I Can Only Imagine: A Film Review

I love the song I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe. It came out when I was in high school and I knew it first as a Christian song, then a phenomenon that even the popular radio stations were playing. It played everywhere. For months.

Haven’t heard the song? Take a listen really quickly and then come right back.

Its lyrics hit home for a lot of people, and I have always loved the honesty of asking the questions of what it will be like in Heaven. I never imagined (see what I did there?) that the story behind it was so powerfully moving.

The Film: I Can Only Imagine

I was placed on a list for Christian movie previews a few years back (I’m not sure how, but I love it!) and have attended some pretty great Christian movies. I’ve also watched several cheesy ones on Netflix and through Redbox. Usually, I convince Superman to watch with me, and he does so,  expecting cheese, bad acting, and a contrived plot.

Not so with this film.

“I Can Only Imagine” is a true story, featuring real characters in real situations. It’s the story of a boy whose father is abusive. A young adult whose path is sure, but filled with the debris of his past. It’s the story of two men, experiencing the redemptive power of God’s love.

The characters have moments that made the packed preview audience laugh, audibly gasp, and cry. The emotions displayed on the screen are emotions we’ve all felt.

Now to the part my husband usually dislikes most: the acting. Simply put, it was stellar. Broadway’s J. Michael Finley stars as Bart Millard and the man is a vocal powerhouse. He’s funny, relatable, and (dare I say?) a bit quirky. His Bart is raised by Dennis Quaid’s Arthur. Dennis Quaid is a fine actor and this film proves no exception. Other players are Trace Adkins, Cloris Leachman, and Madeline Carroll.

When Can You Watch It?

You have a while before “I Can Only Imagine” comes out (March 16, 2018), but please do yourself a favor and go see it. As Christians, it’s a story that we all need to be reminded of what Jesus can do. As Catholics, the timing of the release of this redemption film, during Lent, is ideal.

It’s early now, but as we approach the release date, we’ll be rerunning this post. It really is such a good film; better than I had imagined. I hope you’ll check it out! In the meantime, head over to the movie website and explore. In the comments, we’d love to know what you think about the song, as well.

About The Author

Hail Marry Blog

We’re Kristi & Rachel: best friends married to two awesome guys that we met on Catholic Match.


  1. Lindsay | 11th Oct 17

    I know what you mean about the cheesy acting but I’m so excited that the actors were stellar! I love Dennis Quaid! So excited to tell hubby about this one!

  2. Caitlyn Anderson (Mrs. Andy) | 11th Oct 17

    I can’t wait to see it!!!!!!

  3. tojesussincerely | 11th Oct 17

    I love to support faith-based movies!

  4. everydaythoughtsbybrittany | 11th Oct 17

    Wow this sounds awesome! I’m going to mark my calendar to make sure I see this when it comes out. It’s good to hear that the acting is incredible too! 🙂

  5. pwcamy | 11th Oct 17

    I’m both jealous and excited that you got to see this movie already!!! I LOVE the song and am so excited about the movie! Seriously, the song just lifts my heart and spirit. I’m so relieved to hear the movie is well done!

  6. Kimberly Cook | 11th Oct 17

    Another movie for the list – and I especially appreciate the true inspirational stories.

  7. momstersraisingmonsters | 12th Oct 17

    I always think I’d love to watch Christian movies, it’s such a great idea: goes along with my values, nothing inappropriate, great message. Not gonna lie though, many times I’m disappointed. With a lower budget, we can get some mediocre acting and terrible effects, and it does take away the “entertaining” aspect for me, and then I’d rather not spend my time on it, and read a book instead. (I’m kinda picky about the movies I watch I guess.) So I’m really glad to hear this positive review!! It’s a movie I’m definitely interested in!!

    • Hail Marry Blog | 12th Oct 17

      They’re my guilty pleasure, but this one is very well-made.

  8. hairbows4life | 12th Oct 17

    Oh, I can’t wait. It’s one of my favorite song! Something about it that has always moved me! Thank you for sharing the review!

  9. Rick Agee | 15th Oct 17

    Wow, I knew you were going to this and am excited that it was well worth it! Great review and look forward to seeing it too! With sooo many re-makes coming out of Hollywood these days, it is always nice to see something new and refreshing. It is also nice to see a well-made and acted movie with values. I don’t know if you ever saw “Risen”, but I thought it was extremely well done and very enjoyable as well. Lastly, great job on the blog, DD!

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