Going into the theatre to see Courageous, I had no idea what it was about. I knew that it had a law enforcement angle and I knew that it was supposed to be a movie with a message. This was enough to cause me to be skeptical. Hollywood seldom gets police work or police officers right. Also, movies that try and share a message (read Christian movie) are usually poorly written, poorly acted and have a budget that looks like the Producer drained his own savings account to make it.
Courageous proved me wrong. The script and acting were very good. A central part of the film was the fact that the four main characters were all deputies with the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Department in South Georgia. The movie, on the whole, got the police stuff right. There were several really good action sequences scattered throughout the movie, including a climactic scene towards the end that had me on the edge of my seat.
The first thing that I noticed was the theatre was full on a Tuesday night. By way of contrast, I saw Moneyball a couple of weeks ago on a Thursday night with a friend. Besides us, there were only two other guys in the theatre. Moneyball is a baseball movie starring Brad Pitt that has been reasonably successful. Courageous does not have any big name actors but has made over 21 million dollars and is still ranked in the top ten.
The movie focused on the four deputies and their families. When a horrific tragedy strikes, they need each other more than ever. The film does not try to provide quick and easy answers. At the same time, it presented faith in God as the key to getting through those dark times in life.
Most movies today are overdone with CGI effects and underdone with story. This is a good, believable story about people who the audience really comes to care about. I can’t remember a time when I saw a movie that had so many audience members sniffling. It is also one of the few movies that I can remember that challenged me to be a better person.
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