Sunday, August 9, 2015

Movie Review: DO YOU BELIEVE?

Rating: Five doves!

Last night was movie night for my husband and me. Bill reserved a film from Redbox and told me, "We have to go pick it up at the kiosk." He didn't tell me the title of the movie nor what it was about, preferring it be a surprise.

So at the kiosk, I watched the title show up on the machine for the film he'd reserved and the pictures on the cover that formed a cross. I was elated that movie night would be spent on a Christian movie--but I was also leery. Christian movies are sometimes a hit or miss proposition.

Do You Believe, from the same people who brought us God's Not Dead, earned every one of its five doves from this reviewer. This one is a definite hit.

First off, this has quite a cast, including familiar faces that we haven't seen on screen in many years: Lee Majors, Brian Bosworth, Ted McGinley, Cybill Shepherd and Mira Sorvino. Delroy Lindo also has a brief but powerful role as a street preacher. In fact, it is his scene that lights the fire for the story.

Or should I say stories? Other reviewers have commented that Do You Believe? is like a Christian Crash, and to a point, that's true. Like Crash, there are several characters, along with their individual storylines--but that's pretty much where the similarity ends.

Make no mistake: This is definitely a Christian film. The gospel is not at all watered down but rather both presented and demonstrated through the story, which well written and well acted, to the credit of its fine screenwriters and actors. I found myself caring about every one of the characters.

Do You Believe? is about broken people: a runaway pregnant teen with nowhere to go...a soldier who's returned from war and is suffering PTSD...a young woman who has attempted older couple who are still grieving the loss of their only child...two brothers involved in crime and headed for an early grave...a dying ex-con...a homeless widow and her EMT whose marriage and career are at serious risk, all because he's about to stand up for his faith...a pastor and his wife, who have been unable to have children. Each of these characters will have an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ and His cross, and as is the case with every person who has ever lived, each will have to answer the question for themselves: "Do I believe?"

No spoilers ahead--but I will say this movie is an emotional and powerful ride. It's a storyline that moves swiftly; you can't look away for a moment, because each scene is used to develop the characters or move the story along, and that's what's called "good storytelling."

Unlike Crash, Do You Believe? is guaranteed not to win an Academy Award. Do You Believe?, as a reviewer noted on IMDB, is not a movie striving for an earthly award that sits on a mantle and gathers dust. Instead, it seeks to plant a seed of faith in believer and nonbeliever alike, to offer hope to a hopeless and dark world. Its simple and timeless message is that, no matter what trials you face in this world, there is victory and peace to be found at the foot of the Cross on Calvary.

That is worth more than any award on this planet.