David Taylor and his best friend, Charles Frank, are the future of Atlanta's historic New Revelations Church. On Sunday mornings, David leads the choir and congregation in worship at the church his father founded. He's the pride of his father, Pastor Fred Taylor (Clifton Powell), and his mother. But when his mother dies unexpectedly and his father's church responsibilities keep him from making it to the hospital, David feels like his heavenly and earthly fathers have let him down.

Fifteen years later, David's only connection to his youthful faith is the large, diamond-encrusted cross hanging between his well-toned pecs. And he's now using the voice that once led worship on sultry, seductive R&B. When David (played first by Michael Pagan, then Boris Kodjoe) finds out that his father is sick, he puts his R&B career on hold to help guide the future of the church he loves. But while he's been gone, Charles (Idris Elba) has been serving faithfully. Charles, now married to David's cousin Charlene (Nona Gaye), has his own plans for the church, and some big dreams for himself.

It all adds up to a twist on Jesus' parable of The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). Here, the story leaves the flannelgraph board for the big screen in a modern-day adaptation that's rife with real-life conflict, careerism, church politics and more than a hint of romance.

The Gospel is a solid retelling of the parable, and that's partly because it's a drama rather than a comedy. That fact alone makes it a refreshing change from recent portrayals of African-Americans, and particularly African-American Christians—as was the case in The Fighting Temptations, which, interestingly, starred Cuba Gooding; his younger brother Omar plays a key role in this film. The ...

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The Gospel
Our Rating
3½ Stars - Good
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Mpaa Rating
PG (for thematic elements, suggestive material and mild language)
Genre
Directed By
Rob Hardy
Run Time
1 hour 45 minutes
Cast
Boris Kodjoe, Idris Elba, Nona Gaye, Clifton Powell
Theatre Release
October 07, 2005 by Sony Pictures/Rainforest Films
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