God's Not Dead Movie Poster Image

God's Not Dead



Teen-friendly faith-based movie is heavy on dogma.
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 113 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.


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.


Some hugging.

Not applicable

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.

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.

What's the story?

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 GOD'S NOT DEAD's main character appealing 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.


Families can talk 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 21, 2014
DVD/Streaming release date:August 5, 2014
Cast:Kevin Sorbo, Shane Harper
Director:Harold Cronk
Studio:Pure Flix Entertainment
Run time:113 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:thematic material, brief violence and an accident scene

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Teen, 15 years old Written byThe Hannah Claire April 15, 2014

He's Alive!

I was really excited about this movie and was thrilled when I finally got to see it. Throughout the course of this movie, multiple stories are woven together: a college student defending his faith against his teacher, the teacher and his Christian girlfriend, a woman with cancer, a girl who has converted from Islam to Christianity and is hiding her faith from her parents, and a pastor. The only thing of concern here is violence. A girl is slapped several times by her dad and is dragged out of the house. It is a very emotional scene. At the end someone is hit by a car. There is very little blood. This movie features The NewsBoys and the Robertsons (Duck Dynasty). The end will make you want to cheer and sing along with the NewsBoys. I highly recommend this movie to any Christian. I do find that Common Sense Media is overly skeptical when it comes to Christian movies. Don't let that deter you from this one!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Parent of a 17 year old Written bymmolisan April 15, 2014

Wonderful movie.

A+++ . Essential viewing for anyone and everyone.
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 12 years old February 22, 2015

God's not dead

I thought that Gods not dead was not a very good movie. I am an atheist, and I don't like how atheists are portrayed. I also thought that the actors were not all that great, so I would not watch it again. Christians may like it though.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism


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