Story

Miracles from Heaven is a true story based on the lives of the Beam family from Texas in the United States. The Beams are Christy (Jennifer Garner), Kevin (Martin Henderson) and their three daughters. They are a close family and regular churchgoers, but Christy’s faith is sorely tested when she discovers that her middle daughter, Anna (Kylie Rogers), has a rare and incurable stomach disorder. This causes severe abdominal pain and frequent vomiting. Relentless in her pursuit of a cure, Christy makes an unorthodox visit to the leading paediatrician in the country, Dr Nurko (Eugenio Derbez), at the Boston Children’s Hospital.

Nurko is unfailing in his support for sick children and suggests an experimental treatment for Anna. Although the treatment has nasty side effects, it’s Anna’s only chance. After several months of treatment in hospital, which puts financial stress on the Beam family, Anna is allowed to go home.

At home, Anna’s older sister Abbie (Brighton Sharbino) encourages Anna to climb a tree. When the branch she’s sitting on starts to crack, Anna reaches for the trunk but falls head first 30 feet down into the hollow of the tree. It takes several hours for her to be rescued but amazingly she is alive. When she regains consciousness, Anna tells her parents that she had an ‘out of body’ experience and a conversation with God. Not only does Anna survive the fall, but she’s also miraculously cured of her illness, and medical professionals can’t work out how or why.

Themes

Incurable illness and death; sick child; religious belief; miraculous recovery

Violence

There is some violence and accidental harm in Miracles from Heaven. For example:

  • The stress of Anna’s sickness causes Christy and Kevin to have several loud arguments.
  • Christy yells at a doctor in the hospital.
  • Anna falls head first down the hollow of a tree.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Miracles from Heaven has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight years. For example:

Anna vomits and often writhes in pain and cries.

  • Anna has an enlarged stomach.
  • Anna has to be rushed to hospital in an ambulance because she’s in so much pain.
  • Scenes show hospital patients in the emergency ward with breathing apparatus and various tubes in their bodies.
  • Anna goes into an operation with a tube pushed up her nose. Both she and Christy are crying.
  • Anna is in the recovery room with tubes attached to her. She’s also connected to machines.
  • On one occasion Christy pulls the tube out of Anna’s nose, which looks quite painful.
  • In the hospital there are many children who are cancer patients and have bald heads.
  • Anna befriends a child called Haley who is dying from cancer. Anna gives Haley her cross on a chain. We find out later that Haley dies.
  • At one point Anna says that she wants to die because she can’t stand the pain anymore.
  • After her fall into the tree, Anna is unconscious. The fire brigade, ambulance and police arrive, as well as the local news. This is a very dramatic scene.
  • Anna is lifted out of the tree in a harness. She looks dead and has blood on her face.

From 8-13
Children in this age group are also likely to be upset by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Over 13
Some younger children in this age group could also be upset by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Sexual references

None

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

None

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in Miracles from Heaven: Angry Birds.

Coarse language

There is very little coarse language in Miracles from Heaven, and it is very mild.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Miracles from Heaven is an uplifting drama based on the true story of a 10-year-old girl who recovers from an incurable disease. It is very intense, with scenes of illness and injury involving children. This makes it unsuitable for younger children. It is also a faith-based movie, which might be problematic for some viewers.

The main messages from this movie are that faith makes all things possible and you’ll be rewarded for never giving up.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include the importance of families, persistence, determination, a positive outlook and selflessness.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about different belief systems and why some members of the Beams’ church congregation say that Anna isn’t being healed because Christy, Kevin and Anna have sinned.