Theatrical Release: February 13, 1998
DVD Release: February 13, 1998


A Pentecostal minister runs from the law after hitting his wife’s lover with a baseball bat. Upon rededicating his life to the Lord, he sets up a much needed church in a small southern town, while waiting for the authorities to catch up with him.

Dove Review

This perceptive, astonishingly respectful drama never condescends, nor is it antagonistic toward people of faith while telling its gentle story of the redemption of a good but imperfect man. Not only is religion not ridiculed, but we actually see positive examples of Christian behavior, such as testimonies, self-sacrifice, conversions, charity, and forgiveness. There’s even an alter call! When did you ever see that in a Hollywood release?! I’m not suggesting our hero is without flaws. He begins his ministry on a lie, and is hampered by imperfections none of us hope to find in our pastor. Furthermore, we could debate denominational dogma, or whether the lead should have immediately turned himself in, but when I saw this man crying out to God and other characters giving without seeking acknowledgment, I was uplifted. By film’s end, there is no question that he strives to draw closer to our Lord. The film reminded me that there are many Christians, most going without notoriety, seeking to become more Christ-like. What a surprise to find people of the Christian faith presented honestly and with esteem from not only one of Hollywood’s veterans, but arguably the most accomplished thespian of this generation. As a reviewer I had to sit through nearly 300 movies this past year before I could say this, but at last I can – Superb! The most spiritually fulfilling movie I have seen this year.

Content Description

I found nothing offensive for exploitive purposes. The implied adultery, its one violent scene, the reverend's faulty nature, and a couple of mild expletives serve to further the story rather than shock us or malign the ministry.


Company: Focus Features
Director: Robert Duvall
Producer: Robert Duvall
Genre: Drama
Industry Rating: PG-13
Starring: Robert Duvall, Farrah Fawcett, Billy Bob Thornton, Miranda Richardson.
Reviewer: Phil Boatwright