The Genesis Code

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
The Genesis Code Movie Poster Image
Earnest, talky effort to reconcile religion with science.
  • PG
  • 2010
  • 138 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Presents the idea that two normally opposing sides can find common ground and mutual understanding. Supports the idea that a faith-based approach to life and its problems is a source of strength, even in the face of challenges to one's faith.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The principal college-age characters are highly moral, loyal, curious, hard-working, and compassionate. Adult role models are principled, eager to meet the needs of the kids they parent or serve, and mostly respectful of differing points of view (even though they themselves are very sure of their own beliefs). Ethnic diversity is an integral part of the film.

Violence

A male show-off breaks a glass and appears to chew it after chug-a-lugging beer.

Sex

A single kiss between young people who care for each other. Some college boys make fun of saving sex for marriage. Some verbal innuendo: "I've never met a chaste girl" and "He scores more off the ice than on."

Language

Some college kids make fun of religious students, saying scornfully: "You're a believer?", "You believe that religious hokey-pokey?" and "bible thumper." A few coarse statements: "I'm going to take a leak," and "that's a game for fairies."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

College kids drink beer and/or wine at a local pub and at a karaoke bar. No drunkenness.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the primary goal of The Genesis Code is to advocate for the reconciliation of religion and science from a faith-based point of view. Though there are two personal stories, they serve only as a framework for the film's message. Much time is spent on scientific instruction, including one lecture sequence that is more than 30 minutes long.  A few instances of mild sexual innuendo, some beer drinking, and a sprinkling of insults directed at religious students are the only questionable moments in what is a mild take on modern college life. 

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What's the story?

When journalist Kerry Wells (Kelsey Sanders) is assigned to do a story about hockey star Blake Truman (Logan Bartholomew) for their college newspaper, the two clash about the role of religion and faith in their lives. Kerry, unaware that Blake's mom is in a coma and near death from cancer, is very secure in her faith. Blake is a non-believer. Their growing friendship (with the seeds of romance) is tied to an in-depth examination of the possibility of reconciling current scientific knowledge with the words of the Bible. The stakes in THE GENESIS CODE heighten when Blake's grandparents opt to stop life support for his dying mom.

Is it any good?

There are some fine performances, particularly executive producer Jerry Zandstra as a passionate minister, but too much of the movie is amateurish and very talky. At well over two hours, this very predictable story with characters created as points-of-view rather than real people, and with an abundance of scientific theory offered to defend the accuracy of the Bible, doesn't go down easily.

The filmmakers make an effort to deliver the somewhat controversial information in an entertaining manner, but it's dense material, and will likely appeal only to a niche market with a motivated audience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the filmmakers' purpose: Is it to entertain, inform, or persuade? Why is it important to understand the intent?

  • What is the meaning of the statement: "The real sin is in criticizing the choices of others"?

  • Discuss Kerry's advisor. Did she have the right to try to change Kerry's religious beliefs? Were her threats real? Why or why not?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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