Movie Review

Courageous

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some violence and drug content.

Reviewed by: Mike Coad
CONTRIBUTOR

Excellent!
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Genre:
Christian Drama
Length:
2 hr. 10 min.
Year of Release:
2011
USA Release:
September 30, 2011 (wide—1,100+ theaters)
DVD: January 17, 2012
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Featuring: Alex Kendrick—Adam Mitchell
Ken Bevel—Nathan Hayes
Kevin Downes—Shane Fuller
Ben Davies—David Thomson
Rusty Martin—Dylan Mitchell
T.C. Stallings—T.J
Rusty Martin Sr.—Frank Tyson
more »
Director: Alex Kendrick
Producer: Alabama Production Group
Sherwood Pictures
Stephen Kendrick … producer
more »
Distributor: TriStar Pictures / Provident Films

“Honor begins at home.”

Copyrighted, TriStar Pictures / Provident Films

With each new release from the Kendrick brothers, the films seem to be getting progressively better. “Flywheel,” “Facing the Giants,” “Fireproof,” and now “Courageous;” all seem to take it up a notch on filmmaking with each new release. The acting, story development, camera work (with the exception of the shaky gun battle scene), etc. All are noticeably better than the previous films. Will they ever be nominated for an Academy Award®—no—but will they continue to put out films that powerfully convey the message intended—yes. And “Courageous” does just that—the message that fathers matter and can positively or negatively impact the lives of their children and future generations is powerfully displayed.

The story weaves its way through the lives of five fathers with varied past and current family situations. Four of the five are fellow officers, and the fifth is brought in through a somewhat comical encounter that becomes part of the story line. The interaction between these men and their families is convincingly portrayed—most notably in the loss of one of the children of the main character. We are made to feel that loss along with the family, and, in one scene at the dinner table, it felt as though I were right there with them experiencing the same sadness. The message is clear—our time is short with our children—sometimes shorter than expected—make the most of our time with them and show them the love of Christ.

Another theme that is brought out is the need to break free from past wrongs of poor or absent fathers and begin a new pattern for future generations of your family—multi-generational faithfulness. While no father on earth is perfect, there is a continual need for all of us who are fathers to repent of sins against our families—like neglect, apathy, and being a poor example and to model for them their Heavenly Father.

There are quite a few humorous scenes throughout which helps to connect the characters to each other and give a sense of reality to the them. As these five fathers come to the realization that they are not quite where they need to be for their families, they decide to make a “Resolution” that they would endeavor to become the biblical fathers and husbands they need to be. This “Resolution” is a formal document that they sign in a ceremony—I am sure that they will “market” this as they did the Love Dare materials, but as film marketing goes, that is a good thing. There is plenty of action and activity through the film, and, although I felt like 130 minutes may be a bit long, they filled the time very well, and there are only a couple of moments I thought they could have trimmed.

To me there was really no “objectionable” content, but the areas for concern to family viewing would be the violence and drug scenes, which by Hollywood standards are fairly mild. The tenseness and emotion of most of the film really doesn’t make it suitable for younger children anyway, and, quite frankly, that is not the intended audience.

I highly recommend this film and look forward to future efforts by this team of filmmakers.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None

official site: CourageousTheMovie.com

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—What an outstanding movie!!! I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. The message to be strong and courageous comes across loud and clear. In our culture, men need to become the leaders God wants them to become. This movie shows in a practical way how men can be men of God and influence those around them in a positive way. I would give this movie an excellent moral rating. The movie was high quality all the way around. The photography, special effects, script, acting, directing, music, stunts were all so well done, I felt like I was watching a large budget Hollywood film.

This movie shows that you can make an excellent, thought-provoking positive movie without cursing, taking the Lord’s name in vain, nudity and sex. Way to go Sherwood Pictures! May God continue to bless you in your movie making endeavors and may you continue to influence our culture to seek, know and love God and others.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—John S, age 47 (USA)
Positive—Excellent movie, as expected. Take a box of kleenex, cause this movie is a tearjerker. Actually was crying from laughter one minute, and crying from sadness another. A very well done movie showing the importance of fatherhood and husbandry. Also, does a great job of using God’s word to guide us in all that we do. I will see this one over and over…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—David, age 52 (USA)
Positive—all I can say is… DEEPLY MOVING, CONVICTING AND A TOP NOTCH MOVIE. I think this is a movie every dad should go to. To go further, all mothers, sons and daughters will get something out of this movie, too.

I had to ask myself these questions. WHICH FATHER DO I find myself most like? which qualities of a dad do I lack in and need improvement? do I have a total trust in JESUS? am I walking in integrity? what kind of legacy am I passing down to my sons? what’s my relationship with both my sons like? do they know how much they are loved by me and God? do I make most of our limited time together with them on earth?

I know GOD worked in my heart through this movie. I think he will work on YOUR heart, too. So hold on to the wheel, rise up oh men of GOD; it’s time to be courageous.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Rockinron, age 48 (USA)
Positive—I took my wife to see “Courageous” tonight for her birthday and went in with very high expectations. I had heard a lot of early reviews and had seen several previews, so I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. However, this movie turned out to be so much better than even I anticipated. I have never laughed and cried so much in one movie. Their were so many great moments in this movie, and they all tied in perfectly by the end of the film.

Every husband and father needs to see this film. And every wife needs to see it with them. It’s one thing to leave a movie entertained (and this movie is very entertaining), but this movie was so much more.

What makes this movie so powerful is that the idea of fathers stepping up to their responsibilities is reinforced with true gospel principles. The true moral to this story is men of courage must be men of God. If you have a testimony of Jesus Christ you need to see this movie. If you don’t have a testimony of Jesus Christ you really need to see this movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—James G, age 37 (USA)
Positive—This is an absolutely wonderful movie. I challenge all parents to take their older children and see this movie. This movie is extremely heart felt, caring and sets an example of how Christ expects us to live and raise our children. Even if you don’t have children yet, we all have young people in our lives to mentor and raise in the faith. The story, the acting and lessons taught in this movie are fantastic. Bring your kids, your wife, your family, bring everyone to see this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Lori, age 47 (USA)
Positive—Went to see this movie with my three daughters, niece and wife this weekend (ages 18 to 26). Our niece is not a Christian, and she really enjoyed it. They did an outstanding job presenting the importance of Godly fatherhood and presenting the Gospel in a clear non-intimidating way. I haven’t cried and laughed this much in a long time. They hit a home run on this one, in our opinion. Bring your unsaved friends and family and pray that this great church and group of folks do more. What a refreshing evening… will buy this one on DVD to put in our family library.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Tim, age 61 (USA)
Positive—Beyond the shadow of any doubt, I know that this movie was bathed in fervent, God-led prayer. Only prayer proceeding from and in complete alignment with our Father’s heart, could have produced such a film. This is a whole new genre for movies. This is not just a “Christian movie.” This is not just a movie that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to tell other Christians you went to see. This is a movie that God, Himself is burdening His people to see, because it is born of Him. HE is the Screenwriter!

Once again, the Kendrick brothers and their Godly cast and crew have left no stone unturned. EVERY man needs to see this movie, whether he is married or single. In this technologically savvy generation, when we “Google” the question, “what is a father?” after all the Scriptures appear, there should be one directive: “See the movie, “Courageous.” God bless everyone who had even the tiniest part in bringing this urgently needed message, straight from God’s heart, to the screen.

God is exalted in and through the film, and seen clearly as EVERYONE’S only hope! In this hour, God is truly turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children’s hearts to the fathers. May He use this film mightily to accomplish His purposes!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Dianne Givens, age 51 (USA)
Positive—Just saw this movie with my mom and dad. This movie was very difficult to watch, especially when you have lost a loved one in your own family. I was surprised at this, because I was expecting the movie to be only about being good parents. However, that was the secondary theme, in my opinion. The first half is more about how to deal with loss. I saw several people leave the film at this point, and I, also, felt like leaving. But that is how you feel, in dealing with a very hard circumstance, you want to just run away. However, if you stick it out till the end, you will be blessed to learn to how to overcome.

The film had several very funny moments, however, it was hard to go from crying to laughing to inspiration. Definitely a very moving movie. More so than “Fireproof.” Be warned! more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Brett Binder, age 34 (USA)
Positive—This is a wonderful film that delivers a strong message of faith and the importance of a father’s involvement in courageously leading his family. I would highly encourage all families to see this film; however, if you have younger or emotionally sensitive children, I would advise previewing the movie before taking them to see it. This movie deals with some issues that may be frightening or hard for younger children to understand.

The movie is rated PG-13, and while it is not in any way offensive to a Christian, it does contain scenes that portray violence (although they are tastefully done and not overly graphic). We viewed this movie as a family with our 8 year old daughter and 10 year old son. At the theater we attended, there were about 35 minutes of previews and advertisements that played prior to the movie that did contain offensive material (including profanities and previews of other PG-13 and R rated movies) While we had our children cover their eyes, and ears, they could still hear every word, thanks to the surround sound theater speakers. If you are considering taking your children to see this movie, these are some things you may want to consider. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Bel, age 35 (USA)
Positive—I went to see “Courageous” this past weekend. This movie was beautifully done. I realize that there are some concerns about the PG-13 rating. It truly is only due to the gang violence. There is no cursing, no vulgarity, no profanity. The gang scenes are intense. It is too much, in my opinion, for a young child. However, this movie talks about the Lord. It entertains with comedy and twists that really surprised me.

My children, 12 and 13 years old, laughed a lot during the comedic scenes. They were very attentive during the serious scenes. They did not cry during those scenes, but I did. I truly appreciate the effort that the Kendricks brothers did in improving every time they make a film. I see that they are doing whatever it takes to put Christian films on the forefront of the film industry. I am grateful that I can go to see decent movies and even bring an unbeliever to see something that is presenting the gospel in a different way.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Karen, age 46 years (USA)
Positive—This film is moving, motivating and entertaining. My two teenage boys were glued to the screen the whole time. At the end, my youngest said “I now have a new favorite movie.” My 15-yr old wants to buy it as soon as it comes out.

Having been raised without a dad in the home, I am especially grateful for anything that promotes father-child relationships, and I think this movie did that very well. It is the very heart of God to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so much so that He sent John the baptist to do just that before the people would be ready to receive Jesus.

The Bible says the reason for the two becoming one in marriage is because God wants godly offspring. If the message in this film will be taken to heart, many lives will be spared a lot of pain and heartache, and countless souls will be prepared to accept God’s Word and receive the gift of eternal life.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Daniel James, age 44 (USA)
Positive—Adding my voice to the chorus of praise for this great movie! Yes, yes, it’s not “Hollywood” all the way; how refreshing! My wife and I haven’t both laughed that much and cried during a movie ever. A very entertaining movie made near-perfect by the excellent message.

I hope the Kendricks continue to make movies, garnering more resources and experience. For a change of pace, maybe they could hire “Industrial Light and Magic” and shoot a film version of Peretti’s “This Present Darkness”…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jeremy Klein, M.d., age 56 (USA)
Positive—“Courageous” is a film everybody everywhere should see, especially “fathers”. I praise the Kendrick brothers for taking on the messages that others don’t have the courage to tackle. “Courageous” crosses all barriers, be they race, age, national origin, etc.… If Hollywood were wise, they would consult the Kendrick brothers on how to make a good moral quality film. But that’s assuming Hollywood cares about morality. (What was I thinking?)

I cried almost from the moment I sat down until the movie ended, and I didn’t want it to end. It is so telling and so healing. Churches would do well to take the men of their congregations as a whole to see this movie.

And it wouldn’t hurt to adopt the Resolution. This type of resolution is what is desperately needed within our churches and in our country. If secular men like many professional athletes saw this film perhaps they just might think twice before having several children by several different women. Perhaps they’d think more clearly of the consequences of their behavior and the impact that behavior has on the innocent they leave behind. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—C. Brown (USA)
Positive—This film is very powerful. It shows that you can make a quality production without nudity, crude language/swearing, and graphic violence. Sherwood Baptist Church is to be commended on all levels: clarity of Gospel, support of biblical responsibility, confrontation of absent parenting, etc. What can be added to all that has previously been said? You need to see this film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Rerwin, age 46 (USA)
Positive—“Courageous” was a great film! It was wonderful to see a movie that encourages men to be better fathers—godly fathers. And most of all, it was really great to see Christian men speak of the Lord Jesus Christ unashamedly. The actors all did an awesome job! Loved the police car scene with the Snake King!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Barbara, age 48 (USA)
Positive—Unbelievable movie… you will cry, then laugh, then cry again… a must movie for every father and teenage boy… You will leave this movie motivated to be the best father you can possibly be with the help of the Holy Spirit.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Paul, age 55 (Canada)
Positive—I personally enjoyed seeing a film released in regular theaters that has a solid Godly message and “Courageous” provided that. However, upon leaving the theater I had the feeling I was hit over the head multiple times with a heavy, blunt moral hammer. “Courageous” simply tried to make too many points in one sitting and ended up being ponderous—even for a Bible believing Christian, as myself.

I’m a retired pastor. In seminary, a professor told our class not to put all of revelation into one sermon. I feel this is what the Kendrick brothers did. When I wrote a sermon, I tried to only make one major point, which the congregation could remember and use during the coming week. I’ve actually had comments 20 something years later of persons remembering a particular sermon—because the point was clearly made by scripture, stories and hymns which reinforced the main message. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—LC, age 70 (USA)
Positive—I have gone to see this film twice with two different groups of people. Both times the film was excellent, and I would watch it again, if it would have opened in more theaters in Canada. Last I heard it was sixth in the ratings, and the book is a #1 New York Times best seller. That says it all, especially when the movie had such a limited showing. I viewed the film at two theaters 400 km apart, and the audience both times were very slow to leave. Lot’s of laughs and tears.

There were many real life scenes that are common to most of us. The film did not hide the full experience of life, love and faith. “Courageous” offers some real answers of hope to those who have been hurt by life through similar experiences. As I watched these policemen (co-workers) become family to each other in a way many of us would love to see become a reality in our own work environments, it made me wonder if I could perhaps have the courage to take similar steps in that direction with those I work with. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—James, age 46 (Canada)
Positive—“Courageous” was not just a good film, but a great one. I decided to see it when it finally came to a local theater. I had heard a lot of good things about this movie and wanted to see it for myself. Let me just say that this is definitely a film worth seeing. It was gripping, it was funny, it was emotional, it was how films should be made nowadays.

Granted there was some violence and some drug content, so if that offends you I would recommend not seeing this film. However, if you’re looking for a drama that will touch your heart I would recommend this film. This is a great film that will probably end up as part of my DVD collection. Thank you Sherwood Films for producing a good film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
Alexander Malsan, age 21 (USA)
Positive—I was apprehensive about seeing this movie, but when I got up the courage to see “Courageous” it was definitely worth it to see the film on the big screen. Once again the Sherwood team has created a well-written, inspirational and convicting movie.

The acting was very good, showing several types of Dads and their various circumstances in life. The police action scenes were well done and suspenseful, while the more heartfelt scenes were portrayed with dignity. I deeply appreciated seeing a movie that honors God with its values, confronts sensitive issues head on and gives much needed guidance and support for the role of fatherhood in our society.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Stephanie, age 51 (USA)
Positive—This is definitely Sherwood Pictures” best film to date! The drama and suspense were as good as any to be found in a secular Hollywood movie. I was glued to the edge of my seat during the action sequences! Also, unlike their past movies, none of the acting made me cringe.

If anything needed work, it was the make-up job on Alex Kendrick after one scene in which his character was punched hard in the face several times by a heavily muscled drug dealer. I was expecting at least a swollen eye, only to see what looked like ketchup smeared on his lip and cheek. But hey—it was their first time with something like that, so it’s totally forgivable. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Kadie Jo, age 19 (USA)
Positive—I LOVE this film!! The acting of this group is now top notch, and the production is much more polished and professional looking than “Facing the Giants,” and “Flywheel.” The subject matter is timely, to say the least, and the backstory is handled both frankly and subtly, at the same time. The movie is not corny or preachy, and it gets its Godly message across in a very masculine and manly way. And this one is actually FUNNY, too! BRAVO you guys!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Jay, age 47 (Canada)
Positive—***Spoiler Alerts*** I absolutely adore this movie. It addresses a very prominent issue in our world—fatherless homes, whether that means fathers who are absent physically or fathers who are absent mentally. It was heartbreaking and beautiful. For those who thought it was stereotyping Hispanics and blacks, did you notice that the two fathers who are most there for their children from the very beginning are Javier and Nathan? All three of the white guys are either absent or neglectful fathers. Perhaps we should say they are stereotyping white guys? I really don’t think this was about stereotypes.

It was about individual families. Javier and his family are immigrants, as was made clear when his wife says she doesn’t want to go back. Rice and beans are cheap. My husband and I are white and eat rice and beans all the time. Javier speaks Spanish a few times in the film, especially during the most hilarious moment of the film, a scene that had my entire church group laughing. It isn’t a stereotype. His character happens to speak fluent Spanish and have an accent because of where he’s from.

Anyway, moving on from stereotypes… I think Alex was wonderful in this movie, as was the woman who played his wife and the young man who played his son. I completely believed their grief, and they had me in tears for nearly the entire movie. I think my favorite scene (aside from the Snake Kings scene) was when Adam goes to the spot where his daughter wanted her to dance with him, and this time he gets out and dances like he’s dancing with her…, and he doesn’t care who is watching him. Beautifully done, Sherwood Pictures.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Amy, age 36 (USA)
Positive—Went to see this movie with a couple of friends from church. I was a fan of the filmmakers” previous films, especially “Facing The Giants” and “Fireproof.” So, I fully expected to like this one. But, this movie surprised me, because I ended up absolutely LOVING it. Yes, the movies message is aimed at fathers. But, I believe it can be aimed at all followers of Christ. It shows us how to live our lives with courage and integrity, in a world where those virtues are sadly declining.

It not only contains a great message and powerful acting. But, refreshingly, several scenes in this movie are quite funny. For brevity’s sake, I won’t go into describing any of these scenes. You’ll just have to rent or buy a copy of the DVD, and see it for yourself. Trust me, this is one film you will NEVER forget.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jared, age 31 (USA)
Positive—I watched it again and again. The movie was right when it said that if fathers stayed, they wouldn’t have had to go through so much in their lives.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Sharon Akins, age 65 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—Good movie overall, some bad acting and weak actors, and some pretty bad camera work. Portions seemed like an infomercial leading into an obvious package sale. One such instance is the Resolution this seemed very overblown and a very likely lead in to commercial sale of the product. The money change in the temple aspect is something I am sensitive to. As this filmmaking church rakes in the cash from previous films, I would hope for improved camera work and acting.

However, the few bad actors involved are surrounded by many solid performers. I think that Ken Bevel and Robert Amaya helped make this movie good. Overcoming weak performances by Alex Kendrick and whomever plays his son. I keep hoping as these films continue to succeed that they will graduate beyond using Alex but with him being the director and one of the founders of the film company that may be unlikely.

There were several scenes that I really wish they would have re-shot and the ending was abrupt and not the films strongest moment. For me Robert Amaya hands down provided the most memorable performance and really helped me enjoy this film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 2
—John, age 47 (USA)
Positive—I just had to respond to John’s review … about the family actors. The main character in this film acts with his REAL wife, son, and daughter. So throughout this film, as they had to act as thought this terrible tragedy had actually happened, I don’t really think it’s fair to judge their acting. These movies are NOT made like mainstream Hollywood, so I really don’t expect them to look or sound like mainstream Hollywood.

These are made with a FAR higher purpose… to give the Gospel. And I think this movie did a wonderful job of that. Let’s look beyond the trivial things here and see that The Lord IS able to be glorified in a movie. That doesn’t happen very often, but I believe that is has in this movie. It is a calling to more than just “morality,” but to true Godliness that is only found in Christ and His Word. So the acting isn’t the greatest… so what? The WORD is!

I personally think it was probably very difficult for that family to act together under the plot that surrounded it. And I thought the grief that it showed was very real. Families don’t just get up and go about their lives the day after they lose someone. Anyway, I just needed to share. This film is a blessing.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Angie, age 25 (USA)
Neutral—The movie negatively stereotypes Hispanics as a people that eat only rice and beans, with a male that does construction or factory work, and a wife that stays home. In an early scene, the husband is seems a bit dim, repeating questions back to the main character. Also, the accents are over done, as well as only the Hispanic characters referring to God in nearly every scene.

In the movie, Blacks are given similar treatment, shown as either very religious or non-religious. They are portrayed as either gang members, police officers or preachers. Their roles are narrowly defined. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Christian Thomas, age 40 (USA)
Positive—A truly awesome movie with real-life lessons. This is a must see movie. Wonderfully made. This movie can really rock you to your core. May God bless the makers of this movie. This is truly a movie created with God’s wisdom.

Sadly, I find it difficult to read people’s comments trying to claim this movie stereotypes Blacks and Hispanics. Being Hispanic myself, I found nothing offensive about this movie. I eat rice, beans, and yes, tortillas. Does that mean I’m a stereotypical Hispanic? Or does it mean that I was raised in a certain culture that I’m used to eating certain foods?

As far as Blacks, there were only a few Blacks in the story. How could they portray a Black mailman, or Black teacher, or even a Black person who is not VERY religions or anti-religious if there isn’t a character like that in the story. You only follow 5 men and a few extra characters. Since I didn’t see a Chinese person does that mean this is and anti Chinese movie?

Let’s be real people, if you don’t like the movie’s message or story, simply say so. You will not be attacked by a mob of Christians. But to come up with silly complaints is sad and really distracts from the true contents of the movie. I am please to also point out my teenage nieces who are not Christians loved this movie and want to see it again. Praise God. I will by them the DVD.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Troy Mendez, age 36 (USA)

Positive—This was an excellent and inspiring movie. I wanted to comment on another review that said “The movie negatively stereotypes Hispanics as a people that eat only rice and beans…” The point of this scene was that he was out of work, they were out of money, and they had nothing else left in the cupboard. Characterizing this movie as stereotyping by race is a total stretch. The scene where the “husband is seems a bit dim, repeating questions back to the main character…” was a very funny scene in which lack of communication coupled with confused assumptions was played for humor. It did not portray anyone as dim.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Laura S., age 41 (USA)
Neutral—“Courageous” is less humor and much more action and emotionally intense than “Flywheel,” “Facing The Giants,” and “Fireproof.” …There are several minutes of firearm use and beating. Also, references to child kidnapping, juvenile death, gangs, drugs, child abandonment and premarital relations. And with the use of subtitles, hispanic stereotyping could be offensive to some viewers.

Too much going on was a huge distraction from the intended message aimed at fathers and mentors about commitment and responsibility. There is visual implication of Bible reading, but lax in that no specific scripture references on the subject are verbally mentioned to support the intended topic as was spoken in the other three movies. It’s obvious that Sherwood productions has had to become “edgy” to cater to its new corporate film production associates, diminishing the charm of this church’s moviemaking.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Wendy, age 49 (USA)
Neutral—I have difficulty equating the policemen image with courage and Christian values. I have friends who are policemen, and they are honorable. But I have experience with others who outright lie about details in order to convict people. Anyone outside of the secluded Christian bubble-style of life knows this is true. I don’t like the concept of policemen being better than the average parent, or that they are a special example of courage.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—James, age 50 (USA)
Negative
Negative—…Honestly, I felt a little ill watching it. Allow me to explain my point. The main character of the movie is this cop named Adam, right? And the movie revolves around him *becoming* a good father? The problem is, he’s not a bad father at all, he seems to be a great dad to me. He works hard to support his family, loves his wife, loves his kids. Apparently his biggest offense and failing? Working hard. He missed his daughter’s piano recital dealing with the truckload of paperwork cops have to fill out, and this turns into a big deal. Apparently though, his daughter and him are close and love each other. His son, he wants to spend time with, but he’s going through a moody period where he only wants to play video games or run. That’s not the dad’s fault, people.

I’m 21 myself. My dad works hard to support me, my siblings, and my mom. If I deliberately don’t want to talk to him when he’s home, or on the weekend, it’s not his fault if we don’t talk. If he initiates talking frequently at home, he’s doing his part to connect. I have to do my part and WANT to talk, though. The father points out to the wife that the son doesn’t want to talk, he just wants to run and play video games, and somehow the 40 year old dead tired cop father is shamed for not wanting to run track with the son. Pardon? It’s not dad’s fault if the son doesn’t want to talk. He can’t tie the son to a chair with duct tape. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Andrew, age 21 (USA)
Negative—This movie has too many stereotypes. I couldn’t finish it. It was terribly offensive.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Olivia Stevens, age 38 (USA)
Negative—The reason I give it a negative is because it’s not at all realistic. Gangs don’t talk like that, at all. I saw this, and then I saw “Gran Torino.” “Gran Torino” was one of the best movies I have ever seen. Sure, there is like 100 F bombs, but still, it’s real. This movie isn’t real. It’s fake. Honestly, I think “Gran Torino” has a better message then this fake movie. It teaches self sacrifice and the importance of friendship. What does this corny movie promote? Be a christian? Don’t sell drugs? The importance of family? Yeah yeah yeah. I have seen that in 1000 movies. In the “Gran Torino,” he even dies for his friends. If you want to see a cheesy flick, by all means see it. You won’t be impressed. You know what I would recommend.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Jeff, age 43 (USA)
Negative—The referencing of drugs, not limiting, but including crack rocks, crystal meth, cush, and cocaine was extremely offensive to my 11 children and myself. I could only cover two of my children’s eyes while the other 9 just starred at the screen and laughed, which confused me; am I fathering them correctly? What is wrong with me? The story was very good, but the horrible acting made me want to just shut the TV and go watch “Left Behind” 1 or 2; 2 was better than 1. I felt that Devon was in the wrong place at the wrong time; for that I felt sincere sorrow and cried.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Bill, age 42
Comments from young people
Positive—I thought this film was great. I watched it with my church youth group, and I really enjoyed it. It has a good message, and I would recommend it! There is a sad bit in the film, but I would still watch it again.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Connie, age 15 (United Kingdom)
Positive—Loved this movie! It was well done, had a great message, and it encourages families to grow close together! A must watch for every family!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Maci, age 14 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Neutral—I find it strange that a “Christian” themed movie would be listed as PG-13…
—Laurie, age 45 (USA)
Neutral—In regards to the the comment that “it’s strange a Christian movie is PG-13”… Just because a movie has content that is not appropriate for children does not make it non-Christian. Most of the stories in the Bible would be considered “PG-13 or even R” with regards to content. Stories need to be shared and told, and that’s not always going to be “child appropriate” but that doesn’t mean it’s inappropriate for Christians. Example… “The Passion…” the story of our Savior… rated R
My Ratings: Moral rating: / Moviemaking quality:
—Michelle, age 37 (USA)