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THE SHIFT (2023)

"Keep the Faith and Let Your Light Shine"

What You Need To Know:

THE SHIFT is a science fiction movie with a fantasy twist. Kevin Garner loses his job on Wall Street during the 2008 financial crisis. That day, he meets his future wife, Molly. They know every marriage has problems, but they marry anyway. They grow apart when their young son wanders off one day and disappears. Kevin urges Molly to have faith. Then, the Devil offers to make Kevin rich and powerful, if he works for him. Kevin just starts praying, and the Devil flees. However, Kevin is now stuck on a totalitarian world in another universe. He searches for a way to escape and return to Molly.

THE SHIFT is one of the most moving, inventive, compelling, and powerful faith-based movies ever made. The writing, acting and directing are superb. THE SHIFT has a strong Christian, moral worldview. It contains strong allegorical, overt and beautiful references to God, Scripture, the Resurrection, and the Empty Tomb. The hero prays and rebuffs the Devil. However, THE

SHIFT has some action violence where people are shot and alcohol use. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for pre-teenage children.

Content:

(CCC, BBB, VV, S, A, M)

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong Christian, biblical, moral, somewhat allegorical worldview set in a Twilight Zone world where a righteous man is tempted by the Devil who appears as a totalitarian leader of a dystopian world he tries to control completely, but the hero constantly tries to make the world a better place by helping other people and doing small acts of kindness and the movie includes passages from the Book of Job, including Job 42:5, many positive references to God, several moving prayer scenes, references to miracles, the phrase “He lives” is shown on a necklace that’s a symbol for the Empty Tomb, the Empty Tomb symbol is shown in other scenes, the Devil accuses God of not really caring about people in two or more scenes but the righteous hero always calls him a liar, plus brief discussion about there being some kind of a multiverse with multiple worlds where people make different choices, but movie strongly implies by the end that God is in control and miracles can happen in all those worlds, even the dystopian world where the Devil has shifted many people who have made bad choices, but people still can be redeemed there even though the Devil has banned the Bible, and the hero writes down parts of the Bible that he can remember to pass Scripture passages around

Foul Language:
No foul language, but one “p” vulgarity a euphemism for being angry

Violence:
Brief strong and some light violence includes police in a totalitarian society shoot at least two people dead, the police fire into a crowd that’s about to riot and launch tear gas canisters before they fire over the protestors’ heads, police and other people wave guns around, angry man trashes a hotel room when the Devil traps him there, some fighting, hero pushes the Devil against a wall, and a little boy goes missing and is never fund, but hope is often expressed that he’ll be found

Sex:
No sex scenes, but hero is shifted briefly to one alternative world where his doppelganger is sitting a couch in his smoking jacket with two young women, implying prostitution or some other sexual situation, but potential, not depicted

Nudity:
No nudity, but there’s a shot of the hero’s back in the shower

Alcohol Use:
Some alcohol use and it’s implied a couple times in the story that the hero attends AA meetings, but he’s never shown as being drunk, though in one scene he’s tempted to go off the wagon

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Some lying by several characters.

More Detail:

THE SHIFT is a science fiction movie with a fantasy twist where a righteous, but troubled man meets a mysterious, menacing stranger who sends the man to a dark, totalitarian world with no hope and no faith, where the man tries to find a way to escape and return to his wife. THE SHIFT is one of the most moving, inventive, compelling, and powerful faith-based movies ever made, with superb writing and acting, but there is some action violence of people being shot and references to alcohol, so caution is advised for pre-teenage children and other impressionable, sensitive viewers.

THE SHIFT opens with Kevin Garner losing everything in what looks like the 2008 housing bubble, along with many other people on Wall Street. He goes to a nearby bar to drown his sorrows. However, before he can even begin to taste his beer, a beautiful woman named Molly comes up to him and tells him how sad and pathetic he looks. They start a conversation. She tells Kevin that her three friends in a nearby booth challenged her to go up and talk to him. When she asks him what’s the matter, he points to the TV over the bar, where the reporter is showing scenes of people on Wall Street losing their jobs.

The conversation shifts to romantic relationships, and they discuss ideas about dating someone, growing closer to them, meeting their families, and getting married. While they’re talking, a quick series of scenes show them dating, attending Molly’s church, Kevin proposing to her, getting married, and having a son. Kevin and Molly are clearly attracted to one another. So, he asks her to join him for a cup of tea while he pushes away his beer. Relationships can be hard and lead to pain, however, they acknowledge.

Sure enough, several years later, Molly and Kevin are talking to an employee at the grocery store when their little boy wanders off and disappears. One or two days later, two policeman come to the door with the boy’s little backpack in their hands.

Some time passes, and Molly and Kevin are arguing about paying bills. At work, his boss tells him to go home. Driving home and stuck in traffic, he calls Molly to apologize, but they just start arguing about the bills again. Suddenly, another vehicle crashes into Kevin’s car. Mysteriously, Kevin ends up in an alley with cuts on his face and a bandage on his forehead. A blonde man with piercing blue eyes wakes him up and says he patched Kevin’s forehead. He offers Kevin some water and tries to help him up, but Kevin is still woozy from the crash. The man introduces himself as “The Benefactor,” and says he wants to offer Kevin a job. “I already have a job,” Kevin replies. Kevin is still a bit unsteady on his feet, so The Benefactor says he’ll walk with him.

As they turn the corner, Kevin wonders why there are no people around and asks where his car went. “Where’s the accident?” he asks. “What happened?” The Benefactor says, “Nothing happened. There was no accident.” Taking out his cellphone, Kevin says he has to call his wife or the police, and The Benefactor says, “That won’t work. They won’t help.” Kevin gets angry, shoves The Benefactor against the wall and shouts, “Who are you? Where did everybody go?” The cryptic man replies, “They didn’t go anywhere. You did.” Kevin ponders that comment for a moment, then The Benefactor says, “I’m hungry. Let’s get some dinner. I’m buying.”

Cut to a restaurant, where everyone seems to be afraid of “The Benefactor,” especially their waitress, a young woman named Tina. The Benefactor tells Kevin he has the power to give people whatever their heart desires by shifting them to another Earth in another universe. Kevin doesn’t believe the man and challenges him to prove it by shifting someone in the restaurant. The Benefacts asks who, and Kevin nods to Tina and says, “Shift her.” The scared look on Tina’s face increases when the Benefactor agrees to shift her, and she disappears. When Kevin asks where she went, the Benefactor says he sent Tina to a world where her parents never met, and she ends up in a psych ward.

The Benefactor says he can make Kevin rich and powerful if he’ll work for him, helping to recruit people and shift them to different worlds. He claims he has a thousand Kevins on a thousand worlds doing his bidding. He even offers to give Kevin a Molly who will do anything Kevin wants, be anything he wants, if Kevin works for him. “Just say the word,” he adds.

In response, Kevin starts to pray to God the Father. The Benefactor starts yelling, saying how much more powerful he is than God, but Kevin just keeps praying, and the Benefactor himself disappears. Kevin exits the restaurant and sees two police officers behind masked black and white helmets patrolling the streets. He turns, and three police officers take out thin batons and start chasing him down the street.

Cut to five years later. As Kevin wakes up and starts praying, he starts describing the dark world he’s found himself. The people on that world almost destroyed one another, but then shifters from The Benefactor appeared and started shifting troublemakers to other worlds, including politicians and pastors, more than a billion people. Then, The Benefactor appeared and started

taking over everything. He brought Kevin Garners from other worlds to recruit them. However, the Benefactor disappeared when our Kevin Garner refused to serve him.

Now, Kevin secretly wanders the city in search for work and food, doing little acts of kindness for people in a world without hope and faith, while handing out written passages from the Bible using what he can remember. Meanwhile, he searches for one of the secret shifters left in this dark world, to find a way back to his wife, Molly.

THE SHIFT is one of the most moving, inventive, compelling, and powerful faith-based movies ever made. The writing, acting and directing are superb.

THE SHIFT has a strong Christian, moral worldview. It’s not a preachy movie, but it contains strong allegorical, overt and beautiful references to God, Scripture, the Resurrection, the Empty Tomb, and the Book of Job. Also, the hero prays and rebuffs the Devil, telling Satan that he’s a liar who’s only goal is misery. That said, THE SHIFT has some action violence where people are shot and guns are fired, and some alcohol use. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for pre-teenage children and other impressionable, sensitive viewers.

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Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.