Devolves into over-the-top drama and a suffocating heavy-handedness.
Keith Staskiewicz - Entertainment Weekly
- New York Times
Overplotted and understructured, "Courageous" is a slog to get through at 130 minutes.
Paul Brunick - New York Times
It takes a certain touch to pull it off, and here, the serviceable cast just doesn't have it in them.
Tom Russo - Boston Globe
Fails to answer the more pressing question of why religious sagas such as this treat subtlety as a sin.
Nick Schager - Village Voice
Like a pastor so caught up in the moment that he can't see that the air conditioning has given out and the congregation wants to go home, the film travels far beyond its dramatic climax, aiming for an altar call finale.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
The performances are effective all around with director Kendrick quite moving in the central role of Adam, the veteran officer, who suffers a horrific family tragedy that sets much of the film's plot in motion.
Frank Scheck - Hollywood Reporter
The many topics raised - gangs, drugs, immigration, absentee parents, poverty - are examined with didacticism and platitudes instead of by mining their inherent complexities.
Gary Goldstein - Los Angeles Times
A significant step backward for those movie making preachers at Sherwood...
Nicely produced, but the converted are more likely to be impressed than the skeptical.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Dares to preach its highly controversial message in order to inspire the faithful while risking the ire of critics and non-believers. Its message? Fathers, man up.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Despite violence, Christian fatherhood drama is uplifting.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
Yeah, it's still a preach-to-the-choir movie, but this choir doesn't really see itself on the big screen very often, so don't begrudge them a film where the action hero cop stops and prays for guidance before big gun battle. It happens.
Dave White - Movies.com
Sadly, this particular Gospel is not very good.
Bill Gibron - Filmcritic.com
Courageous literally preaches to the converted, delivering ham-fisted messages of responsibility to the most receptive audience possible.
Nathan Rabin - AV Club
Profound without being preachy, "Courageous" never forgets to entertain
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Praise be to Courageous for being upfront.
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine
A valiant effort, but Courageous is such a clumsy motion picture, incapable of delivering its critical messages without displaying some of the most cringe-inducing filmmaking of the year.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
If you have a tendency to nod off during sermons, Courageous has a cure for that -- a noisy last act gun-battle with drug dealers that's primetime ready.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
While the film's church-based roots and the tendency toward didactic, schematic storytelling are still in evidence, Courageous is [Sherwood's] most ambitious and watchable film to date.
Steven D. Greydanus - Christianity Today
It has some occasional rough acting, is too episodic for its own good, and could have been trimmed by a good 30 minutes. Even so, it's the group's most accomplished offering to date and that's saying something. (Movie Review for Parents also available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!