YMMV: God's Not Dead

  • Anvilicious: To the point that Faith Street could review the movie with 4 words; "Atheist bad, Christians Good".
  • Critical Dissonance: The film currently has a 17% rating from critics but also an 82% rating from viewers on Rotten Tomatoes. Metacritic, on the other hand, is much more uniform, with a critical score of 16 and a user score of 3.1.
  • Critic-Proof: Despite being pummeled by secular movie critics and even some discerning Christian movie critics, it grossed more than 60 million dollars in the US, which is both very rare for a propaganda film (of any kind) and actually pretty remarkable given its shoestring budget of two million dollars.
  • Critical Research Failure: It is a shock that moviegoers weren't blinded by the many glaring flaws. Especially in every one of Josh's defenses. So as to not fill up this page with a Wall of Text here is a well researched and very detailed article from a REAL Atheist Professor of Philosophy.
  • Don't Shoot the Message: Not surprisingly, a number of Christians have the harshest critiques of the film.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Invoked for Radisson, after being hit by a car and converting as he dies, it's jarring to hear one of the missionaries saying that what happened "Is a cause for celebration". That's right, the fact that someone has just died is something to be happy about, and it becomes worse when it's shown that Radisson's girlfriend texted him as he laid dead on the street. How do you think she is going to react when she learns he's dead?.
    • Considering the way he treated her, she probably would be somewhat sad, but not exactly traumatized that he's gone.
  • Glurge: The way this movie portrays non-Christians (including Muslims) as bad people, and Christians as invariably good, sends the message that other religions are worthless. Then again, this movie was always intended as a propaganda piece.
    • Actually subverted: The Muslim father is an amazingly sympathetic Anti-Villain; and Josh's girlfriend, despite being a Christian, isn't exactly a positive character. Though it is unknown if this was intentional on the movie's part. Considering the My God, What Have I Done? reaction of the father and the fact that Josh's response to his girlfriend's attitude is to break up with her, it probably is.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Radisson, an Atheist professor who challenges his students to prove God is real, is played by the son of Zeus himself, Kevin Sorbo. Doubly hilarious because in that show "Kevin Sorbo" is actually just Hercules' modern identity. Cue Snark Bait.
    • Sorbo also had an entire television show where he fought against admirers of Nietzsche. Here, he plays a professor that admires him (or at least misinterprets his works just as heavily as the Nietzscheans).
  • Hype Backlash: The fact that this movie is admittedly one of the first among other agenda-driven films released in 2014 which were made with support and endorsement from the Christian Right (including Persecuted which is about a very conservative and outspoken Christian pastor who opposes a bill that would give all religions equal treatment note  and thus becomes the target of political persecution by the U.S. government, Uncommon which is about a high school banning all forms of religious expression, and A Matter Of Faith which is about a Christian father standing up against the teaching of evolution in his daughter's college biology class), has drawn to it heavy criticism from secularists.
  • Idiot Plot: The entire plot would've been avoided by a trip to the dean's office, who would have words with the Professor and sorted it out quite quickly. No university would allow the plot to happen, at all.
    • The bibliographical list in the end credits is clearly intended to dispute the "no university" part—claims that "they were faked" notwithstanding.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Whether intentional or not, Professor Radisson comes across this way, given the reasons for his anger at God and especially at the end where while everyone else is having fun at a concert, he dies in the rain before he can reconcile with Josh or his ex-girlfriend
  • Mood Whiplash: From Radisson's death and conversion immediately to Willie Robertson's text campaign.
  • Narm: Chock full of unintentional humor and after-school-special sermonizing.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Many of the Professors comments against Josh's speech are actually quite right. Like when Josh tried to describe all the horrors that go on in the world as God giving us free will. The Professor points out that has nothing to do with natural events like the spreed of viruses or devastating weather.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: While the subplots of the respective girlfriends of Radisson and Josh do support the central plot, the other stories could've complied two other films all their own: one for the stories of Amy and her Corrupt Corporate Executive boyfriend with an ailing mother; the other for the Muslim family. The comedy subplot of the two ministers and the car could even have been better integrated into the "debate" movie, perhaps by having Radisson show up to banter with the pastor about it, or something. As it stands, trying to cram way too many unrelated stories into one movie can easily make the film exhausting to watch.
    • The film could've been an interesting character study of why certain people believe in God, and some are atheists, while leaving it open to the viewer's interpretation—or at least make it so the atheist voice in the film isn't limited to one Jerkass. The film being so Anvilicious, in fact, may even serve to equally alienate atheist and Christian viewers.
    • Then there is the end where Radisson seems to have seen the error of his way and is heading to apologize to his ex-girlfriend. This would have made a much better conclusion to his story where he reconciles with his girlfriend, possibly admits to Josh that he was wrong to force his beliefs instead of teaching the class, and in doing so really develop his character where he might not believe in God he shouldn't be such a jerk to people that do. Instead it just hops to up and kill him and he converts to Jesus before he dies just to give a "no atheist in a foxhole" message.
    • Or the fact they could have just made the teacher a Trickster Mentor or a Stealth Mentor to get the students to do real research into their religion and think about it from a different point of view. You know what a Philosphy teacher is supposed to do.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: The Jerk Ass Businessman. It is made clear he does not want to visit his mother because of her dementia that has gotten so bad she can't even remember she has had the same meal for every meal for a week. Which to some people it is extremely painful for them to see their loved ones not even remember who they are and makes it a bit understandable as to why he doesn't want to see her.
    • Then there is Josh's Girlfriend. True she seems to be a big controlling and a little high strung but all of her actions show that she really does care about Josh and did love him. She clearly didn't want him to debate against Radission because she felt that upsetting such a highly influential teacher would cost him big time in his future all because of a personal matter. Which she was right as Radisson promised to do just that.Then there was the fact that she was willing to stay with him when they got into college where she admits she turned down two better colleges she favored just to be with him whereas Josh wouldn't even change one class because it would mess with his schedule, not to mention the fact her own mother did not approve of him but she defended him and stayed with him. And lastly there was how clearly she was hurt and shocked with how coldly Josh just agreed to break up with her when she gave him the option. Yet this movie tries to portray her as the Eve trying to corrupt Josh away from God.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Josh with the breakup of his girlfriend can be seen as this one all the facts are taken in. True his girlfriend seems to be a bit controlling (having planned 50 years of their future as a couple). However she does admit that to stay with him she denied two other better colleges. Josh never once said she didn't have to do that and he could have just taken a different class but didn't want to simply because it messed with his schedule. Not to mention the fact Josh doesn't react to the break up at all and doesn't even try to convince her otherwise (and from her reaction it was clear she was hoping he would and is shocked on how coldly he agrees to her suggestion). He just agrees to it and leaves her without a second thought.
    • Then there's the fact with Josh where some of his arguments to support his claims are nothing more than mean jabs at his teacher. (Of course...Radisson's jabs make Josh's look mild.}} But since Radisson is a Straw Man villain that is expected from him, whereas from the Pure Good Student undermines him.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Kevin Sorbo, the actor who played Raddison, is a devout Christian who thinks Atheists are hateful and angry (which is how he described in an interview how he got into character for the role) and couldn't have portrayed Atheists more inaccurately.note  Though, it makes sense the director didn't have an Atheist portray Raddison in a film that was clearly a propaganda piece against Atheism.
    • In a "straighter" example: The suave, handsome, heroic, and Badass Hercules as a teacher? Who's a total Jerkass with "grandma issues"?!?
    • Superman as a Corrupt Corporate Executive angsting about his mother's Alzheimer's?