Heaven is For Real is a movie that’s better than you’d probably expect. It has a sense of humour, impressive performances from Oscar nominee Greg Kinnear and adorable leading actor, 4-year-old Connor Corum. 

Based on the bestselling book written by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent, it tells the extraordinary but true story of 4-year-old Colton Burpo’s (Corum) miraculous recovery after an emergency appendectomy. Much to his family’s shock, Colton returns home with the news he had visited heaven. Although he didn’t die, he was under quite a strong anesthesia and shared stories about his family he would have never been told before. Todd Burpo (Kinnear), Colton’s father and local pastor, must pluck up the courage to share his son’s unbelievable story to the hesitant people of his town.

The Wallace Randall-directed movie is a thought-provoking film and as much as it’s centred on God and heaven, it’s not overly preachy and there’s still room for you to doubt. Randall said in a recent interview, “Your questions and doubts should be alive in this ... I don’t want everybody to have a rigid perspective, but we will all be open and do this all together.”

Colton’s vivid descriptions of Heaven and Jesus are beyond intriguing, especially as it’s based on a true story. However, things start to get a bit on the cheesy side when visuals of a stereotypical ‘Heaven’ with clouds and angels singing are shown. We only ever see the outline of the Jesus character, which adds some mystery.

Heaven is For Real is an ideal family film with a good-natured tone, plenty of humour and interesting characters. 

Niamh Doherty