A World Away

3.81 h 12 min2019ALL
Six kids take a trip to the Grand Canyon, but instead find themselves in a whole other world. A Dove approved production.
Mark Blanchard
Rowan BlanchardDavid DeLuiseCaroline Lagerfelt
FantasyAdventureScience FictionKids
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Sal LandiNadine VelazquezMary Lynn Rajskub
Trevor DoyleAlexa Khan
Cinema Epoch
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3.0 out of 5 stars

127 global ratings

  1. 28% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 20% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 10% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 10% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 32% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

GyinkoReviewed in the United States on August 17, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Don't waste 72 minutes of your life.
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I almost turned it off after 10 minutes, but I persevered. After all, I couldn't let it go wandering around out there thinking it was a "great kid's movie". The only part of the movie that was good? It ENDED. They could torture people into talking by playing it over and over, no, wait...just once would be enough to get someone to talk. Some of the actors did well, even though the script was dreadful, so I’ll give a few points to the actors. Overall, there were several disparities that all worked in accordance to my 1-star review. It had a transparent script and storyline, making it easy to figure out what was coming next. The special f/x weren’t that “special”, as in, I could probably have thrown it all together on my regular, out of the box, laptop. There were too many cliches, like, only the smart/nerdy kids wore glasses, the pretty girl was a snob, the fat kid was always eating and/or hiding food, when someone said the name of the movie, during the movie, everyone in the scene paused for that “one second” thing they do, ugh. Even the camera angles were awful, which made me wonder, “What were they looking at over there that was apparently a really big part of the story?” This was the worst movie I've seen in a VERY long time. Now, you might say, "Well it's just a kids movie...maybe kids would get it and you don’t". Okay, granted. So I would say, it should’ve been, at the very least, educational, right? It wasn't. The only "moral" to the story was that "love is good", which I think would be “a given” in any culture or age group, without a movie needing to teach it. So, in conclusion, some “okay acting” and “love is good”. Yup, that about wraps it up. This one was a big stinker.
22 people found this helpful
Tony YoungReviewed in the United States on July 29, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Charming and heartfelt, in the indie spirit
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As science fiction becomes more affordable for independent filmmakers, there will be a trend for these stories to be told outside the studio system. And well they should. For it's the indies that are the voice of the people and of real families, especially when it comes to children's films. The plot is basic sci fi: schoolkids on their way to the Grand Canyon drop through a dimensional rift and end up on another world.

A few nitpicks, the character's knowledge of science isn't clear. In the framing sequence, a little girl remarks they traveled through a "dimension" as opposed to a dimensional rift/vortex/ wormhole or whatever.

Similarly the nerdy boy has his theories but are they based on science fiction that he read or watched online? Or based upon scientific theory that is being tested by their scientists. It seems to come out of nowhere and isn't grounded in the reality of their world. I felt is was a missed opportunity more than anything.

The villains in the beginning (props for casting Asian actors!) were a little too cartoonish, so this is a setup? Do they travel into a cartoon-like world? All great possibilities I felt were never truly explored.

Overall, however, this film has heart, and will play well to children interested in the science fiction genre. What made science fiction great in its golden age was how the average person, the average child adjusts to these marvels of science. In a summer where our films are saturated with super-powered beings (and I'm speaking as a fan) it's nice to go back to basics and explore what made sci fi so fascinating for us as children.
7 people found this helpful
Curtis W. JacksonReviewed in the United States on August 25, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
A World Away is Worldly Awful
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A World Away isn't a world unique for a youth-adventure film; it borrows from other motion pictures, including The Goonies. It is cramming with familiar props, motifs, and stereotypes. It throws in gimmicky special effects (bubbly hot lava) and emotional punches (single parent plus spouse's demise) with little impact, less wonder as a fast-food fantasy. With all this happening, the plotline is as thin as a pre-school child's storybook. In a nutshell, aliens secretly entrusted a cosmic stone to a lonely, home-schooled girl pre-destinated to return it to them.
Before more details are revealing, viewers are confronting some unpleasant nonsense. Three comic alien villains are Asian actors with clownish make-up and rock and roll costumes. In space, they are chasing three, 'good' aliens (Caucasian actors with plastered white make-up, glitter, and elegant garb) striving to preserve their precious stone. If that does not offend you, the scene of a school principal scathingly commenting about a student's hip short attire before her auditorium-filled peers may cause viewers to cringe with discomfort. Before that, the film featured a young victim of bullying.
Does the movie have an identity problem?; no, it has a lousy script lacking thoughtful imagination. A World Away does not have you checking your brains at the door; it also requests audiences leaving their sensibilities behind to enjoy it. The screenplay leaves unexplained, story holes like one, character encountering a mysterious threating creature not seen again. Or how aliens survive centuries awaiting the delivery of their potent jewel; their reasoning is it has to be concealed from the bad guys to save the universe. Oh yeah, right, that makes a lot of sense.
The film includes stock characters including a spoiled rich girl and a brainy, wiz kid (of course, he wears glasses). The youths tease and insult each other, not excluding body appearances. However, hold on to hope; they learn about their personality faults and become good kids! Oh great, you may suffer waiting for the good-feel conclusion. Almost mindlessly, at those tearful moments for hugs, the film toss in a few, more moral lessons for a kicker ender.
Not everything is horrible in A World Apart; it has its moments among the almost 90 minutes running time. Some of the set designs, performances, and special effects are okay. If this sounds encouraging, it is a household project; three of the director's children are starring in the film. However, you may wish to search for a better family motion picture. (The feature is rated PG for adventure peril, thematic elements including parental death, rude remarks, and vomiting.)
8 people found this helpful
Carmen L.Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Fun Movie with a girl called Carmen who doesn't die
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I actually liked this movie, because I am called Carmen as well, and everyone thinks of the opera by Bizet called Carmen and she ends up dead in the end of her story. It's a very depressing opera. So I don't relate to it or want to be associated with it, even though the music can be pretty. This Carmen Does Not Die, and is actually a good leader to the other kids throughout her journey. I did not like that all of the villains were Asian because I think they ought to have had a mix of different races to act as villains to show villainy can affect anyone and not just Asians. Same for the good guys. They ought to not have all been caucasians.

I could understand the woman in command of the evil starship because my own mom once electrocuted me with a cattle prod when I was a 6 year old kid just for fun because she hated me and wanted to traffick me and have ultimate power over everything. But you can't just stand there when someone electrocutes you with a cattle prod. You collapse and lose consciousness and I actually was clinically dead (no heart beat and not breathing). While I was dead, I met the Source of All Light, Jesus Christ, and enjoyed spending time in Heaven. I even got to ride on a huge woolly mammoth. All of the animals that are now extinct are in heaven along with the children who were murdered by abusive parents and angels. Plus I saw all the elephants that were yet to be created waiting to be put on Earth. All of the elephants were in herds and no longer separated by zoos or circuses (like how Dumbo was separated from his mother). The elephant families who were separated on Earth were together in Heaven. That was the part of Heaven I went to. There were giant fields full of wildflowers and trees in forested areas. It was not my time to go yet so Jesus sent me back to my body and I came back to my mom and the elephant tamer at the circus screaming at each other about what they were going to do with my dead body. I had to interrupt them and tell them I was alive. I told them that Jesus Christ does not approve of the guy electrocuting elephants and that besides keeping them together in a herd that gets a lot of exercise by roaming across the land, he needs to not electrocute them, to force them to do tricks because that is really mean. I was glad to explain that I wasn't the only one who thought that but that Jesus thought so too and I had just met him and all the elephants in Heaven. Then my mom picked me up and carried me off before I could get him to agree to stop abusing the elephants and I cried and she beat me. He screamed things at me as she was carrying me off. At least I had the consolation of knowing that the elephants being tortured in the circus would be together in Heaven one day and be happy and with their family members.

So, yes, do follow the Light. The Light is Jesus Christ. Around him circle all other things. Planets, souls, stars. He's like the sun at the center of Creation. I've been blessed enough to meet Him.

Glasses boy was also very relatable. I talk like him. I'm always pointing out science stuff and trying to get people interested. Also I am a Girl Scout. I don't wear glasses. And I am told I am pretty. But I don't bother to wear makeup because meh? Why bother. This is my face, if you don't like it, look the other way. :) Plus I know about being lonely and only making friends with animals like Carmen. And I know about feeling like I'm gonna die and having to try to make tough choices because of it. The toughest to relate to girl was miniskirt girl but I kinda did feel bad because everybody boos her and she is being bullied a lot which happened to me in school. Lots of bullying. I liked the Girl Scout's pragmatic approach that was also compassionate in always being ready with a tissue. She epitomized using actions over words to solve problems despite a scary situation. She helped. everyone stay sane and calm by being kind to everyone and helping them meet their needs. I had a harder time relating to candy bar boy, but he seemed cool. I wonder if he had bulimia? It's harder to catch in boys. Jock boy was also hard to relate to. I liked the realistic arguments and conversations they had that made them seem like real people. I think to make them even more real they ought to have them sing pieces of songs to each other to cheer each other up during an emergency like this.

For a retired naval officer the dad really did not come prepared for a survival situation...not every kid had a water bottle to fill with water, where were his emergency blankets for when the desert gets freezing cold at night? How is he going to prevent hypothermia without them? Why doesn't he have some MREs or granola emergency food rations? Why did they not bring the tarp with them in the first place? It's a good shelter as well as a rainwater catcher. Facepalm. Anyway please go find out what the 10 backpacking essentials are on REI and go take them with you every time you are going on a wilderness trip.

The aliens were pretty cool and sparkly and the cave was sparkly. I liked the octopus and the volcano and the bubbling water. I liked how the red light tried to grab the mini skirt girl and drag her off into the lava - or was the lava just a portal to the space ship with the bad guys??? - when she was angry and arguing to see how her anger can take her to bad places on this planet. And how they worked together to save her and then the green light was around her because she was thankful. She learned to reframe the situation. :)

I liked seeing the dad from Wizards of Waverly Place in another dad role. It suits him. I see him as a nurturing dad who has a lot of love for children in general and his daughter especially, although he trapped Carmen in his glass tower/castle like Rapunzel for too long. So it's good that she gets to see the stars and grow up and visit sometimes. Why did he put the Boy Scout jock in charge though? Because he's a boy? or because he's a scout? Why not put the Girl Scout in charge? Why does he have to put someone in charge? Why can't the kids agree on consensus how to survive together and treat each other as equals? Stupid hierarchy male dominance yuck. Blech. But anyway Carmen shows herself to be a good leader and then they naturally agree to follow her so that she doesn't get lost or drown. Good on them. They see that she is following the light and they want to follow the one who is brave that follows the light. That's better leadership than someone being appointed a leader by someone else who was appointed a leader in some stupid male dominated hierarchical system.

I have some sci-fi physics and quantum physics questions about this movie. If the aliens are supposed to be made of chemical elements we can't see, and the children and Carmen became invisible because of their exposure to the alien technology, how is it that we are able to see Carmen as a grandma now? Shouldn't she still be invisible? Did the molecular structure of their bodies change to make them invisible? Are they even human anymore or some type of hybrid now? I want you to expand on the visibility/invisibility of the aliens and how it affects humans to become invisible? Are they now living in another dimension? Where according to quantum theory, 3D humans could not see the 4D kids/grandma? Or was that supposed to be a tesseract? (Fold in spacetime?) Because the aliens only said that they would take the kids and dad back to their own place and time...but did they also take them back to their own dimension? Or are they all now living in 4D? And how is it that the little boy who lives down the road can see these people in 4D? Has he been through a dimensional shift too?

I tried to imagine someone like Carmen's dad crying and being sad and saying that he or she will always love me even if I go away forever to a far off place, but I had a hard time imagining that kind of bond or love. It must be nice to love deeply. But if you love someone you need to let them go. Don't keep them trapped in your house or even on this planet. Let them come and go at will.

Overall it was a good movie and I will probably watch it again. It's intended for kids, and I am 38, but I like kids sci-fi. :) :)
Miss Josh EmmettReviewed in the United States on April 16, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
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This is a children's Christian movie. I like the fact that they use the word 'Source' from an alien world. It takes almost until the end before God and prayer are mentioned. This, basically, keeps away the trolls. Dove Approved usually screams out that God will be, at least, mentioned.

All the DeLuise sons look alike. But then so do the Baldwins. Just a thought I threw in.

The CGI is not the best as it is a cheaply made Christian movie and they usually are working on credit cards. (Occasionally, they are able to build on their reputation, like PureFlix, who now have money and attract big name stars.) But it is fun to watch for the whole family. This is a kids flick (2 Disney stars) but adults need to get the message, too. And like most Christian films, you can get cheap actors if you just use your own family...the director used all his own kids...LOL

I dropped star because of the bad editing in several spots but they seemed to be under time constraints and that was probably the best way to do it.
NixonzReviewed in the United States on September 4, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
If you don't mind white, male supremacy, you'll get further than we did.
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Dove and Epoch, then Three Flames - I should have known. I'm frustrated by Prime and Netflix carrying shows that are covertly doing their best to instill Christian, patriarchial, and white supremacy ideals and conditioning in children.

The white male (father) is the pure one, the good. The brown crazy female is the bad, contaminator, and greedy for the "power" of the SOURCE (that source that is "always here, everywhere").

Fun idea - this storyline. Production quality is cheese.
So disappointed. My kids were excited after I read the summary. There are plenty of people who WANT to keep conditioning their children in these ways that many of us recognize as damaging. Prime and Netflix could do a lot of good by simply sticking a Christian Cross in the title, or categorizing under religion.
Kenny DavisReviewed in the United States on July 29, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
The Cringe Is Real
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The plot was a muddled mess, the CGI was terrible, the adults were hamming it up to a painful degree, the kids were all over the place character-wise, and the extensive amount of exposition didn't really help anything. It was just weird, and while I think it was trying to have a good message, whatever point they were trying to make just got lost in the cosmic soup of it all. Definitely not a movie that deserves a re-watch.
10 people found this helpful
DaleReviewed in the United States on August 22, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Very Slow Movie to watch. Acting is poor and it is just weird. Took a couple days to watch.
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This wasn't a horrible movie but it was so slow it was very grueling to watch. The morals of the movie aren't bad. It is strange and definitely very low budget. The Plot is basically a group of kids that have their own problems and social standing that go on a sponsored educational trip by a wealthy entrepreneur and his daughter who he is overly protective of her to the extreme. They fly to the grand canyon where they go through a storm/portal to an alternate Grand Canyon and they make an emergency landing in the alternate universe or dimension? Not sure how you would describe it. Anyways, the kids who practically hate each other and want nothing to do with the trip, with the exception of one student, have to figure out how to work together to get back home. This could have been a decent movie if the acting wasn't so poor and forced and the fact that it is so drawn out. So it gets a poor mark for a movie but it isn't the worst movie we have seen. Yeah, it is a family movie but you will probably be bored of it rather quickly for we could only stand to watch 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
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