Movie Review: The Apostle (1997)

Scary, heartwarming, or both? __ 9.5/10

You can search far and wide for movies that are authentically American, yet so unique that they defy being categorized. The Apostle would be on a very short list, possibly the only entry. You’re struck by what in the heck was going on in writer-director Robert Duvall’s life to create such a revealing and deep story of the Best of the Bible Belt.

Are these people of faith the best? Is the leader of this Fort Worth, Texas-based, richly funded evangelical church an example of the best of the best? Or are they sinners like everyone else? I’ll answer that question without giving anything away: they’re sinners like everyone else, and Sonny clearly more so. But it isn’t obvious, nor can I pass judgment on the man without fear of contradiction. Indeed, you will find that among freethinking secular persons—such as yours truly—a lively discussion emerges as to whether the preacher man Sonny Dewey, later Apostle E.F., exemplifies destructive or constructive qualities of character. Continue reading