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Reel Review - War Room
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Courtesy: ChristianAnswers.Net / Christian Spotlight on Entertainment

Rating: PG-13

Moral Rating: Excellent

Genre: Christian Drama

Directed By: Alex Kendrick

Screenplay: Alex Kendrick, Stephen Kendrick

Now Playing at: Landmark Cinemas 8 and SilverCity

Runtime: 2 hr.

Cast: T.C. Stallings, Karen Abercrombie, Alena Pitts, Elizabeth Becka, Ashley Bratcher, Priscilla Evans Shirer, Jadin Alexis Harris, Scotty Curlee, Rusty Martin Sr., Noël Baker, Michael Jr., Beth Moore, Dave Blamy, Carrie Marshall, Adrian Eugene Graham


MOVIE REVIEW


"Prayer is a powerful weapon."
The Kendrick brothers, who brought you "Fireproof" and "Courageous," are back with a new theme to their film ministry: prayer. Their latest venture is called "War Room." This drama posits that prayer is a battlefield. It tells the story of Tony and Elizabeth Jordan. They have all the material possessions of a successful family. Tony (T.C. Stalling) is a successful salesman in a pharmaceutical company. Elizabeth (Priscilla Shirer) has a good career in real estate. Along with good jobs, they have a nice house and a beautiful daughter. Beneath the surface, however, their marriage is in trouble. The relationship is steeped in distrust and disloyalty. Tony keeps Elizabeth in the dark about what is happening in his life, which leads to Elizabeth having feelings of anger, bitterness, and resentment.

While the marriage is in a severe strain, Elizabeth meets a new client, Miss Clara, a quirky elderly woman who speaks her mind. Their meeting is what changes Elizabeth's life. Miss Clara introduces Elizabeth to her "war room," which is a prayer closet. Miss Clara teaches Elizabeth how to pray in the war room and how to bring her troubles to the Lord God.

Elizabeth feels hopeless. She has been trying to keep her marriage and her family together on her own strength. When she meets Miss Clara, she learns how to rely on God’s strength. Like Jesus’ example from the Bible, Miss Clara shows Elizabeth new wineskins to pour her marriage into, instead of the old wineskins that she was using. Elizabeth thinks that she is going to help a new client put her house up for sale, but instead, her client helps her get a renewed marriage. Once Elizabeth starts to pray, her life and her marriage are turned upside down.

I think that people need to watch this film. It does not show God as a fairy godmother or Santa Claus. It shows that hope is found in prayer and trusting and believing God and His Word. The movie tells us that despite the fact that situations seem really dark and gloomy, if we trust God to take care of the circumstance, He will bring us to the other side with joy and hope.

Scenes in this movie that may be of concern to some:
  • There is a scene where one spouse desires to commit adultery.
  • In the same scene, the spouse drinks alcohol.
  • There is a scene about lying, dishonesty, and stealing.

There is no violence, nudity or profanity. It is very family-oriented, but some subjects, like the possibility of adultery, may not be appropriate for children under ten years old. As believers, I feel strongly that we need to support Christian films in order to make a statement to Hollywood. It is a decent film, telling us how to use an important tool in the Christian life: prayer.

Violence: Mild / Language: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Mild

Update, 8.28.2015: Now that the movie is out, I have a surprise for you. I saw a screening of this movie months ago. I learned that the actress who plays Miss Clara is a younger woman. She is not elderly at all. She came into the audition dressed as the character and won the part. I think that’s what makes this movie more interesting. She amazed the directors and producers with this performance. I hope that it amazed you, too!

Viewer comments

Positive-I am absolutely... speechless. I have seen many of the Kendrick brothers' films, "Courageous," "Facing the Giants." But never have I seen a movie so powerful and so uplifting since "God's Not Dead." Powerful performances (some even humorous) and a true, straightforward message about the power of prayer and the patience that comes through prayer. As I sat in the theater, I couldn't help but overhear people praising God over and over.

Without giving too much away, all the emotional strings were pulled in this movie: joy, anger, sadness. Two hours later, I'm still in awe of how amazing this film was. I wish this movie was available for viewing in more theaters (only ONE theater in my area, out of dozens, was showing this). If it;s in your area and you only go to one movie this year, this is IT. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors! I can’t wait for the DVD release!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Alexander M., age 25 (USA)

Positive—This is an outstanding movie. It will move your heart, and it certainly gives the glory to Jesus. I doubt there was a dry eye in the house. Everyone applauded at the end. Just go see it!!!...
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—C. Nelson, age 55 (USA)

Positive—This was a timely message at a period in history when it feels as if all is lost. I found the movie to be inspirational, steady moving and really enjoyable. I loved the jump rope competition. Some very cool moves! My favorite part was the end—a call for God to lift up a generation of warriors who will fight on their knees. We need it bad.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Nikki, age 57 (USA)

Positive—Great movie and a very timely one. I am also a believer that there is power in prayer. Does He who formed the ear not hear? He does! Thanks for a wonderful movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—April, age 52 (USA)

Positive—SEE THIS MOVIE! I would not have a concern, except for the youngest of children, because of the issues the reviewer brought up about adultery, alcohol, etc… I really liked the way Miss Clara was an enthusiastic follower of Jesus, and her dedication to prayer wasn’t made light of by the directors—but it was not, it was respected and to be admired. It is always nice seeing characters from other Kendrick movies make an appearance—not sure why Beth Moore was on the movie poster when she had really two sentences of dialog, and it was not a profound turning point in the movie.

I did like the way the subject of prayer was dealt with BUT most specifically, Miss Clara’s teaching on GRACE. It was spot on and was one of the most powerful lessons of the movie. Felt the ending was somewhat rushed—but loved the lessons of why prayer was needed, the importance, and the humble submission to Jesus in prayer—a recognition of our daily need for grace and strengthening—they were perfect. GO SEE THIS! With your spouse, a possible spouse, and friends. GO!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Casey, age 50 (USA)

Positive—Ok, we all need a Miss Clara in our lives. This Miss Clara will inspire you to be serious about your prayer life. This movie was totally inspiring and one of the best Christian movies in a bit. With great music from Mandisa, Toby Mac, Building 429, John Waller, Steve C. Chapman and more.

I cannot say enough. Churches, see this movie—and start praying. We all need to be a Miss Clara in this world we live in.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Rockinron C., age 53 (USA)

Positive—Really enjoyed this film! It showed what many people have experienced-Grace and the POWER of Prayer. Prayer seems so simple to do that I sometimes forget how powerful it really is.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Kim Q., age 32 (USA)

Positive—I was praying for this film since I saw the first trailer months ago. I attended this movie on opening night with my wife and disciples from my church. What a blessing!! We were all encouraged to take serious spiritual inventory of ourselves. We were challenged to intercede for others and mentor others in their journey of prayer and holy living.

The characters were authentic and believable. I saw myself in the film! It was inspiring to participate in the worship experience of watching the film. We cried, prayed, laughed, shouted and praised Jesus for His amazing grace!! I recommend this film to all people, both believers and unbelievers. The prayers of the righteous are powerfully effective!!!... I commend the Kendrick Brothers and their vision in knowing what the body of Christ needs at this time… a call to prayer!!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Darren, age 47 (USA)

Positive—Karen Abercrombie [Miss Clara] is just absolutely amazing.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—DH, age 48 (USA)

Positive—This movie is a wake up call to America for a revival! It is an outstanding testament of what God's divine intervention will do in a person's life if they will accept him into their hearts! By far the greatest picture these two brothers have done thus far! Awesome job guys for a job well done!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Tina Humphries, age 48 (USA)

Positive—Just watched this on opening night. As expected, it was a blessing to watch and be challenged in the faith in the area of prayer. This film follows a lot of the same main story points as the previous films, which is a good thing—like the 4 Gospels. I pray they stick to this format.

BTW, I challenge you to go back and watch the other films, especially if you have never seen them: "Flywheel," "Facing the Giants," "Fireproof" and "Courageous." Good story telling, entertaining, funny, inspiring and convicting. My wife and I prayed in the car after the movie. My only complaint about this movie would be that it doesn’t have the action and intensity of the previous films. I pray this film stirs up Christians to be serious about their prayer lives. May God also draw people who don’t know the God of the Bible to see and be saved.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Brett, age 38 (USA)

Positive—I think this is the best movie I have seen in a long time. The actors and story line was incredible. Everyone involved in this movie should be so proud of what they have accomplished to do by inspiring, and sending a message of what needs to be in everyone's life. God and Jesus Christ. Thank for making this movie and touching my heart.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jean, age 56 (USA)

Positive—Excellent in so many way! Great acting by all. Great script and production. Best Christian film and best movie in general in a LONG time. Laugh out loud many times. Moving portrayals by the mother and father. Some of the most profound moments are comedian Michael Jr. speaking the truth with love to the father and Miss Clara mentoring the mother. The daughter and her friend add so much with their expressions. Excellent cast. Excellent film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Tori, age 40+ (USA)

Positive—Another well done movie from the Kendrick Brothers. The storyline is relevant to many issues in our society today and shows how we can become distracted by worldly pursuits, rather than focusing on our relationship with God. This movie inspired me to pray about everything in my life, challenged me to release my battles to the Lord and encouraged me to be diligent and faithful in my prayers for others. The powerful, heartfelt prayers of Miss Clara, beautifully portrayed by Karen Abercrombie, still echo in my soul. What a refreshing message to hear!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Stephanie C., age 54 (USA)

Positive—Some Christians do not understand how powerful prayer is. This was an AWESOME faith-based movie that explains it in a way everyone can understand it. If anyone goes to see this movie needs to ask God to explain it to them if they do not understand. If you are not a Christian or do not believe in God you will not understand this move. This is perfect timing for a movie like this, due to all the negative things that are going on in our world today.

Christians need to stand tall on their knees praying for God to guide us each day and to pray for all our family, friends. and the peace of Jerusalem. I am a product of the power of prayer, and when God touched me, God showed me who was praying for me. In saying that, all I can say to you is prayer is very powerful, and the people you are praying for will be blessed.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Laverne B., age 69 (USA)

Positive—This movie "War Room" has really helped me to pray more with God, and to just take the time to pray about my family and the whole world and people who I know. Another thing I learned was that prayer is very important, and it's a powerful weapon. You know, God is listening to what you're praying, and I know He will answer you. This movie "War Room" really touched me and strengthened my faith. I am very happy that I got to see this movie when it came out in theaters.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—R Fernandez, age 19 (USA)

Positive—I really enjoyed the movie, "War Room." I must say that it was very realistic. Some comments are being made about a scene of alcohol use and attempted adultery. Those things are a part of the realistic world that we live in. That scene was a part of the movie to stress a point. Her husband was a liar, a thief, selfish, mental abuser and child/wife neglecting man who did not make God his number one priority. The husband and wife were both greedy and worldly and did not make God their number one priority. This is just as sinful as the alcohol and attempted adultery.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Shirl, age 61 (USA)

Positive—As if you needed another positive comment, but I want to add that this movie was very well-written, and the acting was spectacular. The movie rotated entirely about marriage and praying for marriage, and the movie succeeded as cinematic art. I was interested throughout the whole movie. It disappeared quickly from my local theater, so I had to drive farther, but it was worth the drive.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—H. Barannik, age 69 (USA)

Positive—This was a very inspiring, well made film within the faith-based movie genre. Our theater was sold out and, at the end, the place erupted into applause. It is encouraging to see this kind of support for these films, and the more we support them, the better they will become. The acting was similar to what we have come to expect from these faith-based films. Some of it is very good, and some is stiff and very amateur. What could have made this film much better was a script change.

My husband and I both agreed that the ending was much too sugar-coated and not realistic enough, diluting the potential for a stronger message. Early in the film Tony says that they can barely afford their beautiful home. After his confession, he is required to repay the $19,000, and he loses the company car then takes a job at half the pay. What is missing here is that they should have had to sell their house for a much more humble home (buying Miss Clara's home would have made sense for example and added a sweet twist to the story with Miss Clara’s prayer room becoming Elizabeth's), having to sacrifice more than just the loss of his car and his job.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Annemarie, age 50 (USA)

Positive—As a Christian man in his 40's who likes action movies like Terminator and Avengers, I thought this movie was going to be the Bore Room. After all, I knew there would be no car chases, no explosions, and no super villains. I thought to myself, how could a movie about prayer possibly be any good? I reluctantly went to see it, though, because it was my wife’s birthday, and she wanted to see it. If it were left up to me, I would have waited for it to come out on DVD. I’m glad I didn’t however, because to my surprise, not only was it good, it was actually very good! It had great comedic moments, and a great story line. Even though it’s a PG movie, I would recommend that you can even take the kids.

If you're looking for a place where you can have a great family night, the movie theater with "War Room" on the screen comes highly recommended!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Frank, age 46 (USA)

Positive—Great movie, shows the power of prayer, a place to pray, and we all should establish a life of praying. Best movie I have seen from the Kendrick brothers. I thought the others were great, but this one tops them all. Love it!!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Cathy, age 59 (USA)

Positive—I can relate to this character called Elizabeth. It is hard when you are hurting to see the good in people and even give mercy and grace to them. It is true that we are fighting a battle in the spiritual world that we live in.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Terry, age 48 (USA)

Positive—This was a powerful film. At the end of the movie, I was already planning to clear out my own "War room". It was wonderful to see the evidence of God’s grace in their situation and the power of forgiveness and prayer. I cannot wait to own the film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—R. Young, age 59 (USA)

Viewer Comments...

Negative—...I am a Christian who thought this was a dangerous movie, because the implication is you can control God with prayer, and he will control others. This bad doctrine helped me become suicidal when (the murderer and rapist) I was married to at the time wasn't changing. I put oil on the door posts, prayer cloths under his pillow, was being told NOT TO JUDGE, that's not in the Bible either (another bad doctrine that makes people crazy) that was in the movie, too.

True intercession is a man that will TELL THE TRUTH, not go in the closet and pray. That's what numbers of people in churches did for this murderer when he needed to be locked up. This is why so many people in churches are dumbed down.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Ceci Sullivan, age 48 (USA)

Negative—I did view the movies after several people recommended it. I was watching and almost fell asleep. It was nothing like I thought it would be. It was another feel good message that offered no depth. I agree that things change in prayer. But I also believe in a time where people are looking for “How to”. This movie, in my opinion, offers false hope. I have been called to prayer and intercession at a high cost. I have lived in my prayer closet for @ 17 years.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Jeri, age 43 (USA)