(director: Stuart Hazeldine; screenwriters: John Fusco/Andrew Lanham/Destin Daniel Cretton/novel by William Paul Young; cinematographer: Declan Quinn; editor: William Steinkamp; music: aaron Zigman; cast: Sam Worthington (Mack Phillips), Octavia Spencer (Papa), Avraham Aviv Alush (Jesus), Radha Mitchell (Nan Phillips), Alice Braga (Sophia), Graham Greene (Male Papa), Tim McGraw (Willie), Sumire (), Amélie Eve (Missy Phillips), Megan Charpentier (Kate Phillips), Gage Munroe (Josh Phillips); Runtime: 132; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Gil Netter, Brad Cummings; Lionsgate; 2017)


A joyless cheesy Christian faith -based drama that might not even appeal to mice.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A joyless cheesy Christian faith -based drama that might not even appeal to mice. Mediocre director Stuart Hazeldine (“Exam”) tries to exam evil from a Christian perspective. It’s based on William P. Young’s Christian bestseller, and is written by John Fusco, Andrew Lanham and Daniel Cretton. Mack Phillips (Sam Worthington) is a hunky, wholesome, outdoorsy type of devout Christian church-going Midwesterner, who is happily married to the equally wholesome Nan (Radha Mitchell) and they have three darling kids. When his youngest daughter Missy (Amelie Eve) is abducted and murdered, the crestfallen dad has a religious crisis. Subsequently there’s a mysterious note in his mailbox inviting him to the shack linked to his child’s murder. At the site he confronts an unconventional Holy Trinity designed by his friends to bring him inner peace. At the shack there’s Papa (Octavia Spencer). the name his daughter used for God. Also present are Jesus (Avraham Aviv Alush) and Sarayu, the Holy Ghost (Sumire Matsubara). Well, in this fantasy drama, Mack meets God, walks on water, walks with Jesus, plays with the holy spirits in lush gardens and has a good time with his supernatural visitors. Yikes. The dude’s in heaven and isn’t even on an acid trip. The Christian film is too nonsensical to comment on. If it’s supposed to promote spiritual healing, it seems more likely to promote idiocy.