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Priceless (known also as Priceless: She's Worth Fighting For) is a 2016 American Christian romantic drama film about human trafficking, inspired by true events. It was directed by Ben Smallbone and produced by Steve Barnett with a screenplay by Chris Dowling and Tyler Poelle. Starring singer Joel Smallbone of For King and Country, Bianca Santos, Amber Midthunder, Jim Parrack, and David Koechner, it tells the story of a man who has his life changed when he inadvertently delivers two women into the hands of sex traffickers and resolves to save them.

The film is distributed by Roadside Attractions and received a limited release on October 14, 2016 in North America, to gross $1.5 million in total box office receipts and garner mixed critical reviews.

Plot summary

The story is inspired by true events.[1] The main character, James Stevens, after losing his wife and daughter, is unable to hold a steady job and agrees to drive a box truck across the country with no questions asked, then discovers that he is actually "delivering" two girls as part of a human trafficking ring.[1][2] Stevens then must decide what to do and how to fight to shut down a trafficking ring.[3]

Cast

Production

The film was announced in 2015.[3][4] It was inspired by director Ben Smallbone's work on a documentary that followed a former pimp who rescued people from human trafficking, and by the band For King & Country's emphasis on respecting women.[4] Joel Smallbone said, "Part of the DNA of For King & Country is this idea of respect and honor in relationships and women being priceless. What we've found in our beliefs as men is that people are made equal. The film continues the idea that no one is a commodity and everyone deserves to be loved and loved well."[5]

It was filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, beginning in August 2015.[5] Joel Smallbone, who is originally from Australia, worked with dialect coach Steve Corona to "play a bloke from Houston".[5]

Roadside Attractions acquired the distribution rights to the film in August 2016.[6] Roadside Attractions co-president Howard Cohen said, "'Priceless’ is a film that will push those emotional buttons which can engage and transform."[6]

The film was made with four members of the Smallbone family: brothers Joel, Luke, and Ben Smallbone, and their father, David Smallbone.[6][7]

Release

The film debuted in a limited release in 303 theaters on October 14, 2016.

It is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for "mature thematic material involving human trafficking, and some violence."[8]

Reception

Box office

The film grossed $703,200 from 303 theaters in its opening weekend, with an average of $2,321 per theater.[9]

Critical reception

The film has received mixed reviews from critics, and has a 40% approval rating on critical review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes based on 5 reviews.[10] Joe Leydon of Variety magazine gave the film a positive review, calling it "surprisingly involving" and "slickly produced". He wrote, "director Ben Smallbone (brother of the movie's lead player) is adept at generating suspense, particularly during a scene in which James attempts a phone conversation with his daughter while bad guys lurk outside his motel room, and manages to persuasively convey the seediness, desperation, and danger that define the demimonde that Garo rules with a whim of iron. To put it another way: Priceless achieves greater impact through understatement and implication than many other similarly plotted movies do with R-rated explicitness."[11]

Susan Wloszczyna of RogerEbert.com was negative about the film, criticizing it as "cheap and generic." She wrote, "The main intention behind 'Priceless,' besides allowing For King & Country to become involved in the movie business, seems to be a genuine desire to raise awareness of the horrors of the crime of trafficking, not that this PG-13 drama shows anything too graphic. But, on a purely entertainment level, all I know is when the end credits started rolling, I said to myself, 'Thank God.'"[12]

Kimber Myers of the Los Angeles Times was more positive, characterizing it as a "lean drama that relies more on emotion than well-crafted dialogue or character development" and saying, "Though its obvious message may not translate well outside its intended audience, the converted will likely be entertained by the well-produced package the moving themes are delivered in."[13]

Accompanying media

For King and Country recorded Priceless, a song which serves on the film's soundtrack. It was released as a single, and has reached #4 on the Hot Christian Songs chart.[14]

The film was adapted into a novel, titled Priceless: She's Worth Fighting For, which was released on September 6, 2016.[15]

The Hindi remake rights are owned by Dharma Productions which will star Rajkummar Rao and Huma Qureshi in lead roles.

References

  1. ^ a b Roadside Attractions Acquires ‘Priceless’ For Fall Release From Grammy-Winning Smallbone Brothers (Deadline)
  2. ^ Lua error: Cannot create process: proc_open(): fork failed - Cannot allocate memory
  3. ^ a b for KING & COUNTRY Begins Filming Movie (New Release Today)
  4. ^ a b For King & Country make feature film (The Tennessean)
  5. ^ a b c FOR KING AND COUNTRY'S JOEL SMALLBONE STARS IN PRICELESS - THE MOVIE (Air1.com)
  6. ^ a b c Roadside Attractions Buys Smallbone Brothers’ ‘Priceless’ (Variety)
  7. ^ Joel Smallbone of 'For King & Country' to Star in 'Priceless' Movie (Inquisitr.com)
  8. ^ Lua error: Cannot create process: proc_open(): fork failed - Cannot allocate memory
  9. ^ Lua error: Cannot create process: proc_open(): fork failed - Cannot allocate memory
  10. ^ Priceless (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes
  11. ^ Film Review: ‘Priceless’ (Variety)
  12. ^ Lua error: Cannot create process: proc_open(): fork failed - Cannot allocate memory
  13. ^ Lua error: Cannot create process: proc_open(): fork failed - Cannot allocate memory
  14. ^ Lua error: Cannot create process: proc_open(): fork failed - Cannot allocate memory
  15. ^ Lua error: Cannot create process: proc_open(): fork failed - Cannot allocate memory

Lua error: Cannot create process: proc_open(): fork failed - Cannot allocate memory

External links