Sunday, March 23, 2014

Movie review: God's not Dead

“Mr. Wheaton, is there something wrong?”

Josh Wheaton’s life is heading in the right direction. As a freshman in college, he is working towards his degree, has a pretty girlfriend who is already planning their future together, and has a close relationship with the Lord. Everything seems to be aligning towards a perfect future for this young man. So when his Philosophy professor, Jeffrey Radisson by name, asks the above question of Josh, you would assume the answer would be a resounding “No!”

But it is not so.

You see, Professor Radisson has just declared to his students, including Josh, that “there is no God.” He proposes to his students, “that we refuse to waste our limited time together debating the existence of the ‘big man in the sky’, the myth of a benevolent, all-powerful, supernatural Being.” All he requires from his students is that they fill out their papers with three little words: God is dead.

That, of course, is something Josh as a Christian cannot do, and he lets his professor know. As he tells a friend later, “To me God’s not Dead, and I don’t want anyone convinced out of believing in Him just because their professor thinks they should.”

But what is the other option? Professor Radisson quickly let’s Josh know. If he cannot admit that God is dead, he will have to defend the antithesis—that God is alive and still relevant to a logical discussion. If Josh cannot do this, he will fail his course and lose 30% percent of his final grade , a disastrous blow to his hopes at a degree—and his perfect future.

Josh could just take the easy way out. He could sign the paper with those three little words and keep his perfect plans intact. Indeed, everyone in his life tells him he should! But after being challenged by his pastor, Josh becomes convinced that he cannot disacknowledge God before men. With Professor Radisson as the prosecutor and his students (whom Radisson has already won over) as the jury, Josh Wheaton sets out to do the seemingly impossible: convince the classroom that God’s not dead.

Can he do it? And what will it mean for the people around him if he wins/losses this challenge?

Family Friendliness: 9 out of 10

Language/Dialog: Not a concern

Nothing of concern.

Violence: Mild Concern

A concern for younger viewers is when we see a father hit his daughter across the face twice in a sequence of fairly intense scenes. We then see her dragged forcibly from the house by her father, and he holds her throat in his hand, presumably thinking of choking her.

There is also an accident scene, but one of only internal injuries (no blood).

Sexual Content: Mild concern

Some of the scenes on college campuses feature girls dressed a little less-than-modestly, including one of the main characters. (nothing blatant, of course, but a tad bit concerning nonetheless)

Another aside is that relationships are almost a surprising theme of this movie—and all 3 of them (spoiler alert) end in “break-ups”.

Other Negatives

We hear quite a few sarcastic comments and lots of hatred expressed by Professor Radisson and others for God.

Another concern that I should mention is that if you see this movie in theaters, I strongly advise you to stay outside the theater until the movie previews are over with. We stepped in the theater to catch the tail end of the previews, and the last preview was very inappropriate. :0(


God’s not Dead went above and beyond my expectations for the film. It is hands down the best-acted Christian movie I have ever seen, and the storyline was engaging and rich with the Gospel! In an entertaining and enjoyable way, God’s not Dead gives Christians answers to some of the hardest questions we face today.

And don’t think it is just about a college kid taking a stand for his faith. The lives of many other people are worked into the story as well, and each person represents different struggles and worldviews. This film explores many different sub-plots, each with its own message.

Really, I think this film is an almost breathtaking accomplishment by PurFlix. It is far and away the best film they have ever produced. So . . . this begs the question: is God’s not Dead on a level with Sherwood Pictures’ latest films?

I would say yes—most definitely! And the fact that God’s not Dead is set to gross more money than Fireproof in it’s opening weekend would seem to back me up. In fact, God’s not Dead is my new favorite Christian movie . . . at least on the same level with Courageous! It is that good.

Final rating 5 out of 5 stars


  1. I really appreciate your movie reviews! I liked your recent update to your "Frozen" review, as well as this review. I very rarely watch a movie, but if I do, I want to know it's going to be worth my time! Thanks : )

  2. Thank you, Anna! I am glad you find my reviews beneficial. :0) God bless!

  3. Hmmmm.... I wish I saw this film! But you know how things go! ;)

  4. Yeah, I am really disappointed that after all the planning it didn't work out. :0/ Definitely still see the movie in theaters, though!

  5. We also watched this film this weekend, and I would agree on your rating. It is really inspiring and good. I think as far as "movies in the theater" go, movies about Christian living like this are better than Hollywood remakes of the Bible. I found the violence fairly intense - though I know I am sensitive - and I teared up and looked away. As far as the rest goes - actually I was kind of surprised at Josh's girlfriend - her clothing, her behavior, etc., but I think that was the point. Pretty much the rest of the movie was really good! I liked the Newsboys song, Duck Dynasty appearance, the missionary from Africa, and the way the plot all worked together with the theme. Great movie in my book! :)

  6. Thanks for the review Kyle! Sounds like it was a great movie!I am still looking forward to seeing it "sometime"! It's too bad it didn't work out for us all to see it together, but I'm really glad that out of all of us, you all were able to see it anyhow! Maybe we can still see it in a theater....but I doubt it.....since we rarely go to the theater.(I've only been twice in my entire life;) but then again our in-home projector makes it kind of like seeing a movie in a theater without all the extra people. Anyhow, I hope you all had a safe drive back home, and I hope we can see you all again soon!

  7. Kari: That's awesome that you got to see this movie too! I would definitely agree. There are not a lot of Hollywood remakes on the Bible that are actually uplifting or faith-strengthening. The missionary from Africa was awesome. "God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good." ;0)

    Elanee: Thanks! Yeah, that was a bummer! (I mean, it was great that the showing was sold out, but disappointing that we couldn't see it with all our homeschool friends) Maybe we could all get together to watch it when it comes out on DVD!

  8. Nice review! :) I'm really looking forward to seeing this movie... I mean, I was at the theater the other day, ready to see it, but *something* happened. Maybe someone spilled a Latte? I don't know..... :P ;)


  9. We saw it Saturday with some friends, actually it made us think of how you and all our other grandkids would respond to that challenge. Praise God, we think they/youall would do very well with no compromise! Papa and Grammie

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    1. Ohhhh yeah! I remember Valerie telling me the whole story of a certain someone who attempted to buy tickets online.... she gave me *alll* the details. ;)

      Actually, I don't think that's worth teasing me about .... I mean hey, at least we *didn't* have to break the bank! :P


    2. Ha, I didn't break the bank! I convinced my dad that it was a study of apologetics! ;0)

  11. Tickets were sold out??? Where did you go? We saw it today and there weren't that many people.

    I really enjoyed the movie!!! Although I wanted to hit Josh's girlfriend over the head with a 2x4 or something ...try to knock some sense into her head. And the ending was kind of surprising with Prof. Radisson. Well done, but surprising. Personally, I'd say it's better than courageous.

    Yeah, that last preview was rather....weird? and it did have one, (as we say) wordy dirt. (aka) Dirty Word. But I actually enjoyed the rest of them, and would like to see 'Million Dollar Arm'. But I'll wait till it's out on DVD since We'd probably want to use our Clearplay for it.

  12. Emily: Wow, I guess it was just a weekend rush! The theater we saw it at was in Vancouver. Yeah, I felt like doing the same to Josh's girlfriend (oh wait, I can't hit girls). When they "broke up", I couldn't help but whisper "thank goodness!"

    Not sure what previews you saw, but the one we saw had a pretty blatant bedroom scene. It is really sad that they had to show that kind of filth before a Christian movie. :0( I would definitely still recommend not watching movie previews, 'cause you never know what is going to pop up.

  13. We just saw God's Not Dead last night, and I thought it was really well done. I kept wanting them to emphasize the relationship with Christ as the heart of Christianity, but then I kept reminding myself of the purpose of the prove God's existence, (not explain how we are to love and serve him.) and I think they did that very well. Only I would have chosen a different music group at the end.
    But overall, I really enjoyed the film, and thought they did a good job capturing the audience, and throwing in a few surprises as well:) but I was so shocked at some of the things Josh's girlfriend was saying. And let's just say, I was more than rejoicing when she left the screen:)