Inspired by the success of such films as Facing the Giants and Fireproof, David Evans worked with his church in Memphis to bring The Grace Card to the screen. This faith based film is pretty amazing in that it uses mostly unknown actors on a shoestring budget and makes it all look professional. It is a startlingly good first effort and one that bodes well for future films from this group.
The story concerns a policeman named Mac (Michael Joiner) and his new partner Sam (Mike Higgenbottom.) They are partners on the streets of Memphis. It is an uneasy alliance as Mac has some racist feelings within him based primarily on the fact his first born son was killed by a speeding driver who happened to be black. Seventeen years later he has never gotten over this tragedy.
Sam, who is also a preacher, tries to bring Mac's life back into focus but it is a hard struggle. Mac is having trouble with his other son, Blake (Rob Erickson) who is seventeen. He resists any efforts by Sam to be friends. His wife Sara (Joy Parmer Moore) goes into counseling to try to find a way to save her family.
When a second tragedy occurs in Mac's life, Sam tries to be there for him and to offer him a way of hope. Whether or not Mac will take the offer is the crux of the story. It is not all cut and dried and the answer is up in the air.
Louis Gossett Jr. has a cameo in the movie as Sam's grandfather. It is good to see this Academy Award winner back on the big screen. He adds just the right touch of star power to this enjoyable film.
Both Joiner and Higgenbottom are good in their roles. They bring their characters to life and portray the range of emotions the roles require. Dawntoya Thomason is very supportive as Sam's wife Debra and Moore is a welcome addition to the cast as Mac's wife.
The movie was filmed in Memphis and several landmarks can be seen throughout the movie. The camera work is very good and the story never loses interest. Director David Evans has full control of his story as well as his actors and gives the film a professionalism that is evident in every frame.
The film is rated PG-13 for violence and adult themes.
For a first time effort The Grace Card is pretty amazing. It should be seen and supported by the Christian community as well as people eager to see an interesting film that is suitable for most of the family. Audiences are always clamoring for a clean movie that is also entertaining to watch. The Grace Card fills that bill.
I scored The Grace Card an amazing 7 out of 10.