Action / Biography / Drama


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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Peter Hamm 8 / 10

God loves the broken.

I'm going to get the bad out of the way. If you're hoping this movie "solves" all the problems of the so-called "Christian movie industry", it does not. It is too long by at least a half-hour, we never feel like the main character really is Mullins until almost a half-hour into the film, and it seems preachier than it needs to be, often using way too much dialog to communicate messages that filmmakers should be able to make with far less talking and far more skillful directing, acting and editing. Anachronisms abound for those who look for them (certain musical equipment and instruments appear years and years before they actually were available), the lighting seems to be an afterthought, and in many cases (as I implied earlier) paragraphs of dialog abound where lines would do.

If you think this movie is just as bad as so many Christian films (virtually all that I have seen in fact) are, you'd also be wrong. Refreshingly, this film does not sanitize the smoking, drinking, cussing (okay, maybe it eases up on the cussing, I'm okay with that), broken character that Rich apparently was. That, I found refreshing. And when Michael Koch finally "finds" the main character (or should I say, when we finally believe in him and the director finally sets the character free), he carries it well, warts (and there are many) and all. I was impressed with how Koch sings and plays the part so well (using his own voice by the way), too, right down to the occasional sloppy piano and idiosyncratic vocal stylings. The stress of growing up with such a broken father-son relationship plays a major role, as it should, and explains much of what we need to know about the character (reminded me of Johnny Cash, actually).

I was fortunate enough to meet Mullins during his too-short life, about 7 years before his death. By "meet", I don't mean shake hands after a concert, but in fact along with a small group of folks got to spend hours and hours with him talking and really getting to know each other. He was, by far, the most interesting person I have ever met. So… I am a little biased in saying that beyond the flaws in this film (again, typical of so many Christian movies, and of so much Christian music for that matter), is the story of a man who was worth knowing and knowing about, not in spite of, but partly because of his flaws. I can probably count on one hand the number of Christian songwriters who come close to Mullins' talent and transparency (even if I'm missing a finger or two), and I'm thrilled that this film might introduce some new people to his work. Even more, maybe more people will come to grips with the fact that Jesus not only doesn't mind their brokenness, but loves them right in the middle of it all.

That would thrill Rich the most.

Reviewed by cincinnatikid1 8 / 10

Relatable portrayal of Rich Mullins' walk with Christ.

This movie was recommended to me by a friend with whom I shared my feelings of spiritual "wandering" if you will; a believer with lots of questions and a feeling of emptiness that comes and goes. The acting was very good and the story honest. I am use to movies that lead to an obvious conclusion, however, this movie wasn't the typical countdown to an epiphanic moment. Rather, it was exactly what I needed in realizing I am not alone in my struggles for meaning. Wear comfortable clothes because this movie is a bit long.

My rating of "8" out of 10 is relative to movies of this category. This film should not be compared to Hollywood blockbusters, and justifiably so; the film is a message to each viewer who wishes to receive. The feature was not, in my opinion, made to entertain but more importantly to potentially impact your life in a far greater way than even the most popular movies ever could.


Reviewed by Jodelle 5 / 10

Not a complete picture

I saw Rich Mullins three times in concert. I read every interview and watched everything I could on him and by him. I've known for the past 22 years that he wasn't perfect, that his relationship with his father was not good for most of his life, that he had a "dark" side to his nature, his soul. And I knew his heart had been badly broken by a woman long ago and that he never found another that he was interested in. I considered myself as prepared as anyone could be when I went in to see the movie.

When I saw the trailer I thought that the scenes didn't depict the impish, whimsical depth that Rich always showed. I hoped that I would see more of the giddy nature Rich always had in concert, the hopefulness he always shared in his songs and in his interviews. Instead what I saw was scene after scene of an angry, tortured man who never was happy. Ever, except for once when he was dating a girl in college. I wasn't shocked that he'd gotten into drinking or smoking--he implied as much in his music if you listened. But I lost track of the times the movie showed him waking up next to beer bottles, or falling over drunk. And the depiction of his father surprised me not so much by how cruel he was (was he really that cruel?) but because Rich's own brother is a producer for this film.

I felt betrayed and disappointed that although a film has to pick a "thread," a focus, this director--who by his own words sees Rich as his "hero," --chose to focus on such anger and despair for almost the whole two and a half hours. In my opinion it is quite possible to illustrate brokenness without having the protagonist be in a constant state of negativity. Rich Mullins was a non-conformist but the way the director/writer had it played he was a jerk about it. As I've already said I know he wasn't perfect by any stretch, but I do not, cannot believe he was a constant jerk.

I agree with the statement that it was acted well, and Michael Koch certainly held his own. But whether it was his or director David Leo Schultz' doing, the delivery of even the "fun" parts with Rich and the talking he did during his concerts was done without the humor and whimsy that was quintessential to Rich Mullins.

I also agree with the previous poster, it dragged in the middle in the very place it should have been exciting--the take off of his career.

The upshot was Brennan Manning's influence in Rich's life. But as the previous poster stated, if you want to read Rich's biography and interviews, and watch him on Youtube you'll get a far better picture of who Rich Mullins really was.

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