Christian based movies are regularly hitting our theaters these days and often the producers send information and flyers to our church to support by encouraging the congregation to buy a ticket. Those I appreciate the most and am more likely to go see, are about real Christians living out their real faith. The first such film I saw was the Hiding Place, the story of Corrie and Betsie ten Boom, two women who with their father hide Jews during WW2, are caught by Nazis and sent to a death camp. Wonderfully filmed and acted this true story of faith and perseverance became the bench mark of Christian films for me and impacted me immensely as a young Christian.
While buzzing around Netflix I came across the movie Greater (2016), the story of Brandon Burlsworth, an Arkansas Razorback walk-on who trusted God as he filled his dream to attend and play for the University of Arkansas. He earned a scholarship and became an All-America offensive lineman during the late 1990s. His Christian faith not only filled his life but impacted many fellow players and coaches until his life was taken in a car accident before he started his first year in the NFL. Although it did not rise to the story and quality of Hiding Place it was very inspiring and moving.
While Greater was a surprise find what was even a greater surprise was discovering the faith of actor Neal McDonough. Holding major roles in many Hollywood films you will know him as the partner of Tom Cruise in Minority Report and as Lieutenant Lynn "Buck" Compton in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. I have always admired his acting and was happy to find him playing Marty Burlsworth, Brandon Burlsworth's older brother who is Brandon's biggest fan and has filled the gap where their alcoholic father has failed. But what even more rocked my boots was to learn of Neal McDonough's personal faith and his honest conviction "not to use God's name in vain or kiss another woman on screen." His true commitment to God with his quality of acting caries the movie as a man struggling and questioning God after the tragic death of his brother. In fact, though the movie was centered on the life of Brandon Burlsworth I'd say McDonough's character nearly takes the spotlight and fills the movie with emotion every believer can relate to.
Greater is a great find and worth watching with your family. Be sue to have your tissue ready.