Casts: Chrissy Metz, Marcel Ruiz, Josh Lucas, Tropher Grace
Released Date (Streaming): 2nd July 2019
Storyline: In January 2015, 14-year-old John Smith fell through the frozen surface of a lake in St. Charles, Mo., and remained submerged for 15 minutes. He had no pulse when emergency workers pulled him from the freezing water, or for nearly 45 minutes after; it was reportedly only after audible prayers by his mother, Joyce, that his heart finally started up again. And over the next several days, as his community vigorously prayed for him, the young man made a full, seemingly impossible recovery.
Roxann Dawson’s faith-based film, “Breakthrough,” tells the story of John’s miraculous ordeal with an unassuming simplicity, focusing on the harrowing details of the case without an overreliance on proselytization. Though faith is ever-present — particularly through the devotion of Joyce (Chrissy Metz) and the town’s struggling young pastor (Topher Grace), who remains with John (Marcel Ruiz) every step of the way — the film also wisely dedicates plenty of screen time to the emergency workers and doctors struggling to bring the boy back to life. Here, religion is not in contention with medicine but seems to work in tandem with it.
Thumbs up: This true story really runs you through a maze of emotions that change constantly. It’s an amazing film that is well written and creatively done.
Thumbs down: Some parts of the movie can make you feel like it can drag.