"God’s Love Is Unconditional"
In UNCONDITIONAL, a woman loses all hope after the murder of her husband, but after an encounter with an old friend and some needy children, she has a chance to rebuild her life. UNCONDITIONAL is a beautiful story about redemption, providence, forgiveness, and ultimately God’s unconditional love, but there’s a light caution for younger children for some violence.
UNCONDITIONAL is a compelling, positive Christian drama. It will make you laugh and cry.
Samantha Crawford is living the life she always dreamed. She writes and illustrates children storybooks, she lives on a beautiful ranch, and she has a loving husband. She’s happier than she could ever be. All of this suddenly changes when her husband, Billy, is mugged and shot in the projects. The only information the police have is that the murderer was wearing a red hoodie. They never find him and eventually close the investigation.
Samantha goes into a deep depression. On a dark rainy night, in an act of hopelessness, Samantha goes to the alley where her husband was murdered to end her own life; but, before she gets the chance, she hears the scream of a child down the street. To her disgust, a car had just hit a little girl and kept on driving. The girl’s older brother is screaming for help. Samantha, forgetting her own sorrow, rushes the girl to the hospital.
At the hospital, it’s revealed the little girl, Keisha, only sustained minor injuries. Her older brother, Macon, makes Samantha promise to come back and visit when Keisha is awake. Samantha agrees. On her way out of the hospital, she runs into Joe Bradford, her best friend from childhood. Not only is Joe surprised to see Samantha, but he’s shocked to hear she was the one who saved Keisha and Macon. Joe was called to the hospital to watch over Macon and Keisha until their grandmother came. Samantha and Joe promise to reconnect at a later time.
It becomes clear that things have switched between Joe and Samantha’s life. Joe, who was quite the troublemaker as a child, has now dedicated his life to serving the community. Even though he’s plagued with terrible health issues, he continues to spend his time and energy helping kids in the projects, who now call him “Papa” Joe. The sweet optimistic Samantha that Joe once knew is now swallowed in grief and sadness, something she tries to hide.
The day after the accident, Macon calls Samantha. He’s upset that she forgot her promise to visit Keisha. To make it up to them, Macon convinces Samantha bring him and Keisha candy and pizza as recompense for forgetting her promise. Samantha brings her gift of food to Macon and Keisha, who live with their grandmother in the projects. As she’s connecting with the two kids, Samantha notices their next-door neighbor matches the description of her husband’s killer.
With this revelation, Samantha calls the police, but they tell her she lacks evidence. Samantha now faces a hard choice between rebuilding her life by helping young people in need or following the self destructive obsession of finding her husband’s killer.
UNCONDITIONAL is an extremely beautiful movie based on the real life “Papa” Joe. The story is choppy at points and relies too heavily on flashbacks, but the ultimate message of love and redemption shines through in the end. The acting is particularly well done with performances that will make you both laugh and cry. It has a strong Christian worldview that talks about God’s providence and unconditional love. It clearly calls people to serve those in need, especially children who have no fathers. It shows how God’s love to us and through us can impact the lives of so many people around us.
UNCONDITIONAL is a wonderful movie that will both captivate and inspire audiences. There’s some brief violence and mature thematic elements that require caution for younger children.
(CC, BB, VV, A, D, M) Strong Christian worldview with references to God’s love and providence, with strong emphasis on serving those in need; no foul language; brief violence when a hand to hand fight breaks out in a prison, a man get’s his hand sliced with a knife by another prisoner, some blood is seen after a man is shot, and hit and run off screen; no sexuality; no nudity; light drinking; light smoking; and, children steal food from a convenience store.
UNCONDITIONAL is about Samantha Crawford, a writer and illustrator who makes children’s books. Samantha lives a comfortable life with her husband Billy. Her entire world is suddenly turned upside down when her husband is murdered in an alley. The man who murdered Billy gets away and the police never find him. Samantha is devastated to the point where she’s ready to give up on life. Her plans are interrupted when she encounters two children in need of help after one gets hit by a car. Through this encounter, Samantha reconnects with an old friend who just might be able to help her rebuild her life, but only if she can get past her grief.
Despite some choppy moments, UNCONDITIONAL is a beautifully made movie with a captivating, inspiring story. The high quality acting makes the characters quite charming. UNCONDITIONAL has a strong Christian worldview about God’s redeeming power of unconditional love. There’s brief violence and some thematic elements requiring caution for younger children. Otherwise, UNCONDITIONAL is wholesome, redemptive, uplifting family entertainment.