DVD Release Date: January 17, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: September 30, 2011
Rating: PG-13 (for some violence and drug content)
Genre: Drama
Run Time: 124 min.
Director: Alex Kendrick
Actors: Alex Kendrick, Ken Bevel, Ben Davies, Kevin Downes, T.C. Stallings, Rusty Martin, Rusty Martin Sr., Eleanor Brown, Matt Hardwick, Angelita Nelson, Roberta Amaya, Lauren Etchells, Taylor Hutcherson

While many films have tackled the many challenges of modern-day motherhood, including the recent Sarah Jessica Parker vehicle, I Don’t Know How She Does It, most movie dads are decidedly absent from the scene, perpetually stuck at work or the guys who make a cameo at their children’s major life events—and nothing more.

But if the filmmakers behind Courageous have anything to say about it, that’s all about to change. Fathers are intentionally front and center in Courageous, the latest project from Sherwood Pictures (Fireproof, Facing the Giants). Set in Albany, Georgia, the small city that’s home to all things Sherwood, we’re immediately introduced to four local deputies who are facing their own giants, namely a substantial increase in local gang activity and drug-related problems.

During a routine gathering of the troops, an intriguing statistic sheds some light on Albany’s, not to mention the rest of the world’s, emerging social concerns. As it turns out, there’s a common link between many of these troublemakers and growing up in homes without fathers.

Naturally, this revelation is the perfect springboard for conversation on how fathers need to really step it up and become “men of courage,” men who measure up to the biblical definition of what a father should be. And leading the charge are those four aforementioned policemen who don’t always get it right themselves, but have a close enough relationship to encourage each other along the way.

Adam (Alex Kendrick) is a loving, church-going husband and father of two who clearly adores his family. But at the end of a long day, he would rather watch TV and often loses his patience when his son, an aspiring track star, asks him to participate in the father/son 5K yet again. Meanwhile, Nathan (Ken Bevel), the product of a fatherless home himself, is trying to teach his teenage daughter, Jade (Taylor Hutcherson), about being selective—and prayerful—before giving your heart to someone who doesn’t exactly have your best interests in mind.

Rounding out the foursome, however, are a couple of guys who aren’t so vocal about their personal beliefs. While God is clearly a priority in Adam and Nathan’s lives, Shane (Kevin Downes) is a single dad with a particularly annoying ex-wife in the forefront of his mind, and David (Ben Davies), the requisite young guy on the force, isn’t really sure what he believes in yet. But whenever Adam and Nathan go on and on about how God is the guidepost for how they live, Shane and David surprisingly never get annoyed. Instead, they listen patiently—again and again.