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Review: “90 Minutes in Heaven”

Review: “90 Minutes in Heaven”

Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

CREDITS: Hayden Christensen, Kate Bosworth. Released by Samuel Goldwyn Studios. Drama. Based on the bestseller by Don Piper and Cecil Murphey. Screenplay by Michael Polish. Directed by Michael Polish. 9/11/15

FILM SYNOPSIS: Rev. Don Piper has a horrific car crash and is pronounced dead, only to come back to life an hour and a half later, claiming to have seen Heaven. Based on a true story.

REVIEW: The most spiritually uplifting film since The Passion of the Christ.

Unlike Heaven Is For Real, 90 Minutes in Heaven is not so much about experiencing a place in the afterlife, then defending that stance, as it is about the sanctity of life and spiritual development. It’s not until the final third of the movie that Pastor Don Piper’s experience of glimpsing past the Golden Gates takes center stage. Rather, the film focuses on dealing with pain, suffering, discouragement…and the faith needed to battle them.

“Heaven’s bliss was replaced by excruciating pain and emotional turmoil. With the support and prayers of his beloved Eva, their three kids, and friends near and far, Don clings to his faith in God and fights to regain a semblance of his previous life” (from press notes).

Writer/director Michael Polish (The Astronaut Farmer) doesn’t sacrifice story for sermon. His film is well constructed and engrossing, offering a shining example to Christian filmmakers on how to deal with spiritual matters in a professional manner.

Make no mistake, the message is there (a belief in God and a faith in the fact that Jesus is alongside us through our ordeals), but his characters relate more than preach.


Content Summary:

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: We see a jolting car crash and a flashback of the accident; though it is disturbing, this essential scene is handled with discretion; it may be unsuitable for little ones, but acceptable for 12 on up.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Drugs: None


Intended Audience: 12 on up

By: Film and DVD Reviews by Phil Boatwright: Besides providing a monthly column for Baptist Press, Phil Boatwright reviews films for He also is a regular contributor to “The World and Everything In it,” a weekly radio program from WORLD News Group, which also publishes WORLD Magazine.

For more movie reviews, as well as news, reviews, and interviews on all forms of entertainment media from a Christian perspective, visit Ken Raney at

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