Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Movie Review: Courageous


I'm sure many of you have heard of the 2008 hit Christian movie Fireproof (if you haven't, you should probably go rent it...immediately) and/or the best-seller book inspired by the movie, The Love Dare. But how many of you are aware that the Kendrick brothers have also written and produced three others movies? The fourth and most recent film they made with Sherwood Pictures is 2011's Courageous.

Drama, Christian

The Premise
The movie portrays four policemen and the struggles they encounter as they strive to protect and serve - both at home and in the workplace. When tragedy strikes, they make a bold decision that will help them take charge of the paths they're on, particularly in their roles as husbands and fathers. The film shares their individual successes and failures as they learn to how to stay true to their Christian values.

My Thoughts/Reactions
Considering I watched this movie with my family on the night of our baby shower, I was all about this movie. I couldn't help but feel as if the timing was perfect since my husband and I are currently preparing ourselves for the adventure that is parenthood...and the straightforward message of the movie has much to do with fatherhood.

I felt that the movie contained a healthy blend of humor, action, and drama...all while providing good examples of how a Christian husband and father should act. Normally I have more to say about movies, but there isn't much more I can think to share other than the fact that I appreciated and enjoyed watching it greatly. The dramatic aspects of the film are enough to tug on anyone's heartstrings, which clearly means that I found my pregnant self tearing up in more than a couple of scenes. However, I wouldn't define the film itself as a "tearjerker" because it contains plenty of happy, uplifting, and humorous scenes as well.

It's quite obvious to me in the Kendrick brothers' movies that they come from a Baptist background, but I don't think it matters much what denomination of Christianity an individual practices in order to appreciate their films (nor do I think you have to necessarily be Christian to enjoy them either). Sure, as a Catholic I visibly notice that the characters are not Catholic, but at the end of the day their core messages are ones that all authentic Christians share in regards to marriage, family relationships, and repenting and avoiding sin.

Overall I'd say this is a family-friendly movie that is hard to come by these days (at least within mainstream media). Because the main characters are policemen, there are a few crime-related action scenes, but nothing parents should be too worried about school children watching with them. The tragedy that takes place could be difficult for young children to digest, so if you're concerned in any way I'd simply recommend previewing the movie before determining whether or not your children can handle it...but I'd venture a guess that most children would be completely fine (especially with a parent there to explain anything they may be confused or worried about).

Have any of you seen Courageous? I'm always curious to know what you all think, too!

"So where are you men of courage? Where are you, fathers who fear the Lord? It's time to rise up and answer the call that God has given to you, and to say, 'I will. I will. I will.'"
-Adam from Courageous


  1. Expect to get a huge increase in traffic to your blog after posting this review! I reviewed Courageous last year after we watched it and it's the most-viewed post on my blog and is consistently a search term that lands people on my blog. I liked it a lot. Typically the acting is not all that great in the movies from these folks, but you know that they are trying their very best because it matters to them in a different way. We both felt it went a little long, but it was still good and genuinely funny in parts. Did you notice the Duggars (19 Kids and counting) as extras in the church during the funeral?

    1. Haha, I imagine I won't get as much traffic since the movie isn't quite so recent any longer. I didn't notice the Duggars! Although I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. :)

    2. Maybe not, but like I said, I STILL get search engine hits even now :-)

  2. How was the acting? I know that these movies have good messages, but they alienate the rest of our culture because the only ones that ever go to see them are Christians who can stand the bad acting for the good message. I saw Fireproof and wanted to stop it about 15 minutes in. I feel like it would be much more beneficial if the acting was good and it could be promoted as a "good" movie instead of just a "Christian" movie. The people who most need to see this message are not going to see it because they aren't going to watch it just for the message.

    1. Good question! Honestly I only remember thinking the acting was a bit cheesy in one scene. The rest of the movie I didn't notice/didn't think that at all...which either means the acting was pretty decent or perhaps I was oblivious because that wasn't what I focused on. I would disagree, though, that people who need to see the movie won't see it...because this film was quite different from Fireproof in terms of target audience. I felt like Fireproof had a lot more to do with a conversion and change of heart (and in that case I agree that a lot of people who could benefit from that probably won't watch it) but Courageous was largely about already Christian men striving to be even better and giving concrete examples of how to do that - so even if only Christian people watch the movie I don't think the message is therefore ineffective or irrelevant. If you watch it I'd be curious to know your thoughts!

    2. I felt like the acting in Courageous was head and shoulders above Fireproof. Nothing against Kirk Cameron because I think he is working so much harder than many of us and always uses his fame for Christ, but he isn't the best actor. Mandi, I also wanted to turn it off early on but forced myself to finish. My husband never would have watched Fireproof all the way through, but he did enjoy Courageous and I think more than he admits. There is definitely some cheese in there, but I agree with Stephanie that the message was broader and more able to be accepted by more than just Christians.

  3. My husband and I loved this movie. The acting was definitely better than Fireproof - my husband wouldn't even watch that one after the first 5 minutes! There's a great line when Adam is giving his talk at the end that my husband rewound a couple times... "You can't fall asleep at the wheel, only to wake up one day and realize that your job or your hobbies have no eternal value, but the souls of your children do." Pretty powerful!