Movie Review: OvercomerQuick Plot Summary: A high school girl and her track coach learn the importance of their identity in Christ.
Suggested Ages: 10+
This movie comes from the Kendrick brothers and like many of their earlier efforts (Courageous, Fireproof, Facing the Giants) is a great film with great heart. With the Kendrick's movies, you get the sense they make movies they feel that God has a real purpose in them making and so their movies usually come across much more than "just a movie" but as a movie that's very entertaining but also has a clear intentional purpose. In Courageous, the theme was calling fathers to step up; in Fireproof, it was helping bringing healing to marriages; in Facing the Giants, it was trusting God and appropriating your faith. And here in Overcomer, it is understanding your true identity as a follower of Jesus Christ.
This movie will encourage you as a believer in Jesus to find your identity in Him and will leave you feeling great. It's a great story with some predictable (and yet not predictable at the same time) twists. Like Courageous before it, it's a very well-made film that doesn't feel "cheap" or cheesy and its filmmaking quality level is Hollywood-worthy (or at least awful close) IMO. On a filmmaking/technical note, there is something about the "look" of Kendrick movies that I just really love - they come across very "bright and airy" feeling which just makes you feel good in-and-of-itself.
Like MANY Christian movies, there is an undercurrent in this film of that God might cause sickness/bad things to teach someone a lesson, which is something I strongly believe is theologically wrong for New Covenant believers and thus there are some scenes in this movie that frustrate me, however there are so many other good things going for this film that I can look past its faults. I will just say though that I would have liked to see some more "overcoming" in the area of faith for believing God for health rather than just surrendering to sickness (all the while thinking God maybe gave the sickness/disease). But this movie is just echoing most Christian teaching/churches which also don't have much faith for such things or have right understanding on these things. Like I said, despite this, this film does have many good points and it actually is halfway-there to getting correct understanding on some other things because this film is all about identity and understanding some of what we've already been given in Christ, which actually is foundational to understanding that health and wholeness are ours in Jesus too and that it's the devil that comes to steal and kill and destroy, not God. So keep going Kendricks...you've almost got it.... :) :)
As for kids watching this, part of the story involves a girl that was abandoned by her father and has grown up without a father and the effects of that and then having to face the emotions associated with this. Without giving away much, there is a death that occurs in this film as well (death is not shown). Thus this film would be pretty "heavy" for younger kids. I think 12 and up is probably ideal, but 10 and up is probably okay. I think I would probably avoid younger than 10.
For those with kids, be advised there is a bit of a moral dilemna showcased by this film where some trusted adults take a girl to do something (noble and with good intentions) that her caregiver is not okay with. You see the wrestling over that decision and ultimately it works out, but some parents have expressed concern at the message this can send kids that it's okay to do things behind their parent/caregiver's back. I can see both sides of this concern (as can the filmmakers by the way if you listen to their commentary on the DVD/Blu-ray). Anyway, if it ends up being a concern for you, you may wish to have a discussion with your kids after seeing this film, reinforcing the importance of not doing things behind your back but respecting your decisions and authority.
Reviewed by Christopher Long,