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Boris Kodjoe in  'The Gospel'

Movie Info

RATING:

PG for thematic elements including suggestive material and mild language

RELEASED:

October 7th, 2005

GENRE:

Drama and Musical/Performing Arts

STARRING:

Boris Kodjoe, Idris Elba, Nona Gaye, Clifton Powell, Aloma Wright, Donnie McClurkin, Omar Gooding, Tamyra Gray, Hezekiah Walker, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Delores Winans Yolanda Adams, Martha Munizzi, Fred Hammond

DIRECTOR/WRITER:

Rob Hardy

DISTRIBUTOR:

Screen Gems

 

Please Note

In providing movie reviews on our site, CBN.com is not endorsing or recommending films we review. Our goal is to provide Christians with information about the latest movies, both the good and the bad, so that our readers may make an informed decision as to whether or not films are appropriate for them and their families.

MOVIE news

The Gospel

By Elliott Ryan
Guest Writer

CBN.com The Gospel, an indie movie, finished in fifth place at the box office on the weekend that it was released in spite of the fact that it was shown in less than half as many theaters as most of the other movies in the top ten. It also had a much lower advertising budget than the other ranking films. Now, The Gospel is available on DVD.

The film is a modern day retelling of Christ’s parable of the Prodigal Son. A preacher’s son named David Taylor and his friend Frank are training to become ministers as the movie begins. After a tragedy, David falls away from his family and his church and becomes a famous musician. He lives the high life and enjoys the “perks” often associated with being young, rich and famous.

His friend Frank chooses to continue to follow his calling in the ministry. David’s father hires him as an assistant minister at the church. When David’s father becomes ill, Frank is named as his successor

As you would expect, news of his father’s illness is enough to bring David back home. He leaves his concert tour to spend time with his ailing father in what may be his last few days on earth. Once back at home, David must decide whether or not he wants to be involved in the church he turned his back on as it faces a crisis of leadership. Very few movies have ever portrayed the inner workings of a church. But here we see it all – staff meetings, disagreements with denominational boards, and power struggles among people trying to become church celebrities and committed believers who want to honor God through the church’s ministry. It is this world in which David will be asked to become a participant once again.

The movie progresses in pretty much the exact way that you would imagine it would from the details listed above. I have left out much of the storyline details. But there aren’t really any surprises. Of course, it really has to be that way for the movie to follow the plot of Christ’s parable. The movie’s senior pastor represents the father in the parable. David, the ministry student turned music star, of course represents the prodigal. His friend and fellow ministry student Frank represents the good son who remained at home. And the story evolves similar to the way Jesus told the original version in Luke 15:11-32.

In addition to a story you know, you might also hear some songs with which you are familiar. In fact, music, more than acting or writing, may be the main draw of this film. Prominent Gospel musicians such as Yolanda Adams and Fred Hammond sing along with the choir in rousing renditions of praise songs. In fact, Gospel star Kirk Franklin was instrumental in writing some of the original music appearing in the film.

The Gospel is mostly good, clean family entertainment. However, while David is living it up as a musician on tour, viewers are confronted with a few minor curse words, an implied extramarital sexual encounter, a bit of drinking, and a few scantily-clad back up dancers at David’s concert. The whole message of the movie though is that these are things that should be turned away from as one turns to God. Church attendance, strong families, and even sexual abstinence are all portrayed in a positive light by the time the movie ends.

I encourage you to see this movie. Christians often complain (with good reason) about the lack of good, moral movies put out in the theaters these days. When one turns up, we should put our money where our mouth is and support it. Judging from the box office receipts, a large number of people did just that.

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