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Saint Ralph (2005)



Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 68
Fresh: 43 | Rotten: 25

Saint Ralph is an amiable tear-jerker that walks a fine line between being inspirational and being hokum.


Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 27
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 11

Saint Ralph is an amiable tear-jerker that walks a fine line between being inspirational and being hokum.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 6,112

My Rating

Movie Info

This is the story of Ralph Walker, a 14-year-old who in 1954 outran everyone's expectations in his bold quest to win the Boston Marathon. His seriously ill mother knows he is waiting to explode into greatness, except that he has no idea where that greatness will manifest itself. Then, an unfortunate incident of self-abuse in the community pool inadvertently points him in the right direction. As penance for his actions, Ralph is conscripted to the cross-country team. Desperate to believe a


Drama, Comedy

Michael McGowan

Dec 13, 2005


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All Critics (72) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (25) | DVD (7)

Canadian writer-director Michael McGowan has packed it so full of earnestness that viewers end up jogging along.

August 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Funny, touching and uplifting.

August 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's worth seeking out this bittersweet comedy with its emotionally resonant story and stellar performances.

August 5, 2005 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Even when it's pushing the limits of shameless manipulation, this cheeky Canadian film has charm and wit.

August 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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You can't argue with the message. But its well-worn homilies might give you reason to question the messenger.

August 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's hard to dislike schmaltz as mild as Saint Ralph, but let's try: The film is as bland as a communion wafer, sentimental as a Christmas homily, and predictable as the liturgy.

August 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Comment (1)
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The heart of the film and ensemble, however, is Adam Butcher. If there's any justice, this guy could have a hell of a career. Highly recommended.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

What writer-director Michael McGowan has pulled off is a bit of a miracle.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

For the jaded moviegoer, here's a little film that just might restore your faith -- in movies and a whole lot more.

October 2, 2006
Christianity Today

A likable little underdog-triumphs drama from Canada... This is a case where my idealistic side won out over my cynical side.

December 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Fantastica Daily
Fantastica Daily

Butcher carries the film well, interpreting Ralph as a tangle of mixed-up yearnings tempered with an indomitable drive.

September 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

The comic aspects of this comedy-drama are overly broad and forced, while the supposedly dramatic ones are cloying and treacly.

August 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

This wincingly earnest comedy-drama could rival the maple tree as Canada's leading producer of sap.

August 26, 2005
Salt Lake Tribune

A hooey-slathered film that combines the Catholic school humor of 'Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?' with the rah-rah uplift of an underdog sports story.

August 26, 2005
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

An overly convenient plot is the main con in Ralph, which includes a devastating fire, an assist from a celebrity and at least one miracle, all of which show up exactly when the plot needs help moving forward.

August 25, 2005 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Ralph may be more a sinner than a saint, and his movie may be a little cheesy, but who cares - I thoroughly enjoyed following him on his quest.

August 19, 2005 Full Review Source:

...a small, straightforward story that has its heart in the right place, even if its hokey sentimentality keeps it from reaching the finish line.

August 19, 2005 Full Review
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

The movie rests on (Adam) Butcher, and the actor proves to be a well-rounded smart aleck in the making.

August 16, 2005

If McGowan pushes the religious themes too hard, his greatest sin is that he leads you to believe that the story is true.

August 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

It's all very cute and predictable. Still it's a fun movie...

August 7, 2005
Greenwich Village Gazette

Pushes itself as strenuously as its young protagonist, but ultimately collapses in a welter of sentiment, cuteness and whimsy.

August 6, 2005 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

McGowan's film demonstrates how sometimes the strongest acts of faith can only occur entirely outside the church.

August 5, 2005 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Saint Ralph

Full of wit, candor, and love abounding. One of my absolute favorites.
July 13, 2010

Super Reviewer

Lovely, touching film of hope and faith. Wonderful performances.
January 7, 2010
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

    1. Nurse Alice: You made us all feel like part of something big. That doesn't happen every day.
    – Submitted by Frances H (59 days ago)
    1. Father George Hibbert: As far as anarchist go, Nietzsche really had nothing on Christ.
    – Submitted by Frances H (59 days ago)
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