Breakthrough — 4 Gavels 65% Rotten Tomatoes

If you liked I Can Only Imagine, you will like Breakthrough just as much. This compelling tale of a mother’s faith is much more than you can imagine. Like Apollo 13, you know the ending. So how does it sustain your interest? Surprisingly, the movie takes off, not at the rescue, but during the long hours at the hospital. This emotional roller coaster, together with some exceptional music, shows that Steph Curry has an eye not only for the hoop, but also for a story. I give Breakthrough 4 Gavels and it has a 65% Rotten Tomatoes rating with a 78% Audience score.


Joyce is exasperated with her adopted teenage son, John. He is unable to express his anger at being abandoned at birth. She is not happy that her pastor embraces rap, rather than hymns. Then, the boy she dearly loves falls through the ice, and she is told that he will not survive the night. You are about to enter “uncharted waters.”

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Chrissy Metz is Joyce, fierce, determined, and focused to the extent that her own health is affected. Josh Lucas (Sweet Home Alabama) plays her husband, much less certain of God’s will. Topher Grace, most recently as David Duke in BlacKkKlansman, does a role reversal as their pastor. Dennis Haysbert of the Allstate commercials is wonderful as the specialist. Mike Colter (Luke Cage) is the first responder who pulls John from under the ice.

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1Final Thoughts

Full disclosure: Upon researching Breakthrough, I noted the Lake St. Louis location. My brother and his family live there. Not only that, but my niece’s wedding reception was adjacent to the lake in question. Small world, huh? History vs Hollywood tells us that the main parts of the story are true. Doctors cannot explain this miracle. There was no need to embellish the “voice from God.” Critics complain that the movie does not adequately address complex issues. Perhaps they expected the teen to explain why he received the miracle rather than hundreds of millions of other deserving souls. There is a reason hospitals have chapels. Ask Drs. Sutterer and Garrett about faith.

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