Jun 6, 2009

To See or Not to See? The Movie Question

By Chuck Missler

Land of the Lost, Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, and Terminator Salvation are some of the newest flicks awaiting avid moviegoers streaming to the box office for their two hours worth of entertainment. Most people enjoy a good movie. However, too often movies that promise to be good are littered with extreme violence, foul language, gratuitous sex scenes or inappropriate humor that can ruin an otherwise interesting story. Happily, there are ways to find out which films are fun and wholesome, which films contain questionable scenes, and which films are just plain lame before spending money on a dose of Hollywood.

It is difficult from previews or from most movie reviews to know which movies are going to throw in "that one scene" that tarnishes the whole thing. At the same time, it’s difficult to know which are going to inspire the viewer to greater faith and courage. To deal with this problem, a number of Christian-oriented sites offer reviews of movies. These sites not only note the film-making quality and the excellence of movie plot lines, but also give potential viewers fair warning of undesirable scenes or language. These sites often allow web surfers to give their personal reviews as well, so that one can find a variety of Christian-oriented opinions of movies before buying a ticket. Some sites also offer reviews of less well-known, notably good films that deserve a viewing despite their smaller budgets.

Maybe you would have preferred your kids not to see Captain Kirk in bed with a green skinned Orion chick before you went to see JJ Abram's Star Trek – or would have liked to have been warned about the foul language or the bar reference to country boys and their affinity for farm animals. How does the newest Night At The Museum movie treat Egyptian pagan mythology, and on the other hand, how does it treat references to Jesus Christ? Does Up compare well to Pixar’s long list of excellent family films? And how many ways did the Wayan brothers manage to be completely offensive in Dance Flick? There are a plethora of Christian movie review sites – all with unique styles – which can give viewers specific information before they head to the theater.

The producers and writers in the film industry are no more righteous or unrighteous than their viewers. If movies packed with garbage do poorly and relatively "clean" films do well, film makers will take note and focus their efforts on what sells. If families want to be able to see more moral filmmaking, they need to only spend their money on those types of films. Christian review sites give movie-goers the tools to make those decisions before they buy a ticket.

The Bible tells us to think about true, honest, just, pure and lovely things - things that have virtue and that are praiseworthy (Phil 4:8). In working to apply that verse to our lives, it helps to cut out even entertainment that is not true and just and praiseworthy. See the links below for several sites useful in screening films before heading to the theater.

Related Links

Christian Spotlight On Entertainment
Plugged In
Movie Guide