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Movie Review

Suing the Devil

MPAA Rating: not rated

Reviewed by: Cary Valdez—first time reviewer
CONTRIBUTOR

Excellent!
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family Teens Adults
Genre:
Christian Thriller Comedy Drama
Length:
1 hr. 35 min.
Year of Release:
2011
USA Release:
August 26, 2011
Video On-Demand: April 6, 2012
Copyright, Mouthwatering Productions click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Mouthwatering Productions Copyright, Mouthwatering Productions Copyright, Mouthwatering Productions Copyright, Mouthwatering Productions
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Mouthwatering Productions

Satan in the Bible

Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer

devil

demons

sin and the fall of man

God

God

How can we know there’s a God? Answer

What if the cosmos is all that there is? Answer

If God made everything, who made God? Answer

What does God say? Answer

Is Jesus Christ God? Answer

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

justice

justice of God

Just One

judgment seat

Eternal salvation

Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer

How good is good enough? Answer

Will all mankind eventually be saved? Answer

Is Jesus Christ the answer to your questions?
Discover the good news that Jesus Christ offers
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Featuring: Malcolm McDowellSatan
Corbin Bernsen … Barry Polk
Tom Sizemore … Tony ’The Hip’ Anzaldo
Rebecca St. James … Jasmine Williams
Shannen Fields … Gwen O’Brien
Bart Bronson … Luke O’Brien
more »
Director: Timothy A. Chey—“The Genius Club, “Impact: The Passion of the Christ
Producer: Mouthwatering Productions (Australia) Malcolm McDowellproducer
David Turrell … producer
more »
Distributor: RiverRain Productions

“Let the spiritual battle begin…”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “Luke O’Brien, a washed-up salesman turned night law student, decides to sue Satan for $8 trillion dollars. On the last day before Luke files a default judgment, Satan appears to defend himself. On Satan’s legal team are 10 of the country’s best trial lawyers. The entire world watches on Legal TV to see who will win the Trial of the Century.”

I can hardly find words to express how grand this film is—superb acting and story, with lot of action, drama and emotion—but the stunning message, that the devil’s greatest lie is he doesn’t exist, is what carries “Suing the Devil” to the end.

Malcolm McDowell, as the devil, packs a powerful, mesmerizing, punching performance to the very end, and without him, we wouldn’t be talking about this film, as much. This is probably his finest performance.

The movie has an eerie tension to it that begins with the first scene, and crescendos to the final confrontation between Luke (Bart Bronson) and the devil. The ending is one of the best in recent cinema history and culminates to an incredible feel-good, uplifting ending.

“Suing the Devil” does not portray the devil as a horrible being, but rather takes the C. S. Lewis approach that the devil is the same being that “tricked” Eve thousands of years earlier. I love this approach the filmmakers took—it’s a profoundly layered film that drips of intelligence, so lost among all films today, not just faith-based.

The film is unabashedly unashamed of the message it brings of God, which is also stunning and extremely admirable. The pastor proving God exists in 30 seconds or less on the witness stand is the moment I knew I was watching an instant classic. Name me a single movie that engages apologetics so entertainingly? I sat back tickled at the wonders each scene unfolded—snake in the courtroom anyone?

The ending brings a new, unpredictable and great twist to the story. I will not give it away. The supporting cast is pretty strong, especially Corbin Bernsen (“L.A. Law” TV series), who plays a wickedly funny legal commentator, along with Tom Sizemore (“Saving Private Ryan” “The Genius Club”) and Rebecca St. James.

But the film hinges everything on Malcolm McDowell’s performance, and he doesn’t let down; his performance is so compelling and mind-boggling you actually can’t wait until he returns to the screen. I can’t remember a performance this affecting in ages.

This is an absolute masterpiece. “Suing the Devil” is a movie that I will see again and again and will keep getting better.

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

Official site: suingthedevil.com

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


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—“Suing the Devil” is a nice change of pace for viewers who have exhausted themselves on evil possession movies. Influences might point a subtle nod to “Devil’s Advocate” and the 80’s “From the Hip.” So can the Christian audience AND horror fans find a common ground in this release? I believe so. It’s entertaining, well written and still sends a powerful message.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jaycon, age 29 (USA)
Positive—Excellent film! Malcolm McDowell’ performance is outstanding. Better even than Walter Huston’s eerie portrayal of Scratch in the film “The Devil and Daniel Webster.” Malcolm played the part of Satan with arrogance, rebelliousness, deceit, anger, mockery, pride, sarcasm, hatred, and malevolence, such as has never been seen on film. In other words, an honest, effective, Biblically accurate, and revealing representation of the Enemy. It is refreshing that an actor of such caliber as Malcolm McDowell, who not only starred in the film, but also produced it, would make such a bold statement for Christ and create a film that will no doubt be useful for sharing the Gospel.

Bart Bronson also does a splendid job portraying Luke, a young attorney who files a lawsuit against Satan for all the damages he has caused him, personally, and humanity throughout time. Luke struggles with human nature, but grows in faith as he attempts to expose and boldly confront Satan. The premise of the film cleverly presents and addresses many questions and objections people raise about faith, God, Jesus Christ, Satan, evil, temptation, salvation, free will, the reality of Hell, and individual choice.

There are Scriptural references throughout, quoted directly or paraphrased effectively. Interesting to note is the way many people in the film dismiss Satan or knowingly and willingly support him. In response, the devil belittles those serving him and gloats over his cartoonish characterization in the media. The film focuses on Satan’s biggest lie: that Hell isn’t real and the devil doesn’t exist. But his pride prevents him from remaining silent, so he appears in court to defend himself.

The testimony of witnesses, cross examination, and summary arguments are very interesting. I pray that this film will plant seeds and give pause to unbelievers.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Tori, age 40+ (USA)
Positive—This is a MUST see Biblical perspective that many are afraid to acknowledge. But with knowledge comes power… power over evil… Although not scary in any way, the film does a great job in showing the reality of Satan’s power in our daily lives.

I do wish the film had explained a bit more about the demonic kingdom that supports Satan… and how to shut them down daily. And perhaps held a stronger explanation / argument about “why” God allows Satan to make war against us. As a Healer and a Deliverer I would have LoVeD to be a part in making this film… This film had my thoughts rolling! And my mind hasn’t stopped since we got home. GREAT job!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Brenda Lungrin (USA)
Positive—Very entertaining. Just enough humor to offset the seriousness of the issue, that the Devil is real and has a clear agenda. Watched this movie with my family, including my 11 year old daughter, who appreciates that a movie can sometimes communicate what a sermon or teaching cannot. Would highly recommend this film. I pray that the Lord would continue to raise those who are not ashamed to work for the advancement of His kingdom. Thanks Mr. Chey.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Hilda C., age 38 (USA)
Positive—Top Movie for 2011 (secular or Christian). Ignore the haters. (Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20). You don’t see many moments in this film when the acting isn’t superb. Regaining a form not seen for a fair few years, McDowell, in particular, is brilliant as a man who exploits the system for his own gain. He is closely challenged, however, by both Luke and his co-counsel, who give admirable performances in their respective roles.

The film, as a whole, is also incredibly clever. Leading you in multiple directions, the constant game of “cat and mouse” is brilliantly played out, with some noticeable surprises, as well as some rather unexpected ones.

It’s true that there are moments when the story drags slightly, and you find yourself feeling a bit bored, but, the majority of the time, the story is fast flowing and incredibly entertaining. Anyway, whatever your complaints about the film’s faith message, the story is mostly entertaining and well acted. Led by a superb performance by Malcolm McDowell, when it’s on a high the film is up there with the finest thrillers around in years. It’s well worth watching, even if you normally can’t stand this sort of film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Lisa Sherard, age 31 (USA)
Positive—I just read that “Suing the Devil” was in the Top 12 of 15,000 movies on On Demand—that’s a MIRACLE, considering this film talks so much about God. It was also one of the most illegally-downloaded indie movies in history. I read the film suffered a “mob attack” by a ton of people voting it a “1.”

Here’s my assessment: Malcolm McDowell: 10 Acting: 8 Writing: 10 Storyline: 10+ The reason for this film’s popularity is the uncompromising message: God really does exist, Satan is real, Heaven is real, and there is life after death. The reason for this film’s unpopularity is the uncompromising message: There is eternal punishment. This is why so many people, including two secular film critics, attacked the film. Why else would an extremely watchable, entertaining film (with at least 5 twists), intelligent (yes, it’s goes into Scripture), refreshing (no profanity, no violence, no sex), well-acted movie be slandered almost 24/7?

Just want to close with a verse from Scripture: “Do not keep silent, O God of my praise! For the mouth of the wicked and deceitful have opened against me with a lying tongue. They have surrounded me with words of hatred and fought against me without cause… let their days be few… let their creditors seize all that he has and let strangers plunder his labor. Let there be none to extend mercy to him… let the Lord cut off the memory of them from the Earth” —Psalm 109: 1-15. To the filmmakers: Take courage and do not be dismayed by the attacks. You will rise one day and look down on your enemies.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Rob C, age 38 (USA)
Positive—First off, congrats to the filmmakers of “Suing the Devil.” It’s in the Top list of movies everywhere, including the #2 Christian movie on Christian movie sites. The first half of the story loses my interest, partially because I feel that the Hero-Devil relationship is a bit rushed, and I find the interaction between the two not engaging enough, but I warm up to it after the courtroom scenes come into play, my curiosity kicks in high gear from that point on. I would say, this is one of the most visually arresting and mind-bending films in recent years. What other movie tackles the spiritual warfare all Christians face every day—even from lukewarm Christians Nothing is left hanging in this film, every character has a purpose, and each purpose connects with one another. Even the wife has a purpose in this film. You’d think from the trailer and advertisements, this would be another family film, but the truth is, it’s not. “Suing the Devil” is more than just a family film, it’s a film for those who still believe in God and the battle we face on this Earth.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Art F., age 29 (USA)
Positive—I’m completely in agreement with the others—at a time of untold cruelty (as evidenced by some movie critics attacking this film), the world needs to take a step back and decide whether God exists—everything centers on this. This film is too brilliant to be judged by precocious 20-year olds with a Web site and a festival pass slung around their neck. It needs to be analyzed by people over 30. People who have lived life, seen failure, raised families, started businesses, debated God’s existence, seen death, seen tragedy fully. These people should be allowed to review the movie. I want to hear their opinions.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jan M, age 51 (USA)
Positive—At a time when only 50% of American Christians believe the devil exists, this film really helped awaken our church and extended families to see the truth of the devil’s lies. It appears a couple atheist critics have gone on the war-path to smear this film, pulling in the luke-warm Christians at it. But God is sovereign. We’ve seen his amazing hand on this film. The film is in the Top 100 most watched films at Walmart!! Imagine that! Praise the Lord for this powerful, stunning, and life-changing movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Richard Lancemot, age 38 (Australia)
Positive—This movie was excellent and far surpassed my expectations. There is a definite message to it, but it does not feel like a lecture. There is lots of action and lots of emotion. Everyone in the theater was both laughing and crying throughout the movie. The movie was well written and well acted. The movie addressed difficult relevant social issues without being judgmental. The role of Christians in today’s society and how many Christians do not live up to their responsibilities for Christ was the main theme of the movie. Jesus said, “Beware when all men speak well of you” (Luke 6:26). …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—William, age 32 (USA)
Negative
Negative—Amazing concept. Amazing actor for the lead (Malcolm McDowell does indeed steal the show). This movie should have been SO much better. Why do Christian films have to cut corners? I am an independent filmmaker that has produced and directed films with budgets for less than 1000 dollars, and I would have never allowed one of my films to have the jump cuts, script problems and horrendous acting (again, outside of McDowell) that this film had.

…Yes, it’s clean. Sure, it has spiritual truth all over it. But it’s rammed down the audience’s throat. In writing classes, they tell you to “show, don’t tell,” and this film breaks that rule regularly. As a result, I feel like this film only exists to re-affirm the beliefs that Christians already have. Now, that’s all well and good if that’s the only thing the filmmakers are trying to do, but that’s preaching to the choir. Non-believers are not going to take this film seriously.

If you’re a Christian filmmaker, have pride in your work! The Bible commands us to: 1 Chronicles 25:6-7—“These men were… for the music of the temple of the Lord, with cymbals, lyres and harps, for the ministry at the house of God… all of them trained and skilled in music for the Lord.” This is not about Christian films not having a big enough budget, it’s about taking the time as a filmmaker to develop character, story, plot and performance to make an engaging film.

If Christian films continue to be produced like contrived after-school specials, the message will never be heard by those that need to hear it the most… they won’t even give it a chance due to all the distractions from the bad filmmaking.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Chris, age 26 (USA)
Negative—I felt like using King James version of the Bible when quoting scripture was distracting. I think the devil is shown as evil, and, in reality, he was a beautiful fallen angel. The acting was good, but, in places, over the top. I was disappointed in the movie, especially after reading the reviews.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Sandra (USA)
Negative—Such a disappointing movie! The acting was WAY over the top. Surely Christian movies can do better than this (sigh). Save your money.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Ray, age 61 (USA)
Negative—This was ridiculous. Poorly done. Bad edit points. Editing sync was off with vocal track, in points. Bad monologue. Bad dialogs, with loose development. Poor acting sans Mr. McDowell. Everyone needs coaching. The plot blew around like a sail with holes. It was uncomfortable to watch. It should of had Justin Timberlake—that would of been better. They had a carpet python on the carpet… prop of the Devil’s? No point there—overly done with exaggerated, unrealistic courtroom audience reaction. They had a scene twice shot to create two different scenes from two different angles with different dialog. The story took a trip into la la land when the main character had a telepathic moment with Satan and a youth group, as angels and demons. They even went to “YOU WANT THE TRUTH, YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH” on the stand. Ugh. They should pay people to watch it and let Mystery Science Theater 3000 roast it. CineFamily in NoHo should definitely roast it.

As a Christian, I’m embarrassed to say that I side with the production and poorly written script of this movie, solely on being a Bible believer. The delivery was broken and slipped from a logical courtroom litigation to a dissertation on some biblical premises! Thes. 4:11-12 was never considered in the making of this film—“earning the respect of unbelievers with the works of your hand” (i.e., the production of the film), and it lost the respect of a believer, as well.
My Ratings: Moral rating: none / Moviemaking quality: ½
—Match.i.am, age 41 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
I want me and my family to see this movie, badly. …
—Angela Kane, age 39 (USA)