‘Breakthrough’ story shows that miracles do happen

20th Century Fox

Josh Lucas, Chrissy Metz and Marcel Ruiz in “Breakthrough.”

Imagine having your child submerged in ice cold water for 15 minutes.

The only thought would have to be hope that he is okay, even though you would know in the recesses of your mind that would be nearly impossible.

This was the true life experience of Joyce and Brian Smith when their adopted son John Smith fell through the ice, and their experience is the premise for the film “Breakthrough,” which was released to rental outlets this week.

Joyce Smith (Chrissy Metz, “This Is Us” and “Sierra Burgess is a Loser”) shows tremendous resolve in this faith-based film and refuses to give up on her son, even though his body lies lifeless in the hospital.

Her steadfast belief inspires those around her to continue to pray for John’s recovery, even in the face of every case history and scientific prediction.

Adapted for the screen from Joyce Smith’s own book, “Breakthrough” is a reminder that faith and love can create a mountain of hope, and sometimes even a miracle.

Other actors in the film include Josh Lucas (“Sweet Home Alabama” and “A Beautiful Mind”) as Brian Smith, Topher Grace (“Spider-Man 3” and “That 70s Show”) as Pastor Jason Noble, Marcel Ruiz (“One Day at a Time” and “Snowfall”) as John Smith and Lisa Durupt (“Shall We Dance” and “Preggoland”) as Paula Noble.

On the website Rotten Tomatoes, the Tomatometer gives the critic score of just 59 percent while the audience score is much higher at 83 percent.

Top Critic Rex Reed with the “Observer” said in his review that the film is “Another glib and unconvincing faith-based movie that pushes miracles, spirituality and divine intervention, hoping for box-office gold. A terrific cast in the only thing that saves it from last rites.”

David Aldridge with “Radio Times” said “Chrissy Metz makes her presence felt as the boy’s mum, and Topher Grace and Josh Lucas bring modest star power to a slick if sometimes slushy against-the-odds drama that’s perfectly watchable, whether you subscribe to its claims or not.”

Directed by Roxann Dawson, the film is rated PG for thematic content including peril.

Other films released to rental outlets this week include:

n “Shazam,” directed by David F. Sandberg and starring Joshua Levi, Asher Angel, Mark Strong II and Jack Dylan Grazer. We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word--SHAZAM!--this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam, courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart--inside a ripped, godlike body--Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them!

This film is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action, language and suggestive material.

n “Family,” directed by Laura Steinel and staring Taylor Schilling, Bryn Vale, Jessie Ennis and Brian Tyree Henry. Socially inept Kate is tasked with babysitting her equally awkward niece Maddie for her brother. Things go from bad to worse when Maddie runs off to join the Juggalos, meaning Kate must deal with her own issues of social paranoia to help bring her back.

This film is rated R for language, some sexual content and drug use.

The synopsis for each of these films is from rottentomatoes.com.

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