Miracles from Heaven Review
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In a world that’s so often filled with anger, violence, and hate, many of us find ourselves desperately searching for just a little bit of hope and humanity. And the religious drama Miracles from Heaven offers a little bit of sunshine through a flood of tears.

Miracles from Heaven tells the true story of the Beam family from Texas, whose lives—and faith—are shaken when 10-year-old Anna (Kylie Rogers) becomes sick. After weeks of trips to the emergency room and meetings with doctors who seem to have no answers, she’s diagnosed with a severe intestinal disorder that has no cure. And as mom Christy (Jennifer Garner) fights to find the best care for Anna and dad Kevin (Martin Henderson) struggles to take care of everything at home, they begin to fear the worst.

Miracles from Heaven is a difficult film to watch—a story about so much suffering and so much heartbreak. This is, without a doubt, a tear-jerker—the kind that will make even tough grown men shed a tear or two. If you have a child of your own—or if you truly love a child—you’ll find it utterly brutal and emotionally exhausting.

At the same time, though, no matter how affecting it may be, it never really feels overdone or manipulative. It’s simply the honest and true story of a loving family that goes through something that’s absolutely horrible (and, later, completely astonishing). The characters here are real and likable—from Garner’s Christy, who’s relentless in her dedication to finding help for her ailing daughter, to Henderson’s Kevin, who does his best to hold down the fort (while building a new business) back at home. Christy, especially, is the heart and soul of the film—a thoughtful, caring, and fun-loving mom who will stop at nothing to fight for her child. And though Queen Latifah is underused as the outgoing waitress who befriends Christy and Anna during their hospital visits in Boston, she adds some much-needed levity to an otherwise gut-wrenching drama.

The film doesn’t pull any punches, either. It may be a religious film, but it isn’t filled with too-perfect religious people. It isn’t holier than thou, nor is it even especially preachy. There are judgmental people who will make you angry. There are struggles with faith that will touch your heart. And there are also moments of love and support that give the film glimpses of hope. The story and its ending may not be surprising—after all, the ending is the key to the film, and it’s revealed in all of the film’s trailers—but it’s more about the journey and the lessons learned along the way.

Of course, if tear-jerkers aren’t your thing, you’ll want to avoid Miracles from Heaven. But it’s an especially well-done tear-jerker—an honest and heartfelt story of family, faith, and the everyday miracles that we often take for granted. Be sure to bring a full box of tissues.

Blu-ray Review:
After watching this moving story about faith and family, you’ll want to know more about the Beams—and the special features found on the Blu-ray edition allow the real-life Beams (and their on-screen counterparts) to offer their own insights into the story. Accounts from Annabel tells a little more of the story through the eyes of the real Annabel—as well as her family members and her doctor. And in Bearing Witness, the Beams gather with friends, family, and other important players in their story to celebrate the anniversary of the story’s miraculous events.

But the film’s other features give insight into the family and their experiences, too. The making-of feature, Miracles Abound, focuses more on the filmmakers and the cast, but the cast members also talk about their reasons for doing the film—and what they took away from the experience. And it shows how everyone worked together to tell the Beams’ inspiring story.

Other extras include a handful of deleted scenes, a musical montage, a commentary track with director Patricia Riggen and screenwriter Randy Brown, and Creating Heaven, a behind-the-scenes look at the storyboards and previs for one of the film’s important scenes.

The extras here are just as they should be. They build on the film by allowing the real people behind the project—both the characters and the filmmakers—to tell their side of the story. And that makes for an interesting collection of special features.

Listen to the review on Reel Discovery:

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