Going to see Courageous in the theater last week made several records for me. It was the first movie I had ever attended in a theater which drew spontaneous applause when the end credits rolled. Also, never before had I laughed so ridiculously hard or sobbed so much (yes, our whole row was a sniffling, nose-blowing mess!) in a movie. I have been telling people that I cried through the whole thing: sometimes because I was laughing so hard, and other times because of the heartstrings-tugging storyline. Then, at the end of the movie, my last record came when I said, “I think this is the best movie I have ever seen!”
Never fear, I am not going to give away any spoilers for those of you have yet to see the movie, but I am going to urge you to go to the theater to see this movie! Courageous is made by Sherwood Pictures who have also made Flywheel, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof. In my opinion, this is the best movie they have made yet, while others hold that it really is difficult to compare Courageous with Fireproof. Be that as it may, the videography, storylines, and acting are only improved in this latest movie. And as a side note, if you are a Sherwood Pictures afficionado, then you will appreciate the subtle references throughout the movie to their past movies; references that only fans would recognize and grasp the humor of.
The poignancy of Courageous lies in its message. Indeed, it delivers a powerful, significant message to our culture: fathers are the defining influence in a child’s life. If a father is absent, statistics show that that child will be more likely to take the wrong path towards drugs and jail. Courageous is not “preachy,” nor does it look at the world through rose-colored glasses. For some of the families the movie follows, everything is at stake, and some of the fathers are leaders of broken homes, coming face to face with the reality of their past bad decisions. Courageous decisions have to be made now, however, and a line is drawn in the sand between the courageous and the cowardly.
I am not a father, but going to see this movie gave me a renewed desire to love, support, and appreciate my father in his leadership of our home. It brought conviction to my heart to follow after his example more closely, and to be willing to make courageous decisions myself.
There was nothing offensive in the movie—no inappropriate language or clothing. What gave it the PG-13 rating was the violence, since the main characters are policemen. Because of that, it is probably not appropriate for young children. With that said, however, it is not gory or bloody, but it does contain violence and negative depictions of drug dealing.
Joshua 23:6 says,
“Therefore be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, lest you turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left.”
That verse wholly sums up the message of this God-honoring, life-changing, norm-shattering, thought-provoking, paradigm-shifting, heart-convicting movie. In 2011, we have all too many people turning aside to the right, and all too many people turning aside to the left. Courageous lays down the truth: there is only one way to honor God and lead your families in righteousness, and although it will look different in every situation, it will require you to be very courageous. This is a much-needed message.
Go see it.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.