Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment by Brian Godawa Online

Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment
Title : Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780830823215
Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 208

Award-winning screenwriter Brian Godawa guides you through the place of redemption in film, the tricks screenwriters use to communicate their messages, and the mental and spiritual discipline required for watching movies.

Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment Reviews

  • Hannah Rodriguez

    wow. this. wow it was amazing. so much info I already want to re read it. it was really cool seeing the storytelling elements with the worldviews and all that. go read this.

  • Aimee Meester


  • Jared Totten

    I love movies. They are part of the language of our culture and generation. I believe that many in my generation absorb their beliefs and worldview from the movies they watch without even knowing it. I also believe that our entertainment in general (but movies specifically) shape our values as a culture as much as it reflects our values as a culture.This is why, if I were so gifted, I would be making movies today. Movies that put the themes of the Gospel, of fall and redemption, of substitutiona [...]

  • Gwen Burrow

    I may not agree with every tiny aspect of Godawa's take on certain movies, but he still gives really solid principles that each Christian should use like a ninja when they go to the theaters. Sitting down to watch a movie should not be synonymous with sitting down and shutting off our brains. What is the story? What is the worldview--the "web of beliefs that contains a creation-Fall-redemption motif"? What is the point? Godawa helps us determine which movies are lots of treasure hidden in a litt [...]

  • Victoria

    I have issues with some of Godawa's implications in the chapter about Christianity in film (among others), but otherwise, this is a great resource with lots of great stuff going on.

  • Phil

    Wow Finishing this book is like losing my movie-going innocence. I see how naively I drank in everything from the theaters without considering the message behind the movie. We're talking complete stupidity here--I was able to get through the Truman Show without realizing it was an allegory. Anyway, I have read a couple of Christian-based movie critiques now, (see also The Culturally Savvy Christian: A Manifesto for Deepening Faith and Enriching Popular Culture in an Age of Christianity-Lite and [...]

  • Logan

    Overall, I enjoyed this book. It does a good job of getting you to consider the films you watch beyond the surface-level and pushes you to explain why you thought a film was good, bad, or somewhere in-between. I appreciated the look at different philosophies, and the examples provided in various films. However, some of the examples began to drag out chapters to the point that dulled my brain into boredom. Sometimes I found myself reading parts of the chapters on different philosophies and asking [...]

  • James Debro

    This is a really great book that is a must-have in your library, especially if you are wanting to know about the worldviews in movies. In this book, Brian really goes into detail about the different worldviews (biblical, humanistic, neo-paganisic, etc) and how they are portrayed in movies. He also goes into detail about how the themes, concepts, and ideas found in movies are also in the Bible, and covers how they are used for very different reasons. This is a resource needed in your library to h [...]

  • Adam T Calvert

    Really good book on how to evaluate movies from a Christian worldview. Although I don't always find myself in agreement with his assessments, he does a great job of articulating great questions to ask while evaluating a film, its story, and its corresponding worldview.The only wish I might have is that he writes an updated version with more recent films as examples. Other than that, it's a great work on getting us to ask the right questions (and to teach our children to ask the right questions) [...]

  • Graham Holliday

    This is a great book for anyone concerned about what worldviews are presented in the movies they are watching. It explores postmodernism, exstinsilism, neo- paganism, evolution, and many others.

  • Meredith

    Good stuff. Brian Godawa addresses how to identify worldviews in films and discusses the most prevalent ones. He talks about how Christians should approach movies and how to assess quality therein. I wish he had emphasized the importance of quality a little more since a movie can have a great worldview and still be a cinematic disaster but I guess, after all, worldiews are what the book is about. Disclaimer: in some of the movie synopses and the appendix that lists instances of violence, sex, la [...]

  • Mikel J.

    Some good information, especially for any conservative Christians taking early steps in engaging cinema. But ultimately I'm not onboard with Godawa's general conservative evangelical outlook that seems to inform every paragraph and he profoundly misinterprets some films he discusses in the book but seems to leave little room for other possible interpretations.

  • Jimmy

    The author Brian Godawa is a prolific Christian movie maker, reviewer, screen writer and author. If one would expect someone to have the situational background to write on a Christian worldview analysis of films, then Godawa would be it. Making this even better is the fact that Godawa has good theology driving his worldview. He's also influenced by Van Til's Presuppositional apologetics (another major plus!). I've been wanting to read this book for a long time and was glad that I was finally abl [...]

  • Kassarah Ivie

    Godawa's book is a phenomenal explanation of worldviews in Hollywood films. He provides multiple examples for each genre and subgenre he mentioned. I often found myself saying things like, "How odd! I never noticed that many of these films I've seen have a Christ figure in them!" Written nearly a decade ago, I would encourage trying to find more recent films and categorize them at the end of each chapter. Warning: the first chapter is probably the most explicit work that you've read about the Bi [...]

  • Anna

    A good, though not groundbreaking, exploration of the messages that movies tell us, whether we realize it or not. There was a lot of analysis of individual movies according to different worldviews they espouse (modern, postmodern, etc.), with some fantastic quotes on honest, God-honoring storytelling sprinkled throughout."In some ways television, music, and the movies are the modern arena of ideas. Many people are influenced in their worldview by the entertainment industry, whether wittingly or [...]

  • Wayne

    Read this as part of my research for a paper I was writing on Christians and movies. A lot of helpful information.

  • Brandon Wilkins

    Brian Godawa's aim in this book is to help Christians to view movies intelligently. He says that there are two extremes to avoid. The first extreme is "cultural gluttony," where a Christian watches a movie, no matter how sordid with little awareness or interest in the message that he is being subjected to by that movie. This is dangerous, but equally dangerous is another extreme called "cultural anorexia," where a Christian avoids all movies because of beliefs that all movies are simply too worl [...]

  • Paul

    Do you like to watch movies?Do you watch them like a zombie, turning offer your filter so that anything and everything can flow freely and untouched into your mind?Do you think movies are "harmless" and the producer, screenwriter, etc isn't expressing a worldview?Are you a target market? A goldmine? Or will you be discerning even in what you watch?All people can relate to the above. But what about the Christian? Are you a cultural glutton or a cultural anorexic? That is, do you swallow everythin [...]

  • Derek

    Screenwriter Brian Godawa (To End All Wars) wrote this investigation into different worldviews contained in Hollywood movies. He begins with a discussion about the true nature of narrative and story, how these stories are constructed and how mythologies are created, and how most stories and movies at their core are concerned with redemption. He moves forward to examine existentialism, postmodernism, romanticism, monism, evolution, humanism, and neo-paganism before moving onto looking at Christia [...]

  • Dale

    Godawa evaluates movies from an explicitly Reformed perspective. He traces his thinking theologically to Schaeffer, Rookmaaker (and more recently to Ken Gentry) in how to see the worldview behind the art. This is probably the best book that I have read on how to watch movies with your eyes wide open. Godawa does an excellent job laying out the two ditches that exist: 1. Cultural Glutton: * Watches every movie that interests him without considering beforehand whether the subject matter is appropr [...]

  • Brian Kohl

    Two big critiques: 1) Godawa is helpful with lots of examples, but also unhelpful for the same reasons. The book is so superficial -- especially towards the end -- that I don't see how you could apply his principles to review a movie in depth (say, beyond a quick "they are showing Christianity to be legalism and that's bad" -- you'll lap up even the slightest nuance that he grants a couple movies). 2) The second issue is what seems like a common Christian tendency: To pick something good about a [...]

  • Tirzah

    I don't know about anyone else, but I love movies. I think it is all part of the "escaping from reality" thing. Books sweep me into another world and I return to the real world, refreshed and ready to go. I feel the same way when I walk out of the theater after watching an edifying movie. That is the key word *edifying.* Before I read this book, I didn't understand why I left some movies feeling kind of empty and disturbed. The author puts movies in a new Christian perspective. Everything we do [...]

  • Rob

    I've always been one to enjoy a good movie, including one that makes me think about the story, it's message, or whatever it was attempting to convey. This book added to that by incorporating the not so talked about aspect of worldviews; in this particular writing it's about worldviews as shared through movies. It covers a range of non-Christian, secular, and pagan worldviews in addition to Christian worldviews, and explores a variety of subject matter in film, such as sex, profanity, violence, s [...]

  • Josiah

    Pretty good book overall that does a really good job of showing the worldviews that are present in different Hollywood films, as well as providing some tools for how we should go about analyzing films as Christians. Godawa's main focus is more on drawing out and critiquing the worldviews themselves; he doesn't spend as much time as I would have liked on discussing how we should treat movies with poor worldviews (do we avoid them, or wisely engage with them? I would hope the latter, but he didn't [...]

  • Charlie Broxton

    If you are looking for a book to practically help you analyze movies and the worldview messages they contain, Brian Godawa's "Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment" is a great start. If you're looking to begin a group (or even teach others) to actively watch movies and analyze worldviews, this book would be excellent. As a filmmaker, Godawa's analysis of movies is both solid and engaging. However, If you are looking to understand worldviews at a deeper level, you would [...]

  • Katerina

    Hollywood Worldviews encourages Christians to watch movies with discernment. The book looks at the place sex and violence have in movies. It gives examples of how existentialism and postmodernism are presented. And it considers the portrayal of Christianity and faith in movies.The author Brian Godawa is a screenwriter who appreciates movies. There are lists of movies for each chapter. Some of the movies discussed are older but many are recently made (the second edition is from 2009). The movies [...]

  • Brian

    Anyone who is interested in the film business ought to read this book. There are two extremes I am seeing nowadays: film-makers who are creative and make trash, and film-makers who are Christian, but package it in a ham-handed way. This book is really good at getting people to analyze movies. Godawa's focus on worldview is somewhat systematic, but it works. I would disagree with him on a few films (The Truman Show, Stranger Than Fiction), but overall it is good work. I'm curious how often he'll [...]

  • Yasdong

    This book has helped me so much to understand hollywood movies in christian perspective. Brian Godawa did a very good job in showing the elements of movie. He wrote history of movies, philosophies that influenced the world view, the meaning behind a movie, etc.Unlike most of the critics, from his writings Briand shows manner and respect toward movies and the creators. In the end, I like the way he compares the similarity of the bible and movie. He says, a good movie is about redemption, like Chr [...]

  • Alan Fuller

    The narrative of a movie reveals the worldview behind it. I've read a lot of books about the Bible that are written by theologians. Godawa approaches the subject from the view point of a writer. He focuses on things that theologians don't always acknowledge. In this book he shows the philosophical worldviews found in today's movies have developed over the centuries. We're all influenced by ideas that were developed during the enlightenment and afterwards. These ideas show up in Hollywood movies. [...]

  • Giacinta

    This is a really terrific book. It gets you thinking about film and media in an entirely different way. Godawa reminds us that we should be thoughtful and intentional about the media that we consume. He offers several suggestions for discussing and thinking about movies, to tease out the worldview and assumptions portrayed in the movie, and to analyze it critically. This book really did change the way I watch and think about movies and television.