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Divine Decision (2016)

The Tribunal (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama | 18 July 2017 (USA)
2:07 | Trailer
The stakes are much higher than life or death in The Tribunal, a courtroom drama set in a Catholic Marriage Tribunal. On the surface, it appears that the struggle between Tony and Joe, two ... See full summary »


Marc Leif


Michael C. Mergler (screenplay)





Cast overview:
Ryan Wesley Gilreath ... Tony Mirakul
Chris Petty ... Joseph Seacker
Laura E. Mock Laura E. Mock ... Emily Vanderslice
Annie Kalahurka Annie Kalahurka ... Amana Davenport
Victoria McDevitt ... Jessie Seacker
Tom Morton Tom Morton ... Father O'Toole
Chuck Gillespie Chuck Gillespie ... Deacon Michael Constantino
Jim Damron Jim Damron ... Deacon Ben Vanderslice
Jennifer Feldspaugh Jennifer Feldspaugh ... Sylvia Vanderslice
Raymond A. Smith Raymond A. Smith ... Father Stan Pacific
David Baum ... Father Leonard Defazio
Larry Cole Larry Cole ... Father Nicholas Barkley
Darleen Lucas Darleen Lucas ... Layla Seacker


The stakes are much higher than life or death in The Tribunal, a courtroom drama set in a Catholic Marriage Tribunal. On the surface, it appears that the struggle between Tony and Joe, two best friends who both love Emily, hinges on Joe obtaining an annulment of his first marriage, so Emily, a devout Catholic, can marry him. Only Tony can testify to the truth and make the annulment a reality for Joe, but Tony still loves Emily, his ex-girlfriend. In reality, the struggle is for the souls of all three. Tony has been trying to come back to God because he wants Emily, and his heart tells him he has to be the best man he can be for her. Joe doesn't run as spiritually or emotionally deep as Tony, but he loves Emily, too, and he wants to do the right thing. Both Tony and Joe have to decide if they will make the sacrifice necessary to love Emily. She, in turn, must decide whether she truly loves Joe, or Tony. As they each fight for whom they love, the Tribunal slowly answers the ever-present...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Their love depends on it.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including sexual issues

User Reviews

Interesting ... If you know your "Biz"
27 July 2017 | by Vlad_ImirivanSee all my reviews

The annulment process provides the unusual courtroom setting for the romantic drama. While the movie's Catholic values are strong, they come filtered through some faulty film-making.

Divorced musician Joe pursues a decree of nullity so that he can wed his devout girlfriend, Emily. But his case requires the testimony of his estranged former band-mate and best friend, Tony.

Tony was once Emily's boyfriend, and still carries a torch for her while also harbouring resentment against Joe for stepping into his shoes after he and Emily split. But Tony has firsthand knowledge of the fact that Joe's ex, Jessie, disdained the permanence of marriage as well as the prospect of having kids.

Joe's cause is represented by Emily's father, Ben, and opposed by the tribunals' "defender of the bond," Michael. Both men are permanent deacons.

Religious themes, including the counter-cultural message that sex before marriage is a damaging mistake as well as a sin -- Tony's seduction of Emily was the eventual cause of their breakup -- will resonate with viewers of faith. But sometimes sub-par acting, an amateurish musical score and unlikely plot developments chip away at this small-scale project's credibility.

Still, the good intentions motivating screenwriter and director are as obvious as they are honourable. And moviegoers used to being immersed in the loose morals of contemporary society will find the earnest ethics surrounding this love triangle a refreshing change.

In that light, at least some parents may consider "The Tribunal" acceptable for older teens.

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Release Date:

18 July 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Divine Decision See more »

Filming Locations:

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

St. Michael Movies See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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