Quantcast
subscriber help

artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

War Room movie review: to the Devil with it

War Room red light

Slick production values cannot overcome a preachy script full of strained metaphors delivered by wooden actors. Like a corporate promo video for God.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): do not believe in the power of prayer

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

If you’ve ever wondered what a corporate promo video made by God’s marketing department would look like, now we know. Slick production values cannot overcome a literally preachy script full of embarrassingly strained metaphors delivered by wooden actors… and that’s even before we get to the scene in which an old lady disarms a mugger with the power of Jesus; the sincerity of that bit only renders it all the more ludicrous.

Smart and confident real-estate agent Elizabeth (Priscilla C. Shirer) is having trouble at home: her husband, Tony (T.C. Stallings), a pharmaceutical sales rep, is nasty, inflexible, tempted to stray, and worse. Their little daughter, Danielle (Alena Pitts), is sad because Mommy and Daddy are always fighting… and, this movie would instruct us, that is all on Elizabeth to fix, using that power of Jesus. Her new client, Clara (Karen Abercrombie), is a nosy old biddy who does not hesitate to appoint herself Elizabeth’s marriage counselor, and the totality of her advice is this: When a marriage is on the rocks, the Devil is to blame, so all Elizabeth has to do is pray for everything to get better. Oh, and she should be nice to her husband, no matter how cruel he is to her or what idiotically stupid things he might do.

That’s right: this is a movie about the proper sort of wifely submission a Christan woman should engage in, and it gets more depressing the deeper Elizabeth gets into it. Eventually, she is out on the lawn shouting at Satan, and not one neighbor on their upscale suburban street even calls the cops or anything; nor does she appear to have any non-Christian friends who might give her more practical advice.

The strange detours the film takes, in plot and theme, range from those of the head-scratching variety — a entire double-dutch jump-rope competition seems to have gotten dropped in here from another kind of movie — to the obnoxious: a running joke about how bad Elizabeth’s feet smell that is supposed to pass for humor is simply callous. Worst, though, is this: Prayer here is a way to ignore problems that are actually right in your face, Satanic influence is an excuse for bad behavior, and “God’s grace” is a dodge for escaping punishment. And this film is from people who think they hold a moral high ground, the brother filmmaking team of Alex and Stephen Kendrick, who are also responsible for the “faith-based” hits Courageous and Fireproof. Disgusting.


See also my #WhereAreTheWomen rating of War Room for its representation of girls and women.


red light half a star

Like what you’re reading? Sign up for the daily digest email and get links to all the day’s new reviews and other posts.

shop to support Flick Filosopher

Independent film criticism needs your support to survive. I receive a small commission when you purchase almost anything at iTunes (globally) and at Amazon (US, Canada, UK):

    
War Room (2015)
US/Can release: Aug 28 2015
UK/Ire release: direct to DVD

MPAA: rated PG for thematic elements throughout
BBFC: rated PG

viewed on my iPad

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, you might want to reconsider.

  • Jurgan

    I’m a Christian myself, and I find this crap disgusting. Ironically, just yesterday I heard a sermon about how ridiculous it is to use “blessings” and “prayers” as an excuse not to act.

  • Kevin Wilks

    Haven’t seen the film yet. Just wanted to express my sorrow for the writer of this review. Sounds like the writer of this review has an ax to grind against God, the church, Christians or maybe all over them. Sounds like their divorce was a bad one also. Hopefully joy may one day return to their life so that, they might see the truth.

  • Jez James

    The last word is apt.

    For this review, that is.

  • Terry

    It’s truly unfortunate that Facebook offers this “review” through some unknown algorithm because it’s new(?) so it’s tied to a new link to a posting that was made by the producers of War Room way back when it was first released.. But, fortunately, Ms. Johanson’s delayed presentation of her personal opinion, to which she is certainly entitled, is so delayed on this movie it’s irrelevant. For those who avoided seeing it before her analysis, they already have, and for the millions that already chose before her analysis to see it, well, they liked it. I guess, to them, it was more about the message than the manner, and MaryAnn seems to have little respect for the target audience. Perhaps some CGI and a Taylor Swift score would have helped punch it up for her a little. Her “review” is not about the movie, it’s about her personal biases evidently against religion in general and her advocacy for the “women’s movement,” specifically. Obviously, per Ms. Johanson, a women is wasted if she devotes herself to God, her husband, and her children first. MaryAnn, like your tag-line says, you’re very opinionated. That’s not necessarily bad, as long as it’s objective. Better luck next time. (By the way, to JURGAN: Everything you wrote after “I’m a Christian myself,” is evidence you aren’t.)

  • Danielm80

    A woman lived in a town that was hit by a flood. Her neighbor drove by in a truck and said, “I’m leaving town. Come with me before the water gets too high.”

    The woman said, “I have faith in God. God will protect me.”

    The waters started to rise. The first floor of the woman’s house filled up with water. She had to climb up to the top floor. A man rowed by the window in a boat. He said, “Come with me while you still can.”

    The woman said, “I have faith in God. God will protect me.”

    The waters rose up even higher. The woman had to climb up to the roof of her house. As she was sitting there, a pilot flew by in a helicopter. The pilot said, “Come with me. I can rescue you.”

    The woman said, “I have faith in God. God will protect me.”

    The waters rose up over the roof and drowned the woman. She died and went to Heaven. She asked to speak to God. She said, “God, I had faith in You. Why didn’t You protect me?”

    God said, “I did. I sent you a truck, a boat, and a helicopter.”

  • Bluejay
  • Bluejay

    What a nonsensical tantrum of a comment.

  • Danielm80
  • Bluejay

    If you haven’t seen the film yet, how do you know her review isn’t on-point?

  • Maria Niku

    I’m guessing these sorts of movies are a safe bet, because there’s a specific and dependable audience who will go see them no matter what, primarily because of the subject matter…

  • RogerBW

    And if “mainstream critics” despise them, that just makes them more appealing because it shows how corrupt normal culture is.

  • What a condescending asshat. Maybe us non-believers simply reviewed all the evidence(or lack thereof) and decided to leave religion behind. There doesn’t have to be an “ax to grind”, although it makes sense considering all the horrible atrocities in the bible, let alone that happen in the real world, in the name of jesus or god. Just look at what the republican candidates want to do. abhorrent.
    Plus, I just love these people who think you can’t have any joy in your life without religion. I’ve found way more joy in life after I ditched religion.

  • LaSargenta

    Ah…at the end…the argument about who is a True Christian.

  • LaSargenta

    Interesting assumptions there kiddo, including that ad hominem attempt (based on nothing whatsoever) at insult about divorce.

  • Danielm80

    MaryAnn, is there a reason you’ve been reviewing so many faith-based movies in a row? It does have one practical advantage: All the religious trolls will show up in the same week, rather than multiple times over several weeks or months.

  • Bluejay

    Of course, if the “helping ourselves” bit is the part that actually works, some of us may decide to do without the other bit. YMMV. ;-)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T01_FBM9oWc

  • Danielm80

    During the Christmas season, when lots of choirs are singing Messianic versions of “Gloria,” I always want Patti Smith to join them on stage and do this:

    http://youtu.be/zjPN-WWw4rE

    Gandalf Murphy mashed the song up with “Angels We Have Heard on High,” which is almost as good.

  • Matt Clayton

    It astounds me how much this film made when it came out last year ($67 million against a pithy $3 million budget). This won’t be the last “film” from the Kendricks.

  • I would like to imagine that *especially* Christians would find these sorts of films embarrassing and insulting. But apparently this is not the case.

  • You’re so sweet. My imaginary ex-husband also appreciates your wit.

  • No no no. All us atheists don’t actually disbelieve in deities, we *know* they exist and hate them.

    /sarcasm

    I despair that hate and negativity are the first things that pop into the minds of believers when it comes to us atheists.

  • Would you care to refute my review?

  • Perhaps some CGI and a Taylor Swift score would have helped punch it up for her a little.

    Yup. As all of my regular readers know, I am a sucker for Taylor Swift and CGI.

    MaryAnn, like your tag-line says, you’re very opinionated. That’s not necessarily bad, as long as it’s objective.

    I am feasting on your word salad.

  • Yes, because I set myself to cover all of the wide releases of 2015 for #WhereAreTheWomen, and this is the first time I can catch up on the “faith-based” ones because they do not open in the UK (where there is no audience for them). Now that they are starting to pop up on VOD, so I finally have access to them.

  • RogerBW

    Christians are not a monolith. The American evangelical movement is a long way out from most of the others, but it has a lot of money and can therefore buy time to make people think that it is what Christianity as a whole is like.

  • Danielm80

    Why is there no audience for them in the UK?

  • Maria Niku

    While I’m no expert on the UK specifically, I’d say it’s the same in most of (western) Europe, which is quite secular and where religion is regarded a private thing. Religious movies like this are regarded sort of a religious nutter thing, so most people just go “Ehhh… next”.

  • Danielm80

    How can you feel hate and negativity when there’s so much Taylor Swift music to listen to?

  • Maria Niku

    To be fair, I believe lots of people saw that Mel Gibson movie…

  • Bluejay

    I despair that hate and negativity are the first things that pop into the minds of believers when it comes to us atheists.

    I wonder if it’s because believers most often encounter us as atheists when we’re criticizing what they believe in. When we perform other endeavors, we don’t tend to do so in the name of our unbelief. Joss Whedon is celebrated for his writing and filmmaking and for making the MCU extra-awesome — but he doesn’t loudly do so as an atheist, and so most people don’t think or remember that he is one.

  • RogerBW

    We mostly don’t have American-style evangelicals here. There are a few, but not enough to be a significant cultural force. Someone who tries to argue against evolution, say, in a public forum just gets laughed off the stage.

  • Danielm80

    It may not be explicit in his material based on Shakespeare or Marvel Comics. It was addressed pretty often in his early TV series and in Serenity.

  • Jurgan

    Some are, some aren’t. I’m no expert, but I think the reason so many religious movies are so bad is because they confuse art with propaganda. Fred “Slacktivist” Clark has written a lot about the difference between evangelism and salesmanship, and it’s the same concept. The priority is winning arguments and “converting” people, but when that’s your only goal, you can easily justify becoming dishonest or abusive, and that’s not something that can be hidden from most viewers.

  • TS music is THE definition of hate and negativity. /not sarcasm. That stuff is garbage.

  • Probably so. My lack of belief pretty much never comes up unless I’m responding to some religious infraction. So all they see is how “mad” and “angry” we are. Never mind that whole Christian privilege thing that so few of them seem to understand.

  • Bluejay

    See, this is why atheists are not a monolith; we can agree on atheism but disagree on other things. Taylor Swift is awesome and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise. ;-)

  • Danielm80

    It was hilarious to watch Taylor Swift on The Graham Norton Show, because she was sitting right next to John Cleese. She was going out of her way to be upbeat and life-affirming, and John Cleese…wasn’t. Their conversations tended to go something like this:

    TAYLOR SWIFT: I loved you in the James Bond movies!

    JOHN CLEESE: Oh, weren’t they awful?

    TS: Don’t be a self-hater.

    JC: It’s not my parts I hated. My parts were terrific.

    Then he went off on a long rant about James Bond.

    Here’s another example:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2014/10/taylor-swift-vs-john-cleese

    I want the two of them to film a reality show where they travel the world together in a small car.

  • Do you mean SHE is awesome, her music, or all of the above?

    I find her to be so fake, like everything she does is just for the limelight. Maybe she truly is a wonderful person, but her overbearing media presence sure isn’t helping present that.
    I really, honestly, truly, no joke, don’t get how anyone can like her music. The lyrics are horrendous, her voice sucks, it’s all so damn repetitive, and all she writes about is her relationships. You like the beats or something? I’ll concede that stupid “shake it off” song has a decent melody, which is probably why it became so popular.

    I’m probably not the best person to talk, as I avoid ALL mainstream radio, as I think it’s mostly junk. Plus, I tend to avoid music with lyrics in general. Bad, repetitive lyrics ruin songs for me. I prefer movie and game soundtracks, as well as a lot of other instrumental orchestra type stuff.
    When it comes down to it, I mostly listen to podcasts, anyway, so it’s kind of moot.
    Anyway, nice digression, right? Sure didn’t expect a taylor swift discussion in a religious movie comment section. So weird.

  • Bluejay

    I could address all your criticisms in depth, but your last point — that you avoid all mainstream radio, and you don’t like music with lyrics — makes me think our disagreement on music runs deeper than JUST Taylor Swift, and I don’t think a debate on the merits of pop music would be either fruitful or appropriate to this thread. ;-)

  • Danielm80

    I think it’s exactly as valuable to argue about the worth of someone’s favorite musician as it is to argue about the truth of someone’s religion.

  • haha. Yeah, I’m kind of a jerk when it comes to this stuff. I readily admit it. Can you at least answer my Swift query? I’m truly curious, and no one around me likes her so I can’t ask them.
    I respect your opinions, and promise not to respond in a negative fashion. We actually agree on most things posted on the FF pages.

    We can end it after this, as it truly IS an odd tangent. Someone else brought her up first, though! Not my fault, man! haha.

  • Ahh, but this movie IS about religion, so at least it wouldn’t be as much of a tangent.

    Still, probably best to avoid religious discussion.

  • Danielm80

    I think there’s a lot of value to actual religious discussion and to intelligent analysis of religious ideas, like MaryAnn’s comments on the “surrendered wife” philosophy. There’s very little value to something like this:

    By the way, to JURGAN: Everything you wrote after “I’m a Christian myself,” is evidence you aren’t.

    Religions are full of ideas, and some of them are worth debating. But personal faith sometimes falls into a category beyond reason, for better and worse—as does a love for Taylor Swift songs.

  • Bluejay

    Okay, since you’re interested. I’ll try to keep it short, because I don’t want to derail this thread TOO much, but in a nutshell: Taylor Swift is really, really good at the craft of writing pop songs (even WAY before she enlisted the help of hotshot pop producers) and she doesn’t get enough credit for it. Because you generally don’t like pop or music with lyrics, you may not appreciate this as much, but trust me. :-)

    Here’s an old New Yorker article analyzing her early work:

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/11/10/prodigy-6

    Even more tellingly: when the critically beloved indie rocker Ryan Adams released a full-album cover version of Swift’s “1989,” the reviewers fell all over themselves to praise the lyrics and the song structures. This article reminds everyone that SWIFT wrote these songs that the music snobs now seem to like, and digs deep into what makes the album work:

    http://www.vox.com/2015/9/23/9384571/ryan-adams-1989-taylor-swift-review

    As for “all she writes about is her relationships,” well, that’s the Confessional Songwriter genre for you. Lots of artists take their own lives as raw material for their work, and that’s why their fans love them: because they’re honest and personal, and they make a connection to listeners who are going through the same experiences and emotions.

    “Horrendous” lyrics? Try looking up the words to “Mine,” which has some really sharp diaristic details, a sense of irony and foreshadowing (“You say we’ll never make my parents’ mistakes”), and great turns of phrase (“You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter”). Also look up the YouTube video for “Safe and Sound,” her collaboration with the duo The Civil Wars. Haunting and evocative and perfectly written.

    “Is she awesome as a person?” Well, I don’t know her, but she sure seems to be. She protested Spotify underpaying its artists, and successfully got Apple Music to pay its artists during the “free trial period” for listeners. She invites lesser-known artists onstage during her concerts, and gives them her spotlight. She wrote a fun country song, “Mean” (look it up on YouTube), that was adopted as an anti-bullying anthem by schools. She’s very feminist in her interviews. And she gives a really inspiring speech onstage (I saw her in concert), asking her fans not to self-hate, and to remember that “you are no one else’s opinion of you.” So, yeah, some people might be put off by some of her mannerisms or her media coverage, but she’s pretty great in my book. As always, that’s my opinion, and YMMV.

    I guess I didn’t keep it short after all. Sorry. :-)

  • Bluejay

    Actually, the best part of that exchange — after Cleese spent several minutes insulting her cat — is this:

    JC: “Cats are unpredictable and cussed — like women.”

    TS: [Smile fades. Pause. Smile comes back, big and wide. Is that a dangerous glint in her eyes?] “Oooh, we don’t want to do that.

    Yeah, she’s awesome.

  • Well then. hahahaha. Didn’t expect that. Sure doesn’t change my mind any, considering abominations like Bad Blood, and that never getting back together song. I’ll take your word for it, though. I do appreciate your enthusiasm. I’ll assume you’re like this with other favorite musicians, and not just her.
    Just so you know, I don’t hate ALL mainstream music. For instance, I like:
    …wait, nope.
    …no, not really.
    hmmm

    oh, come Mark, there has to be someone.

    I guess I kind of liked the dance with me song? Catchy as hell.
    An Adele song or two?
    I even like the first 30 seconds of Taylor’s Out of Style! Cool rhythm. But then she starts singing.

    Thanks for the exchange. ;-)

  • Maybe I’m an idiot, but what does her response even mean? Don’t want to do what?

  • I’m very anti-religion, so, while I agree that discussion is a very good thing, it’s best to avoid it. Plus, it’s quite a bit bigger of a problem than Taylor Swifts bad music. I’ve heard of anyone yelling “Praise Taylor!” as they lob bombs at people.
    I DO get why you used the analogy, though.

  • Bluejay

    It makes sense in the video. You can watch it by clicking on Danielm80’s Vanity Fair link. Basically she’s smacking him down, with a smile, for making a sexist crack.

  • Bluejay

    Didn’t expect that.

    Didn’t expect me to take seriously your request for me to explain my opinion? I didn’t expect to change your personal taste, but you seemed interested in at least trying to understand why others might like her. It’s always good to try to exercise imagination and empathy. ;-)

    I think part of our disconnect is that you dislike her too much to even pay close attention to her songs. Explaining why I like her would depend on a close reading of her songs, like the kind of analysis found in the two articles I linked to. If you can’t really be bothered to spend time with her lyrics, chord choices, etc, then anything I cite won’t really count for much with you. And that’s cool, I’m really not asking you to. Just be aware that when you dismiss artists and entire genres, and then say you can’t understand why other people like them, it’s partly because you choose not to take the time to absorb all the details, nuances, and contexts. Again, that’s totally fine; you decide what you want to spend time on. But the failure to understand others’ tastes is on you. :-)

    To make this somewhat relevant again (hopefully), I suppose it’s similar to how some people dismissively broad-brush those who believe differently from themselves; all Christians are the same, all Muslims, all atheists. (That’s not what MAJ is doing, by the way; I’m talking religious debates in general.) Maybe it’s better if we atheists take the time to understand WHY people love their faiths and all the different ways they love them, and vice versa. The point isn’t to change anyone’s mind, but to see through someone else’s eyes, and to increase the world’s supply of imagination, empathy, and tolerance.

  • Christians are not a monolith.

    The ones who are making these movies hits are. :-(

  • Except it’s impossible to imagine these films would convert anyone. They speak exclusively to the already converted.

  • I’m sure that’s true, but it’s more than that, though. It’s that jump to the assumption that there can be no joy without their own particular brand of religious fantasy.

  • Facebook offers this “review”

    I don’t think you understand how Facebook works…

  • Evangelical Christianity does not exist here, basically.

  • It’s so refreshing!

  • Alas, no.

  • Jurgan

    Exactly. They’re too dishonest to convince anyone of anything they didn’t already believe.

  • Jurgan

    The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares
    24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

    Matthew 13:24-30

    So, Jesus explicitly said that it’s not humans’ place to judge who’s in and who’s out, because we’d inevitably get it wrong. This sort of thing is why I don’t often talk about religion publicly, but isn’t it interesting that on a site run by an atheist where many of the commenters are also atheists, the only person who has been judgmental towards me is a fellow Christian? People will believe different things, but the attitude of “I’m smarter than you because I believe X” is off-putting no matter whom it comes from.

  • SaltHarvest

    All the freshness of a feature-length sermon, it would appear (from multiple angles). There are easier ways to find moldy bread and contaminated water.

  • Jez James

    Refuting rubbish is a waste of time. Suffice it to say that talking religion and religious films is not your strongest suit (go review “A Serbian Film” instead or such like). “Non-overlapping magisteria?” ;)

  • Danielm80

    What are you hoping to accomplish by posting comments on this thread? If your goal is to convince readers that the film is worth watching, then you have an opportunity to do that right here. Just tell us what you enjoyed about the movie and what qualities make it appealing to an audience. You can also explain what details MaryAnn overlooked or got wrong in her review.

    But if your goal is just to insult MaryAnn, you already accomplished that a month ago.

  • A religious film gets a wide release, and you think it’s not fair game for a film critic?

  • Bluejay

    “Refuting rubbish is a waste of time” is the usual excuse of those who are afraid to put their own arguments and opinions under scrutiny.

  • Jez James

    …or a time-saving means for more productive people who do not have the luxury to indulge with welfare leeches who have made up their minds anyway, adamantly refusing to see the merits of other’s opinion except to find imaginary holes in it.

  • Bluejay

    Going straight for the insult, I see. Real classy.

    For someone who doesn’t want to waste time, you sure wasted time explaining why you don’t want to explain your opinion, rather than just explaining your opinion.

  • Duncan

    I have to say the writer of this blog either was so out of sorts by the name Jesus or they really did not watch this movie. The goal of this movie is to reach people, and inform them of the beautiful grave God gives us even when we dont deserve it. The lady did seek advice from non christian women.
    I doubted the power of the name Jesus for years, before ‘war rooms’ was released I personally experienced God and the power of prayer. The things that happened in this movie was so spot on in my own life.
    Is the devil to blame? No. As a person I am responsible for my own actions. That is what free will is. Will God intervene? Only when you want Him to. He will not disrupt your will.
    These events in my life led me being reborn, baptized in water, then a short time later baptized by the Holy Spirit. I am so grateful for the Kendrick Bros. and their faithfulness to spread the word. I love that finally these mega churches are using the recourses at hand to make produtions that represent real life.
    Some of the jokes are silly, but who hasn’t made silly jokes that make little since to the over all plot of their life?
    So to those who was not moved by the initiative of these people just trying to reach and spread the word of God, I am praying for you.
    I do not feel these types of movies are put out for profit and profit only, but a great blessing from the Lord is to be profitable.
    You have authority to take your thoughts captive, speak good and love over one another.
    By His stipes, you are healed.

  • RogerBW

    On the off-chance you actually want to engage in discussion and will read this…
    If the goal of the movie was to reach people and inform them… then it failed, which suggests it wasn’t a terribly good movie. Most Christian-brand movies are designed not to convert the ungodly but to appeal to those who are already converted, which would be fine if they admitted it.
    (I think you may have meant “grace” rather than “grave”, but considering the sort of thing self-proclaimed Christians do these days without being condemned by their fellow Christians it’s hard to tell. Oh grace, where is they victory?)

  • Duncan

    Discussion… lets do it. Argument, no thanks.
    I am curious, how do you feel God reaches those who are not saved? As far as non-believers go, their is alot of people on this discussion that watched it. Obviously they were touched enough to stir it up.
    This movie was so not “terribly bad” that it beat out all the other movies dollar wise. Thank you for pointing out my mistake. It was grace, it is fixed. I hope you have a great day. I look forward to your response.

  • Duncan

    Same reason Bon Jovi has no audience in the US

  • RogerBW

    I have no evidence for the existence of a god, so your question is not meaningful to me. Would you be happy with “why do people decide to adopt a religion”?
    My answer to that is: it’s very rarely because they are lectured about it. It’s much more often because they see an example of a real person living a life informed by religion, and they want to find out more.
    (Or, of course, because they’re empotionally vulnerable and some predatory huckster takes advantage of them.)
    Just as a political advertisement is much more about reassuring people who already support the candidate than about bringing in new voters, religious films almost always start from the standpoint of “we have all the answers, and if you just take this large lump of unsupported statements on faith then it’ll work for you too”. But non-religious people don’t have faith; if they did, they’d already be religious. What an evangelist has to do is explain why their way is better, without pointing to things that have to be taken on faith.

  • Duncan

    You speak of evidence. The evidence is in this conversation. The name Jesus upsets a lot of people. It also makes people change an attitude in a moment. You have personally seen evidence by your curiosity in this movie/discussion. That is the Holy Spirit Roger. Plain and simple. You explination is very logical, and I agree but nothing just happens. Think about it… you have no 8ntrest in God but you are here defending what you believe about a movie that has little or no significance to you or your loved ones.

  • Danielm80

    Either your comment makes no sense or you just proved that Donald Trump is Jesus.

  • Duncan

    Lol

  • RogerBW

    I thought you said you didn’t want an argument?

    To claim that your belief gives you a more accurate picture of my mental processes than my own is, in a civilised context, insulting; exactly as if I were to say to you that you are defending this film because it helped bolster your own flagging faith.
    (Also, people who claim things without evidence are as a rule somewhere between rogues and madmen.)

  • Duncan

    I did not feel I was getting an argument going. I was only speaking of evidence. As far as my own faith… I have personally witnessed this power. If I offended in any way I am sorry. I just feel the evidence is in our convesation. I am open to suggestion but it seems we are beating a dead horse. I am right because I say so. And you are right because you say so. I agree with that.

  • The name Jesus upsets a lot of people.

    It really doesn’t. Perhaps you are mistaking lack of interest for upset?

  • BPatMann

    The vitriol against this movie is motivated by racism and bigotry. It did extremely well at the box office and the vast majority of the people who saw it loved it.

  • Danielm80

    It’s possible that the vitriol was motivated by the many flaws in the movie, which MaryAnn described in her review, in great detail. For example, there’s:

    Slick production values cannot overcome a literally preachy script full of embarrassingly strained metaphors delivered by wooden actors… and that’s even before we get to the scene in which an old lady disarms a mugger with the power of Jesus; the sincerity of that bit only renders it all the more ludicrous.

    And there’s:

    The strange detours the film takes, in plot and theme, range from those of the head-scratching variety — a entire double-dutch jump-rope competition seems to have gotten dropped in here from another kind of movie — to the obnoxious: a running joke about how bad Elizabeth’s feet smell that is supposed to pass for humor is simply callous.

    Followed by:

    Worst, though, is this: Prayer here is a way to ignore problems that are actually right in your face, Satanic influence is an excuse for bad behavior, and “God’s grace” is a dodge for escaping punishment.

    I suppose you can interpret that last quote as bigotry against religion, but only if you think that everyone has to share your beliefs about the power of prayer and the influence of Satan. Otherwise, your complaints about racism and bigotry don’t make much sense, unless you ignore almost everything written in the review.

  • BPatMann

    It is that which is written in the review that screams racism and bigotry.

  • Danielm80

    Can you offer an example?

  • The vitriol against this movie is motivated by racism and bigotry.

    Citations needed.

Pin It on Pinterest