Every year, movies and series are released, and cast members show off their talents. Writers and directors showcase their creativity. Films and series are separated into roughly three groups: the truly talented, the potentially great, and the others. At Box Office Revolution, we believe it is our prerogative to annually recognize those entertainment creators and players who have the ability to bring revolution to Christian entertainment.
Staff Choice Movie of the Year: The World We Make
Runners-Up: The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story, Heavenly Deposit
Reader’s Choice Movie of the Year: The World We Make
Runners-Up: Overcomer, Breakthrough, Unplanned
Staff Choice Season of the Year: The Chosen, Season 1
Staff Choice Actor of the Year: Jonathan Roumie
Runners-Up: Shahar Isaac, Paras Patel, Erick Avari, Caleb Castille, Kevin Sizemore, Sharman Joshi
Staff Choice Actress of the Year: Elizabeth “Liz” Tabish
Runners-Up: Lara Silva, Rose Reid, Ashley Bratcher
Staff Choice Director of the Year: Dallas Jenkins
Runners-Up: Brian Baugh, Aneesh Daniel
Staff Choice Writers of the Year: Ryan Swanson and Tyler Thompson
Runners-Up: Chris Dowling, George D. Escobar, Rose Reid, Andrew E. Matthews
Staff Choice Soundtrack of the Year: The Chosen, Season 1
Runners-Up: The World We Make, The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story
The Grove family has had their share of heartache over the past few years, but family friend Jordan Bishop has always been a constant support for them. However, the dynamics begin to shift when Jordan and Lee begin to develop a relationship after the grief seems to settle. Many discourage them from getting involved, and the small town seemingly works against their being together. Together, they experience unexpected prejudice and bias while discovering that they had more hiding below the surface than they previously realized.
Production Quality (2.5 points)
As a 2019 film, The World We Make is the type of respectable production we should be seeing time and again. There are very few flaws to point out here save for the slightly awkward editing near the end of the film (likely due to large story scope). Camera work, video quality, and audio quality are all basically flawless even though most scenes are filmed outdoors. The sets, locations, and props are extremely authentic and well-utilized; on-location shooting is definitely a big plus. Although the soundtrack could be a bit more than it is, this is a very high-level effort for a partially low-budget film, which goes to show what a little experience and proper collaboration can do for a movie.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1.5 points)
Brian Baugh has always been committed to developing raw and real storylines based on accessible characters (I’m Not Ashamed). While The World We Make is one of his calmer tales, it’s nonetheless refreshing and believable. While the scope of this story may be a bit narrow, it’s nonetheless true-to-life and demonstrates great understanding of real people. The central romance is deeper than what we usually see in these types of films because it feels more believable and everyday. There are some very important themes explored, including grief avoidance, small town prejudice, and racial ostracizing. Characters make realistic decisions based on personality and motive rather than on plot necessity, and the storyline has a few slightly unexpected turns. As a whole, this is a very enjoyable plot to witness, and while it could have been a bit better since the ending is fairly rushed and somewhat cutoff, it’s still great as it is, which is enough to push this film over the top and onto the Hall of Fame.
Acting Quality (3 points)
There are virtually no flaws in the acting department. Caleb Castille owns another starring role, and Kevin Sizemore adapts a unique character that suits him. Gunnar Sizemore is a supporting role, but he could be a new rising star. Further, Gregory Alan Williams demonstrates a much more effective role than he’s played in the past. Overall, there is clear acting coaching present here as emotions and lines are authentically delivered, which rounds out a very commendable effort.
Although The World We Make could have been a bit more dynamic than this, it mostly reaches its fullest potential as a film. There are a few nitpicks, but in the grand scheme of things, Brian Baugh is continually setting himself apart as a master of characters, which seems to give him a better proclivity for series writing rather than movie writing. Indeed, not counting this year, we’ve had a longstanding drought in Christian series, so with new opportunities coming available (VidAngel), we may be poised to seeing a breakout in creators like Baugh directing their talents toward series rather than only films. Regardless of what happens, The World We Make is another good addition to the Hall of Fame and is one you’ll definitely want to make time for.
Rachel Joy Scott was an artistic free spirit who longed to change the world. When her father left the family when she was young, it left her confused and searching for affirmation in her friends. However, after a spiritual experience one summer while staying with her cousins, Rachel knew she would never be the same again. But she still struggled with trying to hang out with her old friends, who always tempted her to be like them. As Rachel tried to discover her true identity, she still felt like she needed to change the world. In the end, as tragedy hit Columbine High School, she did change the world, and touched many lives in the process.
Production Quality (2.5 points)
This is obviously a talented and dedicated production team, as they went all out to make this movie as realistic as possible. They stayed true to authenticity with the sets, locations, and props, demonstrating that this was not created lightly. Video quality, audio quality, and camera work are obviously flawless. The soundtrack is effective and thought-provoking. The only detracting factor in this movie is a slight editing issue that is mostly due to having too much content to deal with. But otherwise, this is a high quality production that shows both the commitment and the skill of those involved.
Plot and Storyline Quality (2.5 points)
We say this all the time—it’s almost always better to portray a real life story in a movie. With guidance of real events and people, the Rachel Joy Scott story has been thoroughly and effectively brought to life in I’m Not Ashamed. The characters are highly accessible and relatable, as are the circumstances they experience. Rachel is a real person with real struggles and real problems, as are the other characters. The dialogue is excellent and builds strong personalities for the characters. The only caveat to raise here is the fact that since such a large story was taken on, some parts seem rushed through, but nothing bad enough to ruin this story’s overall point. The message that is communicated through this plot comes across very well and challenges Christians to live out their faith without compromising. This is a job well done.
Acting Quality (3 points)
Movies can be made or broken by their casting, but I’m Not Ashamed does not disappoint. Each cast member fits their character exquisitely. This is arguably Ben Davies’ best performance to date. All emotions are realistic and lines are delivered effectively. Costuming is realistic. There are no errors here.
It might have been tempting for someone with less than pure intentions to portray Rachel Joy Scott as a perfect saint, but this was not done by this writing team. She was a teenager who struggled to live out her Christianity, just as many of us do. Yet though she was surrounded by confusion and turmoil, she made a difference with the short life she had. Besides being a quality film, I’m Not Ashamed succeeds in communicating this important message. This is what Christian film should be about, so things are certainly looking up.