Heaven Is For Real [2014] ★½

heaven_is_for_realYep, this is the movie where Greg Kinnear’s 5 year old son suffers a burst appendix and claims he saw heaven, Jesus and his grandpa. I’m not making this up, since we’re told right from the start that this is all based on a true story. Fair enough. I am not criticizing any real belief in God or in heaven. A belief in both can be a really good thing. And Christian movies can be even better. But “Heaven is for Real” isn’t one of them. Its heart is in the right place, (and nobody is questioning that), but the film fails on every conceivable level. It plays too cheesy most of the time, unable to shift into a more serious gear when the script demands it. Another deadly mistake is the reenacting of the boy’s visit to heaven, which director Wallace should have left to our imagination. Those scenes were far from convincing… and just plain awful to be honest. Even defenders of the picture will have to admit that “Heaven is for Real” doesn’t have much story to tell. It may seek to send an important message, but I found myself succumbing to a series of yawns instead. To be clear again, I enjoy a good religious movie and have a high tolerance for sentimentality in movies. This one just doesn’t have what it takes.

Rating: 1.5/4

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