love, kennedy

LOVE, KENNEDY Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT’S LOVE, KENNEDY ABOUT? A terminally-ill teen inspires a community with her love and faith in this new film by T.C. Christensen (17 Miracles, Ephraim’s Rescue, The Cokeville Miracle). Based on a true story. Available on Bluray and DVD. IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A-) To see a T.C. Christensen film in a crowded theater is to experience surround-sou ...[Read More]

october baby

OCTOBER BABY Family Movie Review

OCTOBER BABY review (Grade: A-) Conveying several poignant messages with handsome production values and solid acting, October Baby emerges as an early candidate for the best faith-based film of the year. Tackling the thorny issue of abortion with compassion and intelligence, it tells the story of Hannah, a 19-year old who learns that her various health problems are the result of being born after a ...[Read More]

nativity story

Overlooked Gem: THE NATIVITY STORY (2006)

I absolutely love this film, not merely because it tells a story that’s central to my beliefs, but because it tells it so well. The Nativity Story is a spiritually edifying film with a keen sense of historical insight, emotional authenticity, and scriptural accuracy. Indeed the only minor change I noted was that the three wise men arrive the night of Christ’s birth, as per tradition, n ...[Read More]

states of grace

Overlooked Gem: STATES OF GRACE (2005)

Elf. A Christmas Story. Home Alone. It’s a Wonderful Life. Miracle on 34th Street. The movies we watch around the holidays get us in the yuletide mood and often lift our spirits. Though I’m a fan of all those films and more, there’s a nagging problem: most of our beloved Christmas movies have nothing to do with Jesus Christ. One overlooked gem helps fill that gap, 2005’s St ...[Read More]

two brothers

TWO BROTHERS Family Movie Review

TWO BROTHERS: THE 5000 DAYS PROJECT REVIEW (GRADE: A-) In a time when a prominent pastor has stirred up the nation by labeling The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints “a cult,” leave it to another Protestant deliver the most compelling argument for the Christianity of Mormons and their faith. With Two Brothers, documentary filmmaker Rick Stevenson launches the decade-in-the-making 5000 Day ...[Read More]

mighty macs

THE MIGHTY MACS Family Movie Review

THE MIGHTY MACS REVIEW (GRADE: C) Bogged down by an abundance of sports-movie cliches, occasionally flat dialogue, and uneven direction, the women’s basketball drama The Mighty Macs nevertheless succeeds as family entertainment thanks to its sincerity and strong acting by its lead players. Telling the true story of a down-on-its luck Catholic women’s college in the 1970’s, the fi ...[Read More]


REDEMPTION Family Movie Review

REDEMPTION (AKA FOR ROBBING THE DEAD) REVIEW (GRADE: A-) Like Saints and Soldiers before it, Redemption is a gritty and realistic offering from Mormon Cinema that carries broad appeal; in both cases only audiences “in the know” would pick up on clues that some of the characters are Latter-Day Saints. A hit at the Heartland Film Festival and the LDS Film Festival, Redemption should appe ...[Read More]


COURAGEOUS Family Movie Review

COURAGEOUS REVIEW (Grade: B+) Courageous is the latest film from Sherwood Pictures, the Christian film studio responsible for uplifting faith-based fare such as Facing the Giants and Fireproof. It is in many ways the most accomplished film yet from the Baptist filmmakers out of Georgia, though it shares the same weaknesses as their previous efforts. As in those movies, moments of genuine dramatic ...[Read More]

joseph smith


REVIEW (GRADE: A-) This has been a prolific decade for films about Joseph Smith. Ten years ago the Church produced The Restoration, a lovely short film about the First Vision (watch it here) that improved greatly on the cheesy and dated 1976 version. Then non-Mormon actor Jonathan Scarfe brought conviction and charisma to the role in the Work and the Glory trilogy, his performance arguably the bes ...[Read More]

17 miracles banner

17 MIRACLES Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT’S 17 MIRACLES ABOUT? Trailblazer Levi Savage leads a group of Mormon pioneers on a life-and-death trek across the United States, with tragedies and miracles along the way. IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A-) 17 Miracles not only stands among the best of the genre, it may be the best film yet from Mormon cinema. It is a moving, faith-inspiring a ...[Read More]