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The Shack

The Shack

Directed by Stuart Hazeldine. Starring Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Tim McGraw, Radha Mitchell, Avraham Aviv Alush, Sumire Matsubara. (2017, PG-13, 132 min.)

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., March 10, 2017

"Stop talking in riddles,” our hero Mack (Worthington) cries out to the earthly personification of God (Spencer) during one of their conversations in the titular shack. You might feel much the same way as this slow, Christian-themed movie nears, and then passes, the two-hour mark.

Based on William P. Young’s bestselling novel, The Shack details the spiritual journey of Mack Phillips, a family man who loses his faith after his youngest daughter is abducted and murdered by a serial killer. One day, he finds a mysterious letter in his mailbox that’s signed by Papa (his wife’s pet name for God). The typewritten note invites him to visit the shack where his daughter died. Out for vengeance, Mack arrives at the remote location and is met by human personifications of the Christian trinity: an African-American woman is God (the aforementioned Spencer), a Middle Eastern carpenter is Jesus (Alush), and an Asian woman (Matsubara) is the Holy Spirit. They talk a lot about why bad things happen to good people and why God declines to interfere in human activities. The discussions are kind of interesting, although a bit circular and repetitious.

Avatar’s Worthington is adept at playing a tortured soul, but his American accent and dramatic range are both wanting in this movie. Tim McGraw plays Mack’s neighbor, and narrates the story – which inadvertently throws into question the entire drama since there’s no way his character could know about the traumatic events that occurred during Mack’s childhood as well as the curious events that take place at the shack. As usual, Octavia Spencer is game, and her God the Father has a playful lightness of spirit. Also to the film’s credit is its willingness to dip into the deep end of dark matters instead of shying away from harsh truths and hard-earned faithlessness. Still, The Shack plods toward the Almighty – even when its characters are walking on water.

Cinemark Hill Country Galleria 14

12812 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave  800/326-3264

www.cinemark.com/theater_showtimes.asp?theater_id=377

TUE MAR 28

digital: 11:40am, 3:00, 6:30, 9:50

WED MAR 29

digital: 11:40am, 3:00, 6:30, 9:50

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock  800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

TUE MAR 28

digital: 12:35, 3:40, 6:50

WED MAR 29

digital: 12:35, 3:40, 6:50

THU MAR 30

digital: 12:35, 3:40, 6:50

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35  800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

TUE MAR 28

digital: 4:00

WED MAR 29

digital: 4:00

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown  512/868-9922

TUE MAR 28

1:10, 4:10, 7:20, 10:25

WED MAR 29

1:10, 4:10, 7:20, 10:25

THU MAR 30

1:10, 4:10, 7:20, 10:25

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop  512/321-0123

www.schulmantheatres.com

TUE MAR 28

9:55am, 1:15, 4:10

WED MAR 29

9:55am, 1:15, 4:10

THU MAR 30

9:55am, 1:15, 4:10

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B  512/501-3520

www.themoviehouse.com/austin/

TUE MAR 28

12:00, 3:30, 7:00, 10:25

WED MAR 29

12:00, 3:30, 7:00, 10:25

THU MAR 30

12:00, 3:30, 7:00, 10:25

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos  512/805-8000

TUE MAR 28

3:00, 9:15

WED MAR 29

3:00, 9:15

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar Blvd  512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

TUE MAR 28

CC/DVS: 12:00, 3:05, 6:00, 9:05

WED MAR 29

CC/DVS: 12:00, 3:05, 6:00, 9:05

THU MAR 30

CC/DVS: 12:45, 3:45
READ MORE
More Sam Worthington Films
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Marjorie Baumgarten, Nov. 4, 2016

The Keeping Room
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Josh Kupecki, Oct. 2, 2015

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
The Last Word
A young writer has to pen a woman's obituary before she dies

March 24, 2017

Actor Martinez
A meta-movie about a struggling actor

March 24, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

The Shack, Stuart Hazeldine, Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Tim McGraw, Radha Mitchell, Avraham Aviv Alush, Sumire Matsubara

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