There have been several well made faith based films in recent years that I’ve enjoyed watching.
It seems to me that they mostly “preach to the choir”, but that’s not necessarily always a bad thing. I don’t think Christians should see these as an evangelism tool, but I do think they can be encouraging and prompt a healthy examination of our own faith. I know I’ve had some great discussions with my older kids about different aspects of our faith brought up by these movies. So, when I had the opportunity to review Do You Believe? from Fishflix.com, I took it. The description and cast list for this film had me intrigued, and I thought it would be a good one to watch and discuss with my teens.
Do You Believe? follows a dozen different people whose paths cross at various points, as they each encounter a unique struggle in their life. There’s the pastor whose complacent faith is shaken by a sidewalk preacher, a homeless mom and her young daughter, a young man caught up in gang violence, and several others. The storylines all come together in a climatic scene of crisis at the end of the movie. It’s been dubbed a “Christian ‘Crash'”, and I can see why.
The film has quite the star studded cast list: Sean Astin, Cybill Shepherd, Alexa Vega (your kids may recognize her as Carmen from Spy Kids), former NFL player Brian Bosworth, Lee Majors (my generation will remember him as the Six Million Dollar Man!), and several other familiar faces.
The theme of the movie, based on the Bible verse James 2:17: So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead, focuses on the idea of stepping outside your comfort zone and living out your faith in how you treat others, especially others who are “different” than you.
I hesitate to say much more about the plot because I don’t want to give any spoilers. I will say that there are definitely a few borderline “cheesy” moments and stereotypes of Christians/non-Christians. I do appreciate that there wasn’t a “happily ever after” ending – not all of the issues were wrapped up and resolved tidily. And, with such a great cast, the acting was very well done! The little girl who played Lilly was absolutely adorable, Sean Astin was great as the cynical ER doctor with a God complex, and it was just plain fun to see the Six Million Dollar Man play a grandfatherly type!
My older kids really enjoyed the movie, and we had some great discussions about putting feet to our faith and how belief requires action. It’s not necessarily a movie that’s going to suddenly make a non Christian change their mind about Christianity, but Do You Believe? is a well made film that will definitely offer Christians some good food for thought. It’s got some intense moments, so I’d say it’s best suited for teens and adults, although of course it depends on your individual child.