I will do my best to maintain a level of objectivity with this film. I have to admit, it will be a little hard.
God’s Not Dead is brought to us by director Harold Cronk and Pure Flix Entertainment, known for such films as Run On, The Book of Esther, Marriage Retreat, Brother White, and many other Christian films. I will readily admit, many of their films came off as TV movies (their earlier ones like home movies), but God’s Not Dead, though it has some issues, at least made it to the level of an actual movie.
The story goes that Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), a college freshman with everything ahead of him, finds his Christian faith being challenged by a philosophy professor named Radisson (Kevin Sorbo). Prof. Radisson challenges Wheaton to a series of debates, and if he convinces his peers that God isn’t dead, then he will pass the course, if not, then he fails. Josh’s girlfriend wants him to drop the class, but he goes through with it, causing her to break up with him.
What he does not realize is, all over the city, his stand is affecting people. It’s affecting a pastor who is just trying to go on vacation with his friend. It’s a affecting a young journalist who just got diagnosed with cancer. It’s affecting a Chinese classmate. It’s affecting the life of a Middle Eastern girl. A cold and cruel lawyer (Dean Cain) is being affected by it. Even the newsboys (cameoing as themselves) and Willie and Korie Robertson (of Duck Dynasty fame, also cameoing) get affected. Most of all, however, it is affecting Prof. Radisson.
Of course, the lamestream critics and atheists have already begun to attack the film for its obvious stand of faith. I will admit, Dean Cain and Kevin Sorbo were the best actors in the film, with Shane Harper a close second. Their performances carry the film and to quote one critic, Steve Pulaski of Influx Magazine, who was at least objective, “God’s Not Dead has issues, many of them easy to spot and heavily distracting. However, it’s surprisingly effective in terms of message, acting, and insight, which are three fields Christian cinema seems to struggle with the most.”
I highly recommend this film for youth group and church outings, and to use to bring up discussions about faith and knowing why you believe. Pure Flix, you did an awesome job!
PARENTAL CONCERN- Mild thematic elements and some minor violence
- Shane Harper as Josh Wheaton
- Kevin Sorbo as Professor Radisson
- Trisha LaFache as Amy Ryan
- Benjamin Ochieng as Reverend Jude
- Dean Cain as Mark
- Cory Oliver as Mina
- David AR White as Reverend Dave
- Tommy Blaze as Dan Tibbs
- Hadeel Sittu as Ayisha
- Paul Kwo as Martin Yip