Renny Jacobsen never really knew his father, so he doesn’t feel anything when he receives word of his death except how large his inheritance is. That’s why he is devastated when he discovers the unusual and unorthodox contents of his father’s will—he cannot receive any of his money unless he joins a secret society known as the Covenant List. In route to joining The List, Renny crosses paths with Jo, an unlikely potential List member. Together, they discover that there is more to the secret society than they thought. Renny must choose the truth before it is too late and before everything he holds dear slips away from him.
Production Quality (2 points)
Distributed by a large company, The List has decent production quality. The video quality is pretty good and the sound quality is consistent. The sets and locations are diverse and well-constructed. The film has an overall professional feel, but there are some editing problems. Some scenes last too long while others are cut too short for the audience to really understand what is going on without reading a lot into it. There are too many cross-fades and fadeouts. Overall, the production is above average yet has some errors that hurt it from being all it could be.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1.5 points)
Adapted from the novel by Robert Whitlow, the plot is more complex than most Christian movies. It explores a genre unique to Christian movies—legal suspense—and does not follow the typical legal fiction storyline. There is a lot of interesting content as the plot explores spiritual warfare, something many Christian films would never dare to touch. However, it is not handled in the best way and comes off as overly sensational. Too much time is spent early in the movie educating the audience on the complex inner workings of the secret society and not enough time is spent on redemptive qualities, which are rushed through and tacked on at the end of the movie. Because of the high amount of plot content, dialogue often gets neglected, thus leaving stock characters. Two hours was not enough to cover the scope of this plot properly. In short, there is a lot of creative content here that was not utilized properly. More could have been made of this film.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
The acting is somewhat professional. There are no glaring errors except for obviously overly practiced and fake Southern accents. But at the same time, there is no truly dynamic acting that makes this film interesting. When it comes down to it, the acting is average, thus garnering an average score.
Robert Whitlow has some interesting plots that should be depicted on the big screen, but The List was likely not the best book to choose, since it was first novel. Secret societies, spiritual warfare, and legal suspense need to be incorporated in various ways into Christian films, but there is a time, a place, and a way for everything. Even plots like The List are more complex than your average inspirational film, but it still not the greatest. That’s why it has been awarded an average score. Nonetheless, we applaud efforts to bring unique movies to the Christian scene and anticipate more to come.
Final Rating: 5 out of 10 points