The Shack
Review by Ross Anthony

First and foremost, I was inspired. In its middle section, The Shack connects with some strong emotional and soulful scenes that resonate and may even make you cry. Isn't that why we venture to see films like these? That said, you'll need some patience to get there. The set-up is a bit contrived with "hard times" moments seemingly stacked one on top of the other. While the production value is strong, the tale begins to unfold a tab bit on the stiff and hokey side.

It takes quite a while for our hero, played sympathetically by Sam Worthington, to get to the shack. But once there, the production takes on a whole new brave feel. It's about forgiveness, self-forgiveness, and moving on from clear tragedy. The film proclaims the shack as the location of a conversation with God within the first two minutes of run time, so I don't think I'm spoiling anything here.

That conversation is emotional, spiritual, philosophic, a little new-agey even, and surprisingly edgy. It's not without its faults and sticky moments, but what a pleasure really, to see a film that braves these tough themes instead of blowing up some computer-generated object.

The Shack should have rested there, but apparently producers couldn't resist a hokey Wizard of Oz resolution, ending on the same awkward stiffness with which it began.

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • The Shack. Copyright © 2017.
  • Starring Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Aviv Alush, Radha Mitchell, Alice Braga, Graham Greene (II), Tim McGraw, Sumire Matsubara. Directed by Stuart Hazeldine. Lionsgate.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Tuesday, 18-Apr-2017 14:48:54 PDT