Courageous: Movie Review
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Touted as a powerful motion picture about police officer dads who struggle with their roles as fathers, Courageous hits some marks and misses on other accounts. All in all, this new movie from Sherwood Pictures, the same production company who brought Fireproof and Facing the Giants to theaters nationwide, is better than these previous works. Courageous' biblical message is clear and good, but its delivery, from a critical cinematic standpoint, is weakened by some rookie acting and overwhelming dialogue.
THE MOVIE IN A MINUTE
Police officers Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, David Thomson, and Shane Fuller are confident and focused on the job as they serve and protect their community. That same drive fades at the end of the day when they face their biggest challenge – fatherhood. Being a “good enough” father doesn’t cut it when tragedy strikes and these four men’s faith are tested. When secrets are revealed and life becomes unbearable, they must draw closer to God and their families to survive.
THE GOOD AND BAD IN COURAGEOUS
More engaging than Fireproof, the Kendrick brothers’ pens and films a story with real heart and lasting purpose in Courageous. It's a bit predictable, but it does reaffirm biblical teaching on the importance of fathers in the family and examines the themes of grief, betrayal, forgiveness, and redemption. Unfortunately, these strong messages may not translate to a wide unchurched population as well as the producers would like. Too much dialogue distracts from the story’s action, telling moviegoers instead of allowing the story’s truths speak for themselves.
Filling the lead acting role, director/co-screenwriter Alex Kendrick holds his own, but one can’t help but think an actor with more experience could have pushed this film up the quality scale a notch or two. The acting props have to go to his supporting castmate, newcomer Robert Amaya. In the role of Javier Martinez, Amaya brings emotional depth to the film and an occasional laugh along with it.
Rated PG-13 for some violence and drug content, Courageous is not a little kid’s movie. Teens and adults will be fine seeing this new movie. It's clean of foul language, but does include some violent gang scenes, including a shooting.
IN THE END
Courageous is worth supporting. It’s a Cinderella industry story as these Sherwood Baptist Church guys acheive box office notoriety with each new movie. Courageous does have its weaknesses, but its strong message will speak to hearts this weekend – and that’s the goal.
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