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Plot Summary

Adam Mitchell and Shane Fuller are just average deputies in an average Georgia city.  They’ve seen humanity at their worst and have tried their best to not become desensitized to the world.  But their mediocre existence is altered when they meet Nathan Hayes, a transfer deputy who truly lives out his faith and his commitment to his family.  Hayes challenges them and a young deputy, David Thompson, and eventually a mutual friend, Javier Martinez, to commit to become better men and fathers, not to just settle for the status quo.  They don’t take him very seriously until tragedy rocks all of their worlds and they are forced to truly look at what they believe in and what they are working towards in life.  Yet as they each make their own decisions in response to the tragedy, they find that every choice has a consequence and the right way is hardly ever the easy way.

 

Production Quality (3 points)

In their largest budget at this point in time, the Kendricks minced nothing.  They left everything on the proverbial production field.  The camera work is masterful, from filming difficult action scenes with skill to bringing an overall high quality and professional look to the movie.  The editing is superb.  There is an excellent balance between action and serene and even sad.  Audio quality is excellent, including an effective soundtrack.  Sets, locations, and props are very realistic.  There are no production errors.

Plot and Storyline Quality (3 points)

It is very difficult to quantify the plot of Courageous into a plot summary.  The one written above does not even do the movie justice.  This is the most complex Kendrick plot, in which they have perfected the non-linear model.  It is not a simple, straightforward plot, but one filled with twists, turns, and real-life events that are accessible by the audience.  There are surprises, character arcs, realistic action scenes, and yes, the staple of Kendrick movies—true comedy.  The characters are believable and are supported by excellent dialogue.  At the end, not everything is neat and tidy, and things do not end the way one would expect them to end.  In short, there are no negative plot elements.

Acting Quality (3 points)

What else can be said about the acting coach talents of the Kendrick crew?  Once again, seasoned actors are mixed with ‘average’ actors, and there is no difference.  Kevin Downes, with years of acting experience, is no better or worse than Robert Amaya in his masterful acting debut.  In addition, the Kendricks continue to show a commitment to diversity of actors, something mainstream moviemakers need to learn from.

Conclusion

Courageous receives the extra x-factor point for delivering an important issue in a masterful and non-preachy fashion.  This movie is truly the pinnacle of the Kendricks’ careers.  Few moviemakers ever reach this point when they can produce a movie with virtually no errors.  The brothers’ commitment to Christ and to delivering solid Christian movies has paid off.  Courageous achieved the rare status of being a perfectly rated Box Office Revolution movie.

 

Final Rating: 10 out of 10 points

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