2 for the Money

It is difficult, for some of us, to find movies worth our time and money, and, when you've got a theater nearby that runs them some weeks after release for $2.50, it increases the odds that we won't lay down between 7 and 9 dollars for the privilege. And I like movies. That said, I have seen two new films that were worth the price of admission.

Amazing Grace is the story of William Wilberforce's campaign to end the slave trade in the British Empire in the 18th century. Wilberforce fought this battle for decades at the expense of his popularity and health. He fought because it was right.

The Ultimate Gift is a "Hallmark"-style film involving a dead rich man, his estate, his greedy family, an estranged grandson, and a single mom whose adorable and precocious daughter has cancer. If you think it's predictable, well, you may be right - BUT - it is not shallow, it is not cheaply done and it'll get you (fist on chest) right here.

Both these films have references to Christian faith and the role that faith plays in driving the main characters. It is more obviously pronounced in Amazing Grace. Wilberforce is shown meeting his old pastor, John Newton, on multiple occasions. Newton, the author of the hymn Amazing Grace, was himself a former slave ship owner before his conversion to Christ. The film relays his famous quote, "I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior!" Amen.

If you need relentless action, nudity and crude language in order to be entertained then you'll want to skip these two movies. You can't handle them. If, on the other hand, you've a soul that needs nourishment and intellectual exercise, viewing either or both of these movies is time (and dollars) well-spent.

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