War Room Will Never Win An Oscar…

War Room Movie Poster

…but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good movie.

Don’t expect Alex Kendrick to beam at the room full of tuxedoed cinema professionals this February and exclaim, “You like me! You really like me!”

A quick check of Kendrick’s latest, War Room, on the movie review site, Rotten Tomatoes, shows that of 17 reviewers, 5 liked it and 12 panned it. This gave the movie a 29% “fresh” rating.

Fortunately, movie reviewers are not the film’s target audience. A stark contrast to the reviewers 29% is the audience’s rating of 91%. The movie, which cost $3 million to produce, pulled in a little more than $11 million its opening weekend.

Other Kendrick movies have, likewise, suffered stinging reproof from the critic’s pen. However, all have outperformed their projected box office receipts and have delighted their fans.

Kendrick is not the only movie director to be derided by the Hollywood elites. They did the same to Frank Capra. While Capra’s early films garnered Academy success, some of his later films, such as, It’s a Wonderful Life, were criticized for overly idealized themes. The sappy, corny messages were ridiculed as “Capra corn.” But like the Kendrick films, the audiences loved them.

War Room is a movie that powerfully portrays the efficacy of prayer to influence lives and destinies. The lead character, Miss Clara, proves to be a formidable prayer warrior when she is serendipitously thrust into the messy life of Elizabeth Jordan. Elizabeth, reluctantly, is mentored by the elderly Miss Clara and learns the ways of the force in which Miss Clara has become skilled.

Hollywood elites, and your agnostic neighbors, will fail to appreciate the message the film depicts. Those who have not experienced spiritual battles fought while kneeling will only see a simplistic tale of a crisis that is inexplicably averted because someone shouts at the sky.

Those who know, however, the reality of powers and principalities that the eye cannot see nor the camera lens capture, will appreciate the story behind the story.

They will sense the spectacle of the battle that was won through the film’s production. I’m not referring to the battle alluded to in the storyline, but the one that is acknowledged in the credits as the names of “prayer team” are listed.

No, don’t expect War Room to show up on the list of Oscar nominees for best picture. Those who make such lists just don’t understand it. But as for the faithful, who sit in the audience and  applaud the film’s climatic resolution, “We like you, Alex Kendrick! We really like you!”

 

5 Comments

  • Royalene Doyle

    September 4, 2015

    Excellent review Mr. Livermore! And…excellent insight into the “spiritual warfare” that must be fought in, on, and around the Hollywood scene. Thank GOD the Kendricks of the world are stepping up in the midst of “such a time as this.”

    • Rebecca Livermore

      September 4, 2015

      Hi Royalene, this is Rebecca, Chuck’s wife. He’s out and about today, so I thought I’d jump on, approve your comment and reply. (I’m sure he’ll reply himself as well soon!)

      Thanks so much for leaving a comment. I agree with you that we should be thankful that God is raising up people to “step up” at a time like this. It’s actually really exciting to consider that we all have a part to play when it comes to advancing God’s Kingdom here on earth. Some with movies, others such as yourself, with writing. I love the fact that everything we can do can be to the glory of God.

      Hope you have a great weekend. Take care, and God bless,

      Rebecca

  • Chuck Livermore

    September 9, 2015

    Thanks for the comment and kind words, Royalene. We are seeing more movies lately that play to a Christian audience. I think those in Hollywood are trying. Sometimes they do a good job with movies like The Book of Eli. Other times they miss the mark, like Noah.

    The main difference is when those making the films are Christians themselves and understand the Christian worldview. We should support Christian moviemakers like the Kendrick brothers and keep praying.

  • Marcia MacCoy

    November 7, 2015

    Thanks for the article.
    You bring up some good points.
    I am praying that the Miss Clara character gets nominated for best supporting actress. Critics may not like the movie, but can’t deny that actress Karen Abercrombie gives an oscar-winning performance. None of us need the approval of the Academy Awards, however the exposure on such a large platform, and the actress’s divine appointment for the role would be exciting for us in the Kingdom of God to watch. The actress who I’ve seen in interviews also represents God so well. It would be the cherry on top of the film’s wild success!
    I’m so thankful for the Kendrick family as well as Mark Burnett and Roma Downey!
    Keep them coming God! Let’s keep invading Hollywood with the Good News! Our country needs it!!!

    • Chuck Livermore

      November 7, 2015

      An excellent comment, Marcia! You are right, there were Oscar worthy performances in the movie. The quality and quantity of movies made for the Christian audience is on the rise. If Christian films begin to take a greater share of the box office receipts, Hollywood won’t be able to ignore them.