This movie, from the makers of Fireproof and Facing the Giants, has had a lot of hype around here. I have seen at least two tweets from Piper recommending it as well as links to movie reviews raving about it. In addition our church’s new Children’s Pastor was super excited to see it, our church bought 75 tickets for our men to go see it, and Pastor read the resolution from the pulpit after he preached about men being proper servant leaders in their homes.
I was not able to go to see the movie with our church due to an out of state wedding. I went last night. I haven’t done a movie review before, so we’ll see how this goes.
The christian movie was family based, containing scenes of action, scenes full of emotion, and comic relief. It’s target audience is men who are not doing their best as fathers, but just “being pretty good dads.” It was the best Christian movie I’ve seen, and I would say it was pretty good.
It was a Christian film. The Gospel presentation was clear. The conversation among Christians within the film was life-like and referenced church and God without presenting it as a Sunday School lesson where that is what they need to say because they are in church. It did not seem hypocritical preachyness. The principles that brought about the turning point in the movie were not from some random sense of morality or ethics but plainly from Scripture.
Meant for fathers, it was not apologetic in its purpose. It featured many different situations of fatherhood. It was about as comprehensive as I imagine you could make it. Each different father had a different lesson to learn and some different aspect of application of the principles presented. Those watching the movie could sympathize with at least one or more of the characters and families. The emphasis was on the lessons that could be learned, and I can see many people learning things and being encouraged from them.
However, I don’t know that everyone will come out of there challenged. Anyone that has a solid conviction or a Biblical pursuit should only find a reinforcement of what they are already praying for. Being a husband who loves his wife as Christ loved the church is a more sobering thought than reading a resolution on being a good man, no matter how well written or how much Biblical proposition it holds (in my opinion). Finding in your Bible the command of holy God to lead with a servant’s heart, leaves little conviction left for a movie. But then, many people are moved or convicted by a devotional book than they might be by reading God’s Word, and this movie is a good devotional.
That leads to my next point, not only should this be seen by fathers, as marketed, but I think it should probably be the instructional video for any Arminian-alter-call seminar. It had everything you need. It was an roller coaster with emotional highs and lows and sharp facts to supplement them. It has some Biblical principle and maybe a verse or two. It hit you over and over with sorrow and as you began to recover and softened to the humor it hit you again. I’m not very emotional and as I was prepared, I didn’t cry, but I can definitely attest to the power of the strategy as my emotions were twisted. The end was nothing more than a theatrical altar call, literally. It ended at the church with the main father up front calling others to be good fathers. People crying all over in the movie encouraged you to cry, and the call to stand up within the movie made me (and others?) afraid to stand up to leave at the credits because it might seem that I am responding to the call in the movie. It was more moving than 25 verses of “Just as I Am,” and a pastor trying to persuade you that God’s plan is down at the front of the aisle.
Whether you would find the movie entertaining is a matter of your personal preference. I don’t tend to watch emotional movies. I don’t often watch family dramas, and so for me this was not about entertainment. Was it a good movie? Yeah; it was not full of pointless drama or mindless fads. It was clean and seemed true to real life. Be ready to cry and laugh and then do it again. It offers Biblical truth and principles on being a man, and father. It can be convicting if you are open, and that isn’t bad. When presented with truth in various forms, conviction can and should happen. It might not if you are already convinced or convicted, or it might not if you can just ignore application of truth to your life. It is encouraging to see a better quality Christian film, and hope that they continue to get better. Though if they continue on the theme of family, I’m not sure if we will ever have a good Christian movie with intrigue or plot twists, but perhaps down the road.
Not something you need to see in theaters, but something that you might want to see when it comes out on video.
(If I need to give it stars, I guess I would say: 3 out of 5)