- Starring: David A.R. White, Dean Cain, Kevin Sorbo, Shane Harper
- Summary: Present-day college freshman and devout Christian, Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), finds his faith challenged on his first day of Philosophy class by the dogmatic and argumentative Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo). Radisson begins class by informing students that they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God on that first day, or face a failing grade. As other students in the class begin scribbling the words “God Is Dead” on pieces of paper as instructed, Josh find himself at a crossroads, having to choose between his faith and his future. Josh offers a nervous refusal, provoking an irate reaction from his smug professor. Radisson assigns him a daunting task: if Josh will not admit that “God Is Dead,” he must prove God’s existence by presenting well-researched, intellectual arguments and evidence over the course of the semester, and engage Radisson in a head-to-head debate in front of the class. If Josh fails to convince his classmates of God’s existence, he will fail the course and hinder his lofty academic goals. With almost no one in his corner, Josh wonders if he can really fight for what he believes. Can he actually prove the existence of God? Wouldn’t it just be easier just to write “God Is Dead” and put the whole incident behind him?… Expand
- Director: Harold Cronk
- Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy, Comedy, Family
- More Details and Credits »
Even grading on a generous curve, this strident melodrama about the insidious efforts of America’s university system to silence true believers on campus is about as subtle as a stack of Bibles falling on your head.
May 15, 2014Admittedly, I am giving this movie 10 stars instead of 8, mostly to battle all the negative reviews because I found the film to be refreshing, even as a long-time atheist.
During my college freshman years when I was still a Christian, I had to deal with red state atheist bully professors (usually teaching in red states because they can find more Christians to bully there), and I know there are some teachers who like to test their power over their students' lives by asking their opinions on all sorts of obscure topics, but frequently one is religion, and then downgrading those who disagree with their own philosophies. It DOES happen. I wish there were Christian lobbying and legal groups who would have been there to defend me against some of those types during my own young naive Christian years.
College professors can also abuse their power in other ways (usually sexual harassment, etc.) and it's just a given that students should be protected from that. Nobody questions it.
That being said, I was never some preachy self-righteous Bible-quoting sheep. I was a curious kid from a Christian home who would eventually drop my faith, but certainly NOT because I was bullied for it. I dropped my Christian faith after reading books by Richard Dawkins, Bertrand Russell and Robert Ingersoll (still my personal favorite). But I read those books on my own free time, because I was curious. None of the bully atheist professors even mentioned any of these authors to me. I sure wish they had. Bully professors only want to hurt their students, not educate them. I became an arrogant atheist myself for a few years, and I can't say I was truly trying to educate people during that time either. But the atheist books made me feel free of religious superstition. Most of my hostility towards believers came from my having gone so long myself, feeling trapped by that.
Eventually I realized that faith in an afterlife is probably pretty important in a world that has to deal with death of family members & loved ones. It helps them cope. You know this better when you've experienced it. And belief in a deity is -sadly- also necessary in a world where most people don't just naturally have a high ethical self-standard without it.
While ethics are certainly possible without a god, and civilized behavior, there are few who truly are ethical and civilized without needing some ultimate reward for it, so as best to follow after death. Religion is not all bad. To anyone who thinks we'd have a better world without it, I say: not everyone is intellectually equipped to handle it. If you think religious people are scary when they have a religion, take that religion away, and I guarantee many of them would only get worse.
Some scenes I could *really* do without: cut out the Duck Dynasty crap. There's is not star power the movie needed, and it would have done much better without. Even when I was a Christian, I would have found it icky & distasteful; these people speaking for me.
The Newsboys advertising was a bit too heavy as well. Just a poster here, and a concert there is enough. The atheist professor did not need to die in the end for the message to be uplifting. I think having him convert in frantic desperation, while dying, struck a lot of people as cliche and heavy-handed.
The Muslim dysfunction was very uncomfortable to watch, but here in America, we are loaded with news articles telling us of far worse behavior done in the name of that religion. If it's true, it ain't slander. There was no acid thrown into anyone's faces, nobody's nose got cut off, no honor killings, no suicide bombings, no stonings, no burqa bombs. So yes; it was very uncomfortable, but still tame compared to what the mainstream news reports give us.
As for the philosophical debate; good effort. I'd have liked to see the Christian's arguments be just a little stronger, and I'd have also preferred the atheist professor base his position on logic rather than sordid emotion, but I get that it's a feel-good Christian-happy flick, not a religious nor political documentary. I will cut it some slack. It wasn't as laughably emotional as The Mormon Proposition when reporting relies heavily on crazy wild rumors & off-the-wall schmulz, bordering on deliberate misinfo, but the movie risks coming quite close.
I liked most of the movie but wish I could cut entire scenes out, but if you're an atheist like me and you don't like being preached at, give this film a chance anyway. I didn't feel TOO preached at.… Expand
Aug 31, 2014God's Not Dead may indeed satisfy strong Christians, but as a movie critic there are too many sub-plots/side-stories that (for the most part) have nothing to do with the overall story and is filled with propaganda in which there's hardly anything to say about the Christian faith. As far as the unnecessary side characters, some are just horrible human beings. I can't even call one in particular a real character. It is filled with some of the worst blatant stereotypes in the history of mankind. It's also a product placement scheme for Newsboys and Duck Dynasty, which once again serve no purpose. I will give credit to Shane Harper (Josh) who gives a fine performance as well as the pastor and his friend. Even though they don't really have any to truly do with the movie as well, those two are literally the only characters that truly get the message around about God and the christian faith. And I actually kind of like them. Other than that, the movie is just a mess! I give it a D+!… Expand
Aug 20, 2014Wow... Did that just happen? Wait, this movie was actually made AND I watched it... The characters are all so over the top that it's a distraction. From the parody of a philosophy professor to the idiotic student to the implausible mean-girl girlfriend, the whole thing runs like a high-school play gone awry. I'm shocked (shocked I say!) this movie ever got made.… Expand
Apr 1, 2014As a Christian, This is BAD Film making, just plain numb.
No character development.
A really long Newsboys Ad Commercial.
Duck Dynasty Commercial.
Just Plain Christian standard bad quality film making.
Portraying all Atheists as bitter persons.
More predictable than the Rocky saga.
Starts of as a philosophical fight but somehow it ends up as a Science class.… Expand
Mar 24, 2014typical religious propaganda, of course the movie chooses to portray the atheist as the bad guy since this is a religious movie. The Acting is horrible, I mean what kind of sane minded college professor would attack his student like that? This movie is offensive to the atheist and secular community as long as other non Christian religious communities.… Expand