Dust Factory, The

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: +2

Thirteen-year-old Ryan Flynn (Ryan Kelley) is struggling with the trauma of death. After witnessing his father die, Ryan stopped talking. Now, with his grandmothers death, grief and depression have made it hard to continue living. Though friends and family encourage him, Ryan just isnt himself. And then he has an accident. Falling from a railroad bridge into a lake, Ryan surfaces in the fantasy world of The Dust Factory. There he meets his Grandpa Randolph (Armin Mueller-Stahl) and a beautiful young girl named Melanie (Hayden Panettiere). And in this world, Ryan begins to talk again. Soon he realizes that this is a place of healing, a home away from home until youre ready to come back. And eventually each of them Grandpa, Melanie and Ryan himself must make the difficult journey and either go back to the real world or move on to the next life.

The Dust Factory is a pleasant family movie with virtually no objectionable content. It deals with tough issues of trauma, grief, life and death in a thoughtful and interesting way that combines real-life situations with symbolic fantasies. A very uplifting theme is friendship. Ryans friends are always ready to help him, both in the real world and the fantasy world. And Ryan also demonstrates great friendship with Melanie as he encourages her to face her fears and go back to the real world. Despite all its good, the film is at times confusing. The fantasies can be so disconnected from reality that audiences may be thinking, I dont get it. And although the film deals with death, the afterlife and God, its treatment of these topics cannot really be categorized as biblical. Still, Preview has no problem recommending The Dust Factory, but its not for young children due to mature themes and some dark, scary images.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (3) times moderate (butt 2); strong (-ss 1)

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Few times mild (boy falls from bridge, boy hurt by fishing hook stuck in rear, some confrontational images); moderate (portrayal of fatal train wreck)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times mild (young girl kisses boy)

Drugs: None

Other: Appropriate discussion about the existence of God; extensive use of fantasy and symbolism; child experiences severe trauma, and family and friends try to help him; discussion of superstition; some dark and scary images and action

Running Time: 99 minutes
Intended Audience: Youths and Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.