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Director's Blog

February 09, 2012

There are two camps about reading your own reviews.

You either devour them or (at least claim to) never look at them. If you’ve been following this blog, you can guess probably guess which side I’m on. I love getting audience feedback. I love sharing our work and ideas and seeing what resonates with people. I love telling the same story to a new audience and tweaking how I do it in hopes that it will be better than the last time. In one extreme case, I’ve even gone back and filmed additional material for a movie I directed after its initial release, because I saw a way to improve it.

Now it’s time for Deadline’s reviews to start rolling in. There will be good ones and bad ones. Hopefully we’ll learn something from all of them. And hopefully the reviews will help people make informed choices as to whether Deadline is the kind of movie they’d appreciate.

So, having sufficiently buried the lede, Deadline just received its first review and it’s a 4 star rave! Renee Green, writing in MovieGuide, gave Deadline their highest star rating in her review titled “A Redemptive Search for Truth”.

“DEADLINE is a powerful movie with a very strong Christian, redemptive worldview about the search for truth and justice when two murders 19 years apart strike a racially charged town in Alabama…Matt and Bullock’s adventures in solving this case take them into the communities, homes, and hearts of both whites and blacks living in Amos that was once overtly dominated by the Ku Klux Klan.

One judge now controls the small town of Amos. He and the rest of the town have very little to say about Sampson’s murder. Two exceptions are a fiery African American preacher in Amos, and Trey, a wealthy, intelligent, beautiful southern belle…

The story in DEADLINE is driven by intrigue and the hope of uncovering the truth. The interesting characters also keep viewers engaged, and some seemingly dead ends keep viewers guessing.

DEADLINE wastes little time or space giving just the right amount of exposition to ground viewers in the story, while also building suspense. Even the computer-generated graphics used to display the credits as newspaper headlines while Matt drives his sports car to his next news story drive the plot along…

DEADLINE has a very strong Christian worldview with church scenes and scenes with preaching and praying. Also, the movie depicts the power of forgiveness on many fronts throughout the movie. This strong redemptive theme finds a satisfying resolution. Overall, the scenes are well established and well filmed with good sound design and credible characters that lend authenticity to the movie, which was inspired by a true story. Racism and a demand for truth and justice are other prevalent themes that drive the plot. Caution is advised for older children due to brief foul language, use of the “n” word, and some adult themes."

Not all reviews will be as kind to Deadline, but this sure is a wonderful way to start! (As a point of comparison, MovieGuide recently gave both Red Tails and War Horse 3 stars. Deadline topped George Lucas and Steven Spielberg!)