Box art for Letters to God

Letters to God

  • Rated NR

children & family, drama

Tyler Doherty is an extraordinary eight-year-old boy armed with strong faith and courage as he faces his daily battle against cancer. Surrounded by a loving family and community, Tyler's prayers take the form of letters he sends to his pen pal, God.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 9
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Heavy-handed tearjerker about faith, death, and friendship.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sweet, tear-jerking drama deals with a dying boy who considers it his personal mission to spread his Christian beliefs to family, friends, and even strangers like his mail carrier. As with most faith-based films, families that aren't Christians may feel uncomfortable with the overt Evangelism highlighted in the movie, but if you don't mind a religiously- themed plot, then it's not a concern. What may be of concern is the fact that the child protagonist is dying and eventually passes away. But because of his strong faith in God and his afterlife in heaven, he is not afraid to die, and his death is portrayed gently and lovingly. There is no profanity, sexuality, or product placements, but there is some mention of alcoholism (specifically drinking and driving), the affects of divorce on a single parent, and a couple of brief scenes in which adults get quite upset and yell and/or trash their belongings. Overall, the message is to find faith even in the face of personal tragedy.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages about facing death and personal tragedy. How does Tyler's optimism and personal faith help him through the last months of his life? How does his faith affect those around him?
  • How are the consequences of Brady's drinking handled? How does his alcohol abuse take a toll on his life, and how does he change because of his belief in God?
  • Why does Tyler's mother get upset at the mention of God? Why does she have trouble with the idea of faith? What changes her heart?
  • Do you think this movie is worth seeing if you're not a Christian? Why or why not?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 10
    see all Letters to God reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: Letters to God is preaching to the choir.

- Annlee Ellingson, Moving Pictures Magazine, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rotten: As well intentioned and sometimes well acted as this film is, it is not always able to rise above its own earnest agenda in order to tell its story in an absorbing manner.

- Carolyn Arends, Christianity Today, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rotten: With little in the way of story or spectacle to offer nonbelievers, the film itself just preaches to the choir.

- Eric Hynes, L.A. Weekly, Thursday, April 15, 2010

Audience Reviews

2 stars

i walked into this totally blind, simply waiting for another feature to begin and having no prior knowledge of what to expect (for such is my will and my way!). it's another well-meaning movie-of-the-week, based on a true story (as practically everything is nowadays) about a poor shlump kid dying of cancer and writing the titular "letters to God" to deal. did i say "well-meaning" yet?

- ApeneckFletcher, Monday, April 12, 2010

3 stars

I was actually afraid this one might be really bad but it was actually a pure gem. I sobbed at the end. It was just a pure good movie. Parts were a bit cheesy but it was uplifting and encouraging. They may have been a bit too many music montages but it wasn't preachy and it was only lacking in acting talent in a couple minor areas. (It may have been poor scripting and the poor actors could do nothing about it.) Otherwise, what a great movie! I recommend it to anyone who wants to see a movie about a child who changes people's lives for the better.

- crazydannielle16, Tuesday, August 31, 2010

3 stars

It was a tearjerker, but it was a good story. Anyone who has gone through cancer, my heart goes out to them. It was a little preachy, but God is a big part of my life. If you believe in the power of prayer, this is one to watch.

- KayakGuy87, Tuesday, November 9, 2010