There's a lot of enthusiasm in Christian media today about the new surge of "Christian filmmaking." But there's a problem. Most of those faith-oriented films are getting bad reviews, even from Christian film reviewers.

In the case of Thr3e, the new thriller about a serial killer based on a novel by Ted Dekker, Christian film critics are wasting no words about the film's shoddy quality. Sure, it's important that a movie's message be excellent. But is God glorified by mediocre craftsmanship and lousy storytelling? And what if the film's redeeming elements are buried by the film's darker elements?

Russ Breimeier (Christianity Today Movies) says, "It used to be that Christian films couldn't compete because of quality, but nowadays we're finding that they share more in common with the average Hollywood film—style over substance. Thr3e looks like it should work on paper, as fans of the book will attest. But a shaky narrative, clumsy storytelling, and unintentionally campy acting make this a frustrating movie-going experience that's only worth half the stars of its title."

Cliff Vaughn (Ethics Daily) isn't just disappointed. He's frustrated. "It bothers me, and it should bother you too, that out of all the movies that could have been made with a couple million dollars, Thr3e was chosen. This alleged psychological thriller … is so derivative as to be pointless. … We're supposed to care about a theme of confession planted in the movie, but the characters, like the plot, have been so derived from standard Hollywood fare that we don't recognize life—just other, better movies."

Jeremy Lees and Steven Isaac (Plugged In) are impressed … with what isn't in the movie. They liked "how the film tries to dispense ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.