From Andrew O’Hehir’s review at Salon of “Soul Surfer”:
If evangelical Christians want to see their life and faith and values reflected on-screen, I guess that’s understandable. But movies are not mirrors, and the mass audiences that went to see “The King’s Speech” or “Black Swan” or “The Social Network” didn’t necessarily identify with the characters or their lifestyles. Although the prehistory of Christian cinema goes back several decades — the Campus Crusade for Christ film “Jesus” played mainstream theaters in 1979 — with the solitary exception of Gibson’s gruesome and visionary “Passion of the Christ” the genre hasn’t evolved past the most tedious stage of message-delivery and representational politics. (Insert joke here about Christians and evolution.) At the risk of offending many people in many different directions, Christian cinema reminds me of gay cinema. If, that is, gay cinema were permanently stuck in 1986, with a self-ghettoizing mandate to present positive role models for youth and tell an anodyne but uplifting story that sends a message of hope.
(h/t Abby Ohlheiser)