Unplanned [2019] (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director and abortion rights advocate, was taken by God on an unforgettable journey of redemption and forgiveness that led her to reject her former way of life and trade it for a ministry of pro-life activism. Though no one could have ever dreamed that an abortion clinic supervisor would switch political sides and join her former enemies, there is no end to the power of prayer.

Production Quality (2 points)

As expected at this point from PureFlix, the production of Unplanned is above-average and hits all the right notes, for the most part. On the surface, it looks good due to high video quality, professional camera work, and adequate sets, locations, and props. Audio quality is also good. They’ve checked all the typical boxes, but there are some issues with the soundtrack as many of the songs don’t properly fit the situations they are played in. However, the most glaring problem is the horrific editing that takes the viewer all over the map of a story that could have been good but only ends up playing like an audio book, as we see next.

Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)

At this point, it’s painfully clear that the current PureFlix team can’t even properly portray a great true story even if it hit them in the face like Abby Johnson’s story did. Even if the book is already written for them, you can count on PureFlix to fumble the ball at the goal line by falling back on their old tried-and-failed pitfalls of trying to be too obvious without trusting the audience to read in to the subtlety and of crafting too many climax scenes for dramatic effect. The obvious goal was the hit all the high points of the story in order to maximize the most shock and awe possible with the hopes of scaring people about abortion. There’s no doubt that there were many powerful parts of Abby’s story, but we’ll never really know as the demonstrative elements are over-emphasized in the movie while the potential for character building is simply replaced with incessant and heavy-handed narration. They seem like great characters, but it’s impossible to know them due to the narration and the wild time jumps that leave the viewer disoriented. Since there’s a lot of content in this story, it could have been effectively laid out via flashbacks that built character motivation, yet instead, we were left with talking-points conversations and overly emphasized strawman villain moments. The film is written for basically one good scene near the end where we actually get realistic dialogue uninterrupted by Bratcher’s narration, but it’s too little too late. Unfortunately, where Abby Johnson’s story could have been a powerful treatise on prayer and a change of heart, all we’re given is a smile-and-wave, run-of-the-mill experience dedicated to grossing people out about abortion whose R-rating is warranted due to lack of balance.

Acting Quality (2 points)

Surprisingly, Ashley Bratcher is a bright spot in this cast, which suggests her performance in Princess Cut was heavily controlled by the creators of that film. While the supporting cast might have been interesting, it’s hard to tell due to the famine of lines and dialogue in this film. Even still, the casting and acting are mostly good without many glaring errors…it’s just basically unfinished and left wanting, like the overall feel of this movie.

Conclusion

There’s absolutely no doubt that Abby Johnson and David Bereit played integral roles in bringing the pro-life movement out of the dark ages through prayer and expert leadership, and Abby’s story is an amazing one that deserved a movie of its own. However, PureFlix’s treatment of the story doesn’t do it any justice. Moreover, Unplanned, in a way, represents the current state of the pro-life movement: lots of well-meaning people who want to do the right thing, along with a collection of more influential people who believe that ‘gotcha’ talking points and graphic displays of the evils of abortion will change things. The early marketing for this film proclaimed it to be (another) death knell for the corrupt Planned Parenthood, yet we beg to differ. Any success the pro-life movement will find moving forward is by both listening to and telling actual stories of real people, not by falling into the trap of unleashing smoking guns that will ‘sink’ your opposition. There was a massive opportunity to tell a real story in Unplanned that could actually reach people, but once again, PureFlix proves that they can’t tell stories properly because this requires actually knowing people. Unfortunately, while the gory moments of this film can be powerful if packaged properly, when they are separated from an emotional connection with the characters, they can re-traumatize those who have been hurt by abortion, which doesn’t win any ‘converts.’

Final Rating: 5 out of 10 points

15 thoughts on “Unplanned [2019] (Movie Review)

  1. Pingback: The Reliant (Movie Review) – Box Office Revolution

  2. The film was excellent and should be required viewing for schools throughout north America. If students are forced to learn about cross dressing and drag queens, why not abortion facts and what murder is being committed daily by medical staff. Treatment should be fair for the issue.

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  3. Religion and politics aside, I left the movie thinking about the pain unborn babies feel during an abortion, the baby “parts” that need counting after an abortion. I’m not here to rate the performance of the actors. If I were to ask a Pro-Choice individual what he or she thinks about the pain an unborn baby feels during an abortion what would the answer be? I’ve listened to Dr. Levatino’s description of what happens during an abortion. It’s difficult to listen to the information but it’s the truth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZXQBhTszpU
    If you are Pro-Choice do you simply ignore this information? Florida statute protects sea turtles. I agree sea turtles should be protected. I just don’t understand why the same protection doesn’t apply to babies in the womb.

    Laws:
    Sea turtles are either endangered or threatened. They are protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 and Florida’s Marine Turtle Protection Act (379.2431, Florida Statutes).

    Florida Statutes restrict the take, possession, disturbance, mutilation, destruction, selling, transference, molestation, and harassment of marine turtles, nests or eggs. Protection is also afforded to marine turtle habitat. A specific authorization from Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) staff is required to conduct scientific, conservation, or educational activities that directly involve marine turtles in or collected from Florida, their nests, hatchlings or parts thereof, regardless of applicant’s possession of any federal permit under the Florida Marine Turtle Permit Rule (Chapter 68E-1, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.)).

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  4. Although I did not expect the movie to engage or enlighten in a riveting way, it did. It makes you care about everyone even when you disagree with them.
    Ashley Bratcher and Robia Scott had deeply genuine performances that enhanced their characters persona. All the characters played their parts well and our theater audience was engaged as the drama progressed. Since I have heard testimonies of abortion clinic directors years ago, they could have gone farther into the mis-deeds of the industry but I appreciated the balanced approach that dove more into the attitudes behind it and offering hope to all involved. Nicely done, especially for such a divided topic, to be unifying and caring.

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  5. The movie was very well done. There was one very powerful scene where Ashley Bratcher, who played Abby Johnson, did a phenomenal job. I won’t give the scene away.

    The BLATANTLY BIASED Main Stream, Pro Choice Media did everything they possibly could to suppress advertisements for this movie. They are terrified that the reality about abortion will get out. If the Pro Choice media is so confident about their beliefs, why the Herculean effort to ensure nobody sees the movie?

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