Watching Movies in the Name of the Lord: Thoughts on Analyzing Christian Film Criticism

  • Author(s): James Y. Trammell
  • When: 2012-08
  • Where: Journal of Media and Religion
  • Christian film criticism reveals the role religion plays in how we use and interpret media. Relying on a textual analysis that compares the film reviews of two prominent yet diametrically opposed Christian film critics—the fundamentalist Christian Movieguide and post-evangelical Jeffrey Overstreet—this article analyzes the similarities in their approaches to Christian criticism in order to better understand how religious faith in general, and Christian faiths in particular, influence the use and interpretation of media. It identifies three main themes of Christian criticism—affirming the affective power of movies, exploring movie going as an exercise in understanding worldviews, and addressing the standards of production excellence—and argues that Christian criticism is distinguished in part based on its emphasis of movie-going as a transformative experience.

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