The latest independently produced Christian film to hit theaters (arriving just a week after The Genesis Code) centers on a family grieving over the death of a 5-year-old boy. The story, which lays on more and more melodrama the deeper we get into it, picks up 17 years later with the father, Bill (Michael Joiner), still adversely impact by the accidental death of his son. A fortress of solitude, despair and guilt, Bill lashes out at everyone around him, including his wife (Sara McDonald), his equally troubled 17-year-old son (Rob Erickson) and his new police partner Sam (Mike Higgenbottom), who just happens to be an aspiring pastor at a local church.
Ophthalmologist-turned-filmmaker David G.
Evans dives into the The Grace Card's big, universal themes of life, death, race, reconciliation, redemption, forgiveness and family with straightforward earnestness, which synchs well with the material. But Howard A. Klausner's screenplay gets bogged down in too many talky theological monologues and plot twists that stretch believability. The Grace Card means well, but like any number of movies with overt agendas, it's often preaching to an already-converted choir. Grade: C-
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