Rated: PG

Distributed By:

Walt Disney

Directed by:

Peter Hedges


Jennifer Garner as Cindy; Joel Edgerton as Jim; CJ Adams as Timothy

Adapted From:

Plugged In Online

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

Jim and Cindy Green want a baby. But when their doctor says they can’t have kids, they bury those dreams . . . literally. The couple fills a small box with notes describing the child they always hoped for: honest, talented, a dreamer, like them. Then they lovingly “plant” the box in their vegetable garden and go to bed.

That night, the Greens find a strange visitor lurking in the nursery: a 10-year-old boy covered in dirt. He says he “came from the garden” and has leaves sprouting from his ankles. Strangest of all, he calls Cindy “Mom” and Jim “Dad.” Is this the child they wished for?

Like most bedtime stories, The Odd Life of Timothy Green doesn’t explain how these incredible things happen. (Cindy calls it “kind of miraculous.”) But if you put aside your questions, you’ll find that Timothy’s tale is bursting with beauty.

The Greens didn’t ask for—or get—a perfect kid. He doesn’t really fit in, at school or with the other kids in town. And both Jim and Cindy get caught up in competing with other parents. At times, they wish their amazing son were a little more, well, normal.

But as the family deals with death and disappointment, bullies and first crushes, Timothy helps Jim and Cindy grow into real parents.

It's rare for a live-action kids film to be this clean. Timothy’s relationship with an older girl ends in a hug. Bullies throw food instead of punches. We do see a few two-piece swimsuits at a pool party. Jim and Cindy drink wine at home. God’s name is misused four or five times.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green is an odd but beautiful story about what it means to be a parent. Even though Jim and Cindy make lots of mistakes, the movie never questions their authority. Nobody’s perfect, but God still wants us to love and obey Mom and Dad. After all, parents are a gift, too.

Copyright © 2012 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission. Clubhousemagazine.com