Rated PG-13 for some violent content and mature thematic elements.
Sept. 21, 2012
Lynn Collins, Michael Ealy, Bruce McGill, Kwesi Boakye
Harbinger Media Partners
More on this movie at IMDb.com
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CHRISTIAN MOVIE REVIEW
By Beth Patch
- Unconditional is about the life of "Papa" Joe Bradford (Michael Ealy) and numerous at-risk neighborhood children. The streets beckon the children to accept their impoverished status and embrace a future of crime and hopelessness, while Papa Joe peacefully and lovingly goes about opening his home to them as an alternative. His life intersects with a childhood friend, Samantha Crawford (Lynn Collins), at a very dark time in her life. Her husband has been murdered and life no longer makes sense to her. Samantha's attention is jolted away from her despair and latched on to an innocent victim's need for help.
Having lived beyond her impulsive moment of suicidal despair, Samantha's compassion for the hurt child's recovery opens her eyes to a possible purpose in life – making a difference in the lives of these children along with Papa Joe. But her compassion is constantly challenged by her driving passion to find the guy who shot her husband and bring him to justice or more likely … get personal revenge.
Meanwhile, Papa Joe has a challenge of his own – his health. One reason he's able to provide a safe haven for the kids is that he's medically disabled and unable to work. He's the modern-day Kool-Aid mom for an inner city group of children. He's the only dad most of them know - that's why they started calling him "Papa" Joe.
Based on the real-life story of Joe Bradford, Unconditional bears witness to the impact one selfless person can make in the lives of others. Harbinger Media Partners presents an authentic representation of the battle against the hopelessness of the streets. This dramatic look into Papa Joe's life motivates audiences to get involved in the huge problem of at-risk children in our society. When no alternatives are offered, children adapt to the lifestyles given by the streets. Unconditional offers follow-up resources to help motivated audiences take action, volunteer and/or support faith-based efforts to provide positive alternatives in their communities through the ACT project.
The script for Unconditional keeps the audience interested in Papa Joe's and the children's future; but the secondary storyline of Samantha finding her husband's murderer often overshadows the main character's struggle to provide a bright future for the children. As the film progresses, the audience may be more interested in the detective aspect of the plot than the survival of the at-risk care group.
The film, rated PG-13, contains graphic representation of violence, drug and alcohol use. Dramatic scenes with guns and the looming dangers from life in the inner city projects are portrayed. Caution is recommended.
Beth Patch serves as an Internet producer and editor for CBN.com. For more articles and info, visit Beth's bio page.
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