Find the latest Christian movie reviews here at! We offer movie reviews from a Christian perspective allowing you to make an informed decision prior to going to the theater. Our Christian movie reviews include your standard movie review information such as release date, rating, genre, run time, director, and actors, but they will also include "cautions" about language, profanity, alcohol, smoking, drug use, violence, crime, religion and morals. You can also find Christian music, Christian video, Christian news and much more all free on Christian Movie Reviews - Family Friendly Entertainment


  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2002 1 Jan
from Film Forum, 12/19/02

Evelyn, the new film by Bruce Beresford, follows a father's desperate battle with the Irish government and the Catholic Church. Desmond Doyle (Pearce Brosnan) is an unemployed widower who must find a way to win back his children, which authorities have placed in orphanages due to his poverty.

Religious press critics are raving about the film, particularly because of its complimentary portrait of Christianity. Ted Baehr (Movieguide) is impressed. "With stellar acting and superb direction, Evelyn has been polished to absolute perfection. Showing the human condition in all its fallenness, [this] is a brave, Christ-centered movie that will delight, encourage and touch everyone who sees it." Holly McClure (Crosswalk) exclaims, "Bravo for a movie that'll remind you what values in life are worth fighting for! This is a story full of courage, heart, triumph of the human spirit and a redemptive message."

Mainstream critics find the film rather sentimental, but worthy of measured praise. Ebert says, "Beresford … may have chosen the straightforward classic style as a deliberate decision: It signals us that the movie will not be tarted up with modern touches, spring any illogical surprises, or ask for other than genuine emotions. Brosnan, at the center, is convincing as a man who sobers up and becomes, not a saint, but at least the dependable person he was meant to be. And Irish law is changed forever."

from Film Forum, 01/02/03

Evelyn is another holiday film "loosely based on a true story." This time, the story focuses on Desmond Doyle, the unemployed father of three children, who struggles with drunkenness. His wife has abandoned him to single parenthood. As he tries to meet the challenge, the government and the Roman Catholic Church, fulfilling Irish law, take his children away.

Pierce Brosnan turns in a confident and sincere performance as Doyle, and young Sophie Vavasseur is charming as his willful daughter Evelyn, but their supporting cast is so comical and talented that they steal the show. Stephen Rea (The Crying Game) and Aidan Quinn (Songcatcher) play two lawyers willing enough to take on the government and the church, and they join forces with a retiree (Alan Bates) who specializes in David-versus-Goliath cases. Bates brings complexity and delightful humor to his role as the cantankerous, reluctant professional.

Steve Lansingh (The Film Forum) says, "The amount of enjoyment one gets from Evelyn will depend on how one approaches the movies: Do you sift through the work of art to find moments and lines of resonance? If so, then there's enough here to get excited about. If, however, you want a work of art to come together as a cohesive whole, for its themes to interweave and support each other, then you'll want to look elsewhere. Evelyn is a grab-bag of a movie."

I agree with Lansingh. (My review is posted at Looking Closer.) While Doyle's story is told with humor and energy, the film's other focus on his daughter Evelyn stumbles into sentimentality of the sort often found on TV's Touched by an Angel. It makes for mixed results and an ultimately unsatisfying film.

Nevertheless, Phil Boatwright (Movie Reporter) comes away saying that Beresford "avoids an abuse of sentiment or melodrama with his subject matter. Evelyn has energy, warmth and spirituality."

Ken James (Christian Spotlight) calls it "an enjoyable and comfortably predictable true story … that leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. … There are numerous references to prayer, Scripture passages, forgiveness, sobriety, and family. But Evelyn doesn't shy away from the ugly side of Catholicism in some respects."

Peter T. Chattaway (Vancouver Courier) calls it "safe … predictable … a feel-good, crowd-pleasing, Capra-esque dramatization of a landmark Irish court case. To his credit, Beresford … knows that we know how this story will end, and he doesn't try to inflate his film with fake dramatic tension. Instead, he fills the movie with so much comic relief that it almost becomes a comedy." Chattaway also highlights the film's avoidance of villainizing the Catholic Church." However, he concludes, "The film has a saccharine quality that undermines whatever lessons it's trying to teach us about history and family."