Not your typical Christian film (by missrachelsch)
I am not a regular church goer, nor did I have high expectations for this film at all, and I do not cry in films, but this movie made me ball. Most Christian films fall flat and can be subjective, but this was different. I knew people who were fans of the book and highly anticipated the film, but seeing it is not a movie, it is an experience not to be missed. The values of forgiveness and true faith are challenged and as the viewer it was overwhelming. Better than any of the Oscar nominations this year.
You Will Come Away From This One Thinking - And Feeling (by patsworld)
This is a wonderful family film. Here's a tip for Hollywood. My friend and I go to a matinée pretty much every week. There are sometimes, at most, a dozen, sometimes a half dozen, people in the theater. For this one? The room was a good half full. Now tell me why Hollywood insists on producing nasty, foul, poorly-written and acted pieces of trash all the time? Really. Anyway, this one gives you so much to think about. There are several instances of symbolism in this picture that took my breath away, that brought me to tears. Well written, well-acted, this one is so worth seeing. I am <more>
anxious to see it again and trust me, that isn't often the case. I took away from that theater a new feeling and I've thought about several of the lines of dialogue many times since. The truth and the trust of this picture will stay with you. I know it did me. I am always surprised by Tim McGraw. The man can surely sing, but he can also act. He's a natural. Octavia Spencer seems to be in about every movie there is lately - well, not quite but still - however, there is a reason. She is wonderful. She brings her role to life every time. And she most certainly did in this one. Trust me, this is one you want to see. Take your family. Take your friends. Or go alone. Doesn't matter. Just see it.
A touching, warm movie of life, love and forgiveness (by dtaylorii)
My wife, friends, and I loved the movie. It was a touching, warm, beautiful tale of life and its beauties and tragedies, of love and hate, of healing forgiveness and corrupting vindictiveness. Heartwarming with a beautiful lesson for any human being.Thanks to the directors and the screen play writers for a great job bringing this to life, and to a wonderful crew of actors for their skillful presentation.Spoiler: Mac learns to forgive God for the evils of life, while living, seeing, and experiencing the gamut of these emotions in His/Her/Their presence.
Beautiful, Profound, Moving (by Danusha_Goska)
"The Shack" is a beautiful, profound, and moving film. I'm a lifelong movie fan and I always look at reviews before I go to see movies. Of course I went to Rotten Tomatoes and saw that "The Shack" had received uniformly bad reviews. There is something wrong with the critics who panned this movie. They probably have a problem with Christianity. I think if a similar film had been made in Iran, about Islam, with English subtitles, it would receive an Academy Award nomination. Don't let these bitter, twisted souls keep you from seeing "The Shack." The plot is <more>
simple. Mack, Sam Worthington , an American husband and father, suffers an unbearable loss. He and other family members sink into depression. One day, Mack receives an invitation to return to the shack, the site of the worst moment of Mack's life. He does return, and there he meets spiritual guides played by Octavia Spencer, Aviv Alush, Sumire Matsubara, Graham Greene, and Alice Braga niece of Sonya Braga . Mack engages in conversation with these spiritual entities. He eventually returns to normal life with a changed outlook. The film gets off to a rocky start. There is an unnecessary and amateurish voice-over narration by country music star Tim McGraw, who stars as Mack's friend. Otherwise, though, McGraw is excellent on screen, displaying an understated charisma and authenticity that are totally beyond the film's actual star, Sam Worthington. In fact I wish Tim McGraw had played Mack and Sam Worthington had played the best friend. Too, there are many shifts in time in the opening scenes. There are flashbacks on top of flashbacks and a shocking crime that the movie never makes much use of. Once the movie gets started, about fifteen minutes in, it gets good. Sam Worthington is okay as Mack. The thing is, his Australian accent is evident in virtually every word he speaks. Again, I wish the filmmakers had made McGraw the star. Radha Mitchell is good looking but chilly as Mack's wife. She looks like a movie star, not like a wife, and that took away from the film for me. The rest of the cast is excellent. Octavia Spencer is assigned to play an almost impossible part, and she handles it with great professionalism and depth. Aviv Alush is especially good. Moviegoers have waited a long time for a star like this to play this part, and he knocks it out of the park. The production values are high. The scenery is lush. I was especially moved by how this family-friendly film handles the tragedy at the center of Mack's depression and alienation from God. The exact words are never used. Graphic images are never shown. Yet we know exactly what happened, and it breaks our hearts and causes us to ask the same questions that Mack asks. Either you want to see a movie where an average man works out how to deal with unbearable tragedy or you don't. Me, I loved sitting there watching Mack wrestle with his pain and his faith. Many self- identified Christians hate this movie with a white hot hatred. Big name Christian leaders have denounced it as heretical. One man told me that seeing the movie would be the equivalent of shooting heroin. It think these folks are wearing their shorts much too tight. The film is an allegory. Any thinking person who has been through pain has had the same questions as Mack, and anyone who has read the Bible or other spiritual literature has pondered the same potential answers. I sincerely doubt that any film-goer is going to leave the theater thinking that he or she has actually seen God on screen, or heard God's thoughts about human tragedy. Rather, like any good allegory, the film sets us on our own path of spiritual exploration. That's a very good thing.
My review tonight is on the Shack, another film based upon a very popular book. Once more I walk into the fluorescent filled rooms of the local theater to bring you another review on the latest "masterpieces" to grace the silver screen. Before we begin note that I have not read the book, but the Wikipedia, and therefore cannot say how close it matches the tale. In addition, as I'm ranking this film it is based on the movie aspects, not just the morals it has to share. So, before casting stones at this review, please read with an open mind. Let's get to it. LIKES: Feels <more>
likes a book Fantastic Musical Scores Octavia Spencer, and the rest of the cast Beautiful Scenery Solid delivery of important moralsSummary: Often a movie adaptation of the book cuts a lot of corners and loses the literary feel we fell in love with. The Shack is an exception to Hollywood's usual trend of diluting quality for high budget special effects. Over the 2.25 hours, one feels they are indeed walking through a book, traversing the journey with the protagonist and developing with them. The director kept close to the framework of story as summarized by Wikipedia , allowing one to appreciate all the plot had without being bogged down by specialized showcases. Amidst the breathtaking scenery of the quaint "paradise", you'll be engaged by an equally brilliant musical score that matches the themes of Mack Phillips' journey and the setting around him. And while the score will move you in one way, it is the acting of our small band of characters that might spark even more tears at least it did with many of my fellow audience members . While Sam Worthington, Avraham Aviv Alush, and Sumire Matsubara certainly do their parts justice in their own ways as they deliver the important wisdom shared by the all- knowing, it is Octavia Spencer who gets my praise for stealing the show. A combination of sass, whit, wisdom, love and more. Octavia breaks the mold of the movie and adds a little life to what would otherwise be a very monotone cast. Yet all of these qualities mirror around the strongest aspect of the film, the important lessons contained within. If you've done your homework, then you will know this movie is very religious and with it comes a lot of deep lessons. What this reviewer liked was how these lessons were delivered in this movie. Rather than the usual preachy monologues and overbearing grandiosity, The Shack delivers its messages through well written dialogue that fits naturally into the story. Much of the movie feels like a common conversation between friends helping each other out, despite one of them knowing all the answers. And the way it was all presented managed to illicit a feeling in my chest that somehow removed a weight and no it wasn't gas from the popcorn . DISLIKES: Tim McGraw's monologue Does become preachy at times Editing could have used some work Predictable Could have been a Netflix specialLike the movie, I ask for no scorn on this first dislike. Tim McGraw did not do much for me in this project, the once decent actor reduced to a very dry, hasty, unemotional monologue that was more annoying than necessary other than maybe summarize what could have been another fifteen minutes of film . These moments, alongside a few other sequences, diverted from that casual delivery I liked and traversed down the cheesy delivery path that has been done to death. While many were fine, there are those few moments that could have been left to a reread of the book or deleted scenes. Speaking of deleted scenes, the movie's editing could have also used some work. Why this movie was over two hours long, I can't really justify, but there were plenty of parts primarily at the beginning that could have been shortened and delivered the same punch; though I do appreciate the attempt at building up the "suspense". And the scenes I wanted to see were left out! Regardless many of these moments are extra fluff to what is going to be a predictable ending. Even if you haven't read the book, you can guess what is going to happen overall, which in this genre I guess is to be expected. And while I do appreciate the simplicity of this film, the lack of visual effects, twists, and complexity made me feel this movie could have been just as successful on Netflix than at the big screen. The Verdict:To quote the movie, I do not wish to be the judge, but nevertheless I have a job to do. Overall the Shack is one of the better religious based movies I've seen that forgoes the grandiosity for the casually enjoyable lesson. Using simple tricks, they are able to convey some important messages, while interjecting both fun and beauty into what could have been a snooze fest. Morals aside though, much of the movie components still need work including editing out some scenes, avoiding preachy moments, and adding a little more flare and magic to justify the big screen ticket price. Yet I must say I enjoy it, and encourage all who aren't shy of religion to give it a shot. Drama/Fantasy: 7.5-8.0 Movie Overall: 6.5
Much better than your average faith based film (by mancinibrown)
While on a camping trip with his 3 children, Mack Worthington is forced into a situation where he has to save his son. During that act his youngest daughter, Missy, is abducted and murdered. The remainder of the movie deals with how he deals with it and eventually moves on from it.This could be the setup for any regular drama, but it IS a faith based film. The movie very much deals with God, from a purely Christian perspective, and issues of faith. While I may not personally agree with the resolutions provided by the movie, there are things worth commending about it.The movie has much <more>
better production, writing, and most importantly, acting than any other faith based movie. The issues which are dealt with are real issues, and are treated as real human beings would. Too often faith based movies present a problem, and then just say pray and everything will be good. The Shack does actually delve into the mindset of loss, anger, and grief, and while not all may be satisfied with how it suggests handling it, at least it is handled maturely.To quickly touch on the Christianity of the movie: There is no getting around it. Mack meets three people who are God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It's very plain. Even so, if you can ignore the who, and listen to the what the movie can be watched by a person of any faith.I wouldn't recommend it to somebody looking for a thriller, as it's certainly not that. But for somebody who just wants to think about their faith a little, Christian or not, it provides that.