"God Still Answers Prayer"
90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN is one of the best-written and directed faith based dramas in recent years. Based on the best-selling true story written by Pastor Don Piper, 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN is set in 1989.
Don (Hayden Christensen) is a mild-mannered pastor with a beautiful wife, Eva (Kate Bosworth), and three children. Don is contemplating planting a new church, that is, until a horrific car accident occurs while Don is driving to church. Hit head on by an 18-wheeler truck, Don is pronounced dead on the scene by the paramedics, who proceed to pull a tarp over Don and his car. A pastor who was driving nearby sees the accident and feels called by God to pray for whoever the man under the tarp is. Crawling inside the mangled car, the pastor begins to pray and sing over Don’s body. Suddenly, Don begins to sing along with the pastor.
Ecstatic, the preacher alerts the medics, who at first don’t believe him, that Don is alive again. Taken to the hospital, Don is in really bad shape, and it’s not sure whether he’ll still make it. Slowly, however, the Doctors start fixing him up. Eva is alerted, and with the help of her family and church friends, she makes plans to take care of Don and help him survive this ordeal. However, Don, who experienced a brief glimpse of heaven while dead, doesn’t want to endure the pain that his mangled body must endure to heal, so he shuts the world out, including his wife. Eva presses, not knowing if she’ll ever get her husband back. Their marriage and faith is tested, and Don must find what purpose God has for all this pain.
90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN is not HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, nor does it try to be. This, at times slow-moving drama doesn’t try to paint a picture of heaven on a large canvas. It’s an intimate story of survival and faith, one that’s accompanied by appropriate cinematography and sets. The moments at the hospital directly after the accident feel a little sluggish, and some of Eva’s reactions seem oddly mellow, but this builds into compelling tension between Eva and Don that leads to a well drawn out, satisfying conclusion.
Best of all, 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN is powerful and inspiring in more ways than one. The movie is about a pastor learning to submit to God’s will and let others serve him. It’s about fighting for your spouse, no matter how distant they seem. Finally, it’s about the simple facts that God answers prayer, and that Heaven is our ultimate home. The story of Don and Eva is the focal point in 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN, and it’s because of this that their faith is genuine and inspiring.
Don’s experience of heaven won’t be as controversial as Colton Burpo’s in HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, as it stays more ambiguous and is less central to story than one would expect. The brief shots of the pearly gates, though imaginative, aren’t sensationalized. The main disappointment in the movie’s description of Heaven is that it primarily focuses on the reunion with lost loved ones rather than the presence of God. For those who are believers, being made whole and perfect in the presence of a loving God is the true joy they receive in Heaven. That said, 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN isn’t pluralistic, nor does it preach universalism. Thus, Jesus is said and shown to be God and Savior.
90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN isn’t graphic, but the injuries suffered by Don are gruesome and painful to see, or even hear about for that matter. Because of this, caution is advised for younger children. Otherwise, 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN is a fantastic drama everyone should see.
(CCC, BBB, V) Very strong Christian, biblical worldview, with positive portrayals of marriage and family, faith being a vital and central role to the story, Heaven is shown to be real, prayer is answered and miracles still happen, the movie is not pluralistic, as Jesus is extolled as God and Savior, and the movie ends with a powerful sermon; no foul language; a violent car accident, but nothing graphic show, gruesome injuries are discussed and a man is bruised, bloodied and scarred, his recovery process is excruciating and involves a painful bone growth device; no sexual content, kissing between married couple; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking drug use; and, nothing else objectionable.
90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN is one of the best written and directed faith-based dramas in years. Based on the best-seller by Pastor Don Piper, 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN is set in 1989. Don is a mild-mannered pastor with a beautiful wife, Eva, and three children. When Don is in a car accident and pronounced dead by paramedics, he sees a glimpse of Heaven. However, he’s brought back to life, and, after experiencing the joys of Heaven, he must endure incredible pain to survive his injuries. Can he keep the faith and find a purpose through all of it?
90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN is not HEAVEN IS FOR REAL. It’s an intimate story of survival and faith, one that’s accompanied by appropriate cinematography and sets. The movie’s themes touch on topics of accepting love from others, fighting for your spouse, and the simple facts that God answers prayer and that Heaven is our ultimate home. A light caution is advised for younger children due to the car wreck and medical injuries. Otherwise, 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN is a fantastic drama everyone should see.