Shelby Redmond

Can your opinion about something really change? Even after you witness it happening before your eyes? Yes, it can, and that’s what happens to Abby Johnson in the movie “Unplanned.”

“Unplanned” is based on a true story about Abby Johnson, the clinic director of a local Planned Parenthood until she watches an ultrasound-guided abortion. Abby’s whole point of view on abortion changes and her heart is broken. Abby starts working at Planned Parenthood as a volunteer when she is in college and the movie does an excellent job at showing how she started as a volunteer and working her way up to clinic director. The movie was good when it came to showing who Abby is before witnessing the abortion and after, but the one thing that I believe the movie does best at showing is what abortion really is.

The movie basically shows us what Abby saw, which was an abortion on an ultrasound screen. Even though this scene was upsetting to watch, I knew that it was meant to show what actually happens during an abortion. I think this movie can help change someone’s opinion or help people decide how they really feel about abortion. What Abby saw was murder. She saw a live baby in the womb on the ultrasound screen fighting for its life, and it was very obvious that the baby was alive and wanted to live. I believe this movie is not only going to change minds, but change hearts and compel people to understand that babies in the womb are live human beings from conception to birth. The only thing that changes is the baby’s size and nothing else.

All in all, the only reason why the movie is rated R is because of the graphic abortion scenes, not for language or any sexual content. If you plan on watching this movie, be prepared to see some bloody scenes. There were different types of abortions shown in the movie and the scenes were very graphic as they go into detail about how each type of abortion kills the baby and how it affects the mother. After watching this movie, abortion seems more dangerous than childbirth to me. Abortion may kill the baby, but this movie revealed that it puts the mother’s health in danger as well.

I rate this movie a five out of five stars because I believe this movie did a great job of focusing on how they perform abortions and what it really does to the baby, which is something I think everyone needs to see. I think that this movie is going to be a wakeup call for many people and I encourage everyone to go see it. I must warn you, if you get queasy or sick around blood, be prepared to look away for a few scenes. However, be brave when you look at that ultrasound screen so that way you can understand why abortion is one of the biggest debated issues today. This one can also be a tear-jerker, so I encourage you to bring your best friend and a box of tissues when you go witness what Abby Johnson experienced.

Eli McAlister

“Unplanned” is the latest of the Pure Flix films to leap onto the silver screen, debuting only in the U.S. March 29 and to great effect.

Though it released in the midst of box office juggernauts such as “Shazam” and “Pet Sematary”, “Unplanned” more than managed to earn back its meager $6 million budget in its opening weekend and has doubled that number since its release. The movie’s commercial success might at least partly have something to do with the topic around which its plot is centered, abortion.

Despite the morality of abortion steeped in such heated debate across the United States, “Unplanned” does not attempt to dance around the sensitive nature of the issue and instead leaps directly into the most disturbing aspects of the practice.

Given this film’s production by Pure Flix, who also produced evangelical-oriented films such as “God’s Not Dead” and “The Case for Christ”, it does not come as a surprise that “Unplanned” finds itself resting firmly on the pro-life side of the abortion debate, nor does it shy away from that fact. While I believe that “Unplanned” has a compelling message, a good film is much more than its intended message, virtuous or otherwise, and Unplanned seems to struggle with delivering more than that.

Based on the true story of Abby Johnson, played by Ashley Bratcher, the film follows Abby in her transformation from the youngest director of a Planned Parenthood facility in the U.S. to an outspoken pro-life activist.

Bratcher’s performance was undoubtedly the best of the main cast, effectively capturing the despair of the lowest points in Abby’s story effectively in a few scenes while maintaining a passable portrayal in every other scene. The rest of the cast struggles to deliver a similar performance, typically, only ever reaching a level of believability just above cheesy. The lack of acting talent able to carry the plot of “Unplanned” takes its toll on a movie already struggling against a small budget, mediocre characterization and dull characters in general.

Unfortunately, while “Unplanned” desperately seems to want to have a significant cultural impact in the debate about abortion, it will likely only ever have any impact on those who already agree with its message, while coming off as nothing more than a cheaply-made pro-life propaganda film to those on the other side of the debate.

I give Unplanned three and a half out of five stars.

Still-shot from official trailer

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