Parents' Guide to

Church People

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Satirical faith-based comedy is best for believers.

Movie NR 2021 95 minutes
Church People Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 12+

Humor and Humility about Church Issues

I rather enjoyed this movie. I grew up attending some very large churches and as an adult I attended several mega churches. I added a 12+ rating on this due to some romantic humor that is in the movie. While much tamer than many movies, even some animated movies, it still may raise some questions by younger viewers. I love that this movie highlights several issues within a good deal of mega churches, yet at the same time it resolves a good deal of the issues with humility (and humor) in the end. I laughed and I cried. A great reminder about what the message of the church should be about - not popularity, but teaching the Gospel. Truly worth the watch!

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Great messages
1 person found this helpful.
age 2+

Nothing to see here

This movie was a myriad of religious cliches and provided nothing thought-provoking, meaningful, or even entertaining. It's supposed to be about a youth pastor who is dissatisfied with mega church culture, which is full of gimmicks and shallow approaches to the gospel because of a focus on popularity over preaching. However, even the youth pastor's idea of the gospel is terribly watered-down down and shallow. At no point did this movie portray a sincere effort to resolve the issues and dysfunction at the root of the falling away prevalent of the church world that that it pokes fun at. It was sad and disappointing, but not at all surprising.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (1):

This faith-based comedy is best for faith-based viewers. Church People is a movie centered on the wild premise of a megachurch that seems to have lost its way as it found fame and success. It wants to take it one step further by presenting a live crucifixion of the youth pastor so that the church attendees can have a more direct experience of what Jesus Christ endured on the cross. The idea of a violent, bloody, and painful death of, first, the youth pastor lead character and, then, of an enthusiastic teen who volunteers when the youth pastor absolutely refuses, is offset by attempts at comedy, usually Joey Fatone making up songs on the spot in a style hearkening back to his NSYNC days. It's a gentle satire of the character types in megachurches, what happens when the marketing and merchandise for sale in a megachurch overshadow the message the megachurch is supposed to be communicating, and clueless parents (played in a cameo by Chynna Phillips and William Baldwin) who give their kids a little too much leeway. There's also a cameo from the "MyPillow Guy."

Those who aren't megachurch attendees and/or faith-based people may not enjoy this. The crucifixion premise is truly bizarre, the comedy either falls flat or quickly grows tiresome (i.e., Fatone's singing), and the megachurch character types aren't relatable if you're not going to a megachurch. There are moments that might feel a bit heavy-handed for the nonbelievers. The climactic scene is a bit overblown and melodramatic, no matter how much one believes in the message being delivered.

Movie Details

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