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90 Minutes In Heaven(2015)

Parents need to know that 90 Minutes in Heaven is a Christian-themed feature based on the best-selling memoir of the same name by Don Piper, a pastor who was hit head-on by an 18-wheel truck and was declared dead for 90 minutes before he began breathing again. The accident is shown, as is Piper's bloodied and bruised face. He explains that once back to life, he had a hard time connecting with loved ones because during those 90 minutes, he had glimpsed heaven and it was a disappointment to return to the pain of living. A character is given morphine to alleviate his pain.

90 Minutes in Heaven(2015)


In 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN, Don (Hayden Christensen) is a devout Christian pastor who says that, for the 90 minutes he wasn't breathing after a terrible car accident, he visited heaven. He wasn't allowed to pass through the "pearlescent" gates but instead was sent back to life on earth, a trial that began with more than a year of excruciating and uncertain treatments to repair his shattered leg and arm. He falls into a depression and refuses to speak to anyone, even refusing to breathe at one point, which leads to pneumonia. His wife, Eva (Kate Bosworth), agonizes over his despondency. Friends pray for him. The retired pastor who replaces him tells him to shape up and start allowing his loved ones to do things for him, because all they have to offer during the terrible ordeal is their love and service. Slowly he tries to allow others to help him, and in that process, he improves physically and begins to see a new purpose to his life. As the movie ends, he spies a young man in a wheelchair with the same painful device attached to his injured leg that Don wore for a year. Don offers comfort and support.

With that criticism in mind I came into 90 Minutes in Heaven somewhat expecting this two-hour movie to spend ninety minutes viewing the afterlife through the eyes of Pastor Don Piper (who did have this experience in real life) followed by a direct testimony of the reality of heaven. I was right about the teaching moment near the end, but the lead up was not at all what I was expecting, and definitely addresses the criticism of Christian movies being filled with lollipops and rainbows.

Christensen, affecting a heavy Southern drawl, plays Piper, a minister who in 1989 was involved in a horrific car crash with a tractor-trailer that left him declared legally dead by the first responders. His body was left under a tarp in his mangled car for 90 minutes, but before the medical examiner arrived, a pastor who happened by asked to pray over the dead man. The authorities present reluctantly gave him permission, and when the priest began singing a hymn he was shocked to hear the presumed corpse join in.

As a defining exclamation point, the real life Don Piper appears at the end of the movie to preach for a few minutes about the glory of Heaven and share his desire that all people make a life-affirming decision in regard to where they will spend eternity.

You might guess that the plot then revolves primarily around what he experienced while dead, with a bit about his recovery mixed in for effect. The exact opposite is what the film portrays, however. Most of the film is about his very complex and painful recovery. This could make for a good film if it focused on his inner struggles and those who inspired him to recover. Sadly, there is very little of that, and a lot of Don writhing in pain, being rude to his family and friends and undergoing excruciating medical treatments. Five minutes of that is plenty to paint the picture, but it comprises a large section of the film.

The movie is based on the New York Times best-selling biography by the real Piper, a Texas Baptist minister who more than 20 years ago was hit by a big rig while driving. With massive injuries to his leg and arm, he was pronounced dead for 90 minutes and then returned to life, claiming he had been to Heaven and had seen his deceased grandfather welcoming him.

The true story of how Don Piper was brought back to life 90 minutes after he was declared dead. Claiming to have been in heaven, Don struggles to readjust to his life back among the living and an...Read more existence filled with pain and uncertainty.

The true story of how Don Piper was brought back to life 90 minutes after he was declared dead. Claiming to have been in heaven, Don struggles to readjust to his life back among...Read more the living and an existence filled with pain and uncertainty.

In 1989, Don Piper (Hayden Christensen), a minister and married father of three, was in a head-on collision with a big rig on a bridge in driving rain. Paramedics could find no pulse at the scene and his body was left underneath a tarp, presumed dead, for 90 minutes, until another pastor prayed and sang over him.

Piper died Jan. 18, 1989 when a semi-tractor truck crushed his car. Declared dead by the first rescue workers to arrive on the scene, his body lay under a tarp for the next 90 minutes. He was in Heaven but when another pastor's prayers helped bring Piper back to life, he wished it had never happened. Heaven's bliss was replaced by excruciating pain and emotional turmoil. 041b061a72


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