Parents' Guide to

Hillsong: Let Hope Rise

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Moving concert docu is ideal for Christian teens, families.

Movie PG 2016 103 minutes
Hillsong: Let Hope Rise Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

The Australian Christian group's emotional and inspirational music does more to connect audiences of faith with their beliefs than many religiously focused dramas. If you're open to seeing a musical documentary about a Christian band, Hillsong: Let Hope Rise is an undeniably fascinating look at the differences between this band and secular artists. You'd assume they'd be rolling in cash, considering their last album debuted in iTunes' overall top 10 and Billboard's top 5 (and, obviously, no. 1 on Christian/gospel lists), but these artists keep modest homes, and their proceeds go mostly to the mission of their church, not their personal fortunes.

The interviews with the group's individual members vary from in-depth to barely there. While the main performers -- Joel Huston, Jonathon "JD" Douglass, Jadwin "Jad" Gillies, Matt Crocker, and Taya Smith, along with music director/lead album producer Michael Guy Chislett -- get more screen time and share personal stories, audiences might wish there was even more behind-the-scenes info. One noticeable flaw in the film is that director Michael John Warren doesn't interview anyone outside of the extended Hillsong family (no Dove Award officials, Nashville-based Christian music experts, or even Christian music critics) to contextualize the band's impact and reach for those who aren't already familiar with the group. That said, one of the movie's most impactful moments is a montage of one of the group's best-known songs being sung around the world in different languages and styles. Hillsong is more than a Christian band, it's a church-based movement, and the group knows how to make audiences feel that sense of revival. But you almost certainly need to believe to enjoy the experience.

Movie Details

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.

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