A Source For Helpful Movie Reviews

Anyone can go to IMDB for a movie review these days. Or, like me, you can read the little blurb on Netflix and make your decision that way. Usually I just want to know the basic premise of the movie, who's in it, and who directed it. I don't listen to the opinions of many people (famous, friend or family) when it comes to recommendations and the like because most people don't know me very well. All they can tell me is what they thought of the movie for themselves, not for me. And I'm an Odd Duck, to be sure. I don't like a lot of things that are raved about. And movies or things that most people don't care for I think are great. I don't often agree with popular opinion.

Why am I going on about this? Well, there is one thing I absolutely have zero tolerance for; a bible thumping movie. I can't stand religious propaganda shoved down my throat. Not long after Left Behind went to DVD my dad rented it thinking it was Sci Fi. (we used to go out to dinner and watch a movie afterward as sort of a regular family night) I saw that Kirk Cameron was in it, thought that was a bad sign, but gave it the benefit of the doubt and promptly wasted 2 hours of my life to that dreck. That night Butch (my nearly perfect husband) and I made a pact never to sit through a horrid movie again.

So when I see a movie preview that could look like it's a "God Movie" I would rather steer clear. Unfortunately a lot of god movies mask it in the previews, and some movies that really don't have a strong pro-god/pro-religion tone might look like it in the previews.

Enter Christian Answers Movie Reviews! My friend Dan shared this site with me and now I am passing it on to you because I actually found it useful.

I picked a movie I was leery about, The Book of Eli, and here's what I discovered. First, they describe a lot of scenes so it is a bit of a spoiler. Second, I learned it's a pretty god-heavy movie that would probably set my nerves on edge. Here's part of the review:
“The Book of Eli” has an incredible Biblical message, which tells the story of Eli’s unwavering faith as he honor’s God with his life and follows God’s will no matter how hard the journey may be. We see Eli’s faith remain steadfast as he faces many trials and tribulations,

After Solara joins Eli on his mission to preserve the Bible, she inquires about Eli’s inner-strength. He explains to her that he walks by faith and his commitment to follow God’s will has kept him strong. Later in the film, Solara asks Eli to read some passages from the Bible to her, so he recites several passages that he has memorized, and the beauty of the words move her.

While “The Book of Eli”’s respect for the sanctity of God’s Word and the depiction of Eli’s obedience to God is refreshing and inspiring, especially in a mainstream film, brutal violence and language are pervasive throughout.

Carnegie forces Solara to offer herself up to Eli as a prostitute, as leverage to try to get Eli to relinquish the Bible to him. When Solara comes to Eli’s bedroom door to offer herself to him, he refuses and tries to send her away, but Solara pleads with him to let her stay or Carnegie will hurt her mother. Eli takes pity on Solara and lets her stay. He takes the opportunity to teach her how to pray and tell her about God.

There are approximately 12 uses of the f-word, and the Lord’s name is profaned approximately two times in the film.

While I was disappointed to see the end of the film momentarily stray from its powerful Biblical message by subtly implying that the Bible is equal to other religious texts, this implication pales in comparison to Eli's last amazing act of faith at the end of the film.

Eli’s steadfast commitment to his faith and obedience to God no matter what the price, embodies Christ’s words in Luke 9:23,

“Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me’.”

Ha! They said the F-word about 12 times! How horrible! And they said Goddamnit twice! Now they're all going to burn in hell forever! lol! And they called that "extreme profanity". That cracks me up.

Oh, and don't get me wrong, I'm not against  a character being religious in a movie. Just don't preach to me when I want to be entertained. It's offensive.


  1. I just watched The Book of Eli this week with an atheist friend of mine (my co-blogger) and surprisingly, we both loved it. I found it was much more of a post-apocalyptic, on-a-mission and kicking ass movie than a preachy one... much to my delight.

    There are moments of bible reading (or quoting, to be more precise), and Eli gives his story of why he's on his mission with his book (which is the bible, though it's a good way into the movie before that's clearly spelled out). The violence is spectacular and awesome... not overly gratuitous. I hardly noticed the profanity, but that's probably a personal thing. Ha! The music was awesome, too.

    There's no denying the "power of God" aspect of the movie, especially at the very end, where the movie leaves no doubt. I didn't find it all too preachy, however, though as you've noticed, my tolerance level might be a bit higher than yours for that sort of thing. Heheh. My friend, however, has a pretty low tolerance, too, and he still liked it.

    The part the reviewer mentioned about the movie implying that the bible is the same as any other holy book is correct... and it's pretty blatant (which made me smile). It certainly does bring to question whether Eli's faith in the Christian god could just as easily been faith in any other religious god.

    However, religious references aside, it was a really well-done movie (Hollywood blockbuster level, not Kirk Cameron "Left Behind" level)... well acted, well filmed, well directed, etc... so it really worked out to be a kickass post-apocalyptic movie for me. Badass hero... street smart, but compassionate... on a mission... kicks serious butt... disses the bad guys... woos the girl...

    He does kill a cat, though, so that was a strike against him. LOL! :-)

  2. Earlier this week someone asked if I'd seen that movie. Given my impression of the person (very religious) and the title of the movie I gathered it might have a religious message. I later checked IMDB and discovered I was correct and now know to avoid it.

    Like you I don't mind if movies have religious characters or even "Jesus freaks" in them. I do, however, get irritated when a movie tries to proselytize to me. That's not to say my wife and I didn't watch the Left Behind movies when they came on TBN so we could laugh at how abominable they were. I just don't like expecting entertainment and getting a sermon.

    I'll definitely keep that review site in mind. Sometimes IMDB isn't sufficient to weed out the religious message movies.

  3. I didn't think The Book of Eli did any proselytizing to speak of. The main character was religious (because of his experience), but there was no suggestion by the movie that the viewer should be heeding any of the religious ideas of the character. That may be why I didn't have a problem with it. Even Eli didn't try to convert anyone. He just did what he did... which sometimes involved firearms, sharp blades, and dismemberment. Heheh.

  4. Damnit, Dan you're making it sound like I really need to actually watch the movie myself to find out. :P

  5. You said it, Buffy: I don't want to go in expecting an entertaining movie only to be proselytized to. Yuck. My time is more valuable than that.

  6. Thanks for your alternative review, Dan. From the other movie reviews I've heard from you, I can agree that you are definitely more tolerant than me. My tolerance for being preached at is pretty low.
    It's Left Behind's fault though. They ruined me for "god movies".
    I think Butch wants to see this movie so I'll have to update everyone on my impression of it if I sit through it. :P

  7. ROFL! Well... as an added enticement, there are plenty of lines (mostly by Gary Oldman) that imply that the bible is a great tool for manipulating people and religion, by association, is the best tool to control people. Then there's the whole "it's just another holy book" implication, too.

    I don't want to spoil anything else by giving it away, but after you see it (if you do), I'll give my final comment. :-)

  8. Oh, see? You are selling me on this with Gary Oldman's character (who I love by the way. He's an awesome actor, IMHO). OK, we'll put it in our Netflix queue and I'll get back to you when we watch it. I can say it won't be at the top of my list though. LOL!

  9. Ha! I'll look forward to your assessment. Go into it with the frame of mind that you're watching an post-apoc, action movie, though. Don't think about god stuff until the movie brings it up. ;-)

  10. Ok, I will, Dan. I'll let you know when I see it. I think it's on Butch's Netflix list, but not near the top so it will be awhile, which as I said is fine by me. :P