Reviewed by Casey Kellogg
Showing at theaters alongside superhero genres, horror films, and comedies, “Breakthrough” tells an incredible true story of one mother’s unyielding faith.
The movie centers upon the Smiths: a loving, churchgoing and altogether normal family. But when their adopted son John falls through the ice of a frozen lake, the family’s suburban life becomes a nightmare. After 45 minutes without a pulse, 14-year-old John is pronounced dead. Yet instead of saying her last goodbyes, his mother, Joyce, begins to pray— and within seconds, John’s heart is beating once again.
For the next several hours, his life hangs in the balance between life and death, with little hope of full recovery. But his mother refuses to accept anything less. Together, Joyce, her husband, her pastor and a community of believers join in prayer against impossible odds.
Although predictable at times, this movie is more than a Christian fairytale. It grapples with grief as well as joy and failure alongside victory. We see the characters at their worst as Joyce and her husband struggle with faith, hope and even their love for each other. By the end, “Breakthrough” not only revels in John’s miracle but also raises questions about why some are healed and others are not.
Overall, its characters are well cast, its plot (while sometimes slow) is engaging, and its faith-based message is profound. Although Christian ideals are a rare find when it comes to Hollywood films, this movie is a refreshing exception.
Its story is a reminder that sometimes a miracle is just one prayer away.
Casey Kellogg is an intern at Mississippi Christian Living and a sophomore at Mississippi College, where she is studying English writing with a minor in literature. She hails from Nesbit and enjoys listening to musicals and spending time with her cat, Wishes.