Heaven Is for Real - 9 stars out of 10
The Christian film industry often has a reputation for poor acting and cheesy scripts. This is not the case for “Heaven Is for Real.” This true story of a boy’s ascent into Heaven during a near-death procedure has been approached with a large budget and quality actors. The story itself is very interesting and not when you might think from the synopses. While there is a proper amount of time afforded to tell the boy’s story and properly paint the images that he sees in Heaven, the main subject matter is the community’s response to the boy’s visions and the sociological implications on their church. It is surprising that so much of this movie is depressing but it makes sense since it is portraying our cynical world’s reaction to an innocent miracle. This film would be much more uplifting if it was fiction. Connor Corum was the perfect choice to play four-year-old Colton Burpo, the child who sees Heaven. He is so adorable and delivers his lines with the innocence that you would expect of a child who does not realize the significance of what he has experiences. He is supported by several veteran actors including Greg Kinnear and Kelly Reilly as the parents. Reilly is more than just a pretty face in this role, developing depth in her character through her emotional transformation in both her support of her husband and belief in her son. Kinnear is fantastic as he portrays all of the emotions that we might feel if God nearly took our child, gave him this gift, and then left us to make sense of it. Veterans Thomas Haden Church and Margo Martindale also join the cast, with Martindale providing ever moment of bitter emotion that we have grown to expect (and love) from her. The onscreen chemistry between all of these actors makes for something very special. “Heaven Is for Real” is an incredible story told with beautiful images of Heaven and emotional performances. Just like the characters in this story, it will make you wonder what you actually believe in regard to Heaven and I certainly would not want to miss this one.