Movie Title: The Beautiful Country

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 Description: One of the consequences of America’s involvement in the Vietnam war, was the children of GI’s by their Vietnamese wives and lovers. For years those women who were involved with Americans were social outcasts, treated as collaborators while their children, even when living with grandparents, endured taunts and abuse. This is the story of one such love child, Binh, being forced from his village at 17, going to Saigon to find his mother, then trying to escape to America with his much younger half brother, Tam, in 1990. The film lingers on the rigors of the voyage: the sampan, the Malaysian detention camps, the illegal refugee ship, and the underground economy with near slavery in New York City. It finally opens up when Binh leaves New York for Houston to find his father.

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Rating: R

Warnings:   some language and a crude sexual reference

Life Areas:  Dealing with the overwhelming things of life, interrupting your life to help your fellow man, unconditional love, sacrifice, grief, racism,  chasing your dreams, standing up for what is right at personal cost

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Movie Title: The Help

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 Description: Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, Skeeter (Stone) is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends’ lives — and a Mississippi town — upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen (Davis), Skeeter’s best friend’s housekeeper, is the first to open up — to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter’s life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories — and as it turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly — and unwillingly — caught up in the changing times.

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Rating: PG-13

Warnings:   Violence and profanity.  7 uses of “shit” (couple of them used in a quite literal context), 2 uses of “goddamn”, 1 use of “asshole”, A dozen or more uses of “negro” or “nigger”.

Life Areas:  Dealing with the overwhelming things of life, interrupting your life to help your fellow man, unconditional love, giving of yourself to another, sacrifice, grief, racism. mother-daughter relationship, chasing your dreams, standing up for what is right at personal cost

Movie Title: Goodbye Solo

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 Description: On the lonely roads of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, two men forge an improbable friendship that will change both of their lives forever. Solo is a Senegalese cab driver working to provide a better life for his young family. William is a tough Southern good ol’ boy with a lifetime of regrets. One man’s American dream is just beginning, while the other’s is quickly winding down. But despite their differences, both men soon realize they need each other more than either is willing to admit. Through this unlikely but unforgettable friendship, GOODBYE SOLO deftly explores the passing of a generation as well as the rapidly changing face of America.

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Rating: R

Warnings:   Violence and F-word level profanity.

Life Areas:  Dealing with the overwhelming things of life, being a good Samaritan, interrupting your life to help your fellow man, unconditional love, giving of yourself to another

Movie Title: Snow Falling on Cedars

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 Description: Carl, a fisherman in the waters off Washington state, has been found dead, drowned in his own nets, but with a serious head wound. Was he murdered? Post-war anti-Japanese sentiments are still running high, and a murder suspect is found in the local Japanese-American community in the form of Kabuo, another fisherman, who had a grudge against Carl’s family. Ishmael, the small town’s newspaperman, may have the information that would acquit Kabuo, but can he ever put his jilted love for Hatsue (Kazuo’s wife) aside?

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Rating: PG-13

Warnings:   Senuailty with no nudity – Silhouettes. Brief profanity.

Life Areas:  Prejudice, doing the right thing, dealing with lost love, justice

Movie Title – Swimming Upstream

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 Description: The true story of Tony Fingleton, a young man from a troubled family who found the inner strength to become a champion. Always overshadowed in his father’s eyes by his brothers, it is only when Tony displays an extraordinary swimming talent that he feels he has a shot at winning his father’s heart.

 TrailerClick for trailer

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Rating: PG-13

Warnings:   Domestic violence

Life Areas:  Stumbling blocks of life making us stronger, effects of abuse, alcoholism, overcoming, father wounds, reconciliation, overcoming, mercy

Movie Title – Bella


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Description: Sooner or later every one of us will face an irreversible moment that will change our lives forever. If it hasn’t happened to you yet…it will. BELLA is a true love story about how one day in New York City changed three people forever.  An international soccer star is on his way to sign a multi-million dollar contract when a series of events unfold that bring his career to an abrupt end. A waitress, struggling to make it in New York City, discovers something about herself that she’s unprepared for. In one irreversible moment, their lives are turned upside down… until a simple gesture of kindness brings them both together, turning an ordinary day to an unforgettable life changing experience.

TrailerClick for trailer

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Rating: PG-13

Warnings:   Light profanity, car accident involving a child

Life Areas:  Doing the right thing, sacrifice for others, overcoming relational conflict, true love, unconditional love, overcoming, processing grief, grieving, abortion


Movie Title – Unstoppable

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Description: Based on a true story – Unstoppable is a drama about a runaway train carrying a cargo of toxic chemicals. Pits an engineer and his conductor in a race against time. They’re chasing the runaway train in a separate locomotive and need to bring it under control before it derails on a curve and causes a toxic spill that will decimate a town.

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Rating: PG-13

Warnings:   Profanity

Life Areas:  Doing the right thing, sacrifice for others, overcoming relational conflict

Comments:

Movie Title – North Face

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Description: Based on a true story, North Face is a suspenseful adventure film about a competition to climb the most dangerous rock face in the Alps. Set in 1936, as Nazi propaganda urges the nation’s Alpinists to conquer the unclimbed north face of the Swiss massif – the Eiger – two reluctant German climbers begin their daring ascent.

TrailerClick for trailer

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Rating: UR

Warnings:   Foreign film with subtitles

Life Areas:  Self sacrifice, laying down your life for a friend, love, overcoming, attitude towards competition, helping others, what is important in life, doing something because you love it

Comments:  Moving story of self-sacrifice, overcoming and moral dilemmas

Movie Title – Soul Surfer

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Description: Based on a true story – 13 year-old Bethany Hamilton is a champion surfer who was born to be in the water. But after a fun night out night surfing and what should be a fun day in the water, she is attacked by a shark and loses her arm. Rushed to the hospital, she remains calm, and maintains her faith in God. Now she has to re-learn how to do everything with only one arm – including how to surf. It will take her friends, family, and her Christian faith to get her back into the water, but if that is where she is meant to be, she will find a way to get there.

TrailerClick for trailer

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Rating: PG

Warnings:   Profanity

Life Areas:  Overcoming, attitude towards competition, helping others, family support, what is important in life, doing something because you love it

Comments:  Moving story of overcoming and what is important in life

Movie Title – John Q

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Description: John Quincy Archibald’s son Michael collapses while playing baseball as a result of heart failure. John rushes Michael to a hospital emergency room where he is informed that Michael’s only hope is a transplant. Unfortunately, John’s insurance won’t cover his son’s transplant. Out of options, John Q. takes the emergency room staff and patients hostage until hospital doctors agree to do the transplant.

TrailerClick for trailer

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Rating: PG-13

Warnings:   Profanity

Life Areas:  Overcoming, self sacrifice, laying down one’s life for someone you love,  taking responsibility

Comments:  Moving story of sacrifice