If you’re not Christian, don’t judge The Shack based on the faith. It’s deeper than that.
You may find this odd. I’m a Christian and I don’t like Christian movies. Most are preachy, cookie-cutter affairs with cardboard characters and simplistic plots.
So from that standpoint, The Shack is the best Christian movie ever.
Mack Phillips is camping with his kids when his youngest daughter is kidnapped and later murdered in a shack in the mountains of Oregon. Unable to deal with his grief and mad at God, Mack makes a trip to the disintegrating structure and has a very human encounter with the biblical trinity.
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This is deep stuff about relationships, love and forgiveness from a different perspective, and worth seeing no matter what you believe. Plus, it has a great cast. Oscar winner Octavia Spencer is Papa. Sam Worthington (Avatar) plays Mack. Country singer Tim McGraw — who performs the theme song — is a caring neighbor, and Radha Mitchell (the Olympus and London has Fallen movies) plays Mack’s wife.
All are terrific and do wonderful work, but it is the chemistry between Spencer — who these days can do no wrong — and Worthington that lights this film’s candle.
Added to the stellar cast is a human story that asks important questions of God. That’s the point of Paul Young’s best-selling book on which the movie is based. We all wonder why a loving God allows so much misery and suffering, and why some thrive when it’s undeserved and those who deserve breaks never get them.
Mack has those questions, and they are questions we all — at one time or another ask — and that Young’s book and now this movie says deserve answers.
Believer or non-believer, The Shack is a great place to meet God.
Let’s Go to the Movies class
Learn how to review movies at a Let’s Go to the Movies class with the Herald’s movie reviewer, Gary Wolcott.
You will start by watching the live-action Beauty and the Beast at noon March 18. Afterward, you will reconvene at the Kamiakin High School library, 600 N. Arthur St., Kennewick, where Mr. Movie will compare the live version to Diseny’s classic animation. Cost is $21.
For more information and to register, go to bit.ly/Mr_Movie_March18.
Director: Stuart Hazeldine
Stars: Octavia Spencer, Sam Worthington, Tim McGraw, Radha Mitchell
Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It’s playing at Regal’s Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas Pasco and Queensgate 12s and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.