A film about morality, faith, hope, and recovery. A young singer returns home to find his father's once-powerful congregation in disarray. With his childhood nemesis creating a "new vision" for the church, he is forced to ... more »deal with family, career, and relationship issues that send him on a collision course with redemption or destruction.« less
Absolutely incredible music. The story is familiar, and worthy of respect. I highly recommend this!
Lisa B. from SUDBURY, MA Reviewed on 8/31/2012...
Amazing music and a good christian story of a prodigal son.
Clap Your Hands
D. Hupp | Woodbridge, VA United States | 01/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A story of redemption, pride, jealousy, and reconciliation. STRONG cast with a stirring gospel soundtrack. Although others have criticized the camera work and editing, those aspects of the movie neither bothered me nor detracted from my enjoyment of this uplifting film. I found that the acting, music, and story were engaging and enjoyable. The singing performances of the choral groups and such gospel stars as Yolanda Adams, Fred Hammonds, Mom Winans, and Martha Munizzi combined nicely with, and elegantly complemented, the fine dramatic work of Idris Elba, Omar Gooding, Nona Gaye, and Clifton Powell. AMERICAN IDOL finalist Tamyra Gray shined in her acting and singing roles and showed that she has a bright future. Not an award winning film, but very entertaining. 4 solid stars."
S. Otey | Keansburg, USA | 11/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although the movie itself isn't the greatest, the music more than makes up for it. You will stay for the credits just to continue to hear the music. Not all will like this type of music but for those that are used to it and for others that are hearing it for the first time with an open heart and mind, it is heart lifting, toe tapping and a definite swaying in your seat. I heartily reccomend it."
An exciting film about the church
Dorrie Wheeler | 01/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Gospel, one of the most exciting movies ever released about the black church, is now available on DVD. Boris Kodjoe (Soulfood), stars as David Taylor. David, the son of a popular minister, leaves the church after the untimely death of his mother and goes on to be a successful R&B singer. After his father, portrayed by popular character actor Clifton Powell, becomes ill, David returns to the fold of the family church which is in financial crisis. Not everyone is glad to see David return. Some members of the church, particularly his former childhood friend, Reverend Charles Frank, don't know if it's such a good idea to have a well known secular singer in the fold. David finds himself comfortable back in the church and implements his ideas into rejuvenating the congregation. In addition to his new role with the church David also finds love with a church member named Rain (Tamyra Gray). David's manager Wesley, (Omar Gooding), spends his time trying to get his artist back into the lifestyle they have become accustomed to and back on the road.
The Gospel is an excellent film and includes cameos from some of the biggest names in gospel music including Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, and Yolanda Adams. Despite the big names that have small roles in the film, it's the newcomers such as former American Idol contestant Tamarya Gray and Idris Elba who offer surprisingly good performances. Boris Kodjoe also shows and proves that he is much more than just a pretty face with his performance in The Gospel.
There were just a few little things about the movie that irked me. Oscar, Tamarya Grays other love interest was always shown in his uniform for the most part. As a military spouse, I think it's a bit odd that they showed Oscar in his uniform so much even when he wasn't working. Also, there was an underlying storyline of strife/sexual dysfunction between the Nona Gaye character and her husband Reverend Charles Frank. This storyline wasn't well developed. Other than those two things it's a great film.
DVD Special Features -Filmmakers Commentary -Deleted Scenes -Making-Of Featurette -Extended Musical Performances -Photo Montage
The Prodigal Son...with terrific music!
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 01/04/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There is something about THE GOSPEL that makes you want to like it: some fine actors (Boris Kodjoe, Idris Elba, Clifton Powell, Tamyra Gray, Aloma Wright, Nona Gaye) and some really terrific gospel singing. Writer/director Rob Hardy stretches the biblical tale of the Prodigal Son to the updated story of the son of a bishop of an evangelical church who runs away to become a R&B singing star only to return to his father when cancer of the prostate signals the end of his life. The 'other' son has inherited the mantle of the bishop with special interests deflecting his commitment to the bishop's origins and the Prodigal Son finally finds acceptance in offering his talents to further the original dream of his father.
The script is conversationally pedestrian but the actors do their best to make credible characters. There is a sense of commitment from the cast of extras that leaves a warm afterglow, but in the end this is a slight story saved by some fine music. Grady Harp, January 05"
The Prodigal Son retold with Great Gospel Music
Mark J. Fowler | Okinawa, Japan | 01/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Gospel tells a simple story that doesn't twist and turn, but rather falls naturally from the believable characters created in Rob Hardy's screenplay and under his direction. Hardy has wisely filled his movie with absolutely glorious Gospel music created by electrifying choirs and real Gospel greats like Fred Hammond and Yolanda Adams. The movie is never more than one scene away from one with glorious music and as soon as I finish this review I'm going to order the soundtrack.
The story is not difficult to follow. Clifton Powell as Bishop Fred Taylor has built a thriving church in Atlanta, and he is a devoted Pastor. So devoted that his son leaves home as a young man when the Bishop's wife passes away while the Bishop is conducting church services. In the opening scene we see the son, David, telling the Bishop "I hate you. You always have time for the church, but you never have time for us", on his way out of the hospital.
15 years later we see that David Taylor has become a hip-hop singer right on the cusp of megastardom. He's played by Boris Kodjoe as a handsome, brooding man. He has a manager, played by Omar Gooding (with more than a slight resemblance to older brother Cuba) named Wesley who keeps "D.T." supplied with gigs and women. David gets a phone call from his father's secretary, Ernestine (played by Aloma Wright), who tells him that the Bishop has become ill and could David come home.
Against Wesley's wishes, David interrupts his tour as it's gaining momentum to return to the church, where he finds his teenaged friend Charles Frank has become a Reverend as well - associate pastor to the Bishop, married to his cousin Charlene, and the heir apparent to the church.
The Reverend Charles Frank is an arrogant man who is quick with a discouraging word for his wife. Another associate, Minister Hunter (played well by singer Donnie McClurkin), can't understand when the Bishop decides to turn the pulpit over to the brash Reverend Frank, but agrees to stay with the church at the request of the Bishop.
This is the part of the movie that builds sympathy for wayward son David, who returns home with different eyes and sees the noble, charitable work that his father has been doing for decades. He accompanies his father to a retirement home where he's told that the Bishop always comes, at least twice a week, even though everyone there knows he doesn't have time for it.
The movie builds as a battle between the worldly David, who returns home as the performer of sexy secular songs, but builds in determination to not lose the legacy of his father, and Reverend Frank, who "stayed true" to the church and the Bishop, but now seems to have lost the vision of anything except himself in the church spotlight.
By the end of the film the words and body language of all the characters are that "it's all good", and that the strife that has filled the hour and a half preceding is resolved. We know that real life doesn't work that quickly, but we can believe that in real life, it may work out just as well. The music helps. It's reassuring to see a mainstream film made about people of faith and their real-world struggles. If not for the fact that the final scene seems out of place with several rapid "changes of heart" I'd give the film 5 stars. As it is, it's well worth your time - I'd say mandatory if you want to hear some glorious gospel music."