Do You Believe – Movie Review
Do You Believe? – PG-13
Release Date: Fri 20 Mar 2015
Do You Believe is an ensemble drama that follows twelve characters. Each are dealing with some kind of dilemma, hardship or test of faith. The story tells us up front that their lives will intersect in ways they could not predict, leading to many of the characters filling in the pieces of each other’s lives.
The posters and trailers for Do You Believe mention that the movie is from the makers of God’s Not Dead, a contentious 2014 movie about an atheist teacher punishing a student for belief in God. Do You Believe is much more subtle and less abrasive. The message of faith is clear and consistent, but with so many characters and story lines to juggle, it feels more like a soap opera than a single story or issue. Where God’s Not Dead was a dramatization of a straw man argument, Do You Believe is a series of anecdotes about the importance of Christian faith.
The cast is solid and turn in good performances. Although Mira Sorvino and Sean Astin have top billing, they’re not given any more attention or screen time than the rest. Astin only appears a handful of times with only Delroy Lindo getting less time on screen as an old street preacher wandering the streets with a cross. The only performance I didn’t care for was Andrea Logan White as Andrea. Her scenes with Liam Matthews’ Bobby are particularly bad, but she also has some of the worst dialogue including gloating after her off-screen court room victory telling her opponent “I told you so.”
While the filmmakers still lean toward validating those who are already converted, Do You Believe is not nearly as abrasive as God’s Not Dead and is all the better for it. It’s similar climax comes off better here, and we’re given just enough of an arc for each of the major characters to feel happy for how things turn out for them in the end. Christian viewers can do a lot worse than this, and it’s an inoffensive movie for those inclined to see it.
Aaron and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car: