Blu-ray Review: Miracles From Heaven
By John Corrado
★★★ (out of 4)
Based on a true story that became a bestselling memoir, Miracles From Heaven follows Anna Beam (Kylie Rogers), a young girl from a Christian family who suddenly becomes sick and is diagnosed with an incurable disorder that stops her brain from sending signals to her digestive tract.
Her mother Christy (Jennifer Garner) does everything in her power to fight for her daughter’s life, even travelling from their home in Texas to meet with a doctor (Eugenio Derbez) in Boston. As Anna grows sicker, the situation puts a financial strain on their family, forcing her father (Martin Henderson) to work extra hours. But then a freak accident cures her of the illness, prompting talk of a miracle.
Although Miracles From Heaven may seem similar to other films of its ilk, this is better than the majority of faith-based dramas. It’s often actually surprisingly good for what it is, boasting superior production values and performances. For the first two thirds, the film works as a solid medical drama, focusing on Anna’s illness and the effects it has on her family, mainly her mother, who remains resilient despite her crisis of faith. There are even some genuinely moving scenes throughout.
Jennifer Garner is legitimately very good here as a mother being put through the emotional ringer while fighting for her daughter’s life, bringing resonance and quiet strength to her tear-soaked performance, and elevating the film around her. Kylie Rogers is equally strong, handling her physically demanding role with a mix of both sweetness and suffering. They bring genuine emotion to scenes between them in the hospital, which are some of the film’s best. Queen Latifah also delivers nice supporting work as a Boston waitress who becomes an unlikely friend to the family.
Many will write off the film as being manipulative and sentimental, and it admittedly does get a little heavy-handed in the last act when some more overtly spiritual elements come in. But the tears for the most part feel earned, and the success of Miracles From Heaven rests in the surprisingly powerful and committed performances of Jennifer Garner and Kylie Rogers, who both forge a strong connection with the viewer that keeps us engaged to this touching and ultimately uplifting drama.
The Blu-ray also includes commentary with director Patricia Riggen and screenwriter Randy Brown, as well as three featurettes, a music montage and concept art exploration.
Miracles From Heaven is a Sony Pictures Home Entertainment release. It’s 109 minutes and rated PG.