Divine Decision {The Tribunal} (Movie Review)

Divine Decision (2016) - IMDb

Plot Summary

Tony wants to marry Emily, but before he can do this, he has to annul his first marriage. However, the Catholic Church will only allow Tony to annul the marriage if Tony’s friend Joe will testify about this. The problem is that Joe used to date Emily, so this could make for an awkward love triangle. Will they all do the right thing in the end?

Production Quality (1 point)

Despite acceptable camera work and video quality, this production contains many pitfalls. One of these is the audio, which is mostly uneven and contains a horrific soundtrack. Lighting is also a problem as there are too many dark scenes. Sets, locations and props are okay, but stupid special effects detract from the viewing experience. Further, editing poses problems due to the fact that some scenes drag on while others cut off prematurely. In the end, the negatives outweigh the positives, leading to a below-average score for this section.

Plot and Storyline Quality (-1 points)

This plot is completely dominated with high amounts of legalism and fundamentalist propaganda. The issues that are raised by the narrative are only painted in the light that the writers want the audience to see, so alternate perspectives are not considered. This makes for a very awkward story presentation that’s filled with obvious and canned dialogue. Nearly every conversation is designed to force the intended worldview upon the viewer, which leads to cardboard characters who are tools for brainwashing. Further, an obsession with edgy content doesn’t help matters. Thus, due to various offensive elements, this aspect of the film garners negative points.

Acting Quality (0 points)

With extremely forced and dramatic performances, the acting of Divine Decision leaves much to be desired. Most of the cast members come off as very stiff and lacking in emotion. Many of them are too theatrical and overly practiced, and there’s a lot of yelling and screaming throughout. Any other acting is just awkward, so there aren’t any positives to note here, leaving this section with zero points.


It’s evident that the creators of this movie only wanted to push their agenda on the audience. When this is the central goal of a screenplay, it never ends well. The purpose of Christian entertainment is not to try to force people to believe what you believe. Everyone is tired of religion being shoved down their throats, so showing, rather than telling, is the only way forward.

Final Rating: 0 out of 10 points

The Gift of Christmas [2020] (Movie Review)

The Gift of Christmas (TV Movie 2020) - IMDb

Plot Summary

After George and Allen Barnett went across country to fulfill their father’s dying wishes, both brothers came back changed men. For the holidays, George asks him brother for a favor: bringing home the prodigal daughter of George’s friend. As such, Allen and the woman embark on their own cross-country journey of good deeds, learning a lot about each other along the way.

Production Quality (1.5 points)

As a whole, the production in this film is average. This is due to clear video quality yet inconsistent lighting: some shots are either poorly lit or overly lit. Camera work and audio quality are acceptable except for some background echoes, and a generic soundtrack sometimes covers up other sounds. There are also some obvious overdubs and continuity errors that seem avoidable. Further, the editing is passable, but some scenes linger too long. Thus, due to the mixed bag, a middle-of-the-road score is warranted.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

Much like its predecessor, The Good Journey, The Gift of Christmas fails to adequately engage its audience. This is due to cardboard characters that are built with expository dialogue rather than the deep conversations that are needed to support a character-based plot. Vague and blank sequences don’t offer much interest, and many scenes simply waste time. Some concepts seem under-explained, and the overall messaging teaches that simply going to church fixes everything. Despite some slightly interesting ideas that are very slow to develop and somewhat aimless, the narrative wanders around until everything is magically fixed in the end. It’s hard to believe the resolutions, and it makes matters worse that the vague story doesn’t hold the attention. Hence, with no tangible potential, no points can be awarded here.

Acting Quality (1.5 points)

The acting of this is fairly vanilla. There aren’t any particularly bad performances to point to, but no standouts can be found either. At times, the emotions and lines are robotic and stilted. However, other times, the acting is acceptable. Thus, this run-of-the-mill section rounds out an overall underwhelming effort.


Did anyone really ask for a sequel to The Good Journey? Many audiences never even knew that the first movie existed, much less a Christmas installment. These two screenplays are the perfect example of making entertainment just for the sake of it. Some slightly interesting ideas were included, but nothing was enough to truly engage the viewer. Half-hearted attempts are still hurting the field’s reputation, which means we still need quality over quantity.

Final Rating: 3 out of 10 points