mormon cinema

midway to heaven

MIDWAY TO HEAVEN Family Movie Review

Jonathan Decker (family therapist, film critic) The young genre of Latter-day Saint cinema has had a rapid, if inconsistent, evolution. Since its inception roughly a decade ago with God’s Army, Latter-day Saint filmmakers have attempted to portray the doctrines and culture they love via many styles of storytelling. There have been romantic comedies (The Singles Ward, Pride and Prejudice), romantic ...[Read More]

mormons

NOBODY KNOWS: THE UNTOLD STORY OF BLACK MORMONS Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) A thoughtful, faithful and informative treatment on the controversial and misunderstood subject of African-American Mormons, Nobody Knows is long overdue and a most welcome gift for anyone seeking clarification on this matter. With interviews from black Latter-day Saints, both prominent and person-next-door, as well as insights from ministers from ...[Read More]

porter rockwell

STORIES FROM THE LIFE OF PORTER ROCKWELL Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) Much like the man it reveals, Covenant Communications’ new documentary Stories From the Life of Porter Rockwell emerges with glaring imperfections but ultimately redeemed by things done right. Featuring insights and commentary by a variety of well-respected Latter-day Saint history scholars, the film attempts to strike a balanced portrayal of a ma ...[Read More]

treasure in heaven the john tanner story

TREASURE IN HEAVEN Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) If you’ve ever seen a Latter-day Saint film that brought your soul to a higher plane, odds are T.C. Christensen had a hand in it. As a writer, director, producer, and cinematographer, he has helped add professional gloss, creative warmth, and spiritual sincerity to projects such as The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd, The Work and the Glor ...[Read More]

believers in pop culture

How Are Believers Portrayed in Pop Culture?

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) Author's note: this article originally ran in 2009 in Meridian Magazine. I've not revised the text since, but have included some updated photos to illustrate a few points.  In college I attended a seminar entitled “Hollywood vs. Religion,” examining the contrast between the lifestyles and beliefs of those in the movie industry as compared with tho ...[Read More]

forever strong

FOREVER STRONG Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT'S FOREVER STRONG ABOUT? After getting arrested, a troubled teen rugby star joins a new team and learns integrity, humility, and unity from his inspiring coach.  IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B+) Solid based-on-a-true-story film by director Ryan Little (Saints and Soldiers) Capturing the essence of the values-based coaching style of legendary rugby ...[Read More]

emma smith my story

EMMA SMITH: MY STORY Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT'S EMMA SMITH: MY STORY ABOUT? Explores the life, trials, and triumphs of Emma Smith, wife of Latter-day Saint prophet Joseph Smith. Rent or buy it here.  IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A-) Produced by the Joseph Smith Jr. and Emma Hale Smith Historical Society, this lushly-shot and very well-acted take on the life of Emma Smith was directed by Gary ...[Read More]