God\’s Not Dead: A Movie Review

Victoria Gisondi

\"Victoria

God\’s Not Dead opened in the theaters today. It\’s a movie with a great premise inspired by several true stories. A Christian college student in secular philosophy class is challenged by his atheist professor with an ultimatum, sign a document denouncing God or prove that God\’s not dead. If he is unable to convince the class, he fails.

Here\’s the good news: It\’s a movie with a great message. It was well written with many characters and story lines which made the movie engaging and entertaining.

Here\’s the bad news. It had a few cheesy moments that made me cringe a bit. It\’s a shame that Christian movies can\’t to seem get past this hump. This movie did nothing to help the stereotype.

It follows Wheaton, a likeable good-looking college kid on his journey to prove God exists against the pressures of skeptics including a controlling and unsupportive girlfriend. There is a student from communist China who has never experienced God, a beautiful Arabic girl decked in a hijab who hides her Christian faith from her family, a liberal journalist with a chip on her shoulder, a heartless businessman who neglects his family and so many more. Their stories intertwined and I appreciate a movie that can do that well without boring or confusing the viewer.

The cast included a \”liberal\” journalist who had a bumper sticker on her car that read \”I love evolution\”. I actually laughed aloud. Perhaps they could have gotten the point across more subtly with a \”COEXIST\” sticker or an \”Obama 2008\” one?

There were sappy moments and the token climactic scene that accompanies almost every cheesy movie. You know the one. It starts when one single person stands to make a proclamation in a room full of people. This inspires one person to follow suit until one by one the whole crowd is standing.

There were guest appearances by Duck Dynasty\’s Willie and Korie Robertson and by Christian band Newsboys. Although I admire the Robertsons, they are not actors and the acting was stiff and a little painful to watch. Perhaps more painful was Newsboys\’ fictional encounter with the journalist. Their obviously scripted lines came on the heels of a comment the journalist made about unscripted interviews. It was ironic.

God\’s Not Dead did redeem itself in the end, though. The content was rich enough that you could look past the clichés. Aside from the guest appearances, the film felt genuine thanks to seasoned actor Kevin Sorbo and Shane Harper, who played Josh Wheaton. He was both believable and likeable.

The face-off between student and professor was probably the best part of the movie. The movie touched on all the big names in the forefront of public debate like Dawkins and Strobel and others. Debate was both sound and expertly logical and pulled off without feeling like preaching. God wins in the end, of course. But when doesn\’t He?

Overall, even though the movie is predictably hokey at times, it is worth watching. Not one to miss.

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11 thoughts on “<em>God\’s Not Dead</em>: A Movie Review”

  1. Sorry, but this piece of propaganda was not inspired by true stories. It seems instead to have been inspired by apocryphal chain emails that have been thoroughly debunked. The main purpose of the movie was clearly to rally all the good Christians around the altar by systematically caricaturing, marginalizing, and demonizing non-Christians: especially non-believers, but Muslims as well.

  2. William J. Miller

    Nice review Victoria. You should really be writing for a newspaper doing their movie reviews.
    I’m looking forward to seeing the movie now that you have promoted it. God Bless..Bill Miller

  3. I haven’t seen it yet, but I will after reading your review. I know precisely what you mean about Christian movies not being able to shake a certain hokey-ness. Why does this persist?

  4. Thanks Victoria – going to see with my 8 year old tomorrow and was looking for a Catholic review. Appreciate it and I look forward to seeing God’s Not Dead – hokey-ness and all!

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  6. After long decades or arguing God’s existence-and not- from every angle possible,and studying all the “proofs” both ways- I have concluded that 1. we do not want a God whose existence can be proven with human logic, by human science, or by some experiment; and 2. argue all you want about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, whether or not angels can dance at all, and how to prove God exists – the real “proof” is if you align your will with God’s and treat everyone – including militant atheists – with His love. To paraphrase CS Lewis, next to Jesus in the Eucharist, the most sacred of God’s creation you will encounter on this earth is the confirmed vociferous atheist with whom you are arguing-do not fail to treat him or her with the honor and respect due a beloved creature made in the image of God. Guy McClung, San Antonio

    1. Just read your comment on the God’s Not Dead Review. I just wanted to stop by and thank you for your point of view and kindly reminder. I know for me personally, it is generally my nature ( and perhaps my English upbringing) to be soft spoken. I try in ernest to always be respectful and gentle when faced with strong opinions that differ greatly with mine. Having said that, my faith is an area where strong feelings prevail and in this, I confess, to being more vocal. Being open about my faith in itself is of course okay, however, in my desire to share the good news and my anxiety over some of my own precious loved ones who are atheists, it is good to be reminded. Blessings Abby

    2. Dear Abby [why does this salutation sound familiar?], thanks. More paraphrase of CS Lewis on this point, when a friend of his said someone they knew was so boring:”When you did it to one of these, the least of my bores, you did it to Me.” Likewise, when you did it to one of these, the least of my atheists, you did it to Me.

  7. I like hokey! I have not seen it yet, but I’m glad the good guys win in the end. Thanks for the review. God bless.

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