12 July 2013

Movie Review: "Alleged"

Rated: Not Rated (Dove approved for ages twelve and up)
Starring: Nathan West, Ashley Johnson, and Fred Thompson
Released: November 8, 2011 (DVD/Blu-Ray)
Synopsis: Charles Anderson (Nathan West) is living in the small town of Dayton, Ohio, but he has big dreams: to write for a big-name paper, and to marry his sweetie, Rose (Ashley Johnson, Growing Pains).  When he overhears word of a landmark trial on creation vs. evolution, he becomes the protégé of then-legendary Baltimore Sun editor H. L. Mencken (Colm Meany).  However, Mencken is not all that he seems.  Worse yet, Rose's epileptic sister is about to be sterilized in hopes of a better world in the future, and there seems to be nothing Rose or Charles can do about it.  Can they save her? Will Mr. Mencken be found out for what he is? Also starring former Presidential candidate Fred Thompson.  Based on a true story.

Warning! Possible spoilers below!

Plot: 3.5/5
It's a bit slow, but it still works.  Even though the trial is largely a sham, it ends up having repercussions that are still felt around the world today.  I did have a problem with the ending, though: It goes from the happiness of a wedding to the bleakness of what happened later on to the evolutionists.  Also, one "big reveal" scene towards the end didn't seem to make sense.

Production Values: 4.5/5
Not much to complain about here.  Well-made, great sets, excellent acting--especially from Ashley Johnson, who I only knew previously for playing youngest daughter Chrissy on Growing Pains--good soundtrack...what's not to like? The one problem I did have was that the subtitles/captions were awkwardly large, though they thankfully didn't lag like they do in many direct-to-DVD releases I've seen.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: A "reproductive issue" and sterilization are discussed; though they are not described in detail, young kids might be confused by it. 3/5
  • Nudity: Rose is seen in a nightgown that shows a bit of leg. 4.5/5 
  • Language: One use of a b-word, and some name-calling. A racial slur is seen written on a piece of paper. 3.75/5
  • Drugs: Some drinking and smoking.  Charles gets drunk, and behaves weirdly and becomes ill as a result. 3/5
  • Violence: A guy chases someone while shooting a gun at him.  A kid kicks Charles, and a man punches him in the face. 4/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Some emotional intensity. 3/5
  • Other: Bodily functions--vomiting, urinating, burping--are seen, heard, and/or implied. 3.75/5
Conclusion: To be frank, I was slightly disappointed by this movie, but that's probably because I've been waiting quite a while to see it.  Now that I finally have, I do feel it was good, but nothing in it blew me away.   For fans of Christian cinema, this is likely worth a rental, but nothing more.

Score: 3/5

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