GenreDrama Music directorMiriam Cutler WriterRichard Dutcher
Release dateMarch 10, 2000 CastRichard Dutcher (Elder Dalton), Matthew A. Brown (Elder Allen), Jacque Gray (Sister Fronk) Similar moviesThe Last Witch Hunter, Fish Tank, Factory Girl, The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, At the Edge of the Abyss, Jupiter Ascending
Life as a Mormon missionary isnt what 19-year-old Brandon Allen expected. Los Angeles is as unrepentant as Sodom and Gomorrah. Hes forced to share a small apartment with five young prank-loving missionaries and, to top it off, his first companion Marcus Dalton proves to be a harsh mentor. Allen is ready to hang up his necktie and go home, but he learns that the time has come to put away childish things, and to become more than just a man.
Gods Army is a 2000 film. It was written, directed by and features Richard Dutcher. It is an independent film and was financed by private investors.
Life as a Mormon missionary isn't what 19-year-old Brandon Allen expected: so many rules and so few successes. Los Angeles is as unrepentant as Sodom and Gomorrah. He's forced to share a small apartment with five young prank-loving missionaries and, to top it off, his first companion, 29-year-old Marcus Dalton, proves to be a harsh mentor. After only one day as a missionary, Allen is ready to hang up his necktie and go home. Allen becomes a part of the drama occurring under the everyday surface of missionary life. After only a few intense days, Allen finds faith he didn't know he had, and courage he didn't know he lacked. He learns that the time has come to put away childish things, and to become more than just a manto become a man of God.
Gods Army is about Mormon missionaries as they struggle with their work and, almost inevitably, their faith. The movie focuses on a pair of missionaries, Elder Allen (Brown) and Elder Dalton (Dutcher) serving as missionaries in Los Angeles, California ("Elder" is an office in the Priesthood and a title male LDS missionaries use while serving missions). Dalton is a seasoned missionary and Allen is a new recruit paired with Dalton to be trained.
Allen questions his reason for being on a mission. He is a somewhat faithful member of the church, but his father was excommunicated from the church and his mother doesnt attend anymore.
Dalton proves to be a demanding taskmaster and he demands much of Allen—almost too much in Allens eyes. Allen teeters on the brink of leaving his two-year mission almost as soon as it begins. Allen witnesses another missionary lose his faith and abandon his own mission. Allen changes his mind as he finds the sacrifices others have made to be on a mission, such as ostricization from family. His own companion, Elder Dalton, dropped out of medical school to serve a mission and is fighting a losing battle with brain cancer. After a trial of his faith and some earnest soul searching, Allen finds untapped courage and embraces his work as a messenger of God.
Matthew A. Brown as Elder Allen
Richard Dutcher as Elder Dalton
Jacque Gray as Sister Fronk
DeSean Terry as Elder Banks
Michael Buster as Elder Kinegar
Luis Robledo as Elder Sandoval "the Lamanite"
Jeff Kelly as Elder Mangum
John Pentecost as President Beecroft
Lynne Carr as Sister Beecroft
Richard Dutcher directed Gods Army and States of Grace. Richard Dutcher directed Gods Army and appears in The Singles Ward. The Errand of Angels (2008). Richard Dutcher directed Gods Army and Brigham City. The Saratov Approach (2013).
This movie was taken on a tour of North America for special engagements. It was primarily intended for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) audiences, but non-LDS viewers were also welcome to showings. The film was well received by its target LDS audience but was met with some confusion by non-LDS viewers.
Many professional critics were pleased at Dutchers willingness to address some of the more sensitive issues of the LDS Church, such as their past denial to allow black members into the LDS priesthood. They also enjoyed the look into missionaries struggles and the work they face. Despite this, some felt the film was too apologetic. It currently has a Metacritic score of 38/100, indicating "generally unfavorable" reviews, and holds a score 0f 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.
As of December 2014 the films box office sales ranked 38th all-time among Christian films.