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Reel Review - The Pastor
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Courtesy: Movieguide

Rating: PG-13 (for a disaster sequence and some language)

Genre: Drama

Distributor: WolfGang Cinema

Executive Producer: Marcelo Paladin, Michael W. Dinnen, Pastor Carlos Ortiz, Peter Michelin

Directed By: Deborah Goodwin

Screenplay: Deborah Goodwin

Writer: Arturo Muyshondt

Runtime: 89 minutes

Cast: Arturo Muyshondt, Victoria Cartagena, Angelic Zambrana, Franky G, Micah Hauptman, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Mario D’Leon, David Iacono, Yasmin Alers, Miriam Cruz, Carlos Ortiz


Summary:
THE PASTOR is about a former gang member who gets a second chance at life when he returns as a pastor to his dangerous urban community. THE PASTOR is an authentic, inspiring movie with a strong Christian, biblical worldview, but caution for older children is advised because of some violence, blood, brief foul language, and mature themes.

Review:
THE PASTOR is an authentic telling of one man’s journey after the gang life, with the man getting a second chance at life after being incarcerated for his gang involvement. Upon his release from prison, he’s given the opportunity to start his life over as a pastor of an inner-city church.

In flashbacks in THE PASTOR, The Pastor sits in solitary confinement with only a Bible and letters from prison minister, Pastor Carlos Ortiz, he becomes a Christian and shares the Christian message even when threatened or beaten. The Pastor also decides to remove all his gang-affiliated tattoos.

The Pastor is content teaching the Bible to the young people in his community, and providing clothing and a safe place for troubled youths. As the Pastor now strives to do right, he and those he loves are placed in great danger. The gang wants him and his Gospel message off their turf.

Eventually, the Pastor and a young boy he wants to help are shot, and the boy dies. The Pastor stands his ground and continues the work of the ministry. However, when current gang Luca (Franky G) kidnaps the Pastor’s ex-wife and her son, the Pastor is forced to confront his past gang life and fight to protect the family he left behind.

In the end, the story comes full circle as the Pastor who was once the inmate shows forgiveness and offers the Bible given to him to someone else who is now an inmate.

THE PASTOR has excellent production quality. The story is written well and positively resolves with a theme of redemption and forgiveness. The actors are believable and fully committed to their characters. There is one very brief moment where the audio is low or slightly unclear as a child speaks, but overall the sound design (including the audio and the music) is well done. There is a measure of authenticity as the Latino culture is represented in the streets and urban communities of Brooklyn, New York.

THE PASTOR has a very strong, inspiring Christian, biblical worldview, with positive themes of redemption, forgiveness and new life through Jesus Christ. Scripture is shared throughout the movie, including the opening logline, which is Matthew 10:28. This verse states, "Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” The sentiment expressed in this verse is an ongoing theme throughout the story. Caution and discretion for older children is advised for THE PASTOR, because of some violence, blood, brief foul language, and mature themes in the movie’s urban and prison settings.

In Brief:
THE PASTOR is an authentic telling of one man's journey of faith after living the gang life. The Pastor gets a second chance after being incarcerated for his gang involvement. Upon his release, he starts his life over as a pastor of an inner-city church. The Pastor tries to do what's right, but the gang wants him and his Gospel message off their turf. Things come full circle when the current gang leader kidnaps his ex-wife and her son. The Pastor is forced to confront his past gang life and fight to protect the family he left behind.

THE PASTOR has excellent production values. The story is written well and positively resolves with a theme of redemption and forgiveness. The actors are believable and fully committed to their characters. THE PASTOR has a very strong and inspiring Christian, biblical worldview with Bible quotes and uplifting themes of faith, forgiveness and living for Jesus. Caution and discretion for older children is advised for THE PASTOR, because of some violence, blood, brief foul language, and mature themes in the movie's urban and prison settings.

Very strong Christian, biblical with Bible scriptures read and recited throughout
  • themes of redemption and church scenes;
  • four spoken obscenities;
  • moderate violence as gang member shoots a boy and pastor,
  • woman and son kidnapped,
  • machete fight between men people with some cuts and blood,
  • man gets tattoo removed and bleeds;
  • no sexual content;
  • upper male nudity visuals of man’s tattoos and knife wounds;
  • no alcohol use;
  • smoking but no drug use;
  • and, kidnapping, gang members spray paint graffiti on church/home, lying, revenge, dysfunctional family portrayals, and gang-related themes.