Third Miracle, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

In this moving drama, Father Frank Shore (Ed Harris), a Catholic priest, struggles to live a life of faith although he has begun to have doubts about his relationship with God. In spite of his doubts, the Catholic leaders send him to Chicago to investigate miracles that have apparently occurred since the death of a popular laywoman, Helen OReegan (Barbara Sukowa). Father Shore must decide whether or not to recommend the woman for sainthood as one who had a special relationship with God. Three miracles must be verified to qualify for the honor. During his investigation, he meets Helens only daughter, Roxanne (Anne Heche), a non-Catholic with definite reservations about her mothers sainthood. The Church also appoints Archbishop Werner (Armin Mueller-Stahl) as devils advocate to argue against Helen becoming a saint. Father Shores investigation leads him on a journey of not only discovering Helens sainthood, but also examining his own beliefs and commitment to God. Ed Harris is brilliant and the cinematography presents beautifully crafted scenes. Although the relationship between Father Shore and Roxanne seems a bit contrived, the film presents an interesting and honest look at the human doubts and struggles of a man of the cloth.

Throughout the movie, Father Shore struggles with truly believing in God and His working in the world, particularly miracles. Like many of us, he deeply desires to believe in and see God, but has doubts. Reflecting the conflict in his faith, he struggles with alcohol and does get drunk in one scene. While hes drunk, Shore also takes the Lords name in vain. The movie testifies wonderfully to Christian love, as characters not only talk about love and its great power, but also exhibit it by caring for the sick and giving food to the hungry. There are some negative elements though, as the dialogue includes 13 obscenities and 4 strong profanities. A brief glimpse of male rear nudity should also be noted. While trying to present an honest portrayal, it holds the Catholic Church, even with its imperfect members, in high esteem. Like life, everything in it is not desirable but Father Shores story should be an encouragement to struggling Christians everywhere.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Sony Pictures Classics, 550 Madison Ave., 8th Floor, NY, NY 10022

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 (2) times - Moderate

Obscene Language: Many (13) times - F-word 8, s-word 4, other 1

Profanity: Several (5) times Regular 4 (GD), Exclamatory 1 (Oh My God)

Violence: Once - Mild (bloody dead man)

Sex: None

Nudity: Once (male rear in bed)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (reference to prostitution)

Drugs: Many times (alcohol, smoking, drug use, woman injects drugs)

Other: Priest seems more concerned about politics and money than God and a life of purity, priest struggles with alcoholism, priests shown at least once either drinking (not getting drunk), smoking, or using foul language; Catholic practices of praying to saints and lighting candles shown often; great comments on nature of faith, tradition and love

Running Time: 119 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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