The Shepherd parents guide

The Shepherd Parent Guide

A supernatural Christmas story that manages to be inspiring instead of scary, this movie is suitable for festive family viewing.

Overall A-

Disney+: When a pilot is lost over the North Sea, another plane appears and leads him home.

Release date December 1, 2023

Violence A
Sexual Content A
Profanity A-
Substance Use B-

Why is The Shepherd rated PG? The MPAA rated The Shepherd PG for mild thematic elements

Run Time: 38 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Freddie Hook is resigned to spending the Christmas of 1957 on his Royal Air Force base in West Germany. Then a fellow pilot is injured and Freddie seizes the chance to assume his England-bound flight that night. With a forecast of clear skies until morning, it looks like a quick shot across the North Sea. He’ll be home for breakfast on Christmas morning.

The calm of the silent night is shattered for Freddie when his instruments go haywire. With a broken compass and dead radio, the pilot is lost in the winter skies over the frigid North Sea. As the fog rolls in, Freddie no longer has the ability to navigate his way home – he’s flying blind over a mass of white clouds and his fuel reserves are dropping.

Desperate for aid, Freddie prays for God to send someone to lead him through the fog and safely to the nearest runway. What happens next is the last thing he expects…

Based on Frederick Forsyth’s bestselling novella, The Shepherd is a supernatural Christmas story, a tale of fear, hope, wonder, and gratitude. Director Ian Softley wisely chose to stick to the bones of the story, keeping the movie to 38 minutes instead of bloating it up to fill a more normal runtime. As a result, the story moves along briskly, staying focused on the terror and relief of Freddie’s experience. In this case, less is definitely more.

This film also keeps negative content to a minimum. With minor alcohol consumption and a single minor profanity, this movie is suitable for older school aged kids, especially if they are interested in airplanes. Best of all, the movie won’t bore parents either. In fact, if your parents or grandparents served in the military, this production might just feel like a seasonal tribute to their courage and sacrifice. And that’s something you can’t put under the tree.

Directed by Ian Softley. Starring Ben Radcliffe, John Travolta, Millie Kent. Running time: 38 minutes. Theatrical release December 1, 2023. Updated

Watch the trailer for The Shepherd

The Shepherd
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Shepherd rated PG? The Shepherd is rated PG by the MPAA for mild thematic elements

Violence: None.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: A single minor profanity is used.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults drink alcohol in moderate amounts.

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The Shepherd Parents' Guide

What do you think about Freddie’s rescue? Do you think such a thing is possible? How do you think you would feel if you were Freddie? What kind of impact do you think his experience would have on his life?

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This movie is based on a novella, The Shepherd, written by Frederick Forsyth. Mr. Forsyth was best known for his thrillers, particularly The Day of the Jackal.

Home Video

Related home video titles:

If you’re looking for inspiring military stories, you can try Saints and Soldiers, a PG-13 story about a group of American servicemen caught behind enemy lines during the Battle of the Bulge.

Set during the Korean War, Devotion offers strong messages about loyalty, courage, and racial equality. Also rated PG-13, this movie is suitable for teens.

Despite its Restricted rating, 1917 is a powerful film of courage, less, and resilience. Technically brilliant, this movie can be watched by older teens.

Also set during World War I, Joyeux Noel tells the tale of the Christmas Eve ceasefire. This European production has some sexual content but it also tells a powerful tale of hope, faith, and human connection.

Sometimes it takes more courage not to fight. Desmond Doss is a Seventh Day Adventist, who refuses to kill for religious reasons. Serving as a medic during the Battle of Okinawa, Doss puts his life on the line in Hacksaw Ridge.

Another GI battles to keep the faith in Unbroken. When he’s taken prisoner by the Japanese, Louis Zamperini is stretched to the breaking point by the horrors of the POW camp. His story continues in Unbroken: Path to Redemption.