christian cinema

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)

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) 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 ...[Read More]

states of grace

Overlooked Gem: STATES OF GRACE (2005)

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) 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 hel ...[Read More]

rick stevenson

Rick Stevenson: Capturing Latter-day Saints Through a Protestant Lens

Debuting between General Conference sessions and a hit on BYU-TV, Rick Stevenson’s entertaining and engaging documentary Two Brothers follows a pair of Latter-Day Saint youth (the director’s nephews) across ten years of their lives, capturing heartbreak, inspiration, tragedy, and triumph along the way. The first in a series of films that will display the lives of adolescents as they mature through ...[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 film is anchored by ...[Read More]

redemption

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 a ...[Read More]

courageous

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 dramati ...[Read More]

soul surfer

SOUL SURFER Family Movie Review

GRADE: B Christian cinema has been gaining traction in recent years, and with box-office dollars comes increased production values and bigger-name actors. Fortunately what matters most, a focus on the sustaining power of faith, compassion, and family, isn't lost in the shuffle in the case of Soul Surfer. Based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a teen surfing prodigy who lost an arm to a tiger ...[Read More]

of gods and men family review

OF GODS AND MEN Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (family therapist, film critic) A stunning examination of the courage it takes to dedicate oneself to Christ and to the needs of others, Of Gods and Men feels a lot like real life. The naturalistic acting and film-making style make this 2011 movie play as if it were shot on location in 1996 when the actual events occurred. The stellar ensemble cast, led by Lambert Wilson (The Ma ...[Read More]