If there is one genre that always gets the toughest treatment in Hollywood, it is faith-based films and here we have one that flew so far under the radar, it’s a bit of a miracle that it got a wide release. If you want to understand the kind of opposition that films which promote Christianity deals with from the media, look no further The Wrap’s review which criticizes this film on the basis that the writer can’t stand…well, on-screen Christians.
It has been a busy year for Christian movies especially actress Madeline Carroll who has been in three films this year I Can Only Imagine, God Bless the Broken Road, and now Indivisible. One thing I credit the Christian genre for doing is bringing to light real-life stories of people who we would have never seen or known about otherwise. Here we have another film based on the True Story of Army chaplain Darren Turner (Justin Bruening) who deploys to Iraq during the height of the War in 2007.
The ability to forgive someone is one of the hardest things to do in life and redemption is one of the hardest things to achieve. Unbroken: Path to Redemption cites Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” This was the choice that World War II veteran Louis Zamperini had to make to save himself and his family.
Earlier this year, Christian actress Madeline Carroll starred in a Christian movie based on the song I Can Only Imagine, a film so good even progressives couldn’t trash it. A few months later, Carroll stars in another Christian movie based on the song but while the intentions here are strong, the story doesn’t match the intention.
If Reverend Dave is getting the bump to the main event status, the story should have been more centered and focused on him. Instead, what we get is a messy Frankenstein of a movie that fails with its target audience and the people who are going to need blood pressure meds after watching this film *cough* David *cough*. God’s Not Dead III, is okay but its failure to capitalize on its potential is it’s biggest failure.
Watching this film it’s not hard to see why audiences are praising this film the way they are and I can safely say, this is the best film I’ve seen so far this year. I Can Only Imagine mirrors the song it is based on and is a word of mouth smash hit that keeps the Christian genre rolling.
Less is more and the reason other Christian movies worked is that they focused on one topic and wrote a story to best represent their point. Here you feel like they needed a product to target to teens, but is just isn’t relatable to its own Christian teenage demographic. Overall Because of Grácia some moments of brilliance but fails to put together a coherent story in its Pro-life message it wants to present.
The real Lee Strobel shortly quit his job as a reporter and became a pastor with his wife, the story of his life is a fascinating ride from non-believer to believer that not only delivered a bestselling book but a compelling film. The Case For Christ is a story that can be embraced by mainstream audiences along with Christian audiences right in time for Easter.