We take a look at the newest film from the Kendrick Brothers, War Room!
This week, War Room, possibly the biggest Christian movie of the year, released in theaters around the country. This is the first film to come from the Kendrick brothers since Courageous back in August of 2011, and needless to say there has been a lot of anticipation leading up to the release of this film.
The Kendrick brothers have always been a big name in the Christian movie industry, and their movies Facing the Giants and Fireproof is what originally inspired us to start Christian Film Central. Their last film, Courageous is in our opinion the quintessential Christian movie. It has everything you need for a good movie, spiritual themes, elements of genuine humor, and also raw moments of serious emotion.
So how does War Room compare to their previous films? How does it stand on its own as a Christian movie?
Well to state it simply, War Room is a fantastic movie, and I enjoyed it a lot. It was powerful and convicting about the necessity of prayer in the home. I would probably even go so far as to say that War Room has the most powerful ending scene of any Kendrick Brothers film. When the credits rolled, we felt satisfied and the general mood was positive. There was even some discussion in the room that this movie needed to be seen by every Christian family in America.
The subject of prayer is an important topic to cover, and the filmmakers did an incredible job of showing the power and effectiveness of prayer in the home. Prayer should be an essential part of the home, as it brings the family together and unites them over a common bond. When we begin to remove prayer in the household, we begin to lose the focus of who is really in control of our family. This movie is a wonderful reminder of just how essential prayer is for the health and stability of the family.
So, in short, we loved this movie. However, we do have a few issues with War Room, especially in comparison with their previous films. The Kendrick Brothers have always been known for their special brand of humor that they inject into all of their films. For instance, we all remember the infamous “Snake Kings” scene from Courageous.
However, what little humor there was in War Room honestly fell flat, and I wouldn’t say there was one comedic scene in the film that really stuck with me afterwards. Rather than Sherwood Pictures, War Room was released through Sony’s Affirm Films, which led to some jarring Sony product placements throughout the film. I understand this is how the film industry works, and they do have to make money to make it a successful film, but I felt it took the focus off important story details at certain parts in the movie.
The production quality is top-notch, as we’ve come to expect from Christian movies nowadays, and with each movie the Kendrick Brothers always seem to take it up a notch visually. The story was powerful and moving, though we did feel the pacing was odd in a few key sections.
Overall, War Room was a fantastic film, and I can’t convey enough how powerful and moving the story was. The only reason we may be nitpicking a little is because this is the Kendrick Brothers. They’re basically the Pixar of the Christian film industry, always delivering the best and always working to perfect their craft. While War Room was an enjoyable film and definitely one of the best films to be released in 2015, it still seemed like a small step back from Courageous.
What is encouraging is the box office results for this weekend. War Room came in 2nd place for this weekend’s box office totals, and this includes other big name secular films. This goes to show that we as Christians do have a voice in what kind of media is produced. When people see that 2nd place at the box office this weekend was a low-budget Christian movie, they begin to realize that there is an audience for family-friendly films. It’s easy for us to complain about the moral decay in Hollywood and in media. But what we need to do, rather than criticize the bad is support the good. If we support what is moral and upright in the media world, we can make a difference in our culture.
All this is to say, go see War Room. Support this movie. We can highly recommend it as one of the best, if not the best Christian movie of 2015. This movie will change the way you think about prayer and encourage you to make it a part of your everyday routine.