Michael's Movie Grade:A-
Review: Fantastic film that manages to both teach a good lesson and be very entertaining.
As a Christian myself, I am probably more open to this film than non-believers, but I have a feeling that even the strongest atheist could find something to like in this film. That is because at no point does the film directly preach to the audience, but rather the message comes fully from the story and characters. Despite this though the message is clear as can be. There is no doubt that many films with a message could learn something from this movie. If the point of Christian movies is to spread the gospel in a comfortable way, which I believe is the truth for the great majority of them, than this movie successeds brilliantly at that.
Besides the message, what really makes this film work so well is the main character. This is a redemption story, but why it works is that we like the character before he is redeemed and want him to turn his life around. The redemption remains completely believable and makes us happy to see him redeemed. Also helping is a lot of funny humor and a well thought out story.
The downsides to this movie are relatively minor. One is that the opening exposition seems forced, but that is so brief that it can't hurt the movie much. The other is that the film is quite predictable at times. However there is more than enough good stuff to make up for that.
This movie should not only be a joy for my fellow Christians, but for most audiences period.
-Michael J. Ruhland