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If your family is headed to the movie theater this weekend, “The Miracle Season” is a worthy option, especially if you have older children.

Based on the true story of Caroline Found, a 17-year-old high school volleyball player who died in a moped accident in 2011, “The Miracle Season” follows her teammates’ journey as they struggle to play through their grief after her death. Spoiler alert: The team makes it to the Iowa state championships, which you shouldn’t be surprised by because the name of the movie implies it, but their journey there makes up the meat of this inspirational sports drama. There are three key characters at the center of this journey — Kelley Fliehler (Erin Moriarty), Caroline’s lifelong best friend who was never very good at volleyball in the first place; Ernie (William Hurt), Caroline’s father who also loses his wife to cancer not long after Caroline’s accident; and no-nonsense coach Kathy “Brez” Bresnahan (Helen Hunt), who is having trouble connecting with people after her divorce.  

The free advanced screening I attended was packed with teenage girls and families, and a lot of people were turned away because the theater was at capacity. With that kind of interest, I suspect this movie will be a surprise hit when it releases in theaters this weekend.

The movie packs an emotional wallop here and there — bring Kleenex — but overall, it was clean entertainment, with little, if any, profanity, no sexual content aside from a few chaste kisses, and little to no violence. While religious faith is mentioned, it’s not a driving force of the story by any means, and the team’s road to triumph in the face of tragedy and obstacles is one anyone of any faith can appreciate.

The bottom line: “The Miracle Season” isn’t the best movie I’ve seen, but it has enough heart and soul to make it worth watching at least once, especially if you’re looking for a safe family film to screen this weekend. Otherwise, this is definitely one to put in your cue when it releases on video.

  • Skip it or watch it? Watch it.
  • Best for ages: 10 and older.
  • Cautions: The grief element and drama might be too heavy for sensitive kids; the teens also attend parties, but they seem to be chaperoned and it’s unclear if alcohol is consumed.

“The Miracle Season” is rated PG for some thematic elements and opens in theaters nationwide April 6.

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