Written by / 10/02/2011 / No comments / , , ,

COURAGEOUS

title: COURAGEOUS
year: 2011
cast: Alex Kendrick, Ken Bevel, Ben Davies, Kevin Downes
rating: ****

Judging by an industry where “Jesus Christ” is one of the most popularly used “curse words," it’s always a shock when a faith-based motion picture gets through – and more shocking when it's actually really good. After an intense prologue, our story centers on four cops in a small town who are up against local gangs, with action scenes that, although a bit too heavy with the shaky cam, are filmed with spontaneous, gritty realism. But the true story lies within the home of each officer, one in particular played by the writer/director Alex Kendrick, more partial to his sweet young daughter than his stubborn teenage son. A pivotal tragedy changes the course of the film, as Kendrick writes up a list to keep him accountable on being a better father. His fellow officers follow suit, and though mostly centering on the lives of these men and their families, we're always close to the gritty realism of the streets. On the peripheral is scene-stealing character Javier, a working class Latino who happens upon Kendrick and becomes a sort of mascot to the officers, and a worthy comic relief. And although it’s a bonafide Christian film, it works equally as a cop drama, showing policemen how they really are: none of the actors looking like chin-chiseled actors too cool for school, but real guys – as faulty as they are brave – with a dangerous, unpredictable job that’s never easy.
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