The Source for Youth Ministry

Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Shack, The (5/30/2017)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material including some violence.

Starring Sam Worthington, Radha Mitchell, Octavia Spencer, Graham Greene and Tim McGraw

Directed by Stuart Hazeldine

Todd's Rating: Theatre Worthy

Dynamic ImageDefinitely make plans to see The Shack…and bring your tissues.

Based on the New York Times best-selling novel, The Shack takes us on a father’s uplifting spiritual journey. After suffering a family tragedy, Mack Phillips [Sam Worthington] spirals into a deep depression causing him to question his innermost beliefs. Facing a crisis of faith, he receives a mysterious letter urging him to an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Despite his doubts, Mack journeys to the shack and encounters an enigmatic trio of strangers led by a woman named Papa [Octavia Spencer]. Through this meeting, Mack finds important truths that will transform his understanding of his tragedy and change his life forever.

The Shack is based on the 2007 best-selling novel by William P. Young and has experienced it’s fair share of controversy. So it’s no big surprise that the film stirred up all the same controversy again.

But here's the deal with The Shack, it is completely unique when it comes to the genre of “Christian films. Instead of “rainbows and unicorns,” it deals with grief, guilt and doubt of a father whose daughter is abducted and murdered. The film is filled with theology and that is what most people struggle with.

How do you view God? How do you understand the Trinity? Would Jesus’ foot race you across a lake?

I don’t know about that, but I know everyone has wrestled with the “why” questions. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does a loving God allow such pain? Why did God abandon me when I needed Him most?

Those are the questions Mack is asking and his anger and hurt are very believable. And Sam Worthington delivers a powerful performance. And the rest of the cast, including Tim McGraw, makes the film better.

If you have experience grief and loss, the film offers comfort. If you are angry at God for any reason, I truly believe this movie could bring some healing. The Shack is honest, thought-provoking and very moving. If you loved the book, I think you will love the film. If you had a hard time reading the book, disagreed with it or thought it was bad theology…this movie will probably not change your mind about William P. Young.

Some have called The Shack a cinematic retreat or cinematic poetry, others have called it heresy…I call it Theater Worthy.

There is no sex, nudity or profanity. There are some adult themes that younger viewers will find disturbing.

  1. Why is Mack so angry at God?

  2. Have you ever been angry at God? Why?

  3. Read Romans 8:28

      And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

  4. How can this verse help us when we are going through a difficult time and angry with God?

  5. How can you encourage someone else with this verse?

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

Rate This Article!
*Email:  What is Gravatar?  


click here for more

© 1999-2017 The Source for Youth Ministries           Site Disclaimer