Unsung Hero

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Short takes

Not suitable under 6; parental guidance to 8 (themes and a distressing scene)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Unsung Hero
  • a review of Unsung Hero completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 3 June 2024.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not suitable due to themes.
Children aged 6–8 Parental guidance recommended due to themes and a distressing scene.
Children aged 9 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: Unsung Hero
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes
Length: 113 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Australian music producer David Smallbone (Joel Smallbone) is living a charmed life. He is at the height of a successful career, lives in a grand house, is married to the love of his life Helen (Daisy Betts), with whom he has six (soon to be seven) wonderful children, and he enjoys the unwavering support of his parents, including a strong relationship with his father James (Terry O’Quinn). When David takes a calculated business risk, he winds up losing his stellar reputation along with everything he owns. In a last-ditch effort to redeem himself, he moves his family to America where the job he secured falls through. The family must pull together to simply survive as they are repeatedly beset by obstacles and challenges. Through prayer and faith, they slowly begin to find their way, marvelling at the miracles that repeatedly surround them. When their daughter Rebecca (Kirrilee Berger) begins to pursue her dream, the stress takes a terrible toll on David but it is only after a tragedy that he begins to see that the success he has been searching for has been right in front of him all along.


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.

Rejection; Failure; Excessive pride; Poverty; Hardship; Death of a loved one; Religious faith.

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:

  • David yells at Rebecca and Helen slaps him in the face.
  • David slams down a telephone and smashes a fax machine by hurling it onto the floor.

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.

  • None noted.

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • When Helen gives birth to her youngest daughter, there are some complications and after an agonising delivery, she is shown losing consciousness while David begs her not to leave him. The medical team flies into action and it looks like she may not make it. She loses a lot of blood but ultimately winds up being fine. Some children may find the scene distressing.

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.

  • Nothing further noted.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Amy Grant’s music is promoted. It is mentioned that Rebecca could be the next Amy Grant.
  • Qantas airline is used and the logo is clearly displayed.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • David and Helen kiss.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Hell
  • A flight attendant asks David to watch his language after he uses the term, ‘fair dinkum’.

In a nutshell

Unsung Hero is a faith filled drama based on the inspirational, true life story of the Smallbone family. The film is well cast and full of powerful performances and positive messages. It is suitable for all but the youngest of viewers.

The main messages from this movie are that family and faith are the most important things in life, they are what truly make you rich, and nurturing these things will take you on adventures, open doors and help you behold the countless miracles that will undoubtedly come your way.

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

  • Love
  • Courage
  • Teamwork
  • Persistence
  • Faith
  • Loyalty
  • Forgiveness.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Shutting out those who are just trying to help you.
  • Failing to see your children for who they really are and what they are capable of accomplishing.
  • Allowing excessive pride to govern your actions and blind you to possibilities.