Christian Critics Struggle to Love Left Behind

Left Behind is currently rocking a 12 percent on MetaCritic, which makes it one of the most unlovable movies of the year. The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, Chicago Tribune, and New York Daily News all gave it a big fat zero, but a handful of religious critics worked hard to find some positivity. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

Bob Hoose from pluggedin.com managed to give it four out of five plugs:

Left Behind doesn’t leave us with an altar call. Nor does it leave your knuckles white after you watch the disaster unfold. But you can’t watch it without wondering what’s up with your own spiritual condition.

“The content is not objectionable” isn’t exactly a rave review, but Left Behind picked up three out of four stars from Movieguide.org.

Not all Christians expect the pre-tribulation Rapture presented in the movie, but most do expect the Second Coming of Jesus. To its credit the movie profoundly presents the question “are you ready?” The script and execution could have been better, but the content is not objectionable, and the message profound.

Raphael Vera’s review on christiananswers.net is nearly 1600 words long and is punctuated with 3.5/5 stars. But how many of those stars were “for effort”?

“Left Behind” is a decently made, taut and suspenseful drama with enough humor to keep it interesting, but the small budget, by Hollywood measures, gives it a small screen (TV) quality that is occasionally hard to ignore. Messaging, however, is excellent (as far as it goes), and it made me wish this had instead been produced as a year-long TV series, as I do believe it deserves high marks for effort, though slightly lower for execution.

Christian Hamaker from crosswalk.com was brutally honest:

While those constraints keep the new Left Behind from ever rising above mediocrity, the film is, for a while, tolerable. Then comes a horrendous final 30 minutes, which play like a bad TV show. Theological quandaries, never given detailed exploration amid the confusion experienced by the passengers on Ray’s plane, yield to stock disaster-movie tropes and an absurd finale. Although the filmmakers seem to think they’ve delivered a genuinely terrifying conclusion, the only frightening moment is an utterance from one surviving character: “I’m afraid this is just the beginning.”

Here’s an actual quote from dove.org’s review:

“Left Behind” (2014) has earned five Doves from The Dove Foundation, our best rating. It is entertaining, suspenseful, and will motivate viewers to examine their own lives.

Jackson Cuidon from christianitytoday.com “tried to give the film zero stars, but our tech system won’t allow it.” So, the movie ended with one star (out of four). Though, the user reviews place the film’s score at three out of four stars.

But my favorite review came from a MetaCritic user who successfully employed the phrase “down on Christianity.”

The movie was obviously not on a big budget and had some of the cliche “action movie” stunts in it, but overall the movie was very good. If you are down on Christianity, you will most likely rate this movie low. If you love Jesus, you will most likely like it.

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