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People Like Us: Movie Review

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Inspired by true events, People Like Us is a picture of what family is in pain and can be when forgiveness enters the scene.

Producer and co-writer Alex Kurtzman’s directorial debut presents audiences with a dramedy teeming with profound moments of betrayal and reunion. Starring Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Michelle Pfeiffer and Olivia Wilde, People Like Us will touch families – broken or not.


Sam, a success-focused salesman, knows how to work a conversation to his advantage. But after his father dies, Sam (Chris Pine) learns that he has a half-sister, Frankie (Elizabeth) and nephew (Michael Hall D’Addario). Unable to tell them who he is, Sam becomes their friend all while struggling with what to do with the money his father left for them.


The technical team, director of photography Salvatore Totino (Frost/Nixon), editor Robert Leighton (A Few Good Men) and music man A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire), are to be commended for their artistic contributions to this film. Their talent complemented the story as it unfolded on screen in every way, making it a richer, moving picture.

The story itself was crafted by a number of writers, namely Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jody Lambert. Ocri and Kurtzman both worked together on Star Trek, which also starred Chris Pine. Countless themes of significance are found throughout the film. Still, it never seems bogged down. There’s a flow to it, as if we’re simply watching this incredible journey as a young, selfish man learns how to forgive and love.

There are even moments of spiritual significance, including a revealing scene in a church and an acknowledgment of God during a beautiful sunset. The juxtaposition of a biker wearing a Christian t-shirt is especially clever as it’s at a point when Sam is discovering that not all is what it at first seems.

Rated PG-13 for language, some drug use and brief sexuality, People Like Us is not for children. This is not a clean movie; but neither is life, especially ones lived outside of faith and good intentions. Adults especially will understand the depth to which the story must go as the writers attempt to share how abandonment destorys and forgiveness mends. This is this film's redemption.


The compulsion to make life better after seeing a story on the big screen defines a meaningful film. People Like Us is such a film. You will want to make right the wrongs in your own family. Any movie that moves an audience to that end is one to consider seeing.

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About The Author


Hannah Goodwyn served as a Senior Producer for, managing and writing for the award-winning website. After her undergraduate studies at Christopher Newport University, Hannah went on to study Journalism at the graduate level. In 2005, she graduated summa cum laude with her Master's from Regent University and was honored with an Outstanding Student Award. From there, Hannah began work as a content producer for For ten years, she acted as the managing producer for the website's Family and Entertainment sections. A movie buff, Hannah felt right at home working as's