Title: The Grace Card (2011; PG-13)
Director: David Evans
Major Themes: Forgiveness
Synopsis: Can Mac and Sam, fellow police officers, see beyond their differences and personal struggles and learn to work together?
The Grace Card—a movie that tugs at your heart until you think you can’t stand it anymore, then shows you the true joy of redemption and forgiveness. Mom and I first watched this movie one Sunday afternoon when I had to stay home sick. Both of us agreed then that it was a good one, and although the years have passed since then I still appreciate the message and reminder it brings to me each time I see it.
Mac McDonald hasn’t had an easy life. When his eldest son was killed in an accident at a young age, he struggled with anger and bitterness for years. With his marriage severely struggling, his one remaining son becoming more distant by the day, and the promotion he’s worked for never seeming to arrive, Mac struggles to keep from lashing out at those he loves. Meanwhile, Sam Wright, a fellow policeman, father, and pastor of a black church, is struggling to find his place in a world that seems to be all out against him. When the two are put together as patrol partners, can they learn to work together and appreciate each other? Or do their personal struggles and prejudices run too deep to find reconciliation and healing?
While a simple story in some ways, The Grace Card is beautiful in many aspects. While primarily a police movie, the threads of family life—and predominantly forgiveness when that is the last alternative you’d want to consider—make this movie a masterpiece.
The only thing I didn’t enjoy so much about the story was, oddly enough, the “grace” factor. This seems to be a movement among some church circles these days, and while it is good in many ways, I think we can tend to focus on “grace” too much—and in doing so ignore the fact that we are called to a holy life as well. I don’t think this movie crossed the border between slathering on grace and ignoring sin, but it is something we need to watch out for.
WARNING: Being a movie about policemen, it’s just about guaranteed there will be some violence in it. While this movie isn’t necessarily as bad as it could be, there are some things you may want to preview, even for early teenagers. In the first scene of the movie, from 2:20–3:30, a boy is killed. Right after that there is an argument at home, which isn’t too bad but you may want to pre-watch it as well. Some domestic violence at 19:53–25:22 where a baby is attacked and almost killed, a chase as the policemen try to catch the offender, and someone is held at gunpoint. Fairly tense. There is an argument at home from 50:40–52:40, again not too bad but you may wish to preview. A boy is shot in a scene from 58:32–1:01:05, and there is blood visible and you can hear groaning between 1:01:02–1:02:32. Then immediately following there is some shouting and anger from 1:02:32–1:03:00. I noted two words down that we don’t use, fr—-ing and d—n.
Ages 15 and Above, Adults