Christian Living


God's Resurrection Power Shines in Breakthrough

Breakthrough movie
Movie Info


Rated PG tor thematic content including peril




April 17, 2019


Chrissy Metz, Topher Grace, Josh Lucas, Dennis Haysbert, Marcel Ruiz, Mike Colter


Roxann Dawson


20th Century Fox

More on this movie at IMDb.com

God's power didn't cease to move on this earth once Jesus ascended to heaven. Miracles, even resurrections, still happen.

Just ask Joyce Smith and she'll tell you her story.

On January 19, 2015, Joyce's 14-year-old son, John Smith, died for 45 minutes. His doctors and nurses couldn't save him, so they sent Joyce in to say her goodbyes. What happened next, as Joyce stood over her son's lifeless body, is a modern-day miracle.

In that ER room, Joyce cried out to God. And, her desperate prayer brought John back to life.

Fascinated by this present-day resurrection, Hollywood producer DeVon Franklin (Miracles from Heaven) jumped at the chance to help bring the Smiths' miraculous story to the big screen.

"Breakthrough brings hope. Breakthrough brings the power of prayer to life. And, it's truly one of the most unforgettable stories I've ever come across," Franklin says. "Patient dead. Mother prayed. Patient came back to life."

"The moment I heard that I was like, 'OK, I've got to bring this to the big screen. I've got to tell this story. I've never heard that before. How did that happen? What were the circumstances surrounding it?'", he says. "It captivated me the moment I heard it and still captivates me today."

Based on Joyce's book, The Impossible: The Miraculous True Story of a Mother's Faith and Her Child's Resurrection, Breakthrough details what happened to John, and his family, that cold January day in 2015 after he was trapped in icy water for 15 minutes.

Faith is at the core of this Twentieth Century Fox film. Breakthrough declares the power and goodness of God. Scenes centered on speaking life instead of death and the purposes and love God has for us are encouraging.

"Sometimes we don't speak life because we are so focused on the outcome," Franklin says. "We're afraid if we speak life and then life doesn't happen, then we get discouraged. What Joyce did, it's a model for all of us. She spoke life and left the result to God. If she didn't speak life, John would be dead."

The alive and well John Smith initially had some questions when talk of making a movie started ramping up. His concerns eased after conversations with his parents.

"Mom's thing from the beginning is that the story needs to be shouted from the mountaintops because it inspires so many people," John says. "It just gives God all the glory and it proves to people that God is not dead. I really trusted mom with this and I said, 'OK, if this is something that'll give glory to God and it will honor Him, then let's do it."

A graduating senior, John plans to go to college next year to become a pastor. Full-time ministry wasn't really one of John's aspirations, but this incredible journey has taken him down roads he never thought he'd travel.

"It's been a journey for him, really," John's pastor Jason Noble says. "I mean, the two years after the accident were probably more profound for him then even the accident itself."

"I wasn't saved before," John explains.

At the time of John's resurrection, he was not a believer. His mom's faith and God's grace brought him through it all. Some years later, after a basketball game, John made a decision to follow Jesus Christ.

"I got on my knees and I said, 'OK God, you have it all. I'm giving my life to you. You take complete control.'", John recalls. "I can remember kind of like a shift in my life. That was really a turning point where God was just having complete control… It's amazing."

It's an unbelievable story with an unbelievable ending, the salvation of its lead character. And to top it all off, news is that Tommy Shine, the first responder who rescued John from the icy lake, just got saved as well.

"To be able to see him turn his life to the Lord is awesome because that's what it's all about," Pastor Noble says. "The whole thing is all about reaching people who are far from God."

Breakthrough released in theaters on April 17, 2019, and stars Chrissy Metz, Topher Grace, Josh Lucas, Marcel Ruiz, Dennis Haysbert, Rebecca Staab, Sam Trammell, Mike Colter.

Watch the official trailer for Breakthrough:

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