The Grace Card

This is the story of a man, Mac, who becomes angry and bitter after the death of his five year old son who is run down in the street by a fleeing criminal.  Mac’s marriage struggles as a result of his anger and his relationship with his second son, Blake, suffers greatly.  Mac joins the police force after the death of his son in an effort to prevent the kind of tragedy he has gone through from happening to others.  After seventeen years on the force, he is passed over for a promotion to sergeant by a younger officer who happens to be black.  Mac is upset that he was passed over, and he holds a grudge against black men because the man who ran over his son was black.

Things get a little uncomfortable when Mac and the black officer who was promoted ahead of him, Sam, are asked to spend the next two weeks riding together on patrol.  Sam is an aspiring pastor who shepherds a start-up church on Sundays and this is another source of tension since Mac has turned his back on God.

As these two men struggle through understanding each other, another tragic accident threatens the life of Mac’s second son, Blake.  Facing the possibility that Blake may die, Mac has to come to terms with his anger-filled relationship with Blake, with his wife, and with Sam.  In the end, it is the black man, Sam, who guides Mac back to the Lord and plays an instrumental role in saving Blake’s life.

This story had a powerful impact on me and is filled with difficult issues we should all consider carefully.  How we treat our children, and how we treat our spouse, and how we deal with tragedy are all elements that have been addressed before in film; however, the complexity of this story also includes how we deal with our personal prejudice, how we allow our past to influence our present, and how we avoid God.  Mac’s struggle with his tragic past and with God is well developed and engaging.  Sam’s struggle with developing his ability to pastor a church while maintaining a job as a police officer is also well told.  Overall, there’s a lot of depth to this film and for that reason it is well-worth watching.  I have to conclude by letting you know the acting in this movie is not as good as it could be.  In addition, the dialogue is often not as interesting as it could be.  If you can put that aside and simply enjoy this well-rounded and penetrating story, I believe you’ll find this to be time well spent.

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