Though I watch many more movies on Netflix, I am glad I had the opportunity to see this in a theater – not that there were any special effects needing the big screen, but the shared beliefs in the audience created reactions that seemed as important at the movie itself.
Before deciding to head to the theater, I did a quick Google and found this review by the Catholic News Agency. Honestly though, after seeing the movie I think their review comes a bit harsh. There are a few scenes and characters that do seem overly scripted or even “cramped and caricatured” as CNA put it, however not any more so than many other movies I’ve seen before.
CNA also describes the movie as a “largely unrealistic picture”; I would beg to differ. I believe our religious freedoms are constantly under attack on a number of fronts – including entertainment and academia – and I see this movie as an amazing counter-assault to the culture in America. Although I would hope the story told in this movie has never played out exactly in any classroom, I have no doubt it has played out in some degree. Unrealistic? No. Hyperbole? Yes.
I thought another great part of this movie were the scriptural references in various scenes, such as: Genesis 1:3, Genesis 1:20, Matthew 10:33, Luke 12:48, and Philippians 4:11-13.
All in all, the movie was very entertaining and uplifting; there were several scenes that were painful to watch, yet I felt each was a perfect description of reality, and each of those scenes were rewarded with joyful moments of triumph over persecution. Could the screen writing or the acting been a little better? Yes. Should that keep you away from this movie? Absolutely not.
It is my sincere hope that all movie-goers will see this movie. Let us all send a big message to Hollywood: This is the kind of movie we want to see in our theaters.