warroomWhen Not To Mind Your Business
The War Room
Stars: Priscilla Shirer, T. C. Stallings, Karen Abercrombie, Alex Kendrick, Michael Jr., Alena Pitts, Robert Amaya and Beth Moore
Director: Alex Kendrick
Scriptwriters: Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick
Composer: Paul Mills
Kendrick Brothers Productions/Tristar Pictures
Rating: PG, but a strong PG rating
Running Length: 120 minutes
Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick started small in the movie business. Their niche being religious movies in which prayers are part of the dialogue and stories about faith and redemption. They have gone from “Facing The Giants” (2006) to “Fireproof “ (2008) to “Courageous” (2011) to the current, “The War Room.” Each time audiences have increased, production values and acting have improved and now they have a hit on their hands.  “The War Room,” not to be confused with other films of the same name referencing military, concerns the power of prayer and finding that special place in your own home to pray. “War” here meaning going against mistrust, lies and whatever else creeps into one’s life. Alex Kendrick is the writer/director/actor and Stephen Kendrick is the producer.
The story of  “The War Room” centers on a husband, Tony (T. J. Stallings) and his wife, Elizabeth (Priscilla Shirer), with daughter Danielle (Alena Pitts.) On the surface, they have a great life, with Tony being a salesman for a pharmaceutical firm, Elizabeth is a realtor and Danielle is into competitive jump roping. One of Elizabeth’s clients is Ms. Clara (Karen Abercrombie) who is trying to sell her house. The two women become friends, with Ms. Clara strongly suggesting prayer to take care of home matters and having one’s own place in the house to pray. Eventually, we see the loneliness of Elizabeth with Tony being gone quite a bit (flirting) and Danielle caught up in other activities. It is when Elizabeth actually finds out what Tony has been up to and the consequences, that prayer really comes to the forefront. Where else can you turn?  When wrongs are done can people start over?  Forgive and be forgiven?
Acting is fairly well done, with Priscilla Shirer and Karen Abercrombie  as the female leads, and plenty of dialogue to expound. Some of which doesn't hit the mark as when Elizabeth is trying to find a prayer room in her home.  Alena Pitts as the daughter, Danielle, is energetic. T. J. Stallings hits the mark as Tony, with much to face in his life that he used to think was near perfect. 
What works for “The War Room” is that religion is not hidden to be glimpsed occasionally, but is in front of you, prayers, confession, forgiveness, facing consequences, redemption, it is all there. What doesn't work, is adding situations such as an attempted robbery or Ms. Clara doing a dance. At two hours, some segments could have been trimmed.  Humorous parts have a running joke about Liz’s feet, and how Tony is afraid to eat her cooking. All in all, “The War Room” is doing well by being released over the Labor Day Weekend and in mainstream theaters. In some parts of the country, this particular weekend meant rain, so people went to the movies and some may have experienced insight.
Copyright 2015 Marie Asner
For another Kendrick Production film review, see the following.