Do You Believe?

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Do You Believe? Movie Poster Image
Drama is well-acted but more political than religious.
  • PG-13
  • 2015
  • 115 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Central messages are that faith has the power to save you and help you out of dark and desperate situations into the light. Also presses that you must fight for what you believe in, even if that means going up against people and authorities who will test and doubt you.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Several characters act compassionately and selflessly. Bobby stands up to his bosses and the courts for his rights. Stereotyping of atheists and people of color.

Violence

Men with guns steal a van, point a gun at unarmed men, have a shoot out with other criminals, and kill a man. People die and are injured in a car accident.

Sex

Two different couples (one married, one starting their relationship) embrace and kiss.

Language
Consumerism

Pinto car, Apple MacBook, Converse sneakers, Toyota.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A couple has wine at their table at dinner.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Do You Believe? is a faith-based film from the makers of God's Not Dead; like that film, it has a Christian storyline and overtly politically conservative messages. While there's no sex or language, you can expect disturbing scenes of violence, including several gun shots, a murder, a chase scene between criminals, and a fatal car accident that kills or injures people. While viewers who agree with the filmmakers' beliefs may enjoy the film, others could be uncomfortable with the movie's political agenda and the stereotypical portrayal of atheists and people of color (every young person of color in the film is either a criminal or suffering in some way: a pregnant teen, gang members, and a violent former Marine suffering from PTSD). The violence makes the movie inappropriate for young viewers, but teens in church-going families should be mature enough to handle the content.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 18+ year old Written byCheese and Bread May 19, 2016

A good faith movie

A God's not dead spin of
Parent Written byknuckleheadmom January 17, 2018

A Great Message for Christians

A great movie for the family about what Christians really believe and sharing your faith. Recommend for older kids cause of some scary violent scenes. The movie... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMovielover851 March 22, 2015

Very good

Very good and moving. It was very sad but it was really interesting. It had a lot of violence mostly people being held at gunpoint and a few fights. Other than... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byndonalies February 25, 2016

Dramatic Religion

Coming from a thirteen year old, this movie was way too dramatic for me. I had nightmares about this movie for months. There are exploding cars, guns, and death... Continue reading

What's the story?

DO YOU BELIEVE? is an evangelical faith-based film from the producers behind God's Not Dead. In Chicago, a dozen characters' storylines intersect literally and figuratively at a cross. Pastor Matthew (Ted McGinley) witnesses an older man (Delroy Lindo) dragging a large wooden cross around the city, asking strangers whether they "believe in the power of the cross of Christ." The old man then stands up to a group of young criminals who are stealing a van, even as one -- unironically nicknamed Kriminal (Senyo Amoaku) -- pulls a gun on him. The pastor is so touched by the man's faith that he hands out small wooden crosses to his congregation the following Sunday. The power of the cross then touches various other believers and nonbelievers, from a homeless mother and daughter (Mira Sorvino, Makenzie Moss); a selfless church janitor (Brian Bosworth); and older parents (Cybill Shepherd and Lee Majors) still struggling with the loss of their daughter to a troubled pregnant teen (Madison Pettis); Kriminal's younger brother, Pretty Boy (Shwayze); an evangelical EMT (Liam Matthews); and two twentysomethings (Alexa PenaVega and Joseph Julian Soria) who meet on a bridge where they were planning to attempt suicide.

Is it any good?

Until recently, most faith-based movies have had to settle for one or two recognizable actors; this one might boast the most familiar group of established actors ever to appear in a Christian movie. Most of them are listed as associate producers, meaning they'll contractually receive back-end profits (perhaps part of the formula to help these movies attract better ensembles?). In this case, the actors all do their best with the heavy-handed script. If it had focused on the characters' stories of love and compassion (the pastor taking in the pregnant teen, the church janitor helping both the repentant criminal and the homeless single mom, the suicidal couple), it would have been an effective story about God's love. But the political overtones and the subtle race issues make the movie more problematic.

It stumbles the most with the EMT's subplot, which stretches the boundaries of believability by stereotyping atheists, unions, and prosecutors. The messages about race are particularly mixed. Although Pastor Matthew's congregation is multicultural, the movie's central steadfast Christians are all white men, and the people of color almost all end up redeemed but dead. Bottom line? Yes, Do You Believe? has an actual narrative, but if you aren't the kind of person who likes seeing literal sermons (as in, actors playing pastors delivering messages from a pulpit), this isn't the movie for you.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of faith-based films. Do you think these movies are meant for an audience that already embraces their message or a tool for reaching new believers? How do you think the filmmakers' intent impacts the messages they choose to include in their movies?

  • What do you think are the filmmakers' religious and political beliefs? Do you think they're obvious in the movie? Do you/does your family share in those beliefs?

  • Are there stereotypes in the film? Who are the role models in this movie, and what do they have in common?

Movie details

For kids who love dramas

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