Courageous (2011) Poster


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If this doesn't make you cry, nothing will
billfong3629 February 2012
'Courageous' is in the top 10 of my favorite faith-based movies. It really is a tremendous uplifting film that leaves you in tears from the very beginning to the very end. And it's all attributed to God. Kudos to Alex Kendrick for being in the film and giving a terrific performance! I give Courageous a 10 out of 10 My top 10 faith-based movies of all time are: 1) Ben-Hur; 2) Suing the Devil; 3) Soul Surfer; 4) Facing the Giants; 5) Chariots of Fire; 6) End of the Spear; 7) The Climb; 8) Gospel of John; 9) Time Changer; 10) Courageous You're missing out if you haven't seen these films!

God is working through these films.
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Another Excellent Effort.
jwrowe330 September 2011
Yes, it's a "Christian movie"...and yes, there's a "happy ending" and yes, there's a "message". So what?

In the 40 or so years I have been a regular movie goer, I've seen pretty much everything one can put into a film, from explosions to nudity to every possible combination of four letter words. And I am happy to say we didn't get any of it in this movie. So, if you yearn for a Hollywood blockbuster....pass on this one.

No, I'm no Pollyanna. I like some action and adventure. But I've gotten to where a movie with "less" is better to me in many ways. Yes, in full disclosure, I am proud to say I am a Christian. A Christian dad, too. I'm happy to report that this movie is what every father should see, be they "in the Faith" or not. It's nice to see a movie where there's a strong message of family unity. Even Disney movies have taken to trying to tell us that your average family is a broken one. That may be factual, but why can't we have some entertainment that focuses on people trying to be strong fathers? And that leads to strong mothers, and then stronger children. And in the end, a stronger community.

There's just enough humor to keep the movie moving along. It's not a short film by any means, so you do get your ticket price in viewing. There were a few scenes that might cause a jump or two, but they are part of setting the story. The movie is a nice surprise in a season of movies that will probably be forgotten a few weeks after viewing.

If you have a hard time hearing a lot about GOD and such, pass on this at the local Googleplex and wander into another film. I hope it makes you happy. But, I would gently suggest you try this movie out. Be you a man (or woman) of Faith or not. You just might be surprised. And, you just might wish to spend a little more time with your family.
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Reality Movie vs. Reality TV
dan-8-25617523 March 2011
Reality TV is not really real. I mean, I have no friends who've been stranded on an island or locked in a house (nor, as far as I know, has that happened to people who don't like me). In contrast, the movie, Courageous, truly reveals the reality of life. This highly entertaining film is about the struggles of fatherhood. Which of us guys hasn't struggled with the boundaries between work and home?

The story centers on a group of law enforcement officers and is filled with action, outstanding humor and at times, some tough emotional moments. At the show I attended, everyone cried. They cried at some tragic moments and at some moments of great relief. At my side was a good buddy who is a successful business pro and strong family man. He & I both walked away with some deeper awareness of how we could be better fathers to our kids and to our brides.

So there are also some distinct learning moments that makes this film much more than just an escape from reality. How often do you have an opportunity to take someone to a movie that has trailing impact on your life? I'll suggest you get some Dads together to watch Courageous and sit down for a meal afterward to talk about what it showed you were doing well, or right - and what you could be working on to better build into your family and their future. Powerfully-told story with an outstanding cast.
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Fun to watch, but also made me think afterward
lbk99-geo2 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"Courageous" is largely about four deputies in a large sheriff's department in a mixed suburban and metropolitan area. It details some of the dangers, temptations and excitement inherent in their job. However, even more so it shows us how they interact with each other and their families, especially how they deal with tragedy and learn from it.

The film does have some action scenes involving gang violence, arrests and shootouts. As such it is appropriately rated at PG-13 and I would not have brought my 7 year old daughter to it, but think it would be okay for most teenagers. The action scenes are not the bulk of the movie and happen early on to introduce the characters and then more toward the end, by which time I was at the edge of my seat to see who would live or die.

However, as I alluded to before, the action scenes are not the bulk of the movie and take a back seat often to the character interactions. The acting is generally good and the characters believable, with some only slightly over the top humor at times. The humor actually is used nicely to lighten things up a bit as some of the characters are forced to deal with a tragedy in their family.

The storyline is relatively linear, but not totally predictable as the actions of some characters came as quite a surprise to me. As part of this the story was made more believable by some revelations mid-way through the movie about some of the characters that showed their less than perfect lives and values.

I often do not see movies like this, since I am a somewhat typical man who prefers big blockbuster SF or other action oriented films. However, I went to see this movie at my local multiplex yesterday on a date with my wife and found myself really enjoying the movie. The people attending were a mix of adults and teenagers, with about an equal mix of men and women. I met a couple of people I knew there and they seemed to have enjoyed the film.

By the end of the movie I had cheered on the heroes, laughed at the humor, enjoyed the action scenes and even gotten somewhat teary eyed at parts (during which my wife did some solid crying). Overall I would say that this film was well done, with an engaging story, characters you could believe in and with a storyline that really makes you think hard even when it is over. I had fun with the movie, but also find it challenging as perhaps you will also if you choose to see it.
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Great Movie - Must see
tammyblake2 October 2011
This movie was excellent and far surpassed my expectations. There is a definite message to it but it does not feel like a lecture. There is lots of action and lots of emotion. Everyone in the theater was both laughing and crying throughout the movie. The movie was well written and well acted. The movie addressed difficult relevant social issues without being judgmental. The role of fathers in today's society and how many fathers do not live up to their responsibilities was the main theme of the movie. Although this is a Christian movie there is lots of action and does not come across as preachy. Recommend seeing it regardless of your faith and beliefs in God.
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Courageous is a must see for men
dmgruber118 May 2011
I went to a preview expecting a good movie with a great message. Courageous turned out to be a great movie with a great message. My emotions ran from exhilaration to tears as the movie went from police action sequences (that were very well done) to scenes that brought out tears.....and I'm not usually a crier. Lots of great acting. Bad buys were very bad, good guys were flawed. I would definitely recommend this. The audience I was with loved it. Both men and women. Not a chick flick but any lady that does not want her man to be "Courageous" need not see this. This movie is about being a man, a godly man, father, and husband. It was worth the money which is hard to say about a lot of what comes out these days.
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Faith, Family, Fatherhood - all in one
dmhonan2 October 2011
This is quite simply a superb movie about faith, love, family and what is really important in life. A must for all fathers and would be fathers. The movie weaves real life adventure and problems into a compelling police-based story and delivers solutions to those problems that can be used in our lives. Sure, some of the jokes are a little corny, but they are all in good taste - a rare exception to Hollywood's sex, sex and more sex mentality. The acting is really pretty good - there's no Brad Pitt here, but there is plenty of heart and soul from the entire cast. Hard to believe a movie with this much drama, acting and pathos was created with only a one million dollar budget! It is not only entertaining and funny but didactic as well. Don't miss this one - do it for yourself - do it for God!
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An excellent film I'll be seeing again
ChristProclamer2 October 2011
When I first heard about Courageous, I was intrigued, not because I'm a Christian, but because as a member of a law enforcement family, I can relate to the plot. I wasn't disappointed. The film tells the story of five men and their families, and their decision to step up and face their matter how hard they may be. Most of them were 'good enough' fathers before, but good enough isn't enough for a man of courage.

Courageous seemed less preachy to me than Fireproof was before it. Most of the acting was much better than I expected (Ken Bevel, in particular, really stepped it up this time). The film was very gritty, very true to life. There were times when I felt like I was watching my family in days past on the screen. Nothing about the reality of job or family was sugarcoated.

My main complaint would be with the plot structure; the story didn't have a clearly defined beginning, middle, and end. There were enough subplots, I thought, to fill two movies, though they all tied together nicely in the end.

Even my sister (who is not a Christian) agreed that she liked it. In the end, I walked away inspired and uplifted, not just by the film's message, but by it's presentation. Fireproof may have been a film I liked and walked away from, but Courageous is definitely one I'll be buying for my DVD collection. As of this film, I am a definite fan of the Kendrick brother's films, and I can't wait for more.
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petersonmlp1 October 2011
What a great movie. It is entertaining, exciting, draws you in an keeps you, stirs your emotions, and leaves a positive message. Most other Hollywood movies are shallow and leave you exhausted and wanting for more substance. My time and money is too valuable to just be "amused." It was fun seeing so many people that I have not connected to in a long time. I would go to more movies, but the are very few that have any substance. I hope people can spread the word about this movie. I think our society could turn around if dads took a greater role in the lives of their children. It is not hard, it takes courage to go against the modern culture of "if it feels good, do it" and chasing after the trappings of success, like money and possessions.
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Must See for Dads
jtc_junk15 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I had seen the trailers and heard all the hype, but after seeing the advanced screening last night, I was still touched by the message of the movie. This movie is a must see for any father, and it is the best Sherwood movie yet. It's a wake up call to our "progressive" society that wrongly (research is proving) minimizes the role that dads play in the lives of our children. At the same time they highlighted and honored the men in our society who put their lives on the line each day to protect us. That message is wrapped up in an entertaining movie where you will laugh & cry. I was in tears during scene one and in several others I nearly fell out of my seat laughing. But as they said in the movie, some will hear the message and scoff, some will act on it then fall, and some will make a real and lasting change and in doing so, they will change the lives of the loved ones around him.
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too preachy
mereiriz20 January 2012
I believe this could've been a great movie had it not been so preachy and exaggerated. It started pretty good but then I became kind of bored. The story was beautiful, it was touching sometimes, it had a great message, but they didn't deal with it the right way. The performances felt forced (sometimes it looked like a soap opera) and very unrealistic. Halfway through it I felt like I was in a church listening to a preacher. If you're a Christian and you believe that praying solves every problem, maybe you can identify with this movie and give it full credit. I say maybe, because I am a Christian, but I know that's not how life works. If, on the other hand, you're not a Christian, don't bother watching this because you'll get upset pretty soon.
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A Nice story and a good intention ruined by too much Religion
slash-246-3632113 January 2012
I don't want to write a comprehensive review of this movie. Instead I will make a quick list of the positive and negative points so that people can make their own mind up.

Positive. 1. No CGI, no fancy special effects. 2. Great filming, the cinematic experience was great. It shows both the best and worst of middle America in a non-bias way. The detail and lighting was done in a warm and clear way without being too arty. I enjoyed watching the movie from a pictorial sense. 3. The story line. 4. The moral of the story.

Negative. 1. Substituted religious messages for actual dialogue. It could have been much more creative in getting the message across (and still be Christian). Instead the movie had an almost cult feel about it. 2. The movie could have been easily 15-20 minutes shorter and still had the same or more impact. The repeated message about God was starting to feel like brainwashing. (see point 1). 3. Most people who are not Christian would have turned the movie off after the incident that brought the fathers together. The message seemed to really drag on after that point. 4. It started to feel very Cliché.

Who should watch this movie? People who are interested in some of the best things that Christianity has to offer. People who have turned their back on the Church or have no faith should probably steer well away from this movie. If you want to watch a good story, with some great filming and don't mind a religious message then this could also be for you.
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Courageous is a compelling drama addressing issues and challenges of faith
tavm8 October 2011
This is the second movie this year I've seen that frequently mentions God in addressing issues of faith, the first being The Grace Card. This one concerns four cops and one laborer being tested on their beliefs. At least one of them has an addiction and another is challenged before a possible promotion. And one more has a family tragedy. But, for the most part, they managed to survive and become even stronger from their decisions. Quite inspirational and occasionally funny too. And, yes, there are some heroic action scenes as well to keep things exciting. Really, I wasn't initially sure I'd really like this one especially when I was able to predict some scenes and lines but, overall, I highly recommend this to anyone who likes a good drama with a fine lesson.
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Do Not Miss This Movie, Dad's
jevans-6319 October 2011
Great movie that covers so many aspects of growing up, being a son, being a father and how to do both well. You will need to be both mentally and spiritually prepared, as this film will test you, knock you down and then show you how to get back up again. I've often wondered if they could ever pull off making the book "The Shack" into a movie while still preserving the powerful message, and after seeing this movie, I have hope that it can and will be done someday. If you enjoyed Fireproof, then it is a safe bet you will love this movie. Ignore the critics who whine that it's a Christian film, or that it's low budget, or that the acting isn't on par with Citizen Kane...see for yourself how much power, drama and emotion is packed into this great film.
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Too much Propaganda
guardian-1911 May 2012
Movie should be presented as a Christian movie. It is misleading to present it merely as a drama movie. The movie touches several social problems. The movie do not address the issues from an impartial point of view. The movie goes to far presenting religion as the only way to deal with such problems. Religion do not make a better policeman or citizen. Character do no necessarily comes from religion. Beside the propaganda the movie is dull. I was mislead into seeing this movie, because it have very high points. There still millions of people out there waiting for the invisible man to solve our problems. Humans need to find solutions to humans problems.
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soppy religious rubbish
cymonerry27 December 2011
The IMDb reviews of this film totally fooled me and I sat down to watch what I thought would be a good film.

It started OK, dealing with a small sheriffs dept. Gradually God creeps further and further into the plot until the film descends into some quasi-spiritual evangelistic bible belt rubbish. As soon as I saw the little Mitchel girl and her direction I knew what was in store for her. From that predictable event the film spirals into a sack of religious bullshit.

It then became more and more difficult to watch without retching. Having said that, the action scenes were OK and about the only relief from the mind numbing churchy script.

If you go to church on a regular basis, preferably protestant evangelical, you might like this. As for being a good dad, there are a thousand films that send the same message without talking down to you from a pulpit.

Unless you're bulimic I'd give this one a wide berth.
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Same Generic Movie as Every Other Christian Film (small spoiler)
josesolo21 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Let me open up by saying that I am a Christian; although I struggle with faith at times, at the end of the day I can say that I believe in God. I am also someone who loves the art of cinema, enjoying various types of films. When it comes to Christian-themed films, they all seem to have one thing in common: they are terrible. They have mediocre actors, no solid story, and rely on the "faith-themed" "plot". This movie is no different.

Courageous focuses on four different families who become connected in one way or another. It presents itself as taking place in the real world, when in reality it takes place in the fictional "Christian film" world, which is why a lot of these movies fail before they begin. In order for their faith-based themes to work, they have to portray it in the real world, but are too frightened by the fact that they would drive away their conservative audience. So, because of that, they write bad dialogue and situations for two-dimensional characters.

There's a scene where one of the characters die and hits one of the families hard. The problem is that this character interacted with one of the main characters twice, and they were very short scenes. The audience has nothing to really invest with this character, so when the tragedy strikes, it feels forced. All of the real emotional scenes feel really forced.

I've seen movies with the same themes of fatherhood a million times over, done in much better films. Watch those, and avoid this at all costs. It has some merit because it feels like the actors are trying and the way they portray how a father should be is good on the face of it. However, there are no risks taken in this film; it's just bland, boring, and very forced.

Christian movies don't have to be bad. The only good one I've seen was "To Save a Life". Even though it suffered from many things this film did, it at least had something in it to try to do things that most movies of this genre refuse to do.
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Propaganda, of course.
rgcustomer12 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I liked it. Well, I liked it twice as much as the nearly-unwatchable "Facing the Giants" (I skipped Fireproof).

It's no surprise that this film is a particular brand of Christian propaganda. Particularly outside of the US, it's a bit like watching a science-fiction film, in which the everyday world has been replaced with pod people. Or a Madea movie. Entertaining though that idea is, it gets old fast.

Before continuing, I will say that I thought the acting was pretty good, with the sole exception of Renee Jewell, who was not believable in the least. I thought the film itself was put together competently (cinematography, sound, etc.). But really, there's so much more to complain about, and it's really all about the story, so let's just dive in.

Rather than a dramatic story, we're given a lecture in film form. So that's how I'll review it.

Early on, one member of the police force uses a taser on a stationary suspect from above and behind, not as an alternative to other forms of lethal force, but simply as a shortcut to apprehending the suspect. How many more people have to die from this use of a taser before people get the message? It doesn't matter that this character is later punished for something else. He should be punished for this.

Later, a publicly-funded police car is used as a taxi for a cop's friend, while on duty. This is basically theft, one of the big ten. But theft is OK if if you're the "good guy" in the film. And we also learn that abusing and killing animals is funny when the animal is a snake. Most of us recognize youthful mistreatment of animals as an indicator of later abnormal behaviour as an adult.

There's a misleading emphasis on the necessity of fathers, when in fact lesbian homes are more successful at raising children than single father homes are. Moving from orientation to consider gender, there are women on the force (don't blink or you'll miss them) but we aren't told if any are raising children with anyone. Regardless, if they are parents then they too have a responsibility to their children, particularly as they have the extra burden of a job outside the home. Talking only about fathers, to that mixed audience, is sexist. Also, you might notice that fathers are blamed for fatherlessness -- even if they are dead, mentally ill, imprisoned for a crime they didn't commit, involved in an overseas war, or otherwise legitimately unavailable.

The behaviour of the adults toward their children is pretty creepy. Instead of a genuine adult concern for their child's welfare, there's more of an ownership feeling, as though the children are robotic property to bend to parents' will. There's a difference between discipline and inappropriate control, but these characters (and writers, obviously) don't know the boundaries. The purity ring scene is particularly cringe-inducing. Nothing in the Saw series could be as disturbing as this.

When a coincidence happens between two of the characters, it's attributed to God, and belief in God. But when a family tragedy happens (or indeed even the simple fact of being unemployed) God is let off the hook. In fact, the tragedy is turned into something great that "most people never experience". It's a very good deal for God, but not so good for the audience.

The thing with Christian propaganda is that it says whatever you want it to say at the time. In this film, God judges you based on any wrong you have done (e.g. not raising your unwanted children) and whether you've repented. But that's not what the Bible says. It says God has already judged, and you're on (or most likely not on) a short predetermined list of those who are going to heaven (Romans 9:11-22, 2 Thessalonians 2:11-13, Revelation 7:4).

As for fathers... this is what Biblical fathers do (excluding God the Father, whose brutality is too lengthy to include here): Genesis 19:8, Genesis 22:10, Exodus 21:17, Joshua 15:16-17, Judges 11:29-39. And Jesus wasn't too big on fatherhood himself: Matthew 15:4, Matthew 19:29, Luke 14:26 (and elsewhere).

It is so sad to see the approach taken in this film, in response to family tragedy, which is to become even more authoritarian, taking "full responsibility ... for my wife", teaching children the terrible lesson "honor authority", and without any concern for the child's own constitutionally protected beliefs to the contrary, "teach my son to love God with all of his heart". All this as "the spiritual leader of my home". "We will serve the Lord". In reality, this is a way to create a runaway teen. Just ask a few of them.

Nevertheless, the idea of a public resolution of parenthood is a good one (see, you read this far, so I throw in something positive). But there's no need to wrap it up in toxic religious concepts. Much of the content of the resolution (you can pause it and read the text) reflects common values that don't come from religion. Learning from mistakes -- that's science. Reconcile with those I've wronged -- that's good human relations. Live responsibly -- it's a bit vague, but yeah, sounds good. Of course, these things have nothing to do with fatherhood, except as leading by example. How about resolving to respect your kid as an individual human being? How about resolving to make your child know they are loved, unconditionally? How about resolving to pay attention, rather than demand attention? It's not all about you.
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Well produced but extremely preachy
Gdavidgarson23 October 2011
Though I am a Christian, I do think Christianity is not well advanced by this preachy film which uses a veneer of family relationship drama as a cloak for sermonizing at the audience. It is marketed deceptively as an action-relationship film but even I felt like I had paid my money to be lectured at by holier-than-thou script inserted for religious rather than theatrical reasons.

The film has a sound message (men should step up to the plate and be good fathers) but overrides this with the usual Jesus is the answer message. This comes from a dogmatic point of view which would also hold that men who do step up to the plate and are outstanding fathers, but who do not accept Jesus, are going to hell. That is, it is a dishonest film in this respect. Christianity is better advanced by a film which asks the hard questions, not just the apple pie and fatherhood easy questions.

You will see a lot of rave reviews here from people who like sermonizing and want to induce others to see a film of this sort. I just think that if it were marketed honestly, then people who see the film would not feel manipulated and tricked.
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Terrible for European viewers
roelie4429 December 2011
To keep this review short (Don't want to waste too much words on it) I will describe it in short. This movie is a typical American faith-religious movie that describes the relationship between dad and child. The makers did a decent job at following this plot. Unfortunately it is completely unrealistic, boring, the acting is terrible and also the script is also very, very stereotypical. This movie is made for an American market, this can be reviewed in the subject of the movie as well as the screenplay. I can image some may find this movie useful in some way, but movies should be made for entertainment in my opinion. It is certain that viewers outside of the US will see its true entertainment value, which is, close to zero. A moderately overrated movie.
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what a piece of junk
geddyneilalex2823 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I was asked to watch this film because some friends of mine liked it. My wife and I sat through the whole thing horrified that people actually like this trash. This film is racist and misogynistic. A terrible message of teaching children how to hate , brainwashing at its finest. We lost some friends over this film because we didn't want to associate with anyone who could think this movie had a positive message. This film and the people who like it are the reason why our country is so backwards. If you love your children and your family do not watch this movie! possible spoiler but key part of the racist elements of this nastiness, the Latina family only has rice and beans to eat. they are the only ones in the film who are overweight, and the only ones who can't find permanent work. This was like a modern day Klan rally with one token African American good guy with every other person of color being a criminal.
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About 5 men who realize just how critical being a good father is and commit to a higher standard of fatherhood
penelopebernard6 October 2011
Courageous had all the elements of a good movie - humour, action and excitement, several moving story lines, an uplifting and motivating quality and great interpersonal relationships. The patrons, in a 2/3 full theatre on a mid-weekday, came out smiling, laughing and happy.

It was obvious that all of us had been not only been thoroughly entertained, but uplifted and motivated.

I also loved that it was openly Christian, in our usually bland world of political correctness.

I'd go to the movies a lot more often if I could see more movies like this.
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Good intentions, misguided attempt
pip_112314 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Sexist, stereotypical casting, and very one-sided regarding the leadership role in a family. Religion is a beautiful thing, but despite our Christianity, my husband and I operate on an equal level in regards to the leadership in our family. He does not make all the decisions regarding what we permit our children to do or not do, we do this jointly. Also, the racial stereotyping is an unfortunate byproduct of this film. I am appalled that I am portrayed as a homemaker (I'm Latina, by the way) who wouldn't know what to do if my sole-bread winning husband couldn't find work because my only obligation is to keep our home. Additionally, I would likely make a decision about whether or not our daughter could attend a birthday party and would not need to await my husband's arrival home from work; I like to think that I can make that monumental decision on my own. Oh, yeah, and the part where the officer is driving while on his cell-phone was RIVETING, and I just thought it was HILARIOUS (sarcasm, for those of you who don't know) when he told the Sheriff "I love you." I can only imagine the conversation the writers had when they thought of putting that DOOZY in the film, I bet they were crying from the hilarity of it. The only thing that would be worse is if the star-actor decided to ad lib that part in on a comical whim. There are much better ways to provoke people into self-reflection and consideration in the roles they play in their family. This movie is pathetic, and I feel terrible for anyone who could be inspired by it. They are clearly missing true depth in their own character if they are more moved by this lame and prejudicial movie than by the global affairs currently occurring in our world. I would have rated a -10 if possible. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME!! THIS MOVIE IS NOT WORTH YOUR TWO HOURS! This does not even come close to adequately expressing how I feel about this movie. I am embarrassed for the actors, editors, and anyone else who watched this film before publicizing it and thought it was a job well done!

Just FYI: I created an account because of how much I disliked this horrible movie.
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Previous interviews written by
kilzewe17 October 2011
I happen to know that some of the previous reviews are written by those affiliated with the film. No deception there (rolling eyes). C'mon people, this is typical, predictable, cheesy crap. Yes, it's preaching to the choir who will, unfortunately, accept sub-par story lines, below average acting, and marginal cinematography. This is NOT reality as previously mentioned. Truly broken people say and do things that aren't as "polished" here for the Christian viewing audience, and hence, it layers guilt on those of us who may not have it as together....but still seek redemption and restoration. Save your money and catch it on Netflix in a few months.
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Very Sappy and Horrendous Acting
MargaretTyler10 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Wow, just wow.

Let me just start off by stating that I mistakenly rented this not knowing that I was going to be bashed over the head with religious messages. Add to the fact, that the director should be totally ashamed of himself for blatantly stereotyping Latin Americans. After all, we all know that Mexicans are the only poor people in this country that work construction jobs, right? I stopped watching after the daughter was killed by the drunk driver because I just could not digest one more minute of this drivel.

Save your money on this one.
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