Paper Angels

6.61 h 29 min2014PG
An abused wife leaves her alcoholic husband and moves with her children to another town. There their lives become entwined with another family in trouble. Starring Matthew Settle and Josie Bissett.
David Winning
Matthew SettleJosie Bissett
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Timothy O. Johnson
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
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4.7 out of 5 stars

828 global ratings

  1. 80% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 13% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Lanna S. SeuretReviewed in the United States on December 31, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
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The acting was not superlative, but all of the scenarios were very real to me, so each actor worked very well in his or her situation and environment, and were thus pleasing to watch.

The basic story is the unintentional intertwining of two very different families: one, a youngish couple, the wife of which is close to term on their first children, a set of boy twins, the husband of which is a successful and very talented graphic design artist; the second family is a wife with two teenage children, a girl, about 12 or 13, the boy, about 16, very talented in basketball with an uplifting and kind heart. Their situation involves leaving suddenly their home and long time alcoholic dad/husband, and driving to
a far away nice right sized town having to start all over again close to Christmas with school for the kinds and a new job waitressing for the mom.

How the two families become interconnected is subtle and nicely done; it's fun to be the audience, enabled to see how close they skate toward each other, and with what effect. Waitress mom tells her two kids that she's signed them up for the Paper Angel Program (Have any of you heard of this? It sounded like such a good idea!) where, if the child makes a list of desires under his or her name written on the paper angel, it is tied to a Christmas tree, and some one may pick them to commit to purchasing the contents of the list. The children never learn the donor's name, nor does the donor know the child's last name. Someone apparently off scene picks the daughter's name, and the artist/designer picks the teen aged boy's name.

What is most heartening about this movie is how the members of each family not only interact with each other in understanding and as much support as can be generated, but they truly are willing to go through the hardships together, which means not
blaming each other, or staying bitter about the sad things that seem to be happening during a wonderful holiday. Mr. Artist/Designer is actually losing his business, because his largest client cannot, though loving his work, continue with another
contract for the next year. Meanwhile, the Church minister encourages him to get rid of some anxiety by working it off in the basketball court when the team is not there. His Mrs. is doing alright in late term, heeding the doctor's advice to rest a lot and lift her feet and legs, but one month before term, the smaller twin is exhibiting increasing stress symptoms, so she is hospitalized.
Hubby meanwhile has unknowingly picked Thomas, the teenaged boy as his Paper Angel, in addition to getting into basketball
practice together, still without knowing each others' names. They have a good chemistry and communicated easily with one another.

The now single mom is meeting her challenges, especially with two responsible, responsive, and supportive kids. They all talk things over when a major decision must be made. Mrs. Designer's wife is pretty sensible toward and sensitive to her husband's
discomfort at nearly everything but always has a sensitive insight into what's bothering him, and thus keeps him going. He helps her by lovingly doing the cooking and cleaning in addition to his full-time job.

What keeps this story so interesting is how the older boy, really the focus of the tale, is doing
at his new high school. He seems calm, and confident , able to deal with the loneliness, until
he has a run-in with the local jock who reacts defensively and aggressively to this new kid's talent in basketball and posts a defamation on Facebook which went viral in the school.

His solution is to ignore it, which doesn't move much, but he does discuss it with the artist designer shooting hoops in the gym, who advises to listen to his deep feelings inside,
as guide for the best solution that will help as many people as can.

To see how he handles this cyber bully is an inspiring moment and well worth the movie. To return good for evil can be very challenging, but he does it with panache.

I recommend this movie as uplifting and inspiring in a real live context, situations we can all understand.
4 people found this helpful
Honest reviewReviewed in the United States on December 8, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Movie could have been so much better
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This review contains spoilers. I like the plot of the movie. However, there are a lot issues that prevented this movie from being a 5 star movie. We don't know why the mother ran away from the father with her 2 kids. Overall, the father was not depicted through the movie as being that bad. It seems that there could not be any villains in this feel good movie. After the Facebook post of the son, having all high school kids except one stare rudely at the son because of the post was ridiculously unrealistic. To have only one person in the whole school, which was the rich pretty girl help the son, was ridiculously unrealistic. The gifts requested by the son were unreasonable gifts that costed many hundreds of dollars. For a man who is about to lose his business be able to pay for these gits without hesitation was unbelievable. The way they added a faith aspect to the movie was mediocre. It seems that maybe they wanted to add faith in God to the movie but chickened out and made it more like an inner faith in oneself. The twin babies toward the end of the movie was absolutely unrealistic after they indicated that one of the twin babies was not growing properly in the womb. Since it was a premature C-section birth, the babies should have been in prenatal ICU. The newborn twin babies at the end of the movie were at least 6 months old and the same size.
One person found this helpful
WindriderReviewed in the United States on December 28, 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
setting the record straight. Pretty decent film.
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Let me make clear that I do not enjoy "Christian movies"; they tend toward bad acting, bad filming, and eye rollingly unrealistic plots that come over as bad propaganda. While there are a couple of brow-raising plot moments in this one, anyone who claims the filming or acting was bad must not have watched the same movie, and the plot was pretty good. There was also no constant "hit you over the head" Christian bombast, people went to church a couple times and said something about having faith here and there but nothing that would cause a nonChristian to be really discomforted. These people just acted like the Christian friends I have who don't shove anyone's face in their religion, they just try to be good people and occasionally say something about God or Jesus or whathaveyou regarding their beliefs when it comes up. I actually enjoyed this movie and to be blunt the basic messages in it are the sort that would make human life far better if we all thought about them and took them to heart whatever "faith" we profess (including none). And yes, I take names from the "Giving Trees" (which is what they're called where I live) and put together packages for the kids and seniors who have even less than this older veteran living on disability. Even if you can;t buy an expensive electronic gadget, there are always kids who want scarf-and-mitten sets, blind seniors who want audio books, and other requests you can find in thrift stores or make yourself to brighten their lives. The movie is completely realistic about everyone needing a little help now and then to get back on their feet - or stay there.
20 people found this helpful
K HojaraReviewed in the United States on December 11, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
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This has to be one of the best Christmas movies I have seen and it isnt about falling in love lol. It shows exactly what Christmas is supposed to be about, helping others even those who may seem to not deserve it. You never know what people are going through, so be kind to everyone.....Merry Christmas!
Andy BReviewed in the United States on November 19, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great story and an uplifting message.
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This movie ought to be a classic alongside "It's a wonderful life" because it portrays how hard life can be. However, it is precisely in the difficult moments that we also have the opportunity to choose to rise to the occasion and become a better person who can help others.

Highly recommended.
catmom6Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Wonderful Movie!!!!!!!!
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This was a wonderful movie!!!!!! Whoever disagrees has no compassion. WE all need to learn to be more kind to each other. No one really knows what anyone has going on in their life. Try to stop and remember that before you judge someone. Let's just put more effort into being kinder and you would not believe how good you feel! Watch and maybe you'll feel inspired. If so try to keep that feeling ALL YEAR LONG! Because it isn't about just Christmas, it is about life which is not JUST at Christmas! AND, just because the songs don't sound like you want them to that is because there are ALL types of singers EVERYWHERE!!! I am sure if you watch or listen to a movie from somewhere else they will have their own songs as well! That is my whole point. Let's be less judgmental. Love this movie!!!
2 people found this helpful
Amante dei GattiReviewed in the United States on May 23, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Feel Good Christmas Movie
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This isn't a knock-your-socks-off movie, the acting is nothing stellar, but it is clean, wholesome, and heartwarming. It deals with bullying in a semi-realistic way. And the lead characters show how blessing others can really result in blessing the person who hands out the blessings. Good lesson.
prisrobReviewed in the United States on January 1, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
The True Meaning Of Christmas
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My granddaughter and I watched this film together. Paper Angels is a good feeling film ,and it is perfect for the holidays. Gather around your families, and take it all in.

A family, mom, teen son, daughter and son leave an abusive husband/ father. They move to a new area, poor paying job for mom, new school for son, Thomas and daughter. Things are not great, but they all have faith.

Into this mix another family, mind his wife pregnant with twins. His business is losing it's best client, one of the twins is not growing well. Things look dismal. All if these people have some sort of guiding star from within that leads them on the path to the right.

A film that will lift your spirits, and will,bring the true meaning of Christmas.

Recommended. prisrob 12-31-16
One person found this helpful
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