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Jesus Camp Review

  • Release Date: Sep 15, 2006
  • Rated: some discussions of mature subject matter
  • Runtime: 1 hr. 24 min.
  • Genres: Documentary
  • Director:Rachel Grady, Heidi Ewing

Movies.com Critics

4.5

Dave White Profile

… almost too freaky … Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    62

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    A snapshot, to be sure, but scattershot as well.

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    A fascinating glimpse of kids' role in the evangelical movement's political agenda.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    What Ewing and Grady have accomplished here is remarkable--capturing the visceral humanity, desire and unflagging political will of a religious movement.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Scott Brown

    As a documentary, Jesus Camp could lose its haunted-house score and contrapuntal Air America refrains and still deliver its message: that, here and elsewhere, fundamentalism is no longer content with a separate peace. It wants the meat.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Jesus Camp reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Eye-opening look at the Evangelicals among us.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this documentary is an outsider's look at members of the Evangelical Christian church. While it shows a Christian radio deejay who opposes what the church stands for, it does it rather respectfully. Parents should be warned, however, that there are many scenes of kids caught up in religious fervor where they look very distressed and are crying, speaking in tongues, and professing to the group that they have sinned. There is also a scene where a right-to-life advocate hands out small infant figures to the kids, tapes their mouths shut, and encourages them to express their sadness and outrage. One child says that she thinks God only comes to a church like hers. One parent home-schools her child and explains why evolution is wrong. A family recites a revised version of the Pledge of Allegiance with many mentions of God, and at one church meeting a life-size cardboard cut-out of President Bush is brought to the stage and everyone is encouraged to pray over the president, and over more conservative Supreme Court nominees.

  • Families can talk about so many topics it's hard to know where to begin. If your kids like Harry Potter, they'll notice that the youth minister, Becky, speaks out against the books. Why do you think she does that? If your family is religious, you can discuss how you see worship in relation to the Christians shown here. Would you ever go to a camp with your family to feel closer to God? Why or why not? The Evangelicals here all support President Bush. What ideals do the Bush administration and the Evangelical church share? Do you think the non-Evangelicals making this film showed enough respect for their subjects? Do you think the subjects show the same level of tolerance for the filmmakers? Why do you think the subjects in this film allowed the filmmakers into their lives?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The church members aren't all white, but they are openly exclusionary otherwise -- no alternative lifestyles allowed here, this religion is the "right" one, and evolution is wrong.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Kids get distressed and cry in religious fervor. In one scene their mouths are covered in tape as part of a protest. A right-to-life advocate talks about how many children abortions have killed since Roe v. Wade.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false0

    Language: People speak in tongues in a few scenes. Lots of judgmental and militaristic statements on both sides of the issue.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Pepsi cups all over the camp. Whole industry related to religion; music, books, etc.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue

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