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Approved for 12+

Unsung Hero

When David Smallbone’s successful music company collapses, he moves his family from Down Under to the States, searching for a brighter future. With nothing more than their six children, suitcases, and their love of music, David (For King & Country’s Joel Smallbone) and his pregnant wife Helen (Daisy Betts) set out to rebuild their lives. Based on a remarkable true story, Helen’s faith stands against all odds and inspires her husband and children to hold onto theirs. With their own dreams on hold, David and Helen begin to realize the musical prowess in their children, who would go on to become two of the most successful acts in Inspirational Music history: five-time Grammy Award-winning artists For King & Country and Rebecca St. James.

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Positive Rating

Dove Review

This remarkable story features the Smallbone family, father David and mother Helen, as well as their six children. They are based in Australia and David has led a flourishing music company, managing artists such as Amy Grant. However, when his company loses millions of dollars, suddenly the family decides to relocate to the States for a fresh start. Helen is pregnant and the goal is to rebuild their lives, and to gain a solid financial base. But leaving behind parents and family won’t be easy.

This is a powerful movie, riveting with its drama and challenges for David and his family. Nicely written, tightly directed, and very well-acted, I found myself transfixed by the onscreen happenings and drama.

Joel Smallbone is spot on in portraying his real-life dad, David. He plays David as a loving father but caught up in the business of providing for his family. When one thing after another goes wrong, his pride is challenged and his self-image as the family provider is shaken.

Equally good is Daisy Betts, who plays Helen, the loving, compassionate wife, and mother who doesn’t waver in her Christian faith. Her faith in God is a steady foundation for the family, which does indeed face several financial storms and seemingly one crisis after another. Promises of jobs for David fall apart as several entertainment and business people renege on their commitments. In one gripping scene, when bad news comes yet again, Helen cries into her pillow.

Based on a true story, including the revealing of Rebecca St. James, here known as Rebecca Smallbone, as a major artist, the film doesn’t disappoint. The viewer will no doubt marvel from time to time at the resilience of this exceptional family.

It does a good job of showing the difference that people who are willing to help can make. In this case, Jed and Kay Albright (Lucas Black and Candace Cameron Bure) help the family, taking them in, helping with daycare, and financial blessings. The family goes from having no furniture or vehicle, to being blessed with both. David does, however, have to deal with his pride issues a bit. As Christmas approaches, there are no gifts. But Helen insists the family list what they want for presents. Sure enough, some Christmas carolers “happen along” and they have gifts for each family member. Yet the family helps themselves when possible, working at odd jobs such as cleaning homes and doing yard work.

Despite one trial and test after another, Helen’s unrelenting faith in God grounds the family. And the kids manage to sing Christian songs, give thanks, and maintain an attitude of gratefulness. That, along with a few humorous scenes, helps to keep the movie from feeling too negative as the family navigates the stormy waters of their lives.

In one humorous scene, as the family is flying on a plane, a daughter has fallen asleep, with her leg draped on a non-family member passenger’s knee. He gently removes her leg and places her foot on the floor of the plane.

Helen winds up in the delivery room of the hospital, and the bill totals $6,258.23. And the family has no insurance. Yet, miraculously, the bill is paid. And the new addition to their family, a little girl, is a true blessing.

The family will need every bit of hope they can find. Teenaged daughter Rebecca is blessed with a wonderful voice. David helps her find an audition with a record executive. She is promised a record deal and $10,000 up front. However, the deal falls through and then the family receives the sad news of a loved one who has passed in Australia. David falls into a depression and doesn’t want to get out of bed for a time. But the family presses on, including David, who cleans rooms to help his family pay their bills. And to add insult to injury, a recording artist who has employed the family to clean his house is on the phone and David overhears him refer to him as the “cleaning guy.” Yet, little does anyone know that the artist, Eddie Degarmo (Jonathan Jackson), will play a part in their future hopes and dreams. Rebecca writes and sings a song, titled You Make Everything Beautiful, and the family’s fortunes will soon change.

From a Christian worldview, the entire family, especially the mother, displays tough faith in the moments of adversity. They pray to the Lord, give thanks, attend church, and hold on to their commitment to Christ. They sometimes display flaws, but they persevere and carry on. And the emphasis on the importance of the love of your family is nicely dramatized. The movie is recommended for Ages 12+ but as parents check out our content listing, they might be fine with their children just under 12 watching it too.

THINK ABOUT IT: There are wonderful discussion points for the families that watch this film, including the importance of each individual family member. And keeping one’s faith in God and believing that He will make everything beautiful in its time, as quoted by scripture and brought to life in the song by the same name. And it ends with a quote by Mother Teresa who said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”

THE DOVE TAKE: What a blessing if every family could watch this movie together – it’s that good!

Dove Rating Details


Several examples of faith including family prayer, church attendance, Bible verses, and songs sung unto the Lord.


The family works at odd jobs to help themselves out, the family trusts the Lord when various people break promises to them, the family forgives the flaws in its members.






During an argument with her husband, when he becomes very angry and verbal, his wife slaps him and tells him to leave.


At a toast, it’s possible some alcohol was consumed but it’s not clear.




Death and grief; tension between characters; certain characters do not keep their word; job loss and the struggles of a family barely surviving.

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