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Movies & More reviewer John Gillispie shares his thoughts on “The Shack,” which is rated PG-13 and available on DVD.

Exploring spiritual themes, the film “The Shack” takes on several questions pondered by many people over the centuries.

Why are bad things allowed to happen to innocent children? How do humans learn to forgive others for hurting them? How do people learn to forgive themselves and deal with feelings of guilt?

Sam Worthington stars as Mack Phillips, whose family suffers a terrible loss that affects Mack’s relationship with his wife, Nan (Radha Mitchell). It prevents Mack from truly being there for son Josh (Gage Munroe) and daughter Kate (Megan Charpentier) as well.

The movie begins by showing viewers Mack’s childhood in which he was abused and takes an action that leaves him with feelings of guilt.

The title building is a place where Mack meets the Holy Trinity, who appear to him as Papa (Octavia Spencer and Graham Greene), Jesus (Avraham Aviv Alush) and the Holy Spirit (Sumire). Mack’s encounter gives him the opportunity to face his anger with God and ask difficult questions. He learns to deal with his pain and find closure for the tragic loss that haunts him.

Impressively, “The Shack” was able to surprise me more than once. Worthington puts in a very good acting performance in a role allowing him to show a wide range of emotions. Tim McGraw portrays Mack’s friend.

Whether you agree with all the spiritual ideas discussed in “The Shack,” the movie shows a troubled character going through a transformation for the better. Lessons offered by the film would be to appreciate the loved ones in our lives, to take time to view the beauty of the natural world and to make every effort to strive to forgive others.

John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art.

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