“Courageous” Review

Last night my brother and I attended an advance screening of the new movie Courageous, by Alex and Stephen Kendrick, the creators of Fireproof, Facing the Giants, and Flywheel. This was a special screening for ministry and business leaders, but I got tickets because I’m a ministry leader (for youth ministry), but also mainly because I’m the publicist for the Courageous novelization by Randy Alcorn (which you can watch for in August). I thought it might help to see the movie that the book is based on when I do my own promotions for the book.

I’d only seen Fireproof out of their other movies, and aside from some cheesy acting, it was a really good movie and challenging to couples everywhere. Courageous had a slightly higher budget and is definitely more well put-together. There are a few times where the dialogue doesn’t seem that natural (because they’re bringing up issues of fatherlessness in casual conversation), but overall this is more like a Hollywood film. The quality is excellent.

Here’s a synopsis of the movie from the Courageous website:

Four men, one calling: To serve and protect.

As law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, and their partners are confident and focused. They willingly stand up to the worst the world can offer. Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge that none of them are truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood.

While they consistently give their best on the job, good enough seems to be all they can muster as dads. But they’re quickly discovering that their standard is missing the mark.

They know that God desires to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, but their children are beginning to drift further and further away from them. Will they be able to find a way to serve and protect those that are most dear to them?

When tragedy hits home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Can a newfound urgency help these dads draw closer to God … and to their children?

Courageous is the fourth release of Sherwood Pictures, the moviemaking ministry of Sherwood Church in Albany, Georgia. Their first release since FIREPROOF, the No. 1 independent film of 2008, Courageous joins Facing the Giants and Flywheel in touching and impacting lives through heartfelt stories of faith and hope.

Moviegoers will again find themselves crying, laughing, and cheering—sometimes simultaneously—as they are inspired by everyday heroes who long to be the kinds of dads that make a lifelong impact on their children.

Protecting the streets is second nature to these law enforcement officers. Raising their children? That will take courage.

Courageoushonor begins at home.

My Thoughts:

From the opening scenes, this is an action-filled movie. It’s not exactly a police film, but there’s a lot of police chasing and some violence because the four main characters are police officers. The movie’s also a tear-jerker. There were several times throughout the film that brought tears to my eyes (for various reasons), but I won’t spoil them for you. So let’s just say the film’s very well-made because it definitely evoked emotion in the audience.

The best part of Courageous, is of course, the message. My brother and I weren’t sure how well non-Christians would relate to this film (though there is a clear Gospel presentation in it), but it might not necessarily be something you’d invite a non-Christian to see (but they could still benefit from it). I think the film’s mainly for Christians–especially the men and fathers.

What’s funny (or maybe more like part of God’s plan and timing) is that our pastor was talking with Gerald and me the night before I saw the film about the roles of a husband and wife in marriage (this was during our premarital counseling session). He said he’s been burdened and challenged lately to step up and be more of a leader in his family and other pastors in our church have felt the same way. We can see it in a lot of the fathers and even the young men in our young adult group and youth group. The guys are too passive. They let the women take charge and are content to just sit back and let it happen. Courageous challenges that directly.

After watching this film, hopefully more men will be challenged to step up and to be the men God has called them to be in their families–as fathers and as husbands. They are to take charge for the spiritual direction and well-being of their families. There are several “I Will” challenges at the end of the movie that I think make it very clear to the men that God has placed them in a high leadership position and it’s time for them to follow God by fulfilling that role with His help. Five men in the movie have a ceremony and sign a resolution stating their new commitments to be godly husbands and fathers to their families and it’s my hope and prayer that more men will do the same after seeing Courageous.

As a woman, the movie challenges me to be a (future) wife that will allow Gerald to lead our family in the way God has called him. I have to trust Gerald without trying to take control when I see him maybe not stepping up and taking action. If I don’t trust Gerald to fulfill his role of biblical manhood, I’m not trusting God either. I need to trust that God will guide Gerald and that even if he makes the wrong decision (or what I think is the wrong decision at the time), God is still good and He will work everything out for His purposes. The movie shows us as women how we can be encouraging and supportive to the men in our lives as they try to live out what it looks like to be a godly man.

As a youth leader, I think this movie is still a good one for teenagers to see (it will be rated PG-13). We showed our youth group Fireproof even though it was more for married couples and they liked it. I think Courageous is even better to show them even though it’s more for fathers because it shows the young men that this is the type of man you are supposed to be. It shows the seriousness of the commitment you’re making to God if you’re trying to be a godly husband and father some day and even as teens, this is how you should be living your life–by following God first and loving Him first. For teenage girls, the movie shows them that this is the type of man you should be seeking after and waiting for. You want someone who will love God first because then you know he’ll love you. It also shows them that they need to be encouraging their brothers in Christ to be the type of man that lives to serve the Lord and to guide his household in the same way.

So this is a movie that everyone needs to see. Make sure you get big groups to go out to see it opening weekend (September 30, October 1, and October 2) so that we can keep it in theaters longer and get it to open in more theaters.

Watch the trailer and tell me that doesn’t make you want to see the film:

You can also like Courageous on Facebook and follow on Twitter for updates. Be sure to tell your church leaders about this movie–it’s a much-needed message for the men in this country. If all Christian men lived this way, the world would be a much different place.

Will you go and see Courageous with me opening weekend?

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  1. #1 by Joy Allmond on March 23, 2011 - 9:30 am

    I’ll definitely be there, Christy! Thanks for this review. I wish they would do a screening for BG folks!

    • #2 by Christy on March 23, 2011 - 9:40 am

      They should do one for you all! You’ll enjoy it, Joy.

  2. #3 by Jed on March 23, 2011 - 9:38 am

    Nice write up! Sounds great, looking forward to seeing this ministry continue to improve in making quality movies. Will definitely see it and probably get the dvd too!

    • #4 by Christy on March 23, 2011 - 9:41 am

      We should get the church to buy a bunch of tickets & go to a showing together opening weekend.

  3. #5 by tiff on March 23, 2011 - 12:39 pm

    heeeeyyy I was just praying on Sunday for God to be building up Gerald as a Godly leader in your future marraige 🙂 I don’t even know why that specific prayer came to me but I felt God lay it on my heart during that time so I have no doubt that God is at work on this already! love reading your thoughts as always 🙂

    • #6 by Christy on March 23, 2011 - 12:42 pm

      aww, thanks, Tiff! I’m glad to know so many people are praying for us. 🙂

  4. #7 by Rodney on March 25, 2011 - 3:24 pm

    Thank you so much for your mention of the new Courageous movie in your blog! We really do appreciate your support and willingness to share your thoughts of the film with your readers. As we move closer to the 9/30/2011 theatrical release date, we could definitely use your continued help spreading the news!

    Thank you!
    rodney@courageousthemovie.com
    http://www.courageousthemovie.com

    JOIN the Official Facebook community: http://www.facebook.com/courageousthemovie
    DOWNLOAD & USE various banner ads/online tools from: http://www.courageousthemovie.com/share

    • #8 by Christy on March 25, 2011 - 4:31 pm

      You’re welcome, Rodney! Don’t worry–I’ll definitely help to promote this movie!

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