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Approved for 12+

Fly Old Bird

Jon, a man battling dementia, is feeling abandoned by his family who has taken away his car, his checkbook, and his credit cards. Then he meets a man named Gibbs, and the cantankerous Jon banters back and forth with him. But Gibbs is a patient Christian man and might just be the friend that Jon needs.

Negative Rating
Positive Rating

Dove Review

This is a wonderful movie that clearly shows that sometimes the person we need for a friend is the last person we would have chosen! Alan Maki (Sidewalk Singer, Mr. What) wrote the screenplay and stars as Jon Koski, the man who is slowly losing his memory. Shaun Maki directs the film, and he plays Jon’s son, Kameron. Miller Gibbs is played by Dennis McComas, the man who enters Jon’s life, and brings some stability to the sometimes-volatile Koski.

The film opens with Jon sitting on his porch and he’s very unhappy with his adult kids, Kameron and daughter Katherine. He feels like they are taking all his freedom away. He is ranting and raving to himself when Miller Gibbs spots him and comes over to see if he’s okay and if he can help. Jon wants no interference from Gibbs but Gibbs is a Christian and he cares, seeing that Jon is obviously very upset. He helps calm Jon down (a bit) and then leaves. Later, their paths cross again and Gibbs invites Jon into his home for a glass of water. Jon notices that Gibbs is very neat, with everything being orderly and in its place in his home.

Gibbs winds up offering Jon lemonade. We see the battle of the mind that Jon is dealing with when he asks for a half glass of lemonade. When Gibbs hands him the glass, half full, Jon wants to know why he didn’t fill it up. Jon spots Gibbs’ Bible and asks, “What are you? A Bible thumper too?” Despite the tension-filled beginning, and their strained banter back and forth, it soon becomes apparent that the two give one another something they each need. For Jon, it’s stability and concern, and for Gibbs it’s someone to talk to and a potential friend to ease his loneliness. We learn that Jon’s wife died some years before, and Gibbs once loved a girl who suffered an accident and died. He said she was his soulmate and he never married.

Gibbs also gives Jon the freedom he needs. Gibbs wants to visit the Ark Encounter in Kentucky which is on his bucket list. Jon offers to drive him to see the full-sized replica, and soon they are off, headed from Michigan to Kentucky. You can count on it not being your usual travel adventure.

At one stop Gibbs goes into a shop and buys a Bible for Jon. Jon is not sure he wants this birthday present, but he does recognize his friend’s kindness. We learn later that although it is summer, Jon’s birthday is actually not until December!

This movie’s script is well crafted, giving us a story in which the two main characters grow. We also learn that, despite being wary of his two adult children, Kameron and Katherine care more than Jon initially realized.

The humor is placed in some nice spots. After drinking the lemonade that Gibbs offered him, Jon thanks him for the “coffee.” In another funny scene, when they are beginning their trip to Kentucky, Gibbs goes to the trunk of the car to get something, and Jon keeps pulling just ahead of him so he can’t get to the trunk. Jon is like a teenager having fun with Gibbs and it plays humorously in the movie. In another funny moment, Jon, who is still becoming familiar with the Bible that Gibbs gave him, reads Matthew 11:28 about coming to Jesus for rest. Jon then quotes it to a pastor but inverts it and says it’s in Matthew 28:11!

The Christian worldview is very much a part of this film. Gibbs is patient with Jon and his grumpy disposition and his memory loss. Gibbs is quick to mention God and the Bible to Jon in various situations. And, without plot spoiling, Jon goes through an impressive change by the conclusion of the film. It was also good to see a young man named Kyle who shows Christian charity to Jon. There are a few uses of words like “crap” and “heck” and it was nice to see a film without the use of profanity. Jon does something at the end of the film that could be considered committing a crime, but he definitely does it for the right reasons (and it’s for his friend, Gibbs.) This unlikely friendship becomes a treasure to both Jon and Gibbs. The movie has a few interesting twists, including something that the audience learns about Jon’s Alzheimer’s.

This film has earned our Dove seal for Ages 12+. This inspiring film is solidly acted, features a well-crafted plot, and shiningly shows that God places people in our lives to bring out the best in us.


Dove Rating Details


A strong faith message with a character giving another man a Bible and talking of God, and showing Christian compassion; a man slowly changes and realizes the truth of God’s word; two men visit a pastor.


A man gives lemonade to a thirsty man that he doesn’t know well; two men form a bond and look out for one another; a son lets his father know he loves him; a man is determined to help his friend realize his dream.




Crap, Heck



A man is temperamental but doesn’t harm anyone.


A man takes medication for his illness.


A couple of characters are seen in shorts.


A man takes remains from a funeral home, but his goal is to get the man’s ashes to a destination he wanted to reach; a girl has tattoos; a man is cranky and is battling Alzheimer’s.

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