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All Saints: Movie Review

Chris Carpenter


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It’s not every day that a group of refugees from Southeast Asia show up out of nowhere to deliver a financially strapped church from closing its doors. But that is exactly what happened to All Saints Church, an Episcopal parish in rural Tennessee.

All Saints Church is the subject a new movie from Affirm Films titled appropriately enough, All Saints. Starring John Corbett (Northern Exposure, My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and Cara Buono (Stranger Things), this new faith-based film explores the inspiring story of a young pastoral couple who have been asked by their denomination to prepare members for their church’s ultimate demise.


Former salesman and recent seminary graduate Michael Spurlock is an eager young pastor excited to finally assume his calling to full-time ministry. Not expecting to lead a large church, Spurlock and his wife Aimee figured they would assume the pastorate of a small, vibrant congregation dedicated to serving their community. The Spurlocks got their wish … well, sort of. They were appointed to lead a small congregation. What they didn’t anticipate is that they were being sent to shut down a floundering church that had recently gone through a fractious split.  What remained were 25 members with varied viewpoints and a mortgage well beyond its means.  With All Saints on the verge of collapse, Spurlock welcomes in a group of former farmers from war-torn Myanmar looking for a fresh start in America. Together, they plant the seeds for a future that just might save All Saints from the brink of disaster.


From playing young radio announcer Chris Stevens in Northern Exposure to playing the dutiful husband in the My Big Fat Greek Wedding movies, veteran actor Corbett has forged a remarkable career portraying likeable everyman characters. All Saints is no different as he successfully explores the human frailty of a struggling pastor who is just trying to do the right thing. 

Throughout the film’s 108 minutes, Corbett delivers in every scene, especially the ones involving comedic interplay between he and his old Northern Exposure co-star Barry Corbin. In fact, Corbin nearly steals the movie at times with his portrayal of crusty, plainspoken farmer Forrest. One can’t help but chuckle whenever Corbin sputters declarations like, “You’re a conman in a collar!”

Faith-based audiences will be delighted to see veteran Christian comedienne Chonda Pierce as a disgruntled church member. Pierce’s character is the quintessential country church gossiper trying to fix all the problems but only making them worse in the process. Sadly, Pierce is underutilized, appearing in only three scenes.

All Saints is filled with nice comedic beats that keep the movie from taking itself too seriously but unfortunately director Steve Gomer (Veronica Mars, Joan of Arcadia) allows scenes to move a bit too slowly at times. Viewers will be tempted to look at their watches in these moments.

Not a preachy movie in the least, All Saints demonstrates a variety of positive themes, chief among them, bringing hope to what seems like a hopeless situation and stepping out on faith. For example, one day, while trying to figure out how he could re-ignite the church, the idea of starting a farm on the church property finally surges through Spurlock's mind.  It is there that he has the audible realization: “God’s hand is at work in our fields.” And it was so.


All Saints is not intended to be a “message” movie. However, it does serve as a valuable reminder that God can use anything to resurrect what seems like a hopeless situation. It is also shows that love and kindness can break down any cultural barrier if we allow it to. For that, All Saints is a winning film.

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About The Author


Chris Carpenter is the program director for, the official website of the Christian Broadcasting Network. He also serves as executive producer for myCBN Weekend, an Internet exclusive webcast show seen on In addition to his regular duties, Chris writes extensively for the website. Over the years, he has interviewed many notable entertainers, athletes, and politicians including Oscar winners Matthew McConaughy and Reese Witherspoon, evangelist Franklin Graham, author Max Lucado, Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy and former presidential hopefuls Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Mike