All Saints

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Short takes

Not recommended under 8 due to lack of interest and themes. Parental guidance recommended 8 to 10.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for All Saints
  • a review of All Saints completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 4 September 2017.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to themes and lack of interest
Children 8 to 10 parental guidance recommended due to themes
Children 10 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: All Saints
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes
Length: 109 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

All Saints is an adaptation of an inspiring true story. An Episcopalian church in Tennessee is faced with closure after the congregation becomes so small that the church can no longer afford the mortgage. New minister Father Michael Spurlock (John Corbett), a former paper salesman, is charged with helping the congregation adjust to the sale of their community church. In his first week of service, some recently arrived refugees from Myanmar seek out his help. They are Karen people, devout Anglicans who have fled persecution and war, survived refugee camps and have finally arrived in America to begin a new life.

Despite some initial reservations of the conservative congregation, the Karen refugees bring new life and vitality to the church. Ye Win (Nelson Lee) is the stoic and kind leader of the Karen, striving to look after his people in their new country. He convinces Pastor Spurlock to let him plant a vegetable garden in the grounds of the church to help feed the many families that are arriving. This leads to a revelation for Pastor Spurlock who believes that it is God’s will that they save All Saints church by turning the surrounding fields into a farm. The farm will feed the Karen families and save the church from being sold. Against all odds, the congregation pull together to try and save their church.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Christian faith; war and persecution; refugees and asylum seekers

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • When Michael Spurlock breaks the water pump he is overcome with frustration and he takes it out by kicking the water pump violently.
  • Two men talk about their experiences of war, of being shot and using a gun.
  • There is a discussion about teenage boys having a fight where kickboxing skills are used.
  • When one of the Karen refugee children wanders out onto the road, the police come and try to take the child away. When the Karen people gather around to try to stop them and the young men get angry, a glass bottle is thrown. Michael tries to step in but a policeman hits him over the head with a truncheon. His head is bleeding.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Nothing apart from the violent scenes described above

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

  • There are some emotional scenes when things don’t go to plan and some children may find them upsetting.
  • Discussions about war, persecution and the experience of living in a refugee camp.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Some of the younger children in this age group may be upset by some of the above-mentioned scenes

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • MacDonalds
  •  KFC

Sexual references

Michael Spurlock mentions that his wife was attracting some attention at Church

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Use of substances

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

Nothing of concern

In a nutshell

All Saints is a heart-warming, emotional story that touches very lightly on serious and current topics such as war, persecution and asylum seeking. Although it is written from a Christian faith perspective, the themes of community and humanitarianism are universal and relevant.

The film is not recommended for children under 8 due to themes and lack of interest. Parental guidance is recommended for the 8 to 10 age group, and there are issues for parents to discuss with older children.

The main messages from this movie are that everybody, from whatever background, has something rich and valuable to add to their community and that amazing things are possible if everybody works together.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • The value of contributing to your community.
  • The importance of helping those in need.
  • Fighting for what you believe in and doing what is ethical.