THE JESUS MUSIC – A Review by Cynthia Flores

THE JESUS MUSIC – A Review by Cynthia Flores

When I watched this film, I expected it to just be a whitewashed commercial for CCM. That is Contemporary Christian Music to the uninitiated. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find an even-handed documentary on how the movement began. It’s also an intimate look at the cost most of these groundbreaking artists paid for making their kind of new music for the Lord.   

The film takes us to the surprising beginning of the birth of “Jesus Music” in America. When young people from the 1960’s counterculture movement (hippies) came to the churches that would have them. With long hair and bare feet, they sang moving songs of faith and love, that would become a worldwide phenomenon.

In between candid interviews with the music’s biggest stars such as Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, TobyMac, and Kirk Franklin, the film lays out this music’s humble beginnings at the Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California. It also shows the pain points of morphing into the multibillion-dollar industry Christian Contemporary Music is today. 

The press notes say, “this is the definitive love letter to CCM fans from the Erwin Brothers who co-directed this documentary.” But I think it’s deeper than that. As the film shares stories of trials, tribulations, and triumphs, these artists’ anointing in the music shines through. Jesus Music brought back many memories of listening to bands like Stryper and DC Talk as a teen in the church. I’m sure that Christian audiences of all ages will remember where they stood on the topic of CCM when this worldly-sounding music first came out. 

I give Jesus Music a 4-star rating. It’s an illuminating look at something that has touched and entertained people worldwide. 


Directed by: Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin

Written by: Jon Erwin

Rated: NR

Selig Rating: 4 Stars

Running Time: min

Documentary / Music

Theatrical Release: October 1st, AMC Theaters and Cinemark Theaters

Starring: Interviews with – Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, TobyMac, Kirk Franklin, Lauren Daigle, Bill Reeves, Eddie DeGarmo, Kevin Max, and Bill Gaither


The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

4 Stars – Good movie

3 Stars – OK movie

2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.

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