User Reviews (242)

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  • A lot of Christians movie are badly acted and cheesy and this isn't one of them. This movie was well acted, had heart and had emotion. I love MercyMe and the song I Can Only Imagine and it's so great to see the story behind the song. I could relate to what Bart went through with his dad and I think a lot of people can relate to that. This movie had a really good message and I believe even non Christians will like it.
  • jim-3217916 March 2018
    I have gone to faith based movies before and always left for the most part unsatisfied. I can tell you this movie is different. You do not have to be Christian to understand and appreciate the story line. The movie is about forgiveness and hope and there is nothing wrong with that. The acting is well done, the story line is easy to follow and i must say there were more then a few times i got dust in my eyes and they watered. The song has touched millions and now the story will to. I heard it once said the song seems to never go away. Well there is a reason it never stops giving and the movie does not disappoint. I highly recommended this film.
  • I enjoy a wide range of movie genres. I don't seek out Christian movies in particular. I knew from the trailer the basic premise of this film, however nothing more. I knew it would be a tear jerker, but it has much more substance and is a good film on its own merits. Good performances, Denis Quaid did a very good job. It's sad that Hollywood would not even take this film seriously because, well I'll digress, someone would take offense or argue about my because opinions and I'm not a keyboard warrior. It's worth seeing in the theater, just take a Kleenex or 12.
  • "I Can Only Imagine" was a funny, interesting, inspiring, and powerful true-story about the most popular Christian song of all time. It was lighthearted and funny when I needed an emotional break, but the message was strong. If you don't go because it is faith-based, you are missing out. If you grew up in the Amy Grant/Michael W. Smith era like I did...it will be a little nostalgic. Watching the band struggle in the early years reminded me of every kid I knew as a camp counselor at Camp Electric in Nashville. It made me smile. Dennis Quaid was impactful as the abusive father. It had something for everyone. I'll be going back next week with friends.
  • This movie was a fantastic telling of Bart's life and the beginning of MercyMe. Some scenes may be hard to watch because of the violence, but the redemption story that is told is beautiful. Highly recommend seeing this movie. Great acting, wonderful singing, and an amazing story.
  • shadnife16 March 2018
    I have listened to the song I Can Only Imagine probably thousands of times and after watching this it gave me a new understanding of forgiveness. I am going to be honest here and say I was in tears throughout this movie. This is definitely a must see and bring a tissue or two.
  • This movie is so moving and is an absolute must- see. The whole movie theatre was in tears from this touching story. So many messages of forgiveness, hope, inspiration, family, etc are shown, and you are sure to cry. This movie has changed my entire perspective on MercyMe's I Can Only Imagine, and it breathes life into the lyrics of the song. Grab some tissues and friends and go see it now! Your spirit will thank you.
  • shermydee16 March 2018
    Emotional throughout. Best inspirational film since The Passion of Christ. The song touched many. I think the film will touch and change many more!
  • My wife and I saw this on opening night, and it is truly an inspiring film. I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but the acting is great, and the story is uplifting. Definitely would recommend this for anyone who wants a great story to unfold before their eyes.
  • Strong message that entire family should see. I've loved this song since it came out years ago and to see the story behind it is as equally impressive well.... that's why I gave it top marks
  • This movie was so good that I HAD to review it. I have never had any other movie reach so far down into my soul. Truth is far deeper than fiction. This true story will grab ahold of your heart and soul and shake you to the core! Have you ever seen a 6'3" 280 lb giant man sobbing at a movie? I have. And I was sobbing right along with him. You will be SO glad you watched this movie
  • This movie is interesting for me to review. If it weren't for Moviepass, I probably never would have seen it. But I'm glad I did, because it has a lot of interesting things to contemplate and discuss which couldn't/wouldn't really be discussed by me if I hadn't seen it.

    The directing seemed fine. The acting seemed fine. The story seemed fine. And those are most important for any movie.

    Prior to seeing the movie I listened to the song. Surprisingly, I couldn't recall ever hearing the song before hearing about this movie. And I used to listen to Christian music and regularly attended Church prior to college.

    As an atheist I obviously dislike the message and assertions of the song; Not because I'm a cynic as much as because I'm a realist. I want assertions to comply to evidence rather than pick evidence which complies to our emotionally preferred assertions. But it's more than the message of the song which I object toward. I don't particularly care for the aesthetics of the song. Although they're not terrible. I don't have very mainstream music taste, instead preferring music that's a bit quirky, instrumental centered and irreverent.

    Nevertheless, I'm reviewing a movie, and my movie taste is more mainstream. And I find it worth investigating the story of how this song came to be, seeing that it's had such a big cultural impact.

    Like every film based on a true story, I wonder how many liberties were taken with the retelling. Although I have experience with the Christian mindset, I had no specific knowledge of the specific accounts of this story.

    I'm guessing there were small typical embellishments. Some of the scenes seemed somewhat tailored to create a formulaic movie narrative. I have more issue with tailoring reality than a movie having a formulaic plot.

    One example: The events which led Bart to return to his father seemed difficult to believe happened exactly that way. I'd hazard a guess that in real life this transition happened more gradually or with different factors playing different degrees of importance. But overall there was nothing that seemed significantly outside the ordinary for a movie story. If there were major revisions to the story, it's a testament to the execution of the movie and my lack of former information that I couldn't detect them.

    What was much more noticeable was that the last third of the movie seemed to be a slower pace than I'd prefer. The first part leading up to his band's audition in Nashville seemed nicely paced, It was the rest which seemed a bit slower than ideal.

    One of the strengths of this film to me is that its focused on telling the story of a band member and his path to creating his well known song. His faith was obviously a component since he's a Christian musician. But the movie isn't a propaganda piece for Christianity, despite what many lovers and haters of the film have said.

    It's intention is telling a good story. And if it led or leads people to Christianity, so be it. Islam is a major part of The Kite Runner, but the point of the film isn't to make viewers convert to Islam. Although it probably did just that for some people. I can only imagine is similar except, unlike The Kite Runner, it's based on a true story. I think fellow religious and Christian skeptics are mistaken when they review this movie as a Christian propaganda piece. It seems to more accurately speak of some inner hatred toward Christianity or religion than a fair assessment of the movie.

    Of course there were certain exchanges in the film in which I found irritating. For instance Bart's astonishment of how much God's rehabilitated his father late in his life. Does God get credit for the father beating his son and wife earlier in the story? No. But the character thinking this way was believable indoctrinated thinking for a religious character.

    Typical Christian thinking is wanting to have something both ways depending on the circumstance. Religious faith is littered with contradictions of opinion related to God's agenda or intentions. One moment God gives us a more true knowledge than anything else. The next moment it's essential for God to keep us ignorant. One moment God is virtuous. The next moment God is killing thousands in a flood. God is ever-present and loving one moment, and neglectful and mysterious the next.

    The narrative for the God's agenda always hedges toward his presence being real, and conveniently, the assertions of his intentions are usually made after the facts or narrative has already been asserted or established rather than prior. If a former religious belief is disproved with science, it becomes a metaphorical piece of the religion. And if a prayer ever goes unanswered, the explanation is that God is mysterious, or lets bad things happen to bring people to him.

    But with my mini rant aside, the film has an interesting story. It's better crafted than some other movies I've seen recently like Isle of Dogs or The Florida Project. I might be an atheist, but that doesn't make me obliged to like a film like Sausage party more than a film like I Can Only Imagine. For the record, I like I Can Only Imagine more.

    During the film I didn't cry like many people, although certain moments struck me as sad and touching. It seems to me the important thing is to remain investing in better understanding life and enjoying the ride.

    I disagree with Christianity, but I find this film worth seeing and thinking about. Especially if one isn't Christian. And if one is Christian, I especially recommend checking out a film like Inherit the Wind or The Man from Earth. Not because those movies are about atheism, but because like this film, they're good movies except with atheism playing a part in the stories.

    Too often we decide that because there's a component to a story that conflicts with one's religion or group, that there's nothing of use in the story. That's a path to people being more hostile and unreasonable to one another than necessary. Whether we like it or not, we have to live with one another, and we're better suited to do so if we understand one another.
  • beachy-3843116 March 2018
    Probably the best movie I have seen this year. I had heard Bart in an interview say this was his favorite song he has written (mine is "Even If"). I have seen Dennis Quaid in several movies, but this was his best. Cloris Leachman was there. And Nathan must love to watch this movie to see himself tall. I don't know if he was bald back then or not. But the stand-out was J. Michael Finley. He looked a little like Bart and had his smile down perfect. From what I could see in the credits he did his own singing. Beautiful! Now for the story. What a heart-wrenched. No wonder Bart write such powerful songs. This is a must see movie folks. We saw it during a matinee at a mega theater (20 screens), yes, I'm sure some of you have bigger, but that is big for us. The auditorium was almost full. I would estimate by the number of cars in the parking lot, that half of the people in the entire theater were in this movie. And the theater did not even have the title on the marquee. Shame! This is a must see movie.
  • Just saw movie I Can Only Imagine. WOW. Best inspiring movie on forgiveness, Jesus changing lives, and amazing beauty out of what was so ugly that I have seen in a very, very long time. Tears throughout the movie. A real Save the World movie.
  • nikkiashlee30 March 2018
    3/10
    Corny
    My mom liked this movie but overall I was disappointed at how corny it was. The transitions between the scenes were awkward and although it was based on a true story the plot was rather cheesy (too much fluff). I haven't seen many Christian movies but if this is the better of the bunch then that's pretty sad.
  • After watching "I can only imagine" it has you deep in your faith and emotions. You find a way to be personal with the movie. The song when I first heard it years ago gave me goose bumps that I still get to this day. All it takes is the first 3 notes and you get tears in your eyes. The casting for this movie was perfect, the locations were beautiful, the story behind the song is unbelievable. This song and movie has felt close to me, it has pulled me out of my darkest days and saddest moments. If I could give this any higher stars I would.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There is a certain dishonesty about a film biography that leaves out one of the pieces of the puzzle of a man's life. In the case of "I Can Only Imagine," we have a conventional portrait of a wife batterer and a child abuser in the figure of washed up football star Arthur Millard, resulting in years of anguish for his gifted son to try to come to terms with his dad.

    But the film does not tell us that Mr. Milliard was seriously injured when he was struck by a diesel truck while working for the Texas highway system. After awakening from an eight-week coma, the man was never the same, due to brain damage. The details about trauma to the temporal lobe and mood changes are touched upon in the bonus track of DVD of "I Can Only Imagine." But that part of the story is left out of the film itself.

    The background above is not intended to give the abusive father a free pass. But it does suggest that the film is a whitewash because it chooses not to offer the total picture of the Millard family. There is no doubt that young Bart Millard was a horribly abused child, but one with tremendous resourcefulness and survival skills.

    One of those skills was the childlike ability to imagine. The act of fantasizing removed the child from his terrifying environment. But it also sparked his creative energies, leading to accomplished work in sketching and, above all, in the expression of music. The music Bart loved was inspirational. It was also escapist, saving the child's sanity. It also culminated in the blockbuster song that is the title of this film.

    The film is also successful in dramatizing the power of forgiveness, as Bart's forgiveness of his dad relieved the debilitating incompleteness of his life. The story was well told and superbly performed by a gifted singer-actor. Another strong character development was the gravel-voiced manager who believed in Bart both as a singer and as a human being.

    But the one nagging criticism of this film remains: Why didn't the filmmakers reveal the truth about the father's accident? If Mr. Millard indeed had permanent brain damage, leading to violent behavior, then his transformation through Christianity into the man who could win back the love of his son was even more remarkable.

    Were the filmmakers wary that the focus of the film could shift too far afield from the son's hit record to the father's miraculous transformation? As the real Bart Millard observes in a brief sound byte, in the bonus track: "If the Gospel can change that dude, it change anybody."
  • Great refreshing story. The reviewer who called it "drab"... srsly? Can we just look around at the experience people have in the theater? I haven't heard so much applause in the actual theater after the movie in a very long time. We need more family safe and redeeming stories like these. Or we can just continue with the sex, drugs, killings and then gasp again and again when yet one more mass killing takes place in our schools? Well, as for me, I'll choose your "drab movie"...thank you!
  • According to some of my fellow user reviewers, this is like "the most powerful movie" ever. Ten stars, can't-miss. Bring a trashbag full of tissues, you'll be wading through a lake of tears after the poignant and life-affirming conclusion. Deserves a hundred foot tall Oscar statue, forged in the fires of Mt. Oscar from pure gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Your diseases will be cured; your taxes will file themselves; you'll meet the (heterosexual) spouse of your dreams.

    I would accuse the producers of padding the review section, but sadly this is the work of a force much more insidious and terrifying than cold hard Amazon gift cards.

    The force I speak of is religious faith. I would wager my eternal soul on the fact that the producers of this film targeted congregation leaders with a marketing campaign masquerading as religious advocacy, who then in turn told their flocks to go out there and send evil Hollywood a resounding message by packing those theaters.

    So yes, if you and your fambly are on a strict diet of Christian cinema, this is probably must-see material - you may not necessarily be condemned to spend the rest of eternity in purgatory if you don't (I wouldn't rule it out though), but you will DEFINITELY make Jesus upset and he won't personally greet you with a batch of hand-baked cookies when you get to heaven.

    The rest of us will find it just as dull, nauseatingly contrived, and infuriatingly self-righteous as every other run-of-the-mill Christian film. For starters, who the flab is MercyMe and why does anyone give a darn? The filmmakers act like they're some huge household name akin to, say, Coldplay or Boyz II Men.

    I mean, heck, to each their own and all that - I am sure that most of my favorite films will be disturbing, off-putting experiences for all the Ned Flanders dweebs that comprise this film's target demographic.

    But like...I am not assaulting this film because it's "faith-based", I'm assaulting it because it's terrible cinema. Soviet propaganda films were no less zealous and ham-fisted with their preaching - and yet, even the second-rate ones are infinitely more entertaining than self-centered dreck like this. Even 50-part Hindu religious epics are more entertaining to watch. Kim Ki-Duk's Buddhist parable Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring is a deeply religious work, but also a poignant gem by any cinematic standards; by comparison, this pap ought to qualify as an infomercial.

    So yeah, this is total garbage - as any reasonable, sane person would expect it to be. And no, it's not OK to give this a ten just because it blows a cruciform-shaped dog whistle that only your soul can hear.

    You wanna see a quality film that prominently features Christianity? Go watch Mother! - aka the best religious film of 2017.
  • What a wonderful story about forgiveness and redemption.....believer or not, we all struggle with forgiving those who have hurt us but how beautiful it is when you can forgive and love those who has. I can only imagine is a movie that really speaks to the heart and spirit and is just a movie that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy....and in this day in age, we could all benefit from that! GO SEE IT.
  • rjallen119 March 2018
    First off, i am a real person who saw this movie!!!!! Second, i never cry at movies and was on the verge of tears a few times during this movie. Best movie i have seen in 10 years.... Dennis Quaid gives the performance of his life (he should be nominated for an oscar!!!) Just a heart warming, movie. Go see it , if you give it anything less than a 9 rating, then go see it again!

    PS..why does this get a meta score of 29, while 90% of the people posting give it higher than an 8....
  • I loved this movie and have loved the song. Some criticism from reviewers who think it's stacked by friends and family of the movie. Not me. It is my first review because I would love to see more movies like this. We went the first weekend for that reason...to show support where it matters in the industry...the box office. The movie was tough for my husband who grew up with an abusive father. Brought back memories he'd rather forget. However, he also said that the movie brought him to a new place of realizing. at 57 years old, he needs to let go of that past. Be warned. If you grew up in an abusive home, you will feel things even more deeply than those who didn't. No matter who you are, take Kleenex. The acting was great and the twist on how MercyMe owned this song was very encouraging. Great film!! So glad we went!
  • Not every story is worth adapting for film. Judging this as what it is, a movie, there's nothing special. I can't point to even one unique thing in this movie, the whole thing feels very uninspired. To enjoy this movie I would have to be at a point in my life where I had seen very few movies. That is something which I consider to be problem.

    The writing is by far the weakest point. My research tells me that this story was not bound by the truth, but rather that the facts were cast aside for the sake of meaningless, manufactured drama. Even if everything in this movie did actually happen as told, which it did not, then it was a bad idea to make this story a film for others to experience. Too many clichés happen in this movie to list them all, an absolute annihilation of lazy storytelling. Let's say, purely for the sake of argument, that this movie did actually happen as told, in that case it was a bad idea to translate this story to the big screen. The reason being that it comes across as bad storytelling, which makes it unfit for adaptation. Either way, it just doesn't work.

    The performances are absolutely fine, never good enough to make me care about the characters. Although in fairness I would attribute that more to the writing then the actors, who did just fine for what they were given. Nobody stands out as good, or even bad for that matter.

    The cinematography and directing in this movie is so unbelievably, perfectly average. While nothing stands out as good or inspired, nothing ever stands out as bad, thus helping the movie to feel extremely uninspired. While the cinematography and directing in this movie were serviceable, the lack of originality ultimately helped to make the movie feel even more bland.

    There were frequent attempts at humor in this movie, which failed as often as they arose. Their attempts feel very worn out, and extremely childish. It was such an embarrassing attempt, as though no thought or effort was put into it.

    In this movie they build so much hype surrounding this one song, that by the time I finally heard it, I felt disappointed. The song was perfectly fine, it wasn't bad, it wasn't great, it was perfectly fine. If you have already heard the song before then this probably will not be so glaring to you. I can't hold this against the film though, considering precisely how subjective music is, I won't dock the movie points for that.

    On top of all I just mentioned, this movie bored me. It even bored me so much that it put me to sleep for five to ten minutes. Now I wouldn't have fallen asleep had it not been late at night, but a good movie would have kept me awake. I've been there, it's late at night and I'm getting tired, but the movie or show that I'm watching is so good that it keeps me awake, because I'm so invested in it. This didn't even come close to doing that, it put me right to sleep. I've literally never fallen asleep in a theatre before, until this one. I actually believe I would have had a better experience had I been asleep for the whole movie, but unfortunately I saw over 90% of it.

    To anybody that says this movie was made for Christians, and should not be judged by anyone else, I strongly disagree. If you need to belong to a certain group of people to enjoy a movie, then that movie has failed. Movies should be transcendent, and being nonreligious as I am, this movie wasn't. Even taken out of its religious context, it fails just as a film. While this movie never actually annoyed me, I have to call it on its faults. This movie fails to bring anything good to the table, while reusing overused clichés and story elements to a point of unshocking blandness. If you haven't seen any movies before, maybe the problems won't stand out to you, maybe it'll even come across as original. But if you have ever seen a film in your lifetime, this comes across utterly meaningless. Don't waste two hours of your life that you'll end up quickly forgetting about, your time means more than this.
  • There was a time I sung this song in church before realising religion is crap. It's a pleasant enough tune but the film about its creation is awful.

    It's high reviews are based on a Christian bias I used to see all the time in my church days. Because it's Christian media it's eaten up by the church folk with no ability to make actual criticisms and make it even remotely interesting. This makes this film suffer from lazy unimaginative dialogue, camera and acting. Because like all Christian media it's creator doesn't have to put any effort into making something worthwhile in any capacity.
  • I loved this movie as it was a movie about forgiveness, love, pain and redemption. I laughed at times, I cried at times and I worshiped God at times in the movie. I am so glad we have an alternative to the crappy hollywood stuff that comes out. Glad I saw this movie and want to buy it when it is out on DVD.
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