Movie Review: I Can Only Imagine

Life has been extremely busy lately, but in need of a break, I finally had the opportunity to see the movie I Can Only Imagine.

The song I Can Only Imagine became the first Christian song to go platinum.  The song has touched numerous hearts and lives over the years.

The movie, I Can Only Imagine, shares how the song came into being.

The movie begins when Barth Millard was still a child.  A child that was struggling to survive with an abusive father.  His mother sends him to a Christian camp, where he begins to learn about God, before she walks out on his father.

Bart is left alone with his abusive father and does everything he can to please his father and find a way to connect with him.  However, we also discover the people that begin to influence his life and how music gradually plays a larger and larger role in his life.

After graduating high school Millard cannot wait to leave home and eventually begins his band, Mercy Me.  Millard also has an opportunity to meet large names such as Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant. However, he can only run for so long before returning home. 

But, he is in for a surprise when he returns.  His father has changed and is a different man.

Millard says in the film, “My Dad was a monster, and I saw God transform him.  He became the type of man I wanted to become.”

Millard struggles with understanding why when he finally has the father he’d always longed for; his father is taken from him.

The film has some tense moments at times with the abuse but does not show any extremely violence.  There are also many lighthearted moments as Millard struggles to survive using his humor and music and the romance he shares with Shannon {who would eventually become his wife}.

Huge names such as Priscilla Shirer, Cloris Leachman and Trace Adkins star in the movie, with Broadway star J. Michael Finley making his film debut as Bart Millard.   But, Dennis Quaid, who plays the father, is amazing in his depiction of a man who was once a monster and is transformed.

As Millard performs I Can Only Imagine for the first time on stage, tears streamed down my cheek.  By the time the credits rolled, and I listened to the song for a second time, my heart was in a state of worship to the Lord.

I have seen many of my friends on social media say, “I Can Only Imagine is my new favorite movie” and I can understand why.  I definitely encourage you to see the movie.


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