Kite-flying scenes are supposed to provide an uplifting metaphor for life before and after the Taliban’s rule, but these images—set to soft soundtrack music that would be best relegated to elevators, or to Smooth Jazz radio stations—are, instead, a drag. The forced visual metaphor becomes tedious.

“There is such a thing as God’s will,” says one of the characters in The Kite Runner, but what is God’s will when it comes to “being good”? Christians know that although we can do good, we can never be good in God’s sight apart from Christ. The theology of The Kite Runner confuses doing good with being good, but Christians will find no fault with Amir’s good actions in and of themselves. Like his father, Amir eventually will choose to risk his life to protect the vulnerable from those who oppress them. His actions are admirable, but the circumstances by which he achieves his goal are more likely to lead to derisive snorts than to the emotional payoff the filmmakers clearly seek.

Though admirable in its message and noble in its intentions, The Kite Runner, as a film, is a noble failure.

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  • Language/Profanity:  Some profanity; anti-homosexual epithet.
  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Some drinking.
  • Sex/Nudity:  A young boy is raped by an older boy; a young boy dances in a suggestive manner for his older captor.
  • Violence:  Discussion of death in childbirth; a boy shoots a slingshot at a dog; kids throw rocks at each other; a story is told about a man who kills his wife; blood drips from a young boy’s pants; a severed goat’s head, with blood drained from it; sexual blackmail is threatened but not carried out; a woman is stoned to death.
  • Religion:  Theft is said to be the main sin, with all other sins a variation on theft; Mullahs and Communists are criticized; the Taliban exercises brutal religious rule, stating that “every sinner must be punished in a manner befitting his sin” before stoning a woman; some Rumi poems are read; Muslims discuss “God’s will”; a Muslim prayer is set to music.