(I) (2017)

Critic Reviews



Based on 18 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The Shack is a well-acted and sometimes moving but far too often slow-paced and unconvincing spiritual journey.
The strangest thing about The Shack, and the reason it’s finally a so-so movie, is that all the rage and terror and dark-side vengeance that Mack has to learn to transcend is something we’re told about, but we never actually see him mired in it.
A bit more editing to remove some of the airiness would have made for a better film.
Spencer and Alush turn in the film’s best performances, and Spencer’s natural warmth and Alush’s deep charm keep The Shack hammering right along.
As directed by Stuart Hazeldine, even its jolts of surrealism feel curiously stilted; what it needed was a director whose reverence would be tempered by a healthy sense of the ludicrous, an ability to tap into and draw out the material’s stranger undercurrents.
For a faith-based film that aims to promote spiritual healing and prescribe forgiveness, The Shack is almost unforgivably joyless and visually bland.
However universal the perennial questions and struggles that The Shack illuminates, under Stuart Hazeldine’s plodding direction, its faith-based brand of self-help feels like being trapped in someone else’s spiritual retreat — in real time.
It takes its sweet time to achieve anything beyond being a grueling snoozefest.
There’s nothing about this unconscionably long movie (it runs a whopping 132 minutes) that suggests anyone involved ever watched it from start to finish. But it looks nice enough, like a Nicholas Sparks adaptation, with lots of flowers and flannel.
After seeing The Shack — after enduring, that is, its 132 minutes of blissed-out New Age religiosity — I’ve become a believer. I believe there is no role Octavia Spencer can’t play with convincing feeling and an impeccably straight face.

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