“Overcomer” movie delivers profound message of faith, hope and forgiveness
I am a big movie buff. I love going to the movies and staying home and Netflixing it.
That said, in my 49 years of life, never have I ever went to see a movie that was so powerful, so Holy Spirit-filled that I cried throughout the entire film. Well that was until I recently saw “Overcomer.”
I have seen a lot of Christian-themed movies, powerful ones. And I’ve seen secular movies with morally sound messages that tug at the heart. But this film, produced by the Kendrick Brothers, is a whole other dimension of extraordinary.
In “Overcomer,” life changes for Coach John Harrison (Alex Kendrick) when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news.
When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and causes hundreds of families to move away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team.
He is urged by the school’s principal, Olivia Brooks (played by Priscilla C. Shirer), to fill in and coach cross-country, a sport he doesn’t know or like. John is frustrated and begins to question his worth until he meets a student, Hannah Scott (Aryn Wright-Thompson), struggling with her journey.
There are so many awesome things I can say about the Kendricks as filmmakers. Their movies are always wholesome, pure, 100% free of profanity, sexual situations, violence, all of the elements that the secular arena says are absolute necessities in producing hits.
Yet, time and again, Alex, Stephen and Shannon Kendrick, based in Albany, Georgia, make films that do well at the box office, debunking those long-disseminated myths.
They have brought us such powerful, memorable movies as “War Room,” “Facing the Giants,” “Fireproof,” and “Courageous,” all of which have consistently brought laughter to the heart, tears of joy to the soul, and high doses of encouragement while also being a resource of family entertainment.
“Overcomer” is a riveting story of faith, hope, endurance, forgiveness and humility, to name a few of the many profound messages within the storyline.
I just mentioned that the Kendrick Brothers’ technique is bucking Hollywood’s long tradition of using vulgarity, even in producing movies that aim to have positive themes.
“Overcomer,” filmed on a $5 million budget, which is peanuts by today’s standards, came in at No. 3 at the box office on its opening weekend (Aug. 23-25), taking in more than $8 million.
That weekend, it trailed only “Angel Has Fallen,” which came in at No. 1, and “Good Boys,” which held the No. 2 spot.
Keeping things in perspective, “Angel Has Fallen,” which stars Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman, was shot on a $40 million budget and released in 3,286 theaters. “Good Boys” was shot on a $20 million budget, opening at 3,353 theaters.
“Overcomer” overcame two powerhouse franchises, “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” which finished that box office weekend at No. 4, and “The Lion King (2019),” which closed out at the No. 5 spot.
The “Fast & Furious” film, starring Idris Elba and Roman Reigns, was shot on a $200 million budget and opened in 3,312 theaters. “The Lion King,” featuring the voices of Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Alfre Woodard, was shot on a $260 million budget and opened in 3,300 theaters.
“Overcomer,” as of the Aug. 30 through Sept. 1 box office results, has grossed $17,212,235.
The movie challenges its audience to begin (if they have not already) to know who they are and to not mistake who they really are with what they do. The message is who you are and what you do can be two different things.
It touches upon the importance of quality family time and the proper way to bring about conflict resolution. Again, these are just small fractions of the revelations and affirmations that can be gleaned from “Overcomer.”
The performances of its actors and actresses are nothing short of stellar. Like a championship team in any given sport, no one actor, in my estimation, stands out as a superstar. Each actor brings his or her character to life in such an awesome way.
When you see this movie, you’ll be touched in an amazing way by Aryn Wright-Thompson, who shines ever so brightly as Hannah. You’ll root for Cameron Arnett, who just floors you with his portrayal of Thomas Hill.
If you’re a wife who’s struggling in that role, you’ll be inspired beyond measure by Shari Rigby’s portrayal of Amy Harrison, John’s virtuous wife.
Alex Kendrick delivers a stellar performance as the basketball and cross-country coach. In this film, we see him as an amazing dad and a good coach. The actor makes his character one that the average person can relate to, one who is generally encouraging and wise but who also has a human side, one that is challenged by fear and unbridled frustration sometimes.
I give this profound movie a five-star rating. It’s earned it.
Donald Lee is co-author of “Married to Commitment,” a Xulon Press-published book on healthy relationships and a freelance columnist and copy editor as well as ghostwriter. He can be contacted at