God's Not Dead
By S. Jhoanna Robledo,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Earnest faith-based drama is heavy on dogma.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Fight for what you believe in, even if that means going up against people who doubt you, because in the end you have to live with yourself.
Positive Role Models
Josh won't allow his professor to tell him how to think. Instead, he finds a way to express himself.
Violence & Scariness
Some yelling. A car hits a pedestrian in a fatal accident. Viewers don't see anything too gory, but the man is shown dying. A man is also shown hitting his daughter.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The film is practically a commercial for the Newsboys, a Christian band whose posters and T-shirt logos are front and center in much of the film; there's also actual performance by the group. Plus, Cristal is name-checked, and everyone has iPhones and Apple computers. Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson makes an appearance.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some social drinking by adults at a dinner party.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that God's Not Dead is an earnest, heavy-handed, faith-based movie that responds to doubts that atheists have about God by way of the film's main character, a college student named Josh. There's no cursing or sex and only social drinking by adults, but there is an accidental death and a scene in which a man hits his daughter. Young kids might find the characters' debates around religion and philosophy confusing and too mature to grasp, though older tweens and teens might admire Josh's ability to stand up for his beliefs.
To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
God's Not Dead
Based on 24 parent reviews
gods not dead
Report this review
Report this review
What's the Story?
In GOD'S NOT DEAD, a freshman at Louisiana's Hadleigh University, Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) attends his first philosophy class, only to discover that Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo), an atheist, has a requirement that Josh can't fulfill: He demands that students admit that "God is dead" on paper. Josh, an avowed Christian, won't do it, and takes up the professor's menacing offer to defend his beliefs in front of the class -- and risk failing if he can't convince the professor that God is alive and well. Radisson refuses to be convinced, and Josh and many other Christians in the film are tested by their families, loved ones, and classmates as they figure out how to remain grounded in their beliefs.
Is It Any Good?
As Josh, Harper has an easy likability about him, making him an appealing main character to watch. As the stubborn professor who's testing him, Sorbo is also strong. Bravo to them both. Their committed performances are the best part of the film; its overbearing dogma isn't. While God's Not Dead appears to consider other viewpoints about evolution, religion, and philosophy, it fails to give any other ideas much hearing. Which would be fine if the film weren't presenting itself as a thorough intellectual exploration of the age-long debate about the existence of God. But there isn't much room for dissent here.
God's Not Dead has some powerful messages about faith, devotion, and standing up for your beliefs. Still, it does so by villainizing the opposition to oblivion, marinating the movie in self-righteousness. In this world, intellectuals are the enemy, snobby and dismissive. One particularly discomfiting storyline about a Muslim who secretly wants to convert to Christianity is heavy-handed in its portrayal and trades on stereotypes. (The way an Asian character is depicted also suffers from tropes.) But a cameo by the band the Newsboys is fun and joyful.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how God's Not Dead relays its specific point of view. What is that perspective? Who is the audience for this movie? How can you tell?
Are all movies designed to convince you of something? What's it like to watch a movie that's promoting beliefs different than yours? How does it feel when you identify with a movie's perspective?
Did you notice the product placement in the movie?
Do you think Josh is a role model? Which aspects of his behavior make him admirable?
- In theaters: March 21, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: August 5, 2014
- Cast: Kevin Sorbo, Shane Harper
- Director: Harold Cronk
- Studio: Pure Flix Entertainment
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 113 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: thematic material, brief violence and an accident scene
- Last updated: January 2, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Drama Movies That Tug at the Heartstrings
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate