Do You Believe?

Movie Information

The Story: Multistory tale of characters grappling with putting faith into action. The Lowdown: Less hysterical on the topic of religion than its predecessor, God's Not Dead, this is still the same old preaching-to-the-choir stuff — only overstuffed with characters, some better actors but little actual substance.
Score:
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Genre: Faith-Based Drama
Director: Jonathan M. Gunn (My Date with Drew)
Starring: Mira Sorvino, Sean Astin, Alexa PenaVega, Delroy Lindo, Ted McGinley, Brian Bosworth, Cybill Shepherd, Lee Majors
Rated: PG-13

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It took four or five tries to get Do You Believe? to start at the showing I attended. (It was the first show, which is the most likely time for this sort of thing to happen in the world of digital projection.) It made me wonder if maybe God didn’t want me to see this — or that, as a skeptic, I was a source of unfriendly vibrations that were hoodoo-ing the projection. Mystical musings aside, the movie finally started and — following trailers for the newest Nicholas Sparks adaptation and Jurassic World — this fairly obvious attempt to cash in on the unexpected box office bonanza of last year’s God’s Not Dead began. We have the same writers — Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon — and the same production company — Pure Flix — and the same wholly insular approach. And, yes, the results — despite an increased budget buying the services of more impressive fading stars than Kevin Sorbo — are very much the same.

 

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In its — ultimately marginal — favor, Do You Believe? is less hysterical about its agenda than God’s Not Dead, and it seeks to address one of the central problems with its predecessor by offering examples of practical Christianity. God’s Not Dead was all about faith to an alarming degree. People might destroy their lives and be homeless or endanger others because of their faith — and there was no one willing to lend a hand to help them — but, hey, they had faith. End of subject. Do You Believe? is more concerned with putting that faith into action. That’s admirable, but it still ends up trading in the same worldview that’s as hermetically sealed as a tin of Prince Albert — and tossing the standard “us vs. them” red meat (unions, abortion, the American Humanist Association) to the easily riled. It’s the same old false shuffle dealt from the same old stacked deck.

 

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The idea here is bargain basement Robert Altman or P.T. Anderson by way of Paul Haggis’ Crash (2005) — but the racism in Crash gives way to Christianity here. We have a dozen characters whose lives “will be impacted in ways that only God could orchestrate” — well, God or a couple of cliché-loving screenwriters. All this unfolds in the city of Chicago — home to “ten million souls,” narrator Pastor Matt (Ted McGinley) assures us, raising the question of why Messrs. Konzelman and Solomon couldn’t be bothered to look up the population. (A friend suggested that maybe seven-and-a-half million of these souls are disembodied.) An encounter with a street preacher (Delroy Lindo) carting around a full-size cross (with wheels, which strikes me as cheating) shakes Pastor Matt’s complacency on the topic of faith without action. So he decides to change his ways and fire up his congregation (via a bag of little wooden crosses) to put their faith into action. That’s pretty much it — except for the parade of barely developed characters whose lives are affected by this sermon.

 

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These cardboard characters include a good-hearted convict (Brian Bosworth) on compassionate release because he’s dying of what looks like consumption (but is apparently some kind of leukemia), a heartless doctor (Sean Astin) who’s cheesed over God getting credit for his skills, his equally awful avaricious lawyer girlfriend (Andrea Logan White), a pregnant runaway (Madison Pettis) and a pious EMT (Liam Matthews) on trial (no prizes for guessing who the prosecuting attorney is) for sharing his beliefs with a dying man. Wedged into this overcrowded mess are a homeless mother and daughter (Mira Sorvino and Mackenzie Moss), an aging couple (Lee Majors and Cybill Shepherd) grieving over a dead daughter, a repentant gang-banger (Shwayze) on the run and, believe it or not, a suicidal young woman (Alexa PenaVega) who meets cute with a suicidal PTSD soldier (Joseph Julian Sora) when they’re both debating jumping off the same bridge.

 

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It all climaxes in a massive pileup of car crashes involving most of the cast that gets so progressively preposterous that it’s hard not to burst out laughing. Lives will be lost, lives will saved, and souls are up for grabs. At the very least, if you’re not a true believer, you’ll be taught a lesson — unless you’re black, in which case things look pretty grim in general. OK, the acting is better — what there is of it — than in God’s Not Dead, but the production values are no better than your average Tyler Perry movie. It also looks like lightning will not be striking twice, since the box office was considerately less than half of God’s Not Dead. Look, it’s perfectly possible to make a deeply profound movie on the topic of faith — check out last year’s Calvary — but this isn’t it. This is smug, self-satisfied mediocrity run rampant. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, an accident sequence and some violence.

 

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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81 thoughts on “Do You Believe?

  1. swilder

    You keep saying you won’t review these films anymore, but keep doing it anyway. The first step of recovery is to admit you have a problem. I doubt this film will make the money of “God’s Not Dead” either, but the $ per screen was actually pretty good last weekend. Must be the presold tix I keep hearing about, but somehow never really hear about.

    • Ken Hanke

      I admitted last week that I was curious to see what the makers of God’s Not Dead had done. For the most part, I have stayed away from this stuff. I believe this is the first such film I have reviewed since God’s Not Dead. Now, Justin has reviewed the more high-profile faith-based movies, but none of the lower-tier ones.

      The per theater money was about a third of what God’s Not Dead pulled down on the national level. That’s a significant drop.

      • tallpirate

        But it was still the third highest per average of the weekend after insurgent and cinderella and it played on less than 1500 screens the only film in the top ten to do that. Also its obvious all the critics want to do is bash it so do so but dont be mad when you’re in the doghouse with your wife, kids and family members because they love the movie that you just had to hate to keep up with the joneses, mission accomplished I guess but aren’t you supposed to be speaking for the audience in some way? Based on 88% approval on RT and it trending white hot on social media you may want to jump off that bad review band wagon, the audience loves the film no matter how much it bothers you or your critic clan which based on your reviews it clearly does. So what did you hate the movie or the people that actually like it?Which right now is roughly 9 out of 10 folks. Deal with it. You lost this review is a joke to the consumer. F-

        • Ken Hanke

          My wife hated it. Its per theater is higher precisely because it is on fewer screens. The audience rating on RT is meaningless because it’s mostly made up of people who wanted to see the movie — and a few people who love to go downgrade movies they haven’t seen. I am speaking to the audience — offering my take on the movie. Does the fact that I think it’s a terrible really threaten you?

          • Fred

            I remember reading a newspaper review of a Kingston Trio reunion concert by a reviewer who admitted right up front that he hated folk music, especially from that era. Guess what his review of the concert was? It isn’t hard to imagine.

            Though I’m not a fan of that music, either, I attended the concert at the request of a friend, and the audience absolutely loved it. They connected with it through a personal experience of some sort, probably because they were older and remember the music from when they were young. It certainly wasn’t my experience, but it was undeniably theirs.

            It should be possible for a capable reviewer to point out the short-comings of a film or a performance without resorting to insulting the audience that buy into the basic precepts of it.

          • Ken Hanke

            On the basis of your theoretical approach, no one should actually review anything — just say, it pleases some people, so it’s fine. I do not believe I “insulted” anyone who wasn’t looking to be insulted by any negative review that came along.

          • peter

            The audience was made up of people who wanted to see it? Isn’t every movie? I don’t go to any movie I don’t want to see…..I think a comment like this that was not thought through speaks of intent being prior to content. I just found that odd.

          • Ken Hanke

            Aren’t you being rather disingenuous? The point was clearly that the 88% (a debatable figure considering how these things can be jiggered and padded and voted on by people who haven’t even seen the film) was made up of people predisposed to like the film — all the more so with an agenda-driven movie. The critics don’t have the luxury of making that choice.

  2. Eric T

    Chicagoland (what the greater Chicago suburban area is called) has 9.9 million people, according to Wikipedia. Webz.org says 9.5 million. Which raises the question why the reviewer “couldn’t be bothered to look up the population.” Hard to criticize lazy writing when your own isn’t very diligent.

    • Ken Hanke

      Which raises the question why the screenwriters didn’t call it Chicagoland or the greater Chicago area.

      • Edwin Arnaudin

        “Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone, in the world, can write anything they want about any subject. So you know you are getting the best possible information” – Michael Scott, The Office

        • Eric T

          Yes, The Office was a great show. Thanks for the quote. Are the two sources for the population of the greater Chicago area accurate or not?

      • Eric T

        I guess they figured their viewers would be smart enough to get the obvious reference. Clearly they were wrong.

        • Ken Hanke

          That’s one explanation. I can think of others. I take it this is your entire defense of the movie?

  3. DrSerizawa

    I have nothing against these faith-based movies. I have no interest in seeing them but some people seem to like them They are for a select audience. And frankly some slanted documentaries are just as bad, though not to their own true believers. I just don’t get why they keep showing them in theaters. The Mormons make similar stuff here in Utah, but they show them to their own flock for the most part. It’s pretty clueless to think that these productions would get any converts. Do they break even?

    • Ken Hanke

      One of the biggest problems with just about every documentary I’ve ever seen is that the person making it immediately assumes that everyone is just as jazzed about whatever the subject is as he or she is. I think something roughly the same happens with these. They put them in theaters because every so often one of them is a fluke success — God’s Not Dead, Heaven Is for Real — and the idea occurs that the evangelical market is big bucks. But for every successful one, there are 10 flops. Now, the belief that these ever convert anyone is harder to explain. You will notice that the people who most get cheesed when someone doesn’t like the film never think that the film fell short. It’s always the viewer — or the critic — who’s at fault. The response is invariably to launch an attack on the “non-believer,” never to consider that there might be a better way to reach him. This makes me suspect that there is little, if any, actual interest in converting the heathen.

      • TallPirate

        88% on RT means nothing? Sure buddy. You’re wife hated it? Feel sorry for your marriage seems like alot of love there. I have no vested interest but I saw the film and your review is from the perspective of a nonbeliever not a objective review case in point when the gunman holds up the pastor in the film and ask if he believes in God that had no effect in you? If you didn’t know what answer would get your head blown off how would you answer and further what other films even challenge the question to begin with? If any of the good parts of the film that those 88% (#2 currently on RT) loved made your artice maybe your credibility wouldn’t not be in complete peril. As it stands, you just look like another hater. Lastly its interesting that all those bad reviews on RT, every one, are coming from middle aged white men. Just saying lol.

        • Ken Hanke

          Oh, thank you for your concern over my marriage — about which you know nothing. It is an interesting thing — I have not attacked you, nor God, nor Jesus. All I have attacked is a crappy movie. But your response is to attack me personally — from the safe anonymity of a screen name of course (I really doubt your name is Tallpirate). Yet I’m the one who gets called a “hater.” Interesting.

          The 88% is meaningless because you have no way of even knowing how many of those voting actually saw the movie. (For that matter, you don’t even know how many are real and how many are sock puppet accounts.)

          There is no such thing as an objective review. By their very nature — they’re opinions — they are subjective. This, by the way, includes your take on the movie. It’s totally subjective — and also coming from point of view. Really, though, shouldn’t the film be concerned with getting through to a non-believer? Or is it strictly something to make the faithful feel good about themselves?

          And, by the way, I have it on the highest theological authority that God knocks five points off your IQ every time you type “lol.”

          • Edwin Arnaudin

            Alissa Wilkinson, the chief film critic at Christianity Today, wrote an excellent piece for The Atlantic about what she calls “carefully crafted films that [take] the religious experience seriously.”

            http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/03/not-your-typical-god-movie/385315/

            I’m looking forward to Last Days in the Desert and its Sundance brethren – especially Don Verdean, which is from the Mormon husband and wife team of Jerusha and Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite).

          • Ken Hanke

            Ms. Wilkinson is dead on the money. And, yes, Calvary was the best film about faith from 2014.

          • TallPirate

            You addressed none of the real points I brought up. Such as are you telling us you felt nothing the entire film as your review suggest? NOT ONCE? I didn’t say I knew about your marriage that was a “subjective” remark. Who is attacking you? I’m making clear points and further if you want to know who’s going out and seeing it click audience reviews on RT, then read em and weep I’d say based on the 19 pages of mostly positive comments its pretty clear that 88% is accurate but hey whatever helps you sleep at night. Worry less about my handle and more about the people you effect with your crass deliberation of a film you clearly wanted to hate, like I said, mission accomplished you and 12 angry white men hate the movie, congrats! Telling people go watch Calvary instead? I weep for your soul so does any person Christian or not that bought a ticket. God can have those soul points and give em to you cause it looks like you need em more than the rest of us. If you want to continue thinking your review has merit dont read the comments on this page or any of the message boards of your cynical critic clan. Again that’s not an attack just a subjective statement LOL!! Can’t take the he’s dont post biased reviews on RT about films the audience loves! Boom.

          • Ken Hanke

            Here’s the thing, I don’t care if you call yourself Jesus Incarnate. That wasn’t my point. My point is that it’s always easy to talk big and nasty to someone when you’re hiding behind a phony name. I realize a portion of the media has taught you that Christians are being somehow persecuted, but even if you buy that, are you really so worried about your safety — or embarrassed by what you’re saying — concerning a 60-year-old film critic that you are compelled to adopt an alias?

            No, I didn’t feel much of anything during the film — third-rate contrived writing doesn’t do much for me. I suppose this means God’s gonna toast me like a Lucky Strike, huh? And, yes, I was deeply moved by Calvary. (You’ve actually seen Calvary, have you?) So apparently was the head movie critic (a woman, by the way, who may or may not be middle-aged) of Christianity Today, who seems to have been underwhelmed by Do You Believe?, too.

            Lastly, I am curious if you posted on the other critics’ comment sections or if I just happen to be the special target of your ire. Had you even heard of this site until you stumbled on it on Rotten Tomatoes yesterday? Do you post regularly on movie sites? Do you even regularly go to movies? Are movies an interest of yours — I mean movies that aren’t faith-based? Do you honestly think that someone’s faith is going to be shaken by a movie review? That speaks pretty poorly of your opinion of their faith. And what in the world are “soul points?” Can one buy them like dispensations? Since you are so obsessed over “middle-aged white men” — angry or otherwise, I can’t but wonder why. The movie in question was written by “middle-aged white men” (who I understand are themselves Catholics).

          • DrSerizawa

            Looks like you summoned up a demon from the pit. And a racist one too.

        • sally sefton

          “Telling people go watch Calvary instead? I weep for your soul”
          Maybe weeping is a good idea since your words don’t seem to be making an impact. You aren’t going to change any opinions of the movie on this thread and you are not representing Christ so well when you go after one who is merely expressing an opinion on a FILM, not on Christianity. It is good that you enjoyed the film but don’t demonize one who is paid to present his opinion on the quality of this film. That Rotten Tomato example doesn’t fly. Those are stacked by people desperate to make an impression, much like the AMAZON reviews on books are stacked. It is widely known that this isn’t an accurate reading for this very reason. Many have not even seen the film, just like many on AMAZON have not read the books being fake reviewed.

          • Ken Hanke

            I hope you realize, Sally, that you are resorting to facts and logic.

        • CTum

          I loved the movie! I thought it was Amazing and being a believer makes things even better. I give them 5 stars! I wish people wouldn’t be so critical of religious movies.

          • Ken Hanke

            Being a “religious” movie doesn’t get it a free pass. I gave Calvary a very high score. Did you see that one?

      • Jonathon

        I thought you might be interested in this, you’re of course free to ignore it as you see fit:
        Physical evidence of the Resurrection
        http://www.itbn.org/index/detail/lib/Networks/sublib/TBN/ec/VqcXByMzombYzTjXF9ZBeNMYfVAIJXEd
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWyiZtagxX8
        Yeshua ha Mashiach, died on the cross for your sins as according to the Scriptures, on the 3rd day He raised again And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom are fallen asleep.After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of Paul also, as of one born out of due time. (Like when I saw Him) If you repent and trust him, you will have eternal life and reign w Him in His Kingdom.

          • I saw the movie after I read your review, I was good (not great) for me as a Christian, my wife liked it, my Christian friend was neutral, he said he liked it but a little too religious for him. My non-Christian friend did like it.
            You don’t have to like the movie, it’s like music, some people do some people don’t. I see Jesus-y movies I don’t like all the time, so when I find one I love like Nacho Libre I am very happy. God bless.

  4. TallPirate

    Your reply was exhausting and still dodged the fact that fandango, rotten tomatoes and IMDB AUDIENCE REPORTS (NOT FAN, NOT I WANT THIS TO BE GOOD SO HERE’S MY REVIEW WITHOUT WATCHING IT) THE ACTUAL ” I JUST WALKED OUT OF THE THEATRE” AUDIENCES LIKE TICKET BUYERS LOVE IT! Every one of em a bible thumping Christian theologian huh? Last like I said my observation was correct the audience loves the movie, and my subjective opinion too, haters gonna hate, no you’re not special I’ve destroyed better critics than you. I got it you hated the movie enjoy the reruns of Calvary ace. Oh and as far as you’re concerned first name Tall last name Pirate!

    • Edwin Arnaudin

      haters gonna hate

      Zing?

      enjoy the reruns of Calvary ace

      It’s a TV show?

      • TallPirate

        You don’t want it little boy. Stick to reviewing the crap that your boss can’t handle. Zing! And uh yes HATERS GONNA HATE! Reruns!

          • TallPirate

            You found me! I’m melting! Melting! Mel-ting!!!! Glad you went the extra mile. Now go look at the audience reports on the film! Mr. Anderson??

          • Ken Hanke

            So, basically Mr. Pirate’s bizarre defense of this awful movie — not to mention his complete misunderstanding of such simple concepts as “personal attacks” and the meaninglessness of user ratings on RT and the IMDb — are all grounded in the fact that he’s in the movie! Is it any wonder that he singled out the scene where he holds Pastor Matt at gunpoint as the movie’s dramatic high point? Shillers gonna shill.

  5. TallPirate

    Oh snap you got me good. Shiller? Yup, that’s me? Shoulda let your watch dog Mr. Anderson handle the comebacks pops and don’t be fooled about when I make a “personal attack” I’m not that different from my character in the film, trust me you’ll know when it’s personal and when it’s an attack. I’m in the movie yes, but am I buying million dollars worth of movie tickets for everyone too? Nah. Too busy, frankly. For this nonsense with the “Mountain Xpress” too but where I see injustice anywhere I do my best to rectify the truth. You remember the truth right? It’s back before you jumped on the “whatever they say I say my own way” band wagon that led us to this point. The audience reports from ALL the major movie internet sites have been an “observation” that the film is amazing! And according to you the only opinion that matters is from the critic clan which you obviously fall somewhere in the middle of the pack if that. Now that’s “subjective”. #Pirateout #Boom

    • Ken Hanke

      Oh, thank you, Superman Pirate, leaping from critic to critic and fighting “injustice” by “rectifying the truth” (ye gods). So are you now threatening that when you’ve had enough, you’ll really attack me. Haven’t you already “destroyed” enough “better critics” than me? What a busy fellow you must be. Maybe time would be better spent learning what “subjective” means. Or maybe you should get a clue that just because somebody posts on a movie site that they loved the movie, it doesn’t mean they’ve seen it and it doesn’t even mean each one is a real person. It’s not like you show your ticket stub to prove that you saw the movie. Anybody with access to a computer can post on those sites. The results mean nothing — like the way fanboys voted Lord of the Rings the best movie ever made before they could have seen it. I don’t expect you to understand that. Hell, you don’t even understand that Calvary is a movie — yet you “weep” for my soul for telling people to go see it rather than this thing. You don’t even grasp what it is. You talk about how unhappy my marriage must be — based solely on the fact that neither I, nor my wife liked your damned movie. Believe it or not, that’s a personal attack. It’s also pretty rich coming from you — despite your “rockstar” personality. Boom yourself.

    • Ken Hanke

      And he really means it this time. Of course, it’s exhausting. It requires actual thought, not unsupported and insupportable pronouncements.

      One wonders if the people at Pure Flix know he’s going around making a spectacle of himself in the name of their movie…

  6. Al Paige

    >>Shillers gonna shill.>>

    LOL !!

    (Hey, I don’t mind losing some IQ points if I means I pick up some soul points)

    • Bruce Wayne

      That’s right, keep making fun of things that are near and dear to other people’s hearts. This is why we can’t have nice things.

  7. Al Paige

    Shit. Didn’t think of that. Now I’m more in need of redemption than ever!

    • Ken Hanke

      One must be careful…(And one must alert me if one is going to swear, since the website now has a profanity filter — I really don’t know why.)

  8. mtndancer

    The movie itself may not be good entertainment but this comment thread has been gold. And I would much rather see an intelligence filter than a profanity filter, but then we would have missed most of this fun.

  9. For the record, the population of Chicago is 2.719 million as of 2013. It has no doubt increased since then, but it is doubtful that it has increased by 7.281 million.

    • Ken Hanke

      But you aren’t factoring in the population of the greater Chicago area — not that most people would.

  10. Skeletone King

    Nothing spells “unwavering faith” quite like trying to anonymously silence critics of your own production.

  11. Bruce Wayne

    More film reviews from a bitter Liberal. Go watch your comic book Avengers movie, I bet you drooled over Loki despite him being a “God.” Lol, what a hypocrite. You just hate on the movie just because it’s Christian. If this was a Jew movie, you’d be praising it and calling for an Oscar nomination. Anti-Christian rhetoric at its finest.

    • Ken Hanke

      Boy, have you ever got the wrong end of the stick, if you think I care one whit about an Avengers movie. Go work on your insults — and you might want to have that homophobia and anti-Semitism checked into.

      • Bruce Wayne

        Anti-semitism and homophobia? Wow. You need to put that race card away, Sharpton. I’m just pointing out the facts. Jews and Muslims are restricted, yet Christians are free to insult and harass, you hypocrite.

          • Bruce Wayne

            No…YOU are a marvel. You refuse to take the film as it is and decide to project your bias onto everything. As I said before, if it was any other religion but Christianity, you would’ve given it a free pass.

          • Ken Hanke

            As I said before, if it was any other religion but Christianity, you would’ve given it a free pass.

            Hardly. But then — at least in the U.S. and that show up in theaters — what other religion makes this kind of movie?

            For someone who obviously came here from a link on some other site (probably Rotten Tomatoes, maybe IMDb), you sure think you know more about me than you do.

        • sally sefton

          Bruce. You aren’t really going to resort to “christian persecution” here. Though I don’t know you, I know that you are better than that. If someone doesn’t like something that you like, you only look childish when you cower under an umbrella of “poor us. we are just so persecuted.” No. You are not persecuted. And this is a pretty rotten film. Just let it go, and give this critic a break. For the love of God.

          ” I have to say, as someone who is not a Christian, it’s hard for me to believe Christians are a persecuted people in America. God willing, maybe one of you one day will even rise up and get to be president of this country — or maybe forty-four in a row. But that’s my point, is they’ve taken this idea of no establishment as persecution, because they feel entitled, not to equal status, but to greater status.” Jon Stewart

          • Bruce Wayne

            Strongly disagree with you, Sally. Christians are constantly persecuted for trying to follow our beliefs the way no other group is. If someone said “Happy Hanukkah” to someone or wore a hijab, it would be “racist” to say anything against them, yet Christians are fodder for crude jokes, mistreatment, mocking, prejudice, and bigotry. Just last year, they wanted to put up crosses in honor of fallen troopers, but all the atheists threw a fit and stopped the Christians from using their free speech. Atheists are constantly harassing Christians in a way that they NEVER harass Jews or Muslims. Jews get a free pass despite their religion being even more strict than most Christian groups. It’s ridiculous.

            This critic blasting this movie is another problem with society in general. This was a good movie, but it’s Christian, so all the liberals in the media (which is dominated by left-wingers, secular Jews, Democrats, environmentalists, and agenda-pushers) crap all over this movie simply because it’s taking about Jesus. Again, if this was a Holocaust drama or story about a Muslim family and their faith in modern America, then these bloggers and critics would be praising it to the high heavens.

          • sally sefton

            If you see yourself as a persecuted victim, nothing I can say will change that. I guess it helps to just cry persecution whenever anyone is critical of the actions of something you do. Independent of the film and its merit, I have to say that Christians are doing a mighty fine job of making life hell for millions these days. Poor jesus. To have so many in his fan club doing so much damage to so many.

  12. Bruce Wayne

    @Sally: Damage?? Damage to who? Christians are the leading donators of charitable contributions. All the services you use were probably founded by Christians AND run by Christians. The United States is a Christian nation…it’s part of our identity, culture, and destiny.

    @Ken: Paranoia? You are in a place of privilege. All the political correctness warriors are on your side and they pretty much dominate American culture these days. Persecution is something to be paranoid about. How far does it have to go before you open your eyes and say “hmm…maybe I should’ve stood up for my fellow Americans and their right to worship.” Would it take creating a ghetto for the Christians in your city? Putting them on boxcars?

    • sally sefton

      Well yes. The christians have just put into place a bill that prohibits any other state laws that “substantially burden” the ability of any person to follow his or her religious beliefs. What that really means, whether Pence will admit it or not, is that he doesn’t want anybody in Indiana to be prevented from following beliefs that could eventually discriminate against gays, or gay marriage. The Christians in power have put into office people that court war relentlessly, taking out hundreds of thousands of lives. The Christians in power have created legislation that gives corporations huge tax breaks while taking funds from food that would go to children and the elderly. Christians have tried to take down a health care bill, that however flawed, has allowed 16 million people to have health care for the first time. Christians have tried to create an alliance with foreign countries without approval from the President. Christians have denied that our planet is heating up because well…science isn’t all that reliable. Christians have made the choice in Texas to rewrite textbooks that do not show the Bushes or the Iraq war in a favorable light. Oh yes, and let’s not mention the new textbooks exclude the Kennedy family. Revisionist history. This post is an over generalisation, but please do not go down the road of telling me all of the great things Christians have done. I know they have done great things. I also know that in the name of Christ, they have done things that would make Jesus cry. Truly.

      • Bruce Wayne

        Josef Stalin, an atheist, killed more people than Adolf Hitler in the name of atheist Communism. Vladimir Lenin, also an atheist, started a bloody revolution. Karl Marx and Friederich Engels, two atheists…one a secular Jew….created Communism which lead to the slaughter of millions and millions of Christians. The Muslims behead Christians on a daily basis. Muslims invaded Russia and slaughtered people in the name of Islam. China, a Buddhist country, subjugates its populace similar to the most vile Islamic states in the Middle East. Emperor Hirohito, a Shinto, started war with China and the USA during WWII which lead to many atrocities.

        In terms of hit points, it looks like the secular world one-ups Christianity. Sorry if you can’t accept the truth.

        And to answer your gay marriage point, gays continually bully Christians. They cause problems just to get the liberal world riled up. Being gay in America is no where near as hard as being Christian. You can harass and make fun of Christians all you want and people just laugh, but heaven forbid anyone say anything against a gay person, or the PC Police will be on you in seconds.

  13. Edwin Arnaudin

    This was a good movie, but it’s Christian, so all the liberals in the media (which is dominated by left-wingers, secular Jews, Democrats, environmentalists, and agenda-pushers) crap all over this movie simply because it’s taking about Jesus.

    I’ll play this card again: Ken’s #12 movie of 2014 was Calvary.

      • Ken Hanke

        Who says I want my review excused? As far as I’m concerned, it’s pretty accurate. You coming here and playing Fox News Persecuted Christian only substantiates my remark about “tossing the standard ‘us vs. them’ red meat (unions, abortion, the American Humanist Association) to the easily riled. ” And even if my review needed excusing, the fact that a film about faith — Calvary — was on my best of 2014 list pretty much settles the whole “you hate this movie because it’s talking about Jesus” as a baseless canard. All I did was give an honest opinion on what I think is a bad movie — and how that infringes on your freedom of religion, I am sure I do not know.

        • Bruce Wayne

          You are attacking Christians for their beliefs. If that’s not infringing on freedom of religion, I don’t know what is.

          • Ken Hanke

            Seriously? You are more interested in painting yourself as some kind of victim than anything else. I am unclear on how giving a movie a bad review is “attacking” anything other than the movie. I haven’t infringed on freedom of religion. I haven’t suggested the movie be banned or not shown. I have not attempted to stifle its right to exist. I’ve said that it’s a bad and shallow movie. But you, on the other hand, attack me for saying I think it’s a bad movie. If that’s not infringing on my right to freedom of speech, I don’t know what is. A case could be made that it infringes on my freedom of religion, too. I do not expect you to see this, of course.

            Now, if you want to actually discuss the movie, have at it. But this discussion of you as a persecuted Christian belongs somewhere other than a site about movies.

  14. Bruce Wayne

    Mr. Hanke,

    We can’t discuss the movie because the only reason you’re being critical of it is because it has Christian material. Other than the religious subject, your criticisms are weak. The movie was very well put together, dramatic, and interesting. What about it do you hate so much that you’ll give it such a low score?

    • Sally sefton

      Did you read the review? That might answer your question.

    • Ken Hanke

      Mr. “Wayne” —

      You are talking through your hat. Just because it is your opinion that the movie was “very well put together, dramatic, and interesting” does not make it an unarguable fact. It merely makes that your opinion. That my opinion — which is what a review is — differs from yours does not make my opinon that the movie was poorly constructed, filled with clichés, melodramatic, and pitched to pander to a certain element and rile them up an “attack on Christianity.” I don’t hate the movie. I merely think it is very poor. I give movies their ratings based on their quality — which inevitably includes content. (I gave Fifty Shades of Grey an even lower rating, if you want to take a broader view.) How does my rating impact you? Does it make you like the movie less? Are you doubting your own judgment?

      I really think we’re done here.

  15. Rebecca

    Hater or Critic you can’t be both.

    Critics who hates Christ should not talk about films related to Christ.
    Critics who likes Christ should not talk about films related to Christ.
    Films related to Christ isn’t about La-La land and their hate, it’s about the ‘message’

  16. Lucifer

    LOL, another angry anti-Christian review. I’ll bet you’ll give Jurassic World a 10/10 next week. The reason Christian cinema isn’t recognized is because of jaded critics like you.

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