Parents' Guide to

Counter Column

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Poorly executed drama promotes the Army and the church.

Movie PG-13 2021 99 minutes
Counter Column Poster Image

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

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 1 parent review

age 9+


This has to be one of the best movies i've seen in a long time.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Those already in the choir may applaud this movie's preaching, but for others, it will likely feel like little more than a blatant recruiting tool, both for the chuch and for the Army. The filmmakers behind Counter Column appear uncomfortable with the opening scenes of violence and drug-dealing -- the film feels almost as if it's wincing at the idea of muddying its feet -- although Gonzales at least manages to sell his character. Actually, his performance achieves the opposite of the apparent intended effect. Much like The Grinch, he's more likable as an urepentant drug dealer than he is after he's "reformed." When he suddenly shows up in boot camp without so much as a transition or explanation, it's the first of many head-scratching choices in the movie.

Once he arrives there, the filmmakers are on surer ground: They focus on teaching viewers about the benefits of both faith and the military. But the acting, storytelling choices, editing, etc., continually undermine their efforts. The scene in which Chris and Jason decide to join the Army is so blasé that it makes the head spin. (When Chris mentions the idea to Jason, he replies, "Why not?," and they're off.) Another scene in which a bicyclist -- someone important to both Chris and Jason -- dies in a traffic accident is so awkward and poorly timed that it's more confusing than shocking. Counter Column presumably had good intentions, but the final product seems more like a bad idea.

Movie Details

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