Leans strongly toward a biblical worldview
|Overall Faith and/or Biblical Relevance|
|Faith-compatible Depiction of Characters and Character Relationships|
|Faith-compatible Depiction of Situations|
|Family Viewing Suitability|
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In our increasingly skeptical and secular society—with all of its wealth and distractions—it’s easy to go through most of life avoiding the two most important questions: What is the cross of Christ and what does it mean for me? At some point, however, each of us will come face to face with circumstances that cause us to consider—even if only for a moment—spiritual answers to life’s deepest questions.
Into this reality, enter DO YOU BELIEVE?—the latest film from the Pure Flix Entertainment team that brought us GOD’S NOT DEAD last year. Opening in theaters nationwide on March 20th, DO YOU BELIEVE? is directed by Jonathan M. Gunn and boasts a strong cast of well-known actors including Ted McGinley, Lee Majors, Mira Sorvino, Cybil Shepherd, Sean Astin, Brian Bosworth and a breakout performance by hip-hop artist, Shwayze.
Featuring Christian pop rock band Newsboys and their hit, “We Believe,” DO YOU BELIEVE? is a powerful follow-up to GOD’S NOT DEAD offering a well-crafted story line that skillfully brings together in one climactic moment the lives of 12 diverse characters who must all make a decision about the hope that is found only in Jesus.
Overall Faith and/or Biblical Relevance
From the opening chapters of Genesis to the closing chapters of Revelation, events in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible point either forward or backward in time to belief in Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross as the only means of salvation for us humans who have fallen into sin and rebellion against God. It is this core and unique truth claim of Christianity that is effectively and urgently communicated in DO YOU BELIEVE?—making it highly relevant to a culture that has increasingly taken its eyes off of God and rejected both the need for a savior as well as God Himself.
Faith-compatible Depiction of Characters and Character Relationships
With its rich tapestry of storylines spanning the boundaries of race, gender, age, economic and marital status, DO YOU BELIEVE? offers at least one character that every moviegoer can relate to. And just like the Twelve called by Jesus in the Gospels, the 12 interwoven stories in DO YOU BELIEVE? show how each person is unique in their life circumstances, yet must wrestle with who Jesus is and figure out what action His death on the cross compels them to take.
There’s the lukewarm pastor, Matthew, who serves as the narrator and is challenged in his own faith by a street evangelist to step it up and walk the talk—impacting not only his wife, but the abortion-minded girl they eventually take in to their home and care for. There’s a homeless mother and her young daughter who are befriended by a dying ex-convict before being taken in by an older couple working through their grief over the loss of their daughter. And there’s a just-returned veteran struggling with PTSD, whose life intersects with a young woman similarly struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.
Another powerful storyline is that of two brothers raised by a God-fearing mother who face the realities of life on the streets and the lure of gangs. And finally, there’s a doubting doctor named Thomas, whose lawyer girlfriend sues a godly EMT who evangelizes a dying man and makes a career-jeopardizing decision to stand for his faith—despite the urging of his backslidden wife to take the easy way out.
Faith-compatible Depiction of Situations
As the 12 storylines unfold, each character arrives at a crossroads where they must either accept or reject the cross of Christ. Along the way, faith-compatible situations involving humility, self-sacrificial service to others, second chances, and steadfast faith in the face of peer pressure, ridicule or religious persecution encourage viewers to act out their faith in ways that edify others and glorify God. One particularly poignant situation involves the power of a praying mother who sang “Amazing Grace” over her son as a youth and continues to speak truth into his life as a young adult gang member.
With its many overlapping plot lines, most situations in DO YOU BELIEVE? successfully develop the characters and show challenge, conviction and change. And with only a couple of exceptions, it’s clear that the writers have attempted to handle each situation in a realistic and believable manner.
Family Viewing Suitability
With a PG-13 rating for thematic elements including accidents and some violence, DO YOU BELIEVE? is a family-friendly film for teens and up. It deals with a wide range of topics ranging from sickness and death to birth, new life and resurrection; infertility and adoption; addiction and recovery; incarceration, gangs and redemption; homelessness and service to others; and the impact of war on individuals and families.
Although these themes are juxtaposed in a fast-paced succession of stories that intersect in time and space, each is engaging and requires moviegoers to dig deeper into their own faith convictions.
Although DO YOU BELIEVE? starts off slowly, it picks up momentum as each character moves toward the finish line—where God’s sovereign handiwork is revealed in a masterpiece woven from the threads of each story. The messiness of life is shown—along with the hope of salvation that comes to those who choose to believe in Jesus and His work on the cross for “whosoever will.”
While the point of DO YOU BELIEVE? is clearly and unabashedly evangelistic from the title, the movie respectfully asks the hard questions in ways that most moviegoers will be able to relate to. With its high production values, solid cast, largely well-written script and great music—culminating in the creedal song, “We Believe,” by the Newsboys—most viewers will walk out of the theater encouraged in their faith and strengthened to share it with others.