I Can Only Imagine | Movie Review

It’s one of those songs that feels like it has been around forever, and yet never ages, nor do we grow tired of it. I Can Only Imagine became a hit in the early 2000’s. To date it has sold more than 9 million units, was the first Christian song to go platinum and double-platinum for digital downloads and has topped multiple Christian and secular charts making it one of the most popular songs by a Christian artist in history.

Bart Millard’s lyrics are both beautiful and memorable. The composition is timeless and his mellifluous tones are rich and soulful.

Starting today, I Can Only Imagine the movie hits screens across the nation, giving audiences a glimpse into the story behind the hit song by Christian rock band Mercy Me.

A couple of weeks ago, I was treated to a special screening ahead of the general release. Truth be told, a benefit of the position and industry in which I serve is that I sometimes get invited to pre-screenings of feature films but I’m not always able to attend. On this occasion, I cleared my diary and made a special effort to get along. For a long time, I’ve had an interest in Millard’s song ever since we used to sing it at church. I’m sure like so many, I wonder what it will be like to be standing in front of Jesus on the day he calls me ‘home’? Will I stand in awe, will I be able to speak at all? What drove me to the screen was the desire to hear what motivated these lyrics? What was the backstory?

This won’t be one of those reviews which gives too much away, other than to say I Can Only Imagine is filled with young ambition, tragedy, comedy, creative passion and redemption. It’s a beautiful true story of the power of forgiveness, and be warned… you’ll want to be equipped with a handkerchief or two. One of my favourite moments in the film is where Millard is given the opportunity of a lifetime to perform in place of his mentor. It’s one of those goosebumps-on-goosebumps moments. The performance is exciting, and the singing must be heard at the theatre to fully appreciate it. The movie features a great cast including Priscilla Shirer, Dennis Quad and in his first movie-theatrical, Broadway actor J. Michael Finley.

You’re not going to want to sit this one out until it makes it onto ACCTV – I’d highly recommend getting a few friends together and seeing it on the big screen. If you want a sneak peek at what you’re going to see, here is the link to the trailer.