The Shack Review (2017)

Director: Stuart Hazeldine

Starring: Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Tim McGraw, Radha Mitchell

Rating: PG-13


After the death of his daughter Missy Phillips (Amelie Eve), Mack Phillips (Sam Worthington) returns to the scene of her death to find closure from his past. When he returns to “The Shack”, he finds a new connection with God (Octavia Spencer), Jesus (Avraham Aviv Alush) and Sarayu (Sumire Matsubara). On his journey, he must figure out how to forgive himself, his family and everyone throughout his life in order to be closer with god and those who he loves.

What The Film Did Well:

The Shack does a lot of different things pertaining towards ideas of Christianity. It does a great job of putting fourth positive traits that are pretty popular in the teachings of Christianity such as: forgiveness and patience with others. One of the best things this movie does is hammering home the idea of learning how to forgive others, even for the most brutally wrong things that happen to us. The Shack tries to get across that whoever or whatever happens to us, we must learn to forgive everyone in order to move on and so we don’t get caught up in the past and let hate and regret drive our lives.

Another part that I enjoyed with this movie was how different aspects of Christianity and the bible can have different interpretations. The biggest and most powerful example throughout the movie is that the character of God, who is played by Octavia Spencer is a black woman and not an old white man with a beard. This was a big, bold risk to take and probably rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, but I’m glad that they chose it. Another example was during a piece of dialogue where Mack Phillips (Sam Worthington) Sarayu (Sumire Mastubara) talk about their different ideas of what good and evil are.

Image via Summit Entertainment

What The Film Didn’t Do Well:

Outside of the job Octavia Spencer does, the overall performances from the actors are subpar. Worthington gives such a bland performance it gets a little tedious and difficult to watch. He lacks range and emotion that an actor in this type of role needs. Worthington also changes his accent various times throughout the movie, which took me out of the movie every time. At times, he sounds like he’s from the mid-west, then from the deep south, then from the north east, then from England and occasionally from Australia. The way he keeps changing how he talks was such a negative with this movie, along with he basically whispers the entire time so you can hardly understand him to begin with.

The Shack is an extremely slow burning movie and it suffers from event to event. It is not always clear how much time is passing from each big event, everything in this movie could have happened in a week or over ten years and I wouldn’t know the difference. It seems that a big reason they try to draw out this movie and make it linger than it should be is to try and evoke some sort of emotion with the audience and it just didn’t work for me. It tries to be overly emotional and tug at the heart string, but fails to do so.

Image via Summit Entertainment

Final Thoughts

If I had to describe this movie with one word, I would use “meh”. It isn’t a good movie, but it isn’t bad either; it’s just kind of there. For people who are devout Christians this movie will resonate with them in a different way than it did with me. It gets a 5.0/10 from me. I think it takes a bold step in going against traditional Christian interpretations, but did not evoke the emotional response that it was trying to get out of me.

The Shack

Image via Summit Entertainment

What do you think? Did you see The Shack? Is, so comment your thoughts below! What other movies do you want to see a review of? Remember to subscribe to get updates on new posts!







  1. mitchteemley · July 18

    Saw it. Christian. Meh for me too.


    • reviewswithwill · July 19

      Yeah and I had no problem with the religious aspect of it. Just poorly executed.


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