Last weekend, more than 3,200 churches presented Left Behind: World at War, the third film in the series based on the bestselling books. But it was harder to find detailed reviews of the film in the press, though newspapers noticed the film's unusual distribution plan—opening weekend in churches, followed by a DVD release on Tuesday.
Some Christian film critics got to see the film in advance of its release.
Todd Hertz (Christianity Today Movies) gives it two stars, saying it has "several touches of both cleverness and cheese … The mere existence of cheese in a Left Behind film comes as no surprise to some movie fans. However, excluding a few goofy moments, Left Behind: World at War plays out as an average TV drama. Many times, I caught myself thinking of it as 24—with less action and more prayer time. There's impressive acting, some intrigue, mostly decent special effects, and good themes for Christian discussion."
Hertz lauds "the plotline involving the governmental conspiracy (comparable to Senator Palpatine's manipulations in the Star Wars prequels) makes for the most compelling component of the film." But he says that "following the band of Christians is, well, downright boring most of the time. … Secondly, the movie just doesn't handle faith life all that well. … Scenes of a very godly wedding, prayer meetings and an intolerably long communion need an editor's attention. It's pretty weird that the best moments of a Christian film are those involving the non-Christians."
Elsewhere, Adam R. Holz (Plugged In) calls this Left Behind movie "the best of the lot, and the unfolding story line involving now-familiar characters should meet devotees' expectations." He also notes that the filmmakers ...1
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