I love the Kendrick Brothers (a.k.a. Sherwood Pictures) movies: FLYWHEEL, FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS – they’re all about ordinary people with realistically portrayed lives. Although not true stories, they sure could be. These are characters that the average audience can relate to, and I bet some of them even remind you of people you know. The Kendrick Brothers’ newest movie, WAR ROOM, is no exception. It’s filled with more of the authentic characters loved by millions in previous Kendrick Brothers’ films.
In this movie, Tony and Elizabeth Jordan have it all – great jobs, a beautiful daughter, and their dream house. But appearances can be deceiving. The Jordans’ world is actually crumbling under the strain of a failing marriage. While Tony basks in his professional success and flirts with temptation, Elizabeth resigns herself to increasing bitterness.
The Jordans’ lives take an unexpected turn when Elizabeth meets her newest client, Miss Clara, and is challenged to establish a “war room” and a battle plan of prayer for her family. As Elizabeth fights for her marriage, Tony’s hidden struggles come to light, and he has a difficult decision to make. The outcome of this emotional rollercoaster proves Miss Clara’s wisdom that victories don’t come by accident.
In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Alex Kendrick explained his hopes for WAR ROOM: “We pray that the movie will be a catalyst to inspire greater faith, hope, and love in viewers. It’s always needed and always changes things for the better. Lastly, this movie packs a strong message about the power of prayer. We believe that what God did with marriages through FIREPROOF and with fatherhood through COURAGEOUS, He will do with strategic prayer through WAR ROOM.”
The release of WAR ROOM couldn’t have come at a better time. America needs a spiritual revival, and revival is always preceded by fervent prayer. “There is so much division, hurt, and hopelessness right now in our cities and nation,” said Alex, adding: “We’ve forgotten that America was founded by people of prayer. The stats show that married couples and families that pray are exponentially stronger. Everything can change in anyone’s life when they genuinely connect with God and begin to encounter Him personally through answered prayer. There is no issue or problem in our homes, families, or nation that prayer cannot address if we would learn to approach God the right way and pray in faith.”
In a BeliefNet interview, Stephen Kendrick stated, “WAR ROOM is an inspiring journey showing how to fight your battles on your knees strategically in prayer. It’s been amazing to watch God work in and through this. We saw many answers to prayer on set and now see the Lord’s wisdom in the timing of this movie hitting now with what is going on in our nation. The church needs to learn to pray in unity and in power again. And we’re seeing a hunger for this in the body of Christ right now. We are excited about what a renewed emphasis on prayer could mean for families and the church.”
The cast of WAR ROOM includes Priscilla Shirer who makes her film debut as Elizabeth Jordan. Shirer’s performance is so brilliant and genuine, it’s hard to believe she isn’t even a professional actress! In real life, Priscilla and her husband, Jerry, co-founded internationally recognized Going Beyond Ministries. Karen Abercrombie (Miss Clara) also gives a powerful performance in the film. T.C. Stallings (Tony Jordan) has a great screen presence and he did some amazing stunts. The movie includes a cameo by Bible study teacher/author Beth Moore.
Fans will be delighted to see the Kendrick Brothers’ trademark comedic touches, plot twists, and references to their other films, as well as some actors from their previous movies (including appearances by Alex and Stephen Kendrick themselves). If you’ve seen Mandie and the Secret Tunnel or Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure, you will recognize an actor from there, too. Aaron Burns from Beyond the Mask was one of the producers, and Burns Family Studios worked on visual effects for WAR ROOM.
WAR ROOM is suitable for the whole family, but young children probably won’t find the dialogue-heavy plot very interesting unless maybe they’re girls or they like jumping rope. There are no firefighters or policemen in this movie; just an old lady, a real estate agent, and a pharmaceutical salesman – as well as a young daughter who is visibly distressed by her parents arguing. The two-hour movie mostly consists of conversations about business, prayer, and family problems – mixed with a bit of humor, drama, and Double Dutch action.
WAR ROOM is a vivid reminder that prayer is a powerful weapon in spiritual warfare. There is one intense scene where you almost expect a door to slam or the lights to flicker, but then again this isn’t Poltergeist. Some moviegoers will find WAR ROOM too preachy, but at the very least it may motivate you to clean out your closet – and hopefully the movie will inspire you to become a dedicated prayer warrior.
WAR ROOM ends with a bold call to action from 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
WAR ROOM was released nationwide in theaters on August 28th. If you didn’t already go on opening weekend, be sure to see it soon! You may also like these related resources: