Gone Baby Gone


On a recent recommendation, my wife and I watched the movie, Gone Baby Gone.

This is probably one of the best (and disturbing) movies I have seen in a long time. Here is the plot summary:

When 4 year old Amanda McCready disappears from her home and the police make little headway in solving the case, the girl’s aunt Beatrice McCready hires two private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro. The detective freely admit that they have little experience with this type of case, but the family wants them for two reasons – they’re not cops and they know the tough neighborhood in which they all live. As the case progresses, Kenzie and Gennaro face drug dealers, gangs and pedophiles. When they finally solve the case, they are faced with a moral dilemma that tears them apart.

My first thought was, “How do we make sense of this movie from a Christian perspective?” I would encourage you to watch it and see what you think. This would be a great movie to watch with an unbeliever and then talk about ethics, morals and what is the meaning of justice afterward the viewing. This movie will force you to deal with extremely hard questions, but they desperately need to be thought through.

There are tons of F bombs in this movie and extremely dark subject matter, so be forewarned. This being the case, I think we have to confront these issues and think through them from the perspective of a Christian worldview if we are to have meaningful interaction with a world that actually deals with this issues.

If you have seen it, let me know what you thought of it.  My thought after seeing it was that we don’t have to pick between justice and mercy, but we can embrace both.  If you have not seen the movie that will mean nothing to you, but watch it see what you think.

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3 responses to “Gone Baby Gone

  1. Stellar movie. I love movies that make you wrestle with issues. For me the most striking thing is the portrayal of the depravity of man. I think the film showed the striking inability of man to change himself and change his world. Casey Affleck’s character is left with the reality that he is utterly incapable of changing this woman and the plight of this child. He cannot watch her forever.
    He is also incapable of ridding the world of monsters and sin. He is an incapable savior. He cannot atone for his sin and is left with regret and remorse over his decision. Even in doing what he thought was right and executing what he thought was justice, he was incapable of providing the type of justice and the type of mercy that was needed for the characters in this movie. I thought the morality play element was so moving and ultimately true. It did remind me that there is only one hope and that is the risen Lord Jesus who will set things right.

  2. Justin,

    Great thoughts. The feeling I had at the end was the essential mixture of justice and mercy. During the movie we are all led to ask, or led to believe that we have to pick between justice and mercy. Do we turn him in or not? Why?

    I think we have to turn him in, but keeping in mind that if I choose to turn him in, am I obligated to show mercy to the little girl? I think so. Thus, since Casey knew that Mom was totally check out, if he returns the girl to her, then he is obligated to help as much as he can which was eluded to at the with them sitting on the couch together. We should not have to pick between justice and mercy. We should seek to embrace both, as we see most clearly in the Cross.

  3. Zach,
    That is a great way to look at it. I didn’t think about the obligation he feels to give mercy to the girl. Powerful connection to the thought on mercy or justice. The cross connects both.

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