Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up here
Got more questions about news letters?
Already have an account? Log in here
and the Terms and Policies,
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango.
Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password.
We encourage our community to report abusive content and/ or spam. Our team will review flagged items and determine whether or not they meet our community guidelines.
Please choose best explanation for why you are flagging this review.
Thank you for your submission. This post has been submitted for our review.
Sincerely, The Rotten Tomatoes Team
Dustin, Albert, and Mark are twelve-year-old friends spending their summer together in a small town in 1970. Dustin has a crush on Tanya and gets his friends to help him figure out a way to get her attention. He is way too shy to even talk to her. Dustin's friend Albert thinks it's a bad idea anyway, since Nick, the local bully, likes Tanya also. When the three friends are having pizza together, Nick makes his presence known by stealing a slice for himself. There's nothing they can do since Nick is much bigger and has his friend to back him up.
Dustin mows lawns to earn spending money and is asked by a cheerful senior citizen, Jonathan Sperry, if he would be interested in mowing his lawn. Dustin is delighted to get the new business and becomes quick friends with Mr. Sperry. During their time together Mr. Sperry begins talking to Dustin about Jesus. Soon, Albert and Mark join Dustin in Bible study with Mr. Sperry.
One day, after Bible study, Mr. Sperry tells Dustin he'd like him to start mowing the lawn of the senior gentleman across the street, Mr. Barnes. He tells Dustin not to let Mr. Barnes know who's paying him to do the work. Mr. Barnes is not happy about the situation but allows Dustin to do the work.
The Bible study with Mr. Sperry grows to twelve boys; and to return the favor Dustin, Albert and Mark take Mr. Sperry out for pizza. The boys have told Mr. Sperry about the bully, Nick, and he makes an appearance during the pizza outing. Nick is rude to Mr. Sperry and then gets a big shock when Mr. Sperry tells him he used to know Nick's father who was a Godly man. Nick is clearly impacted hearing the news of his now deceased father.
Nick ends up visiting Mr. Sperry to hear more about his father and over time accepts Jesus as his Lord and Savior and seeks forgiveness from those he has harmed. With Mr. Sperry's help, Nick becomes friends with Dustin, Albert, and Mark.
Dustin finally gets the courage to deliver a note to Tanya, but rather than asking her out in the note he instead tells her about Jesus.
When Mr. Sperry dies unexpectedly, Dustin is devastated. His mother tries to console him but it's no use. Then, out of nowhere, Mr. Barnes shows up at Dustin's house and tells him he will start paying him to mow his lawn and that he knows Mr. Sperry was the one who paid him before. Mr. Barnes also tells Dustin that he has started reading his Bible as Dustin suggested.
Dustin's mother is touched by Mr. Barnes appearance and shares with Dustin that Mr. Barnes was the drunk driver that caused the death of Mr. Sperry's wife. Dustin is amazed that Mr. Sperry was paying him to mow Mr. Barne's lawn.
As Dustin contemplates the life of Mr. Sperry, he realizes the way to honor him is to continue the Bible study group. Dustin gets the twelve boys back together and begins teaching them exactly the way Mr. Sperry did starting with the early lesson the newer boys never heard.
"The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry," is a nostalgic look back at a simpler time in a small town setting that leaves plenty of room for close relationships. The story moves along at a slow comfortable pace with just enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. This is a beautifully produced film with good acting and a nice musical score. There are several touching moments filled with real emotion created by well-developed characters. I think this story would play well to pre-teens but may be a little too simplistic for older teens. In either case, it may help to have some discussion about what life was like in 1970 before watching. Overall, this is an enjoyable story that will play well with a family that appreciates a story about Christian faith.
A bit heavy handed on the religious aspect, but overall I really liked it. I thought the acting was very good. I actually watched it twice in 2 days. I watched by myself then put it on for my Mom to watch and wound up watching the whole movie again!
It was sort of a cute movie a little boring.
1/2 star is too generous. Preachy, boring, poorly acted... don't waste your time.
With a bland script and bad acting, The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry is a predictable and heavy-handed film that constantly preaches, but never entertains.
Ok film. The kid in love stuff was boring. I liked the message of Jonathan and his kindess and faith in God. Finding out near the end what happened to his wife was really sad. When he died, I did shed a tear. Just wasn't a movie that touched me enough. It had a nice story but was overall boring. But I loved the message of God. That girl... Tanya...URGH so glad she didn't end up with Dustin!!!! Apparently the story is true I think...??? the ending has Jonathan's lifeline mentioned but i can't find anything about him online. The other boys were mentioned so they must be real people too. Not sure because they say what happened to characters even in fictional movies sometimes.. I was weirded out by the fact the movie said it took place in 1970. That is just weird because it looked so much like 50's to early 60's to me. Overall I loved the message but wasn't entertaining enough. Mind you, I kept watching
Interesting story. It will captivate you. It will move you.
I don't mind a good faith based movie if it tells an interesting story and is designed to have faith as an aspect of that story. This is a story where they set out to bring faith to the masses and added a simple story, albeit with a good message, around that idea. It makes the movie feel more like a lesson and less like entertainment. The acting is okay. The story is too basic and at times boring. I liked it but won't watch it again or recommend it to others.
I've watched this movie more than one time and I'd rate it a high five every time.
The fact that VUDU, i-TUNES, Amazon Cloud, just to name a few who does not offer this in their programing, shows their prejudges against Christian content.
An exceptional movie, showing the love we should have for our fellow man and why..
A well-meaning attempt to make a positive and encouraging film, but it's very naive with some of the plot and acting. Despite being innocent, the main character's extremely unwise conduct would have got him on the sex offenders register. Ineffective at best, and dangerously ignorant at worst. Made by people who don't live in the real world.