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FEATURED AUTHOR

Jonathan Decker

Meet Author Jonathan Decker

Jonathan Decker is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a family life educator. He has a passion for film and performance, having written, directed, and starred in several independent films as well as writing for and acting in the popular BYU comedy group Divine Comedy. Jonathan writes Hollywood film reviews from an LDS perspective at his website www.mormonmovieguy.com. He hosts a weekly classic film segment on The KJZZ Movie Show. His book, 250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families, coming September 10 through Cedar Fort Publishing, is now available for pre-order here.

Author's Published Articles
2014-10-24

If you're not a Halloween lover, Thriller isn't for you, but if you like a bit of spookiness, the choreography is stunning....

2014-10-17

“Tremendous happiness and peace of mind are the results of loving service to others. Nobody can live fully and happily who li...

2014-10-03

"Why me?" This ubiquitous cry of the suffering displays an urgent craving for answers. We try desperately to find reasons for o...

2014-09-19

While some dads are deadbeats and some mothers truly do an amazing job raising kids on their own, the lasting effects of a grea...

2014-09-12

You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy Fiddler on the Roof, Catholic to love Rudy, or an evangelical Christian to be a fan of Th...

2014-08-29

There's a little secret that great public speakers know....

2014-08-22

As an examination of the dangerous pursuit of "happily-ever-after" and the sometimes-tragic consequences of getting what one wa...

2014-08-21

Let me tell you exactly why, I believe, God loves you. It's because He knows you. He knows me. He knows each of us intimately....

2014-08-15

Like the tanks that figure so prominently in its plot, Saints and Soldiers: The Void lumbers along in need of a tune-up but nev...

2014-08-07

The Passion of the Christ unlocked the market for ambitious faith-based movies, and since then the genre has been, if you'll pa...

2014-08-01

In 2005 one of my buddies lost his mother to terminal illness. My heart broke for him. Although I wanted to be there for him, I...

2014-07-25

Whether it’s art imitating life or vice versa, society at large seems to agree with a prevalent theme of pop culture: nice gu...

2014-07-24

As Latter-day Saints we are grateful for our pioneer heritage. In commemoration I'd like to offer my recommendations for brilli...

2014-07-18

What elevates this film is that these groundbreaking effects are used in the service of a well-written, well-acted story with r...

2014-07-11

Is love ever rational?...

2014-06-20

In recent months, I've discovered something: exercise is about sanity, not vanity. The benefits are psychological, emotional, a...

2014-06-13

With over 50 lifelike animatronic dinosaurs (some to look at, others to ride), fossil digs, dino-themed inflatables, a dinosaur...

2014-06-11

Stepfamilies (or “blended” families) are often seen as if they were similar to first-marriage families “once the dust set...

2014-06-06

Much to my surprise, Maleficent is given a meaty character arc and Jolie's performance is a tour-de-force, delivering a potent ...

2014-06-05

If you're looking for a terrific date or family night, the Rattlin' D Playhouse's musical parody LesS Miserables: A Whole Lot L...

2014-05-23

Director Gareth Edwards has delivered the rare monster movie that is grounded in emotional reality....

2014-05-22

Although Jesus lived his life, and gave it, for the benefit of others, we mustn’t get the idea that following him demands tha...

2014-05-16

This latest Christian film, from the makers of the excellent drama October Baby, is a silly comedy that ultimately packs a genu...

2014-05-15

We’ve all seen them, the bored couple in the restaurant. "Oh heaven, please don't let us end up like them," you may have thou...

2014-05-02

You're back from church and you'd like to spend this "day of rest," you know... resting. Maybe you'd like to curl up to a movie...

2014-04-28

If you’re looking for the perfect music to set the tone around your home on the Sabbath or to invite the Spirit more fully in...

2014-04-25

One beautiful weekend I discovered that there is hope for members of all faith to find common ground, harmony, and friendship. ...

2014-04-04

The Cinemark theater chain is set to screen HD restorations of biblical epics The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur: A Tale of the C...

2014-04-01

Noah is not at all the straightforward biblical epic that its trailers would suggest. Instead, audiences get a daring, if unsuc...

2014-03-28

The March 28th release of the film 'Noah,' provides us with opportunities to engage with the people around us, share our belief...

2014-03-21

With impressive animation and a script that is equal parts witty and heartwarming, Mr. Peabody & Sherman will delight children ...

2014-03-19

We’ve all experienced it, the “Jekyll-and-Hyde Syndrome” in which a normally decent partner, friend, or family member tur...

2014-03-07

I have to disagree with the mainstream critics here: Son of God is my new favorite film about Christ. It's an imperfect film ab...

2014-02-28

It shouldn’t have worked, and to be honest my expectations were shaky. To my delight and surprise, however, the production wa...

2014-02-25

The key to sexual fulfillment has always been the marriage relationship. It provides the soul and beauty of human sexuality....

2014-02-14

In the lovely town of Hurricane you will find some of the best dinner theater in the state of Utah....

2014-02-07

Far too many faith-based films coast on good intentions but fail in the execution. Grace Unplugged casts excellent professional...

2014-01-31

"When there is a good movie in town, consider going to the theater as a family. Your very patronage will give encouragement to ...

2014-01-24

With dramas like The Saratov Approach and Ephraim's Rescue dominating the landscape of Mormon cinema recently, it seems like ag...

2014-01-21

As a certified instructor of this “No Jerks” class, allow me to offer four keys to help the never-married, the divorced, th...

2014-01-17

In recent years, warning from the Brethren have increasingly turned their attention to the portrayals of violence that are so p...

2014-01-03

The past year has given us much cinema that was inspiring and worthwhile. Here are ten such films....

2013-12-20

An altogether more engrossing affair than the charming, but plodding, first film, this second of director Peter Jackson's Hobbi...

2013-12-06

Frozen is already destined to be a long-beloved classic thanks to a strong script, memorable characters, dazzling animation, an...

2013-11-25

Fans of seeing classic movies on the big screen will have a chance to get in the holiday spirit this month, as Cinemark Theater...

2013-11-22

A doctrinal expose on Satan may seem like a hard sell at first. But Stephen Stirling’s Shedding Light on the Dark Side, is no...

2013-11-15

This week's release of the trailer for a new epic film on the story of Noah has got people talking. ...

2013-11-14

As good a two-hour adaptation of the beloved source material as could ever be hoped for, Ender's Game is a satisfying morality ...

2013-11-01

The Saratov Approach has now taken in over half a million dollars at the box office. Hear from the real missionaries whose stor...

2013-10-25

From Frankenstein to Frankenweenie here are some fun and spooky recommendations for the whole family. ...

2013-10-11

An exclusive interview with the writer/director of the new film, The Saratov Approach....

2013-10-10

New film on kidnapped missionaries impressively balances telling a story about Latter-Day Saints while appealing to all faiths....

2013-09-27

Women can help the men and boys in their lives to be honest and accountable by creating the right environment....

2013-09-25

Ephraim Hanks inspires on the small screen, too....

2013-09-13

Austenland has Mormon fingerprints all over it....

2013-09-05

Here's a day-by-day, hour-by-hour list of fun things to do at Salt Lake's Comic-Con this weekend....

2013-09-04

Starting by working with BYU friends to make a movie for fun, Alan Seawright has shown you can make a living in film in Utah....

2013-08-30

People still want wholesome entertainment--and here's a way to help you find it....

2013-08-16

Two LDS movie critics have teamed up to do a new podcast....

2013-08-15

Stunningly animated, but not as good as Cars....

2013-08-09

Lisle Crowley is one of the most prolific guitarists in the American West and has just released an album....

2013-08-05

If you’ve never been to a convention for fantasy, sci-fi, and comic book enthusiasts, buckle up. Even if you’re not a card-...

2013-07-26

Hot on the heels of Mary Poppins and Starlight Express, Tuacahn Theatre continues to offer excellent musical theatre offerings ...

2013-07-24

In commemoration of Pioneer Day I'd like to offer my recommendations for worthwhile movies portraying this oft-overlooked chapt...

2013-07-19

My wife and I had the opportunity to take advantage of the sights, flavors, and perks of the festival recently, opting to see t...

2013-07-12

Tucked in between Zion’s National Park and the city of Saint George is the lovely town of Hurricane, home to one of Utah’s ...

2013-07-08

Five simple steps can drastically improve our ability to fight less and connect more, provided we apply them consistently enoug...

2013-07-05

Michael Ash's new book displays strong and compelling evidence supporting the foundational claims of the Church. ...

2013-07-03

Are you having friends over to barbeque on the 4th? Watching fireworks from your lawn? Driving to and from events on Independen...

2013-06-28

Contrary to my initial fears, Monsters University is not an empty cash-grab prequel, nor is it a disappointing follow-up. This ...

2013-06-26

Three key principles will help LDS singles to date well and thrive on their own in the meantime....

2013-06-21

At Tuacahn, it isn't just the setting that is stunning....

2013-06-14

LDS movie-watchers know Rick Macy for his powerful performance in The Testaments, his portrayal of Joseph Smith Sr. in The Rest...

2013-05-31

T.C. Christensen has just released a truly stunning film. He reflects on it with Meridian's film editor....

2013-05-31

Ephraim's Rescue may be one of the best LDS films yet produced, telling about a real hero, Ephraim Hanks, who was known for his...

2013-05-29

Katherine Nelson's performance in Emma Smith and now in Ephraim's Rescue has riveted audiences. In this candid interview, she t...

2013-05-27

It's not easy to carry a movie on your shoulders, especially when the lead you portray is a real hero....

2013-05-17

Cinemark Theatres has brought many classic films back so you can see them the way they were meant to be seen- on the silver scr...

2013-05-10

Cinematic heroes can serve as gateways for viewers to thoughtfully consider the teachings and sacrifice of the Son of God. They...

2013-05-03

Joan Trumpauer Mulholland was a college student imprisoned on death row at age 19 for her participation in the civil rights mov...

2013-04-26

VeggieTales and Living Scriptures are two of the most reliable brands out there for family entertainment. One funnier in tone, ...

2013-04-19

Last weekend saw the release of 42, which tells the true story of civil rights hero Jackie Robinson, the first African-American...

2013-04-12

Even if you normally dismiss reality TV as a soulless affair, you may want to take a look at The Moment. USA-TV’s uplifting a...

2013-04-05

Though the dialogue occasionally veers into sappy romantic melodrama and a few of the supporting performances are less-than-imp...

2013-04-05

...

2013-03-29

A comparison of 25 films, of varying artistic quality and scriptural accuracy, that depict and attempt to do justice to the mis...

2013-03-22

Internet sensations (and Latter-day Saints) John Schmidt (on the piano) and Steven Sharp Nelson (on the cello) have been taking...

2013-03-19

Though it won't be regarded a classic like 1939's The Wizard of Oz, this lively and colorful prequel does nothing to damage the...

2013-03-08

The Evolution of Thomas Hall is immensely rewarding as a character study, as an argument for the existence of a Creator, and as...

2013-02-22

In conjunction with the Oscars, I wanted to focus on films from the past year that move audiences to live Christ-like virtues. ...

2013-02-01

Lettuce Love One Another, provides over 90 minutes of kind-hearted storytelling that adults might enjoy as much as the little o...

2013-01-18

A look at some of the uplifting, enjoyable, informative, and entertaining films showing at the LDS Film Festival this year. ...

2013-01-15

India native, Utah resident, LDS returned missionary, and actor, Charan Prabhakar opens up about keeping his faith while pursui...

2013-01-11

“Ironically, it sometimes takes hard work to find wholesome leisure.”...

2012-12-28

The film was quite lovely to look at, with judicious and gorgeous use of visual effects. All told, Les Miserables is a grand m...

2012-12-21

To those who've never read Tolkien, whose exposure to Middle Earth has come only through the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, ma...

2012-12-14

Kieth answers questions and shares insights about movie-making for prophets, Jimmy Stewart, recreating the life of Christ, and ...

2012-12-14

The attention to detail in recreating the look of the 1930's in clothing, props, and sets is impressive, and the song and dance...

2012-12-12

Few holiday traditions are as time-honored as grabbing some hot cocoa and cuddling up in front of a Christmas movie. May I sug...

2012-11-30

Reviews of the two new films, “Life of Pi” and “Rise of the Guardians.” This reviewer’s opinion just may surprise you...

2012-11-09

As we gear up for the holiday season, many have the tradition of cuddling up in front of a Christmas movie to get into the spir...

2012-11-02

This ranks among the most important books I’ve ever read. With reason and facts as well as a firm testimony, Ash provides the...

2012-10-26

There’s no holiday that’s more fun than Halloween and few things set the mood better than a killer music mix (if you’ll p...

2012-10-19

Here Comes the Boom, the just-released inspirational romantic sports dramedy (got that?) asks audiences to believe two preposte...

2012-10-12

Welcome to Praiseworthy Media, this week we take a look at the family-friendly Tim Burton creature feature Frankenweenie and th...

2012-10-05

A couple of solid releases recently came out in theatres: the family-friendly Halloween romp Hotel Transylvania and the public ...

2012-09-28

Finding Refuge in El Paso is a charming and informative little documentary that sheds light on a fascinating, though often unex...

2012-09-21

Good music for the grownups, and a good movie out on DVD for the kids!...

2012-09-14

The Mine is a scary movie you will enjoy watching with your teens without being offended by gratuitous sex, violence, and langu...

2012-08-31

The main trio portraying American soldiers to speak about their experiences, inspirations, and favorite films....

2012-08-24

I found myself utterly charmed by this clever, funny, and even inspiring little book which helped me to rediscover who I was as...

2012-08-17

Beginning with the under-seen dance romance Out of Step, director Ryan Little has been establishing himself as one of the premi...

2012-08-17

For much of its 90 minute running time, Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed is a ponderous character study with seemingly littl...

2012-08-10

This weekend sees the 10th-Anniversary theatrical re-release of Charly, arguably the most beloved Latter-day Saint love story i...

2012-08-03

Published in 2008, I was only recently introduced to this treasure of a book that, although not written from a religious perspe...

2012-07-27

Based on the true story of Operation Breakthrough, the 1988 attempt to rescue three gray whales trapped in the Alaskan ice, Big...

2012-07-20

They come from Tennessee, sons of a Diamond Rio musician, but their style is more inspired by smooth vocalists like John Mayer,...

2012-07-13

Aside from The Book of Mormon, Anthony Sweat's Mormons- An Open Book is the first book that I would share with someone interest...

2012-07-06

A hit at both the Heartland Film Festival and the LDS Film Festival, Redemption should appeal to anyone who believes in the pri...

2012-06-29

Two recent family films, Brave and Madagascar 3, are competing for your dollars at the multiplex. In my opinion, both are worth...

2012-06-27

Nestled against enormous red-rock canyon walls, the 1,900 seat Tuacahn Ampitheatre is unquestionably one of the most picturesqu...

2012-06-08

There is so much that is beautiful, faith-affirming, and virtue-promoting, not just in movies, but in art, entertainment, and l...

2012-06-01

This week we take a look at the "Navy versus aliens" adventure Battleship and the topical comedy What to Expect When You're Exp...

2012-05-25

Netflix Streaming is still arguably the best place to watch movies online. But how does one sort the trash from the gems? Allow...

2012-05-11

For Mothers’ Day weekend, I’ve rounded up the latest offerings to relax to or gift to Mom. Home Entertainment Reviews: The ...

2012-05-04

Meridian at the Movies - your weekly source for an LDS perspective on Hollywood movies. This week we look at The Avengers, an a...

2012-05-03

The Book of Mormon is a book of scripture in which dark-skinned peoples are the prophesied recipients of great blessings and ar...

2012-05-03

...

2012-04-27

Welcome to Meridian at the Movies, where every week you’ll get a Latter-Day Saint perspective on Hollywood’s latest offerin...

2012-04-20

Welcome to Meridian at the Movies, a new weekly column reviewing the latest theatrical and Blu-ray/DVD releases from a Latter-D...

2012-04-10

One major attraction in Zion Canyon Park is the Zion Canyon Theatre, a state-of-the art movie theatre with a truly enormous scr...

2012-03-27

The irony is not lost on me that The Hunger Games, a film about teenagers fighting to the death, may actually serve as an antid...

2012-03-23

One of these films contains an inspiring character that launched some of cinema's greatest films. Do you know which one?...

2012-02-24

"I ask you to give them what they want and need and deserve: opportunity and your fraternal brotherliness and your understandin...

2012-02-10

A modern silent film in the style of classic Hollywood, The Artist hearkens back to the days of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keat...

2012-01-17

Three superior Christian films are worth your time and contemplation....

2011-12-23

Families looking for wholesome and uplifting entertainment over the holidays have plenty of good options right now....

2011-11-25

This week three family-friendly films are opening....

2011-10-31

Bogged down by an abundance of sports-movie cliches, occasionally flat dialogue, and uneven direction, the women's basketball d...

2011-10-25

In a way that can create interfaith understanding, a Protestant captures the struggles and faith of two LDS brothers as they gr...

2011-10-25

In a time when a Baptist pastor has stirred up the nation by labeling The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints “a cult...

2011-09-23

Looking for a movie to enjoy with the whole family? There are several terrific options right now....

2011-09-02

With its rich screenplay and deft acting, this may be the most human and rounded screen depiction of Joseph yet. ...

2011-09-02

Christian Vuissa has produced, written and directed the new Joseph Smith/Volume 1: Plates of Gold feature film, which is consid...

2011-08-26

Modern sons of Helaman are all around us—and we need to be....

2011-08-24

One of the best films of the year so far, The Help displays an impressively-acted balance of prejudice and tolerance, hatred an...

2011-07-28

As a superhero-origin movie, Captain America lays out cliche after cliche, following the template of numerous films that have c...

2011-07-22

Harry Potter's magic wand goes out with zinger....

2011-07-15

Selling out show after show in Utah, and now expanding to theatres in other states, 17 Miracles not only stands among the best ...

2011-06-03

LDS church members may or may not know the name, but talented filmmaker T.C. Christensen has brought them many of the Church fi...

2011-06-02

Of course, families benefit from avoiding excessive reliance on media and engaging in more proactive activities; film-watching,...

2011-05-27

Alas, it seems that Disney may never recreate the lighting-in-a- bottle charm of the first Pirates film....

2011-05-13

The action is thrilling, the characters are memorable, and the one-liners hit their marks....

2011-04-25

Christian cinema has been gaining traction in recent years. ...

2011-03-28

Meridian begins a series on the trailblazers in LDS film, starting with Michael Flynn, director, co-writer/ producer of Midway...

2011-03-11

Don't let the ads fool you: Rango is a Western first and a family film second....

2011-03-04

One last chance to buy edited and cleaned-up Hollywood movies before the last company that does that closes its doors....

2011-02-04

It seems that Mormon cinema is finally finding its stride....

2010-12-27

Three recent releases, two in theatres, one on DVD, come highly recommended for family viewing....

2010-11-15

A slew of worthwhile movies have recently become available for home and family viewing. Take a look....

2010-09-06

Three very different Christian films aim to entertain and inspire. See the reviews and clips here....

2010-07-23

2010 has been a weak year for movies, but all that has changed....

2010-06-25

: If you’re looking to hit the theatres, this guide (which will be ongoing) might help to get you started....

2010-05-28

...

2009-04-27

I started a tradition of the Sabbath Movie Night, where my friends and I (both members and not) met in my apartment to watch fi...

2009-04-27

With a terrific premise and two of the funniest people in show business, Date Night should have been the year's best comedy, ha...

2009-04-27

The Oscars ceremony, once so captivating, has lost its luster because it so often supports values different than our own....

2009-04-27

If you've ever seen an LDS film that brought your soul to a higher plane, odds are T.C. Christensen had a hand in it....

2009-04-27

When the filmmaker behind the highest-grossing film of all-time takes twelve years off to develop his next film, the bar is set...

2009-04-27

It's possible that I have been spoiled for so long by the brilliant originality displayed year after year by Pixar, that a prin...

2009-04-27

Where the Wild Things Are is not only stunning artistically, it captures the oft-forgotten emotional experience of childhood....

2009-04-27

For all its talk of "trying to be more realistic" in its programming (a popular rationale for including more sex, language, and...

2009-04-27

Since the release of the enormously popular first novel in 1997, the Harry Potter series has caused serious debate in many reli...

2009-04-27

I can think of no film of recent years that is more worth your patronage that Pixar-Disney's UP , which interweaves its adventu...

2009-04-27

While some sports enthusiasts view college football season, professional baseball season, or March Madness basketball as their ...

2009-04-27

In the spirit of simply having fun, I recommend this movie for all ages....

2009-04-27

Although it may be scary for younger children, Coraline is an enjoyable movie that teaches valuable lessons to older kids....

2009-04-27

Unlike Harry Potter , with its grand themes and rich characters, what you see on the surface of Twilight is exactly what you ge...

2009-04-27

Mormon cinema features examples of the good, the bad, and the well-intentioned. Here our movie reviewer summarizes some of the...

2009-04-27

Some films excel in both spiritual and artistic quality. Here's a list worth watching....

2009-04-27

Too often when we make our media choices, we focus only on what is absent-making sure the film doesn't offend us. Just as impo...

2009-04-27

Audiences across the nation are discovering, in increasing numbers, the appeal of extraordinary funnyman Brian Regan....

2009-04-27

The Dark Knight is a dark film, but it is also a fantastically moral film, with positive messages about our nature, argues a Me...

2009-04-27

One wife and mother realizes that life does not stand still when Mom gets sick. Somehow the pieces must be picked up so the fa...


Author's Blog
January 10, 2014

By now you’ve likely heard of The Saratov Approach, the independent true-story thriller about kidnapped LDS missionaries in R...

April 4, 2013

When it comes to resources for family home evening, Sunday School, scouting, primary, youth activities, or Relief Society, ...