"Ordinary Angels" should be mawkish but it's sincere and persuasively acted

Ordinary Angels (2024)

Released under the Erwin brothers’ faith-based production company Kingdom Story Company, "Ordinary Angels" is less Christian propaganda than it is a persuasively told true story. Not just about keeping faith, it’s even more so about human kindness, a community rallying together with an average Erin Brockovich type leading the charge. It sounds mawkish beyond belief, and while it is simplistic in places, "Ordinary Angels" is always sincere and never preachy.

In Louisville, Kentucky, 1993, blue-collar roofer and girl dad Ed Schmitt (Alan Ritchson) has lost his wife Theresa (Amy Acker) to the rare Wegener’s disease. Now, he’s forced to raise his two daughters, Ashley (Skywalker Hughes), and 5-year-old Michelle (Emily Mitchell), who’s just been diagnosed with Biliary Atresia, a congenital liver disease where a liver transplant is her only hope. To make matters worse, Ed doesn’t have health insurance, and the emergency room bills just keep piling up. An unlikely angel on Earth emerges in the form of hairdresser Sharon Stevens (Hilary Swank), a bleary-eyed alcoholic in denial. When Sharon sees the newspaper headline about the Schmitt family’s circumstances, she decides to help and makes this her purpose. 

Lighting up every scene with a gaudy, sparkly array of skirts and heels, the ever-reliable Hilary Swank is a force as Sharon. A real go-getter, she is brash, pushy, and no-nonsense, and yet not without a big heart, and Swank cannily makes the character arc work. Initially, the viewer just has to take a leap of faith that Sharon finds it in her heart that she’s supposed to help the Schmitt family pay off their debt in hospital bills and begin a fundraiser out of her shop. We do eventually come to see what makes Sharon tick, and her flawed nature gives the character enough of an edge to not be merely a saintly figure. Read the full review at GuyAtTheMovies.com

Grade: B -

Lionsgate released "Ordinary Angels" (116 min.) in theaters on February 23, 2024.