Son of God. Greg Kinnear and Kelly Reilly did a great job in the movie. The movie was so much touching and inspirational inspiring movie. I read the book and the book is as just as good as the movie. I love Christian movies but I saw something special in heaven is for real then in Gods Not Dead and to my opinion Heaven is For Real was way better than Gods Not Dead. Heaven for Real was brilliant and to my opinion it's the best movie of the year and best movie ever made. I would recommend for anybody to see Heaven is for Real. And it's a family movie so go and see it and I'm defiantly going to buy it when it comes out on DVD

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36 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Movie even if you don't believe in GOD!

Author: johndoe3815 from Michigan
25 July 2014

Let me first say that as a man of Science, I am not a believer in GOD. With that out of the way, I did not let that keep me from watching this movie. As most of what we watch on television these days is fictitious anyways it shouldn't matter what the subject matter of the movie is as long as it is good.

Now in the case of - 'Heaven Is for Real', I found the movie moving and very emotional. No matter what I believe about Heaven, I found the portrayal of the young boy's beliefs in this film very endearing and it almost wants to make you want to believe. I would only hope that as this kid gets older that his beliefs stay that strong, unless that is he decides to of course enlighten himself to reality someday. But if he so wishes to hold on to those beliefs, so be it, at least he will die happy and he will never know that his death was the end of his or her existence.

Anyway, whether you believe in GOD or not, I recommend seeing this film.

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19 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

I Give it A 7-8 rating Good Story and Clean Movie

Author: JC_gives_u_hope from Northern California
5 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A story of a boy who's been in Heaven for a short time. He can tell his father about people that he has seen and things that only they knew about. Other people just think the boy is crazy. End of Review

I do like that Hollywood is starting to make more of these type of movies. More modern than the ancient times films; I believe students or teenagers can relate to today's times. Lets face it; it's the teens (13- 16) that go to the movies. My son used to work at AMC theater, he says: lots of parents, just drop off their kids at the movies. Or they go in with them to a "R" rated movie and walk out (leaving their kids there to watch a rated "R" movie, alone). AMC will call their parents to pick them up (if they catch them); but parents shouldn't be doing this.

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