It has been a very long time since I left a film and thought WOW.  Poignant, well-written, acted, and directed films that don’t feel pretentious seem to be few are far between these days. However, after watching A Good Person I can’t stop thinking about it. 

A Good Person is a new film written and directed by Zach Braff. While I didn’t see Wish I Was Here, I am a huge fan of Garden State. Not only does the film have one of the greatest soundtracks, but the film is also incredible. Watch it if you haven’t. A Good Person stars some of my favorite actors from Florence Pugh (Don’t Worry Darling), Morgan Freeman (Seven), and Molly Shannon (I Love That For You). 

From the trailer, the film seems like it’s going to be a sad story about a girl who accidentally killed her fiances’ sister, and brother-in-law, and her journey to forgiveness. However, it’s so much more than that. 


In A Good Person, Florence Pugh plays Allison, the girl who seems to have it all. She’s well-liked with a ton of friends, she’s engaged to an amazing guy, and has a promising future. However, all that changes in the blink of an eye. On her way to try on dresses with her soon-to-be sister and brother-in-law a quick glance at her phone map changes her life forever. The group is in a horrible car accident leaving Allison in critical condition and killing her family. 

As the story unfolds, we see Allison struggle with survivor’s guilt, addiction, depression, and so much more. What I love about her arc in A Good Person is that it’s a story of grief that we don’t tend to see – Survivors Guilt. Survivors Guild is a real symptom of PTSD. I appreciate Braff bringing attention to a real issue that tends to be overlooked. Watching Pugh is a master class in acting. She is absolutely incredible and I will not be surprised when she wins the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2024. 


It would be easy to only follow Allison on her tumultuous mental health journey in A Good Person. However, the script makes sure that every character is well-rounded and important. Allison’s mother is played by Molly Shannon who adds a fun juxtaposition and lightheartedness to Allison’s darkness. In one of her darkest moments, Allison’s mother is drunk and talking outside her bedroom door talking about how they should make money on Etsy. This moment is desperately needed while keeping the viewer in Allison’s shoes. It easily could’ve taken away from the seriousness of what she’s going through, but somehow makes it heavier. 

Morgan Freeman plays Daniel, the father of Allison’s fiance, Nathan (Chinaza Uche), and his sister Molly (Nichelle Hines) who passed in the accident. After his daughter’s passing, Daniel now finds himself raising his teenage granddaughter, Ryan (Celeste O’Connor). Daniel is also sober and in a fateful turn of events, Allison finds herself at the same AA/NA meeting as Daniel. She is more than willing to leave, but Daniel insists she stays. Throughout the film, we learn about why Nathan and his father are so estranged, as well as his true feelings about Allison and the accident. 

Throughout the pair’s journey, they somehow manage to help heal each other in ways they never saw coming. They simultaneously hit rock bottom, a place they both thought they had already been, and better themselves for it. While Nathan and Ryan could’ve easily been thrown away side-characters, they are seamlessly woven into the journey.


A Good Person is an almost flawless storytelling in my opinion. However, there’s a scene toward the 11th hour that makes zero sense to me. This will be spoiler territory so skip ahead if worried. 

One night when Ryan and Allison go off together, they end up at a party. While there, Ryan and Allison get wasted. Allison passes out, and Ryan ends up in a room with the guy she’s interested in. 

After Daniel’s Sponsor, Simone (Zoe Lister-Jones) helps him figure out how to use find my phone, he grabs his hidden bottle of Whiskey (which he hasn’t touched in 10 years), as well as his gun. Then, we’re led to believe that he drinks it in the car…with his sponsor…fast enough to get wasted enough to break the bottle when getting out of the car. He then proceeds to pull a gun on the teenage boy with the intent of killing him. He’s got “nothing left to lose”.

While I understand this is supposed to be a huge moment it honestly feels incredibly forced and out of place. It’s the most unrealistic beat of the entire film. From what we know of the sponsor there’s NO WAY she would allow this behavior from Daniel in her car. She would’ve left him at home and gone to get Ryan herself. 

That being said, A Good Person is a phenomenal watch and an acting mastery class. Make sure to see it in theaters on March 24, 2023.