Movie Review Jackie K Cooper
"Believe" (Freestyle Releasing)
During the holiday season you are going to be bombarded with one "amazing" film after another, or so the studios say. But amid all the hoopla and hollering about these "must see" movies you might overlook a small quiet film that is actually about the Christmas spirit. It is titled "Believe" and it is more uplifting than any of the blockbuster films I have seen in recent days. It doesn't have an all star cast and there are no superheroes involved. It is just a warmly enjoyable movie that makes you feel good about life.
The film centers on Matthew Peyton (Ryan O'Quinn), a man who has lived his life by the belief that hard work will solve all your problems. That is why it is hard for him to accept that his business is failing and his workers are on strike. He knows he has always done the right thing and has tried to generate income for himself and his community. Still it seems everywhere he turns he is meeting opposition and complete animosity from his friends, employees and neighbors.
The only person he feels he can count on is his childhood friend Dr. Nancy Wells Shawnee Smith), and she appears to be having some doubts. Then one night on his way home he has a flat tire and while he is trying to get it fixed he is jumped by a gang of thugs and beaten severely. His rescuer that night is a boy named Clarence (Isaac Ryan Brown) who gets him home to the apartment he shares with his mother Sharon (Danielle Nicolet).
As Matthew's story continues the elements of faith, hope and charity rise to the surface. They occur in the situations the movie presents. Some are handed out a bit heavy handedly while others just slide into the story without any grand announcement. Matthew learns that life is more than work and there is room for faith concerning even the most unrealistic hopes.
The breakout star of the movie is Brown. His charm, talent and enthusiasm light up the screen. Just as Clarence the angel lit up "It's A Wonderful Life", Clarence the kid lights up "Believe." O'Quinn, Smith and Nicolet are all believable in their roles but they don't stand a chance in their scenes with Brown. He is always going to grab the audience's attention.
The movie is rated PG for mild violence.
There are going to be a lot of movies from which to choose over the holiday season, some really good and some not so good. But if you want to get into the spirit of the season take the time to search out this little movie. It will entertain you and it will lift up your spirits. I'm all for that result.
I scored "Believe" a faithful 7 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper