With Reel Redemption: The Rise of Christian Cinema, film critic Tyler Smith searches through the history of cinema to enlighten audiences on the relationship religious filmmakers and movie goers have with Hollywood. Smith’s thorough research allows the writer/director to cite specific film eras and different secular representations in order to pitch an unbiased visual essay, while his articulate opinions and personable narration give movie goers a degree of comfort towards the film’s guiding hand.
When a film is described as “faith-based”, it seems to be a seal of fate for audiences who are ready to will it away if they don’t necessarily share the same beliefs. For filmmakers, it’s a tactic to deflect those same movie goers (and some critics) away from their work. But Overcomer, the latest film from Alex Kendrick (Fireproof, Courageous, War Room), could be a watershed for both sides.
Breakthrough will make you believe. While movie goers devout to Christianity may immediately apply that statement to the film’s faith-based structure, Roxann Dawson’s movie reenforced my belief in the kindness of people.
I Can Only Imagine is, more or less, about the act of forgiveness. And just like that personal journey, this movie starts out tough before it starts feeling better for everyone.
Let There Be Light, a directorial feature debut from Hercules’ Kevin Sorbo, is the latest entry in the faith-based sub-genre. This Christian family film has been a passion project of Sorbo’s, with an added bonus of being able to work closely with his wife, Sam (who co-wrote the script with The Hurricane’s Dan Gordon). While mirroring certain details of God’s Not Dead (another devout drama Kevin Sorbo starred in as a similar atheist), Let There Be Light gives audiences…
Let There Be Light is a gratuitous entry into the popular faith-based sub-genre, but it acknowledges some interesting albeit heavy-handed ideas about being open to change.
The Devout is a new addition to the faith-based genre, and it’s actually a pretty cool flick. You don’t often hear “cool” in the same discussion as recent faith-based cinema, so I assume I already have your attention.
By: Nick Ferwerda Mackenzie Phillips (Avatar’s Sam Worthington) is a family man who grew up with a tough childhood. Grateful and married, everything in his life – at this point – seems to be going great.
God’s Not Dead had an interesting concept, but a boring execution. It made me feel bad for the teenage extras who had to sit through pages of long-winded dialogue as a devout student went toe-to-toe with his atheist professor.
The producers of the surprising Heaven Is for Real offer audiences a similar slice with the pleasant yet generic Miracles from Heaven.