(directors/writers: Joel Smallbone, Richard L. Ramsey; cinematographer: Johnny Derango; editor: Parker Adams; music: Brent McCorkle; cast: Joel Smallbone (David Smallbone), Daisy Betts (Helen Smallbone), Kirrilee Berger (Rebecca Smallbone), Jonathan Jackson (Eddie Degarmo), Lucas Black (Jed Albright), Candace Cameron Bure (Kay Albright), Terry O’Quinn (Grandpa James), Paul Luke Bonenfant (Daniel Smallbone), Diesel La Torraca (Joel Smallbone), JJ Pantano (Luke Smallbone), Tenz McCall (Ben Smallbone), Angus K. Caldwell (Josh Smallbone); Runtime: 112; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Joshua Walsh, Luke Smallbone, Justin Tolley, Joel Smallbone; Lionsgate; 2024)“Its happy ending shouldn’t surprise anyone.”

“Its happy ending shouldn’t surprise anyone.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A competently made but dull Christian faith-based film. It’s based on a true story of the musical Smallbone family of seven children that moved from Australia to Nashville when dad’s music business failed in the 1990s. They came to America to better themselves, but at the onset financially struggled in their new country. It’s co-written and co-directed by Joel Smallbone and Richard L. Ramsey (“The Song”).

David (Joel Smallbone, the director is the son who plays his lost soul father) and his wife Helen (Daisy Betts) take odd jobs to survive in Nashville and strive to keep the faith during their hard times (they pray a lot). When the parents notice the kids have a passion to sing, the family bonds to form the group called “King and Country” and become one of the most successful groups in inspirational music.

Since it’s an uplifting Christian faith-based film about devout believers–everything is predictable and cliched–and its happy ending shouldn’t surprise anyone except for maybe a viewer who has seen too many films of the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman and by mistake viewed this unremarkable film.

  REVIEWED ON 5/19/2024  GRADE: C