YMMV: God's Not Dead

  • Actor Allusion: Averted. Consider the missed opportunity of having Kevin Sorbo and Dean Cain together in a film that isn't Hercules vs. Superman.
  • 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.
  • Critical Research Failure: It is a shock that moviegoers weren't blinded by the many glaring flaws, right down to meaning behind the phrase "God is Dead". 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.
  • 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.
  • Fan Nickname: Professor Hercules.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 alienate atheist 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.
  • Unfortunate Implication: At the end all the Atheist characters are suffering, have cancer, or is dead. It almost looks like the movie is trying to kill anyone who is Atheist.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 taking 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). 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.
  • 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.