20 user 40 critic

What Would Jesus Buy? (2007)

2:00 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

An examination of the commercialization of Christmas in America while following Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir on a cross-country mission to save Christmas from... See full summary »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mansome (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A documentary that explores the question: In the age of manscaping, metrosexuals, and grooming products galore - what does it mean to be a man?

Director: Morgan Spurlock
Stars: Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Morgan Spurlock
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A documentary about branding, advertising and product placement that is financed and made possible by brands, advertising and product placement.

Director: Morgan Spurlock
Stars: J.J. Abrams, Peter Berg, Paul Brennan
Documentary | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Four volunteers travel to Peraliya, Sri Lankan after the 2004 tsunami, and their planned two-week journey becomes a year of heartbreak and rebirth.

Director: Alison Thompson
Stars: A.P. Darmedesa, Bruce French, Oscar Gubernati
Documentary | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Morgan Spurlock tours the Middle East to discuss the war on terror with Arabic people.

Director: Morgan Spurlock
Stars: Morgan Spurlock, George Bush, Dick Cheney
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Best known for bringing Subaru and Yugo to North America, and for producing the first sports car with gull-wing doors, Malcolm Bricklin has lost and regained millions, failing as often as ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Bricklin
Stars: Malcolm Bricklin
Documentary | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

What happens when a generation's ultimate anti-authoritarians -- punk rockers-- become society's ultimate authorities -- dads? With a large chorus of Punk Rock's leading men - Blink-182's ... See full summary »

Director: Andrea Blaugrund Nevins
Stars: Tony Adolescent, Art Alexakis, Tony Cadena
Chalk I (2006)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An improvisational take on the high school experience, told from the educators' point-of-view.

Director: Mike Akel
Stars: Troy Schremmer, Janelle Schremmer, Shannon Haragan
The Dotted Line (TV Movie 2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The Dotted Line is an in-depth look at what it takes to be a big-time agent in the fiercely competitive world of major league sports.

Director: Morgan Spurlock
Stars: Reggie Bush, David Falk, Roger Goodell
30 Days (TV Series 2005)
Documentary | Reality-TV
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An unscripted, documentary-style program where an individual is inserted into a lifestyle that is completely different from his or her upbringing, beliefs, religion or profession for 30 days.

Stars: Morgan Spurlock, Alexandra Jamieson, Scott Bridges
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

When big money funds small business in Las Vegas, a new economy emerges and gives a long-neglected community the chance to thrive. From Tribeca Film

Director: Morgan Spurlock
Super Size Me (2004)
Documentary | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald's food for one month.

Director: Morgan Spurlock
Stars: Morgan Spurlock, Daryl Isaacs, Chemeeka Walker
7 Deadly Sins (TV Series 2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Morgan Spurlock presents a modern day interpretation of the seven deadly sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride.

Stars: Jennifer Brito, Tommy Gunn, Mike Heslin


Credited cast:
Adetola Abiade ...
Paul Allen ...
Paul Norman Allen ...
Paul Norman Allen ...
Shannon Baxter ...
Rick Becker ...
James Solomon Benn ...
Choir Director / Choreographer
Reverend Billy ...
Reverend Billy
Misun Choi ...
Ben Dubin-Thaler ...
Savitri Durkee ...
Church Director
Leah Farrell ...
Mike Flthye ...


An examination of the commercialization of Christmas in America while following Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir on a cross-country mission to save Christmas from the Shopocalypse (the end of humankind from consumerism, over-consumption and the fires of eternal debt.) The film also delves into issues such as the role sweatshops play in America's mass consumerism and Big-Box Culture. From the humble beginnings of preaching at his portable pulpit on New York City subways, to having a congregation of thousands - Bill Talen (aka Rev. Billy) has become the leader of not just a church, but a national movement. Written by Warrior Poets Releasing

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The movie Santa doesn't want you to see!

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material and brief mild language

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 November 2007 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,527 (USA) (16 November 2007)


$196,990 (USA) (28 December 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Safeway (about 40 minutes into the film) identified as Oakland, is in fact in Berkeley. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A d-i-y on overturning the market stalls
16 August 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

What would Jesus buy? Having written to my local preacher at the tender age of 16 (to renounce formally any connection with a faith that I find repugnant), my answer would probably be, "I couldn't give a monkey's." But lest you be put off this rather entertaining documentary, let me reassure you it is not really about religion. Reverend Billy, its key protagonist, is not really a Reverend. And the Jesus catchline is simply to question your unserving faith to the more mundane god of cash-registers.

Think Michael Moore, Ali G, Aaron Barschak, or Super Size Me. Reverend Billy is a character created by actor-comedian Bill Talen, often accompanied by his accomplished artist-wife Savitri Durkee (Director of the 'Church of Stop Shopping'). Then there's the acoustically accomplished 'Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir'. Think protests in Starbucks, Walmart, Times Square and Disneyland. Rage against globalisation. Consumerism. The ever-increasing debt. Use the feelgood singalong style of modern Jesus-music-churches. Find a tagline line such as 'the true meaning of Christmas.' Get taken seriously faster than you can say, "thanks for the donation" (Billy's organisation is tax-deductible – yes, really).

Reverend Billy has even started to believe in himself. But is the message any good? Before we answer that question, let's ask if it is entertaining. The answer has to be, yes. Bill Talen is no Aaron Barschak, causing public disruption for the sake of it or begging for recognition. Firstly, he's actually funny. An accomplished entertainer, his puns and loaded lines are devilishly perfected. Visually, he looks like a slightly scary caricature of Elvis, shock of blonde hair balancing precariously on a less than angelical face. Wife Savitri coaches him before delivering the gospel: "Keep your eyes open really wide as you say that . . ." Secondly, he can persuade people he loves them before tearing them to shreds. A sort of Ali G on coke. Let us sing to the Lord, he exhorts on people's doorstep at Yuletide. He hands them a carol sheet. After a traditional start, they realise the lyrics they are singing have been altered. Firstly to damn with praise, then to excoriate. Big businesses, and the shopping sprees that support them, cast into hell. His tour bus meets local churchmen who think he's a holy crusader. Disneyworld-goers think he's part of the entertainment

  • till he gets arrested. Billy has been arrested many, many times.

Thirdly (just like the many churches, sceptics might argue), he pulls people in with enough factoids to convince them he knows what he's talking about. Slave labour in China. The horrors of globalisation. Families facing life-ruining debt brought on by merciless advertising. "Give something that costs nothing!" he exhorts. The highly simplified arguments are enough to arouse the emotions of the Outraged Campaigner in any of us. Enough to grab the brain as it hesitates precariously between thinking and laughter.

Billy walks into a shop and does a 'Laying of Hands' on the cash register. In confessional, he tells a girl she did the right thing for taking a pair of scissors to a dress she was trying on in a store ("It didn't fit"). He 'exorcises' a local Walmart from the nearby graveyard. It's very funny to watch . . . but let's face it, we're laughing at other people's expense. People who are mostly too polite to be as rude as he is to them. Do you want someone disrupting your hard-earned day out at Disneyland? When you're shopping for your kids' Christmas presents, presents you might be lucky enough to afford, do you want a preacher-lookalike telling you it's evil? There is a deep synergy between the Church, Christmas, and the commercialism that mutually reinforces that date in the calendar.

But to more serious issues for a moment. Reverend Billy (or Billy Talen) has his heart in the right place, but this stuff about boycotting goods from sweatshops abroad . . . It has been extensively proved, by trial error sadly, to do more harm than good. It tends to close the sweatshop and drive employees into begging and prostitution. Answers, sadly, are more complex than this juvenile barrage of love-and-peace would have us believe. They involve economic and ethical strategies, not a simple cutting-off of offending parties. Debt reduction is not about preaching the real meaning of Christmas (which Talen, as a strictly lapsed believer, is less than convincing about), but more about education and counselling. His point on 'giving something that you have created, or a song,' maybe gets close. Putting more love than just cash into presents. But his roadshow may be too commercial to sway most film-goers' hearts.

I would hate to be one to judge the Reverend Billy. He might do a Bono and or really make a difference. Or he might just be the lever that lets an ever bigger business concern reinvent itself. That concern, of course, being one of the most powerful financial conglomerates in the USA and the world today: Jesus' church itself.

22 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why can't I find this film anywhere? thegirl548
Look at the voting history smidthestampede
My review - from the other side Mike- Tempest Productions
Just saw this at a special Los Angeles screening with Spurlock, REv nospamla
News Story velour1a
what's the song played... spoiledaznchic
Discuss What Would Jesus Buy? (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: