Movie Mom

Movie Mom

The Grace Card

posted by Nell Minow
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence and thematic elements
Profanity:Some language, implied racist term
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, including drinking to deal with stress, drug dealers
Violence/Scariness:Death of a child in an accident, shooting of a teenager
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:February 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 13, 2011
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence and thematic elements
Profanity: Some language, implied racist term
Nudity/Sex: None
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking, including drinking to deal with stress, drug dealers
Violence/Scariness: Death of a child in an accident, shooting of a teenager
Diversity Issues: A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date: February 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 13, 2011

Anger seduces us because it fools us into feeling powerful.

Anger absorbs so much energy that it helps us avoid the more complicated and painful emotions of loss, guilt, regret, and fear. And that, as “The Grace Card” shows us, is why it is so hard to forgive.
Mac MacDonald (Michael Joiner) is a cop so bitter and angry after the accidental death of his young son that seventeen years later he is consumed with hatred. He subjects his wife, his teenage son, and his co-workers to constant complaints and insults. The escaping drug dealer who killed his son was black, and Mac has allowed racism to poison his heart as well.

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His new partner is Sam (Michael Higgenbottom) a part-time pastor who has had to work as a policeman to make ends meet. He has a naturally cheerful and optimistic nature but he is hurt by Mac’s bigotry and hostility. Guided by the wisdom of his grandfather (Louis Gossett Jr.) and his wife (a warm and gracious performance by Dawntoya Thomason), he is able to play the “grace card,” to find forgiveness in himself and, after a tragic twist, to inspire it in Mac.
This is an unpretentious but sincere film with quiet power, and its final scenes are moving and inspirational.


Parents should know that this film has some harsh and abusive language and angry and hurtful family confrontations, sad death of a child, accidental shooting, drug dealers, and issues of hopelessness and loss of faith.

Family discussion: Who did Mac have the hardest time forgiving? Why is it so hard to let go of anger? Who is hurt most when we don’t let it go?

If you like this, try: “Not Easily Broken” and “Fireproof”

  • Rodney

    Thanks so much for your review! :)

  • Carol

    Sam’s wife is actually played by Dawntoya Thomason. Kiana McDaniel plays Sam’s older daughter.

  • Nell Minow

    Thank you so much! I will make the correction.

  • Bob

    I loved Lou Gossett in the supporting role. This was a startling look at both sides of an issue prevalent everywhere. I lived in Memphis for 18 years starting just after the Rodney King issue and before the OJ trials. For all the high profile media attention given racial divides…I found it to be a lot of people trying to live so the issues are addressed but not highlighted. I think this movie does a fine job of teaching what that community taught me. When I moved there I saw black people and white people…Now I see people.

  • Nell Minow

    Thank you, Bob, for a wonderful comment, deeply appreciated.

  • Katrina

    I think this movie was a great movie. It just shows us that there is alot going on in this world and GOD put people in our lives for a reason and it is by His Grace that each of us get through the difficult situations that we are placed in. Sometimes HE has to puts us to our lowest point in order for us to get it right but in the end if we hold on to HIS grace the end will always turn out for the good.

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks so much, Katrina. I found it very moving. It is so important to find that grace within ourselves to forgive others. I’m so glad you saw it.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Fred Stephens

    Will you please quote the exact words of the prayer that was used as the Grace card?

    God Bless you.

    • Nell Minow

      With pleasure. Here it is: “I promise to pray for you every day, ask your forgiveness, grant you the same, and be your friend…always.”

  • Pingback: This Week on DVD | Christian Media Cross

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kristine

    I was thinking you might share that clearplay is a DVD player that takes all profanity/sex out of a DVD. I love it.

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