Movie Review: War Room (Four Stars)

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Movie Review: War Room by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Four Stars out of Five

The Kendricks’ Christian films keep getting better. Their fifth effort surpasses all their previous works in both production quality, acting and script. Christian drama, like Christian fiction, has been faulted for unreality and syrupy sweetness. War Room suffered from neither. This film (set like the preceding in North Carolina) blazes new casting territory for the Kendricks in featuring blacks as principals.

Christians and seekers will both find an honest portrayal of the stresses and troubles of modern life and a biblical approach to dealing with it. If you don’t know a Miss Clara, you should.

The opening matinee was well-attended, though the median age was probably 65. Spontaneous “Amens” and “Preach on” were heard during the showing as well as a round of applause at the end.

Double Dutch jump rope is a team competition sport? Impressive!

If you only see one movie this year, see this one.

Addendum: After several days of reflection, I realize this review falls short in two ways.

First and simplest, at the technical level War Room is not a Hollywood production. It lacks the big names and special effects—not to mention big budget—of major studio productions. That said, its cinematic quality compares favorably with the best independent releases.

Second and more fundamental, War Room depicts a depth of reality with which many viewers may be unfamiliar. That a supernatural dimension (for want of a better word) exists is essential to understanding of this movie.

Most people worldwide say they believe in a reality beyond—more fundamental—than that revealed by the senses and physical instrumentation. Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews, Wiccan, and members of less numerous orders all declare an overarching truth behind what we see, touch and smell. Further, we believe that in this greater reality exist entities which all our efforts to define devolve to metaphors, and that these entities have characteristics indicative of intelligence, will and emotions; they are beings. Depending on our religion, culture or personality we ascribe to them characteristics from benevolent to hostile, limited to unlimited, ordered to chaotic. Most of us even admit prior claims to our attention and behavior by this greater reality and beings.

Yet most of us act as if that supernatural dimension doesn’t really interact with the natural, much less to any reciprocity in the relationship between us and these entities. We act as if the supernatural we claim exists doesn’t. And it certainly doesn’t impact how we live.

War Room takes Christianity seriously, and describes how some of us relate to the supernatural and some don’t. And how that can be changed. This is not the majority position, even within Christianity. Spiritual warfare is ignored or rejected by most Christians, despite its clear description in Christianity’s foundational document and history. And yet, many Christians now and for the last two thousand years have recorded interactions with the supernatural just as profound and often much more dramatic than portrayed in War Room. (Yes, some of those reports are clearly false, just like some scientific claims.)

Therefore, even non-Christians may learn a little about Christianity and themselves by watching this movie and asking themselves what they really believe and what it means in terms of how they live their lives. War Room may depict a minority experience, but what is shown has really happened—is really happening now. It only costs you a few dollars and a couple hours, and it might change your life … for the better.

2 thoughts on “Movie Review: War Room (Four Stars)

  1. Yeah, that was Christianity Today. I think you’ll be favorably impressed. No, it’s not a Hollywood blockbuster, but it is a good movie, not just a good Christian movie.
    Maybe not 5 stars, but 4.5 anyway.
    I was also amazed that the theater found half a dozen appropriate previews to show before it. (I wondered beforehand.)

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