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Published On: Sat, Mar 22nd, 2014

‘God’s Not Dead’ Review: Strong cast, Apologetics pave the way for message on free will

“Contrived arguments,” “attacks on non-Christians” or “tragic propaganda” are the buzzwords filling hollow reviews of God’s Not Dead where the reviewers are obsessed with the debate rather than the film itself. IMDB scores the film right in the middle as most users score the film as a “10” or a “1” – neither of which are true.

Shane Harper Kevin Sorbo Gods not deadThe film follows several subplots examining questions of faith as the main attraction is a debate over the existence of God.

Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, Andromeda) and Shane Harper (Good Luck Charlie) play the atheist college professor and student set to dual over the existence of God. Harper refuses a written and signed statement that “God is dead,” and the debate is set in motion.

While this premise is indeed “contrived,” the intellectual elites on college campuses  aggressively attacking Christianity and the existence of God is a serious matter. Even Stephen Hawking is called out with other scientists passing off string theory and a multiverse theory as facts.

Willie and Korie Robertson play themselves in "God's Not Dead"

Willie and Korie Robertson play themselves in “God’s Not Dead”

Director Harold Cronk and the writers also chose to add several characters facing life’s challenges to portray a loss of faith and give examples of salvation stories: An animal loving secularist proclaims she has “no hope” when she discovers she has cancer, a Chinese student discovers a challenging discussion on a Creator, a corporate “big wig” feels like he doesn’t need God because his life is so good and a pastor who doesn’t like his work matters.

The Muslim father responding aggressively to his daughter’s conversion to Christ is a topic that feels uneasy because it’s set in America, yet the girl would be murdered in several Islamic countries for her decision.

Filmmakers should also receive a lot of credit for avoiding the Hollywood cliches in some ways: the boy doesn’t get the girl, people die spontaneously and sometimes there is no end to the man’s journey.

Obviously God’s Not Dead is speaking to the choir, but targets nicely many of reasons people turn away from God. The major issues with the film are technical (continuity and editing) but reviewers fail to set aside their personal opinions to even notice.

The supporting cast does a fine job here and the film will live on in Christian circles as a ministry and education tool.

Check out the full trailer below.

God’s Not Dead earns 3 1/2 stars out of 5

Add a star if you are already a fan of Apologetics or need a boost in the Creationism vs Science discussion.

Film website: www.godsnotdeadthemovie.com

Film Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/GodsNotDeadTheMovie

CHECK OUT INTERVIEWS WITH KEVIN SORBO HERE AND SHANE HARPER HERE

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news for Examiner, starting and writing for several different websites including the diverse blognews site Desk of Brian. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

Displaying 19 Comments
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  1. Hmm, I think your review, like the movie itself, has the appearance of addressing an issue, but really not addressing it at all.

    To have an unbiased critique of a movie, you HAVE to address the key technical elements that make up a movie, such as soundness of plot, believability and relatability of characters, character development, cinematography, acting, etc.

    Sadly, this movie was absolutely terrible on almost all critical aspects that make a movie “good”. Cinematography, really, was the only thing this movie had going for it.

    Good actors and actresses can charm an audience into believing their plight. A well developed plot and script can enable an audience to engage in the “willing suspension of disbelief” (this is an actual theatrical term, look it up if you need to). It’s how people can go to live theatre and watch plays like Peter Pan and “get caught up in the moment”.

    This movie doesn’t have that. At all. And it really has nothing to do with the premise, and everything to do with the execution. The reason you hear so many people complaining about this movie is because it is, in fact, just a bad movie.

    And the only thing worse than it being bad, is all the people saying it’s good because the movie affirms their views of the world. Even if those affirmations came in monotone voices, excruciatingly unrealistic situations, and completely one-dimensional characters.

    • At least we can agree to disagree. I didn’t feel Sorbo or Harper were part of the film’s shortcoming at all. This is also a topic, a question of God’s existence, which hadn’t been presented before. We allow for creative liberties with absurd concepts all of the time, so a professor make the demands in class may be a stretch, but it was a viable way of pitting the university system against Christian students – something is indeed happening at many universities.

      Monotone voice? Unrealistic situations? Sure and maybe. I think the criticisms here look past the shortcomings in other films that are viewed as “good” or even “Great.” Funny how divided we are, because the cinematography and continuity blunders were subpar for me yet you praised them.

      thanks for the feedback

  2. […] – Movie poster – source – Kevin Sorbo as Professor Radisson – source […]

  3. elkanahgray says:

    Atheists or Christians…the people who made this movie are raking in the bucks with a two million doller budget and already it has 42 million in ticket sells! This movie is too is to squeeky clean …I excepted Cindy Brady to show up for class at any moment. talk about preaching to the choir…An out of control maniac Professor who would believe in God if God didn’t mess up his like in the first place, to the Legions of converted fellow classmates standing in agreement against the crazed Proffesor. Sob..Sob…I’m a christina that has read the whole King Jame’s version 2.5 years) and the kid’s arguments were lame…

  4. Breahna says:

    I’m sick of this type of Christian film.

    However, there’s a new Christian movie coming out that I’m hoping changes how Christian films are made. It’s well-done with a good cast and it’s funny for Christians and non-Christians alike. There’s no bashing of other religions. If anything, it takes a look at some of the things Christians might want to reconsider. But most of all, I like that at the end, it leaves the audience with a conversation, rather than bashing them over the head with a specific message. The movie is called “Believe Me”, by Riot Studios. You can check out the trailer at http://believemefilm.com?hlr=Vx91nSU8.

    Thanks!

  5. schroera says:

    Thanks for your review. I recently wrote an article based on the movie. If you have a chance, check it out. I’d be curious to know what you think. Thanks!
    http://364daysofthanksgiving.com/god-dead/

  6. Satan says:

    Well this movie looks pretty damn lame. Hail Me [Satan].

  7. LOL really “attacks Non-Christians”? Do you think Professor does NOT attack Christians? Whether you Believe, or Whether you don’t believe it does NOT change the fact that GOD is Real, and he IS Coming back soon. The devil is a DEFEATED foe! Good job Producers, GOD will Bless you for making a Movie that Finally will Lift UP the Name of JESUS!

    GOD’S NOT DEAD, HE’S ALIVE!

    • Austin says:

      Micheal Murray, there is no possible way you exist in real life. You CANNOT be that stupid. PLEASE don’t tell me you are. The Professor is PART of the movie made by CHRISTIANS to tell you that athiests are bad. Your one of the people that watch old american army flicks and think that the “BAD GUYS” deserve it because they were bad. EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE PART OF A MOVIE!

  8. Zid says:

    Oh, that was one of the funniest reviews I’ve read! Need I point out that Kevin Sorbo’s character “Professor Radisson” isn’t an atheist at all? IN point of fact, “Professor Radisson” is a maltheist – or misotheist or dystheist, depending on your preferred term for someone who ‘hates god, blames god or believes that god is not good, possibly even evil’.

    There aren’t any real atheists in the movie – unless one counts the brief appearance of the “Chinese communist” student (and one wonders why said student is attending college in the United States, rather than in China)…

    The plot is filled with one-dimensional characters & does little to address the issues that any (except the most fervent, fundamentalist Christians) have with the Near/Middle Eastern gods of rather recent provenance within the bible.

  9. Kris says:

    The reason many people are so offended by this movie is because it’s so biased. Of course you expect a film like this to be biased, but this one is astoundingly so, of all the atheists/secularists/agnostics/whatever i this film, not a single one is that way due to the lack of evidence of god.

    They’re all this way because “My daughter died” or “I got cancer” or “My life is too good”, but not a single one is an atheist because “I see no evidence of god”, and that’s where the offensiveness lies, the director refuses to even admit that someone can be an atheist based on critical thinking and logic, in the directors mind people can only turn away from religion base on anger, hate or various other selfish reasons, and you yourself appear to by into this tripe.

    ” but targets nicely many of reasons people turn away from God.”

    The main reason people turn away form god is because they fail to see any evidence of such a being. If someone hates god, they are not an atheist, because you cannot hate what you do not believe in.

    Also, as a little aside, it’s absolutely laughable how the director doesn’t even understand what “God is dead” means, yet is a central premise of his film. It’s poorly written, fairly poorly acted, poorly researched and extremely one sided.

  10. DMacaoidhS says:

    How can that professor be an atheist when God had sex with his mom?

  11. Mr. Jones, I believe that your review of this film has been the most honest, neutral, and straightforward I have read yet. Unfortunately those things are difficult to say about most reviews and even news stories today. Thank you for a reminder that there are still a few good, objective newswriters out there!

  12. Finally a decent review by someone who obviously did see the movie and is not biased! I found it to be enjoyable and touching. Free will is the main point and many reviewers miss that. what I find the most disturbing as a Christian myself are the horrible comments being made in the comment sections. calling all Chritans ignorant, delusional or even homophobic when not all Christians are like that. And they follow it up with calling all Christians bigoted and closedminded. Some maybe but not all. thank you for the honest unbiased review!

    • Thank you for the kinds, please share to your circles to get the word out on this film.

      BTW, I’m hardly unbiased, but I feel it’s best to talk about the film and not the debate

      • John says:

        The film is worse than the debate. When Kevin Sorbo and a Disney actor are asked to carry the film, you’re pretty screwed. People give this film 1 out of 10 for a reason, because its ruined by the terrible acting, awful storyline, misrepresentation and blatant agenda. A secularist gets cancer and the atheist gets run over by a car for goodness sake. Let’s just bypass all senseless debate, and arrive at the conclusion that this film is terrible.

        • There were points surrounding the two examples you gave: the secularist has no hope in her world without God and the atheist can be saved, even with a deadbed salvation. I couldn’t disagree more about Sorbo and Harper, they were fine.

          • John says:

            Oh yes, Sorbo was so believable as the fantasy professor and call me hasty, but there has been Oscar buzz around Harper’s performance; I guess we’ll just have to wait for award season. The film currently has a 4.7 on IMDB, name me a good movie that currently holds that score.

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