“Do You Believe?” is the best faith-based film I have ever seen! I have seen a lot of them, so this is certainly a compliment. The superlatives will flow from the faith-based community regarding this film. The stories are wonderful, the characters are rich, the acting is terrific, and several characters’ stories meet at the climax on the same bridge during a stormy night. The overriding theme of the film is that God can take things that are not good and weave them into something that is. It is the “God’s eye view,” according to Pastor Matthew (Ted McGinley), that must be kept in perspective. To anyone who has ever faced death, lost a loved one (especially a child), been at a crossroads or crisis of some kind, this movie will resonate.
McGinley is excellent as the pastor who is confronted by an old man who makes him think about the Cross and what he truly believes about it. The pastor then leaves crosses at every seat for his next sermon and preaches about it. An example of one of the stories that intertwine is that of JD (Lee Majors) and his wife Terry (Cybill Shepherd), who lost their daughter Kathleen some years earlier. They have left her room unchanged. A friend named Joe (Brian Bosworth) helps a homeless woman named Samantha (Mira Sorvino) and her daughter Lily (newcomer Makenzie Moss) and they wind up in front of JD and Terry when they serve them a meal at a Salvation Army lunch. Feeling compassion for them on a rainy night when JD knows they are sleeping in a car, he invites them into their home. Lily tells her mother they need to thank Jesus for the bed. And, despite her caution, Terry cannot help but feel drawn to Lily and her mother.
Other stories feature two brothers named P.B. (for Pretty Boy) and Kriminal (played by Senyo Amoaku). Pretty Boy feels drawn toward God and finds Him one night when he flees police and runs into a church just as Pastor Matthew is preaching about the cross and asks, “Do you believe?” Kriminal doesn’t like the change in Pretty Boy, but a turning point takes place in his life following a tragic event. Add to this an unwed mother who decides to keep her baby while on the way to the abortion clinic when she feels the baby kick, and Carlos, a former Marine who carries a lot of guilt and yet saves a young woman from committing suicide, and you have plenty of drama. Sean Astin is perfect as a skeptic doctor who witnesses a medical miracle before his eyes and tries to deny it. In addition, a paramedic named Bobby (Liam Matthews) hands a dying man a cross and ministers to him, but faces retribution from the man’s wife and her attorney.
The stories all seamlessly fit together by film’s end, and the bridge scene is dramatic and powerful. I was not bored once during the movie and was deeply moved on several occasions. The director did an excellent job. The film is peppered with just the right number of humorous moments to relieve some of the tension the characters face. We are happy to award “Do You Believe?” our “Faith-Friendly” Seal for ages twelve plus. See this movie! This film has it all!