Martin Luther was a radical in his day who wanted to see sweeping changes in the Catholic Church. He was tired of seeing the poor oppressed and abused while the Church made money off of their fear by selling indulgences. When he tried to make a difference, he received major pushback and was forced to go into hiding after posting his 95 Theses. While in hiding, he sought God and translated the Word of God for the common people to read. Though he was not perfect and struggled with despair, Luther was a man of God who truly changed his world for Christ.
Production Quality (2.5 points)
In this rendition of Luther, it’s clear that great care was given to historical authenticity, including excellent sets, locations, and props. Other aspects of production are also professional presented, including camera work, video quality, audio quality, and an original soundtrack. There is little to complain about here except for some slightly choppy editing as it seems like too much content is attempted to be covered in one film. But nonetheless, this film is an example of what a historical biography should look like.
Plot and Storyline Quality (2 points)
The portrayal of Martin Luther as a real man who struggled with different issues is refreshing and realistic. Other historical events are also portrayed properly, especially the follies of the Catholic Church in the Dark Ages. There are understandably quite a few characters in this story, so most of them are not developed as well as others. However, dialogue is effective and historically authentic. While the first half of this film handles the large amount of content well, things begin to go downhill in the second half. There is too much information crammed into the second half, and a lot of it is not very engaging to the average audience. The story tends to hop from one high point to the next, yet this is an overall good effort and one that is worth your time.
Acting Quality (2 points)
This cast is overall fairly professional—each character is cast appropriately for historical authenticity. They clearly know what they are doing, but sometimes they tend to be overly dramatic and theatrical. Line delivery is on point and emotions are mostly good with some moments of being over the top. But overall, this is a respectable effort.
This idea probably would have worked far better as a miniseries because it would have given the writers freedom to slow down and develop the characters better. It would have also allowed them to more effectively convey key historical events instead of just jumping from one to the next. Yet as it is, Luther is a good film many people will enjoy. We need more films about historical Christianity, and they should be crafted in the mold of this one. This sort of movie should be the norm, not the exception.
Final Rating: 6.5 out of 10 points