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February 26, 2011 | 12:47 p.m. CST
It was any given Sunday, and the McDonald family was teaching their 5-year-old son how to ride a bike on a quiet suburban street in Memphis, Tennessee. When a police chase unfolded and their son was killed, the McDonalds’ life is changed in an instant. The Father, Mac McDonald (Michael Joiner), becomes a police officer and hopes to prevent this tragedy from destroying other families. However he is unable to overcome his ingrained racism and alienates his other son who is kicked out of private school and becomes one of the criminals McDonald loves to hate. When McDonald is reassigned a partner, preacher Sam Wright (Michael Higgenbottom), they both unravel as they try to learn to love the ones God gives us.
The Grace Card is overloaded with dramatic pauses, but it lacks true emotion. The Christian drama touches on important ideals without being touching. It is for a niche audience that regularly brings tissues to the theater, but the intended cathartic release is forced and predictable. The acting is spliced with gaping holes of silence between lines and it wears thin with the trite good cop/bad cop story line.
However it does possess its own grace card, Academy Award winning actor Louis Gossett Jr., who plays Wright’s grandfather and mentor. He delivers his lines genuinely and effortlessly draws the audience into the story without jerking their hands in the intended direction.Related Movie
Based on its $200,000 budget, The Grace Card could seem like a movie miracle compared to the multimillions most movies have, but it only rivals made-for-TV movies. The Grace Card has a genuine heart, but lacks execution for the big screen.