Christian Living


Collateral Beauty: Movie Review

Collateral Beauty, christian movie reviews, cr: Barry Wetcher
Star Rating
Movie Info


PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language




December 16, 2016


Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Michael Peña, Helen Mirren, Naomie Harris, Keira Knightley, Jacob Latimore


David Frankel


Warner Bros.

More on this movie at IMDb.com

CBN is not endorsing the films or TV shows CBN.com reviews. Our goal is to provide information about the latest in entertainment, both the good and the bad, so you may make an informed decision as to what is appropriate for you and your families.

Collateral Beauty is the feel-bad movie of the season. Really. Most of the film is quite depressing.

A drama centered on a father's debilitating grief and his friends' misguided attempts to help him does everything in its power to make you cry. You can't ignore the real emotion Will Smith and cast bring to the screen.

At the same time, it feels overdone. Collateral Beauty features a mixed bag of characters -- all played by superb actors in their own right.

Slow to start, the film does pack an emotional punch (more midway through to the credits, than at the beginning). Set up to throw a twist or two at you, the David Frankel-directed film isn't as surprising as maybe hoped -- save a major reveal at the end.

Smith reprises his The Pursuit of Happyness downtrodden dad look in Collateral Beauty as Howard, a once happy family man and successful NYC ad agency co-owner. But, the death of his six-year-old girl wrecks him. He withdraws from work, from his wife, and from life. He barely speaks or interacts with anyone. Still, he's desperate to communicate. So, he begins writing letters to what he thinks are the only three things that connect us all -- love, time, and death. Little did he know they'd answer back.

Collateral Beauty's message is one of universal connectedness. Howard says, we all "long for love, wish we have more time, and fear death." It's on these universally connecting themes that the movie's story plots along. Some of what's said is intrigiuing, but not as impactful as it tries to be. This is true even of the dialogue attempting to explain the movie's title.

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language (including an F-bomb), Collateral Beauty is for the older among us. Caution is advised when it comes to kids. It's a hefty one, so children won't want to see it anyway.

Though Collateral Beauty has a seasonal release date and its story is set partly at Christmas, it's not what most would call a great holiday movie. The potential was there. It just didn't find it.

Note: For a more faith-based take on how to cope with grief, perhaps Lionsgate's upcoming release based on William P. Young's The Shack will do the trick. It releases in March 2017.

Loading Webform

Can We Pray For You?

Error: There was an internal error submitting your form. Please check your information and try again or call us at 1-800-759-0700

Get FREE "He Cares for You" teaching sheet

Build up your faith as you mediate on inspiring Scripture verses of how much God loves you

Get more than a Sunday sermon. Get to know others seeking God’s guidance and wisdom for life.
We are here to help and encourage you! Send a prayer request now, or call 1‑800‑700‑7000
Can God change your life? God made it possible for you to know. Discover God's peace now.
Download the free myCBN app. Share your prayer requests, receive prayer and pray for others!
Living the Christian life is a journey. Discover steps to bring you closer to Christ.
Get Email Updates
Give Now