Movie Review: The 5th Quarter
by Dana Chaffin


5th Quarter DVDThe 5th Quarter was released to select theaters on March 25, 2011. To find a theater near you visit The film is based on the touching true story of the Abbate family. It is a story of faith and football. The story shows how this family's tragic loss was transformed into a triumph honoring the memory of 15 year old Luke Abbate.


On February 13, 2006 their lives were changed when Luke and four lacrosse teammates were heading home after practice. The teenage driver, a friend of Luke's, was showing off and speeding when he lost control and crashed off a 70-foot embankment. Still alive Luke was air lifted to the hospital where he died two days later from a massive brain injury. Luke was an advocate for being an organ donor, after long talks about the pros and cons the family decided to honor Luke's wishes and donate his organs. It turns out that decision helped five people have better lives. One of which was a mother with a young daughter that the Abbate family later got to meet. Luke and his brother Jon shared a love for football. After Luke's death Jon questioned ever playing again, but when he decided to play for two in honor of his little brother all doubts were gone. Jon asked his coach if he could change his jersey number to 5 because that was Luke's number. The number 5 plays an important role for the family as they continue to honor Luke. Jon inspired the entire Wake Forest football team to push themselves harder than ever before. Wake Forest was predicted to finish last in their division, but with Jon's drive and motivation leading them, they not only won games, but the championship.

Behind the movie

About the author

Dana Chaffin is a Christian freelance writer who has published many articles on sites like:,, and Passionate about Christian film, her desire is to get the word out about Christian movies to as many people as possible. More...

Rich Deem, editor

The 5th Quarter starts with the tragic accident that took the life of 15 year old Luke Abbate. The talented cast worked closely with the Abbate family to portray the true story of their life. Steven, the father, was played by Aidan Quinn (Desperately Seeking Susan, Legends of the Fall), Maryanne, the mother was played by Andie MacDowell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Groundhog Day), Jon, one of Luke's older brothers, played by Ryan Merriman (Final Destination 3, Home of the Giants), Luke's other brother, Adam played by Matt McGrath, and Luke's sister, Rachel played by Mandy Manis.

Conclusion Top of page

The 5th Quarter is an outstanding story of how the Abbate's faith brought them hope, but their love for each other and Luke is what brought them closer together. This amazing story is hoped to bring awareness of the dangers facing teenage drivers and how important organ donors are to those whose lives they save. The family started The Luke Abbate 5th Quarter Foundation to help with the awareness. Find out more at

5th Quarter DVD
5th Quarter

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Last Modified March 30, 2011


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