A Pastor's Review of Unplanned: Uncertain of its Own Message
By Pastor Gabriel Hughes - Posted at The Midwestern Baptist:
Unplanned is a movie based on the true story of Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood director who famously became pro-life. The movie is produced by PureFlix, creators of such films like God's Not Dead, Mom's Night Out, The Case for Christ, and several rapture movies. Unplanned stars Ashley Bratcher as Abby Johnson, Brooks Ryan as Abby's husband, Doug, and Robia Scott as the wicked witch of the south. As far as the story goes, I rather liked the movie, but it was a hard watch. The violence of abortion is portrayed with chilling effect.
With the formalities out of the way, let me be upfront about two things. First, the R-rating on Unplanned is deserved. I know the film's promoters made a big deal about the MPAA slapping an R-rating on their movie. Charisma News called the rating "devious." An award-winning producer of Schindler's List called it "biased." If the outrage was expressed to hype the movie and get attention, more power to them, I guess. But the MPAA should be applauded for their decision. I'll come back to this later.
The second thing I want to be upfront about is this—the gospel is not in this movie. This is a pro-life film more than it is a Christian film, and those two things are not synonymous. The God-fearing Christian cherishes all human life as sacred from conception to natural death. But not all who call themselves pro-life are Christians. While the movie might win some people to the pro-life side of the political aisle, no one will leave the theater a Christian because no one will have heard the gospel.
Unplanned pulls back the curtain on many of the horrors of the abortion industry, and I appreciate that. At the same time, the filmmakers are confused about their own message, and that's evident within the story itself.