The Penny


“The Penny” is a drama/thriller that follows a series of seemingly insignificant events in a number of people’s lives. Hidden amidst their “bigger” problems, these disconnected pieces of their lives go unnoticed until they begin to fit together in a totally unexpected way. Suddenly these strangers are thrust together by what some would call luck, chance, fate, coincidence, or even destiny. But is it something even bigger than that?

“What a coincidence!”

“That was a lucky break!”

“It was fated to happen.”

We hear these kinds of phrases all the time, from Christians and non-Christians alike. defines “coincidence” as “a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance.”  Proverbs 20:24 says, “Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?”  Sometimes things happen in life that seem to happen by chance, with no rhyme or reason, both good and bad.  When we’re in the midst of them, we wonder what God could possibly be up to.

The Penny is a gripping drama/thriller that deals with the topic of whether our lives are ruled by chance, or whether it’s the Providence of God.  It follows the stories of a number of people, living their own separate lives, who find themselves thrown together in the most unlikely way imaginable.  On the one hand, a loving, Christian dad struggling to hold onto his teenage daughter’s heart while dealing with his wife’s mysterious illness and haunted by the death of his partner when he was a detective.  On the other hand, a jaded, broke owner of a gas station being hounded by bill collectors and on the brink of divorce after his wife’s unfaithfulness.  All the while, two young men with criminal histories find themselves under the scrutiny of a suspicious detective and their lives threatened if they don’t pay a gang boss.

On top of the overarching theme of coincidence, this film deals with such issues as teen rebellion and drinking, murder, alcoholism, serious illness, and criminal activity.  While parents should exercise discretion in showing this to their younger children, The Penny deals with these topics very tastefully. It’s a great example of how a film can effectively tackle tough issues without dragging the viewer through the vileness of sin.  Too often, Christian filmmakers feel they must put foul language, sex and violence in their films to be more “real” than the usual sterile fare that populates the Christian film market.  I would urge them to watch The Penny, which could have very easily been much more graphic in its portrayal of sin.  If they do, they’ll see that not only is it possible to leave out objectionable content and still be “real,” but that, in the end, it makes for a much more satisfying experience for the viewer.

The casting on this film was very well done, and the main characters are all very convincing in their respective roles.  Some of the acting does suffer with the minor characters, though there was only one scene that really made me cringe.  On the whole, though, and especially in the climax, the film was very well acted, and the performances really suck you into the story.

The Penny will take you on a gripping and tense journey with twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end!


The Penny

Release: 2010

Genre: Drama/Thriller/Faith

Run Time: 88 min.


Production Company: Filmweavers, LLC

Directed by: Nathan Webster

Produced by: Micah Webster, Nathan Webster, Dustin Ledden, Ethan Ledden

Screenplay by: Nathan Webster

Starring: Tom Lodewyck as Jack, Brian Morvant as Rick, Kyle Walters as Kurt, Molly Kunz as Kate, Dan Bell as Dan, Mario Andre as Darrell

Available on DVD.