WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the stories ranging from unimportant to plot turners.
God’s Not Dead by Michael Scott, Russel Wolfe, and Anna Zielinski (Producers) and Harold Cronk (Director)
Basic Plot: Josh Wheaton attends a class for law that is taught by an atheist that insists that you confess on paper that “God is dead.” Refusing to compromise his beliefs, Josh makes a deal to prove God is alive to his classmates. If he fails to do so though, he will fail his class.
Plot and Story Organization: 4/5 Well Done: The main plot was thoughtful and not at all boring, and there were many smaller plots that went with the main one. They were there to either emphasize the moral or make the plot more interesting. It was not just one long scientific debate, but had a story and development as well, so as not to bore people.
Acting and Scenery: 3½/5 Above Average: The acting was natural, but was not extraordinary. It was realistic and the actors were able to bring out the spirit and attitude that you usually feel from people in real life.
The filming and scenery were good. It did not look cheap at all, and looked professional. It did not have the fancy, almost animated feeling some secular movies have, but it still was good quality. The sets had a more realistic feel with its lighting and setup than a feel of a fantasy world, but this was good for the type of movie it was.
Moral: 5/5 Excellent Application: The main moral of the movie was to stand up for God and Christian principles even if that means being ridiculed and mocked and even if it comes from other Christians. The moral is shown in several; ways, the main being the young man standing up tot his atheist teacher rather than saying “God is dead.” Another is when a Muslim girl refuses to deny Jesus is God to her father. Other Christians are shown willing to have God as a main priority and not afraid to stand up for Him, throughout the movie.
Overall: 4/5 Well Done: A lot of people dislike this movie and label it as “propaganda” and “biased” but I don’t think it is as much as people say. Though it is true not all atheists are bad people, the spirit and attitude of people that are atheist is well caught in the characters playing them. Another complaint was how a Muslim family was portrayed, but if you see the family is shown to be not the average Muslim family, but more Orthodox, and the there are many Orthodox Muslims (again not the average Muslim) that believe hitting woman is something their religion permits.
Overall the movie was a good movie and has a good lesson. It offers answers to questions and statements people who support atheism have, though did not go very deep. It covers the good basics of fighting atheism. I recommend it for families and especially teenagers. This is a good movie for teenage Christians and non-Christians to watch, as it encourages one group in their faith and introduces new ideas to the other group. Another good group to watch this movie is new Christians so that they can learn some sound arguments against atheism and it can prepare them for when they must face ridicule or persecution as a Christian. This movie is not as recommended for adult atheist, because they may be looking for more than the movie has to offer and are more deeply rooted in atheism than the movie had time to cover.
Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 1½/5 Suggestive: Some of the shirts on the women are slightly low and there was at least once on a woman some shorts, but the clothing is not to immodest. It probably is what you would see more contemporary Christians wear on a daily basis. There is a brief picture in his demonstration of the man reaching out to God, and Adam is naked, though no “inappropriate” body parts are there.
Violence: 2/5 a Few Short Light Violent Scenes: A man compares entering a certain class to the Roman coliseums. A man slaps his daughter twice. A man gets hit by a car.
Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 0/5
Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 2/5 Emotional and Slightly Intense: A woman has an emotional breakdown because she has cancer. When a man finds out his daughter is a Christian he smacks her and drags her out of the house.
Religious Issues: 1/5 Slightly Suggestive: The big bang is not disproved or proved, but is shown in the light that if it did happen it makes sense that God caused it. There is a Muslim family in the movie, but the beliefs are not really said.
Magic: 0/5 None
Others: A boy has a cross necklace on once. Two men have hair that is long. Contemporary Christian Music is played occasionally in the movie and almost all of the main characters go to a Christian rock band. This music includes drums as an instrument. Alcohol and wine are mentioned and two or three times shown or drunk.
Overall: 1½/5 Almost All Ages Appropriate: The worst part of the movie was probably the emotional things and slightly suggestive clothes and art. The movie is recommended for children ten or nine and older content wise because of some of the emotional scenes.