Fireproof

2008

Fireproof

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

40%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 20

83%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 39,724
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Fireproof Photos

Movie Info

A heroic fireman locked in a failing marriage accepts his father's challenge to take part in a 40-day experiment designed to teach both husband and wife the true meaning of commitment in this faith-based marriage drama starring Kirk Cameron and Erin Bethea. When he's battling blazes, Capt. Caleb Holt (Cameron) adheres to the old firefighter's adage about never leaving your partner behind; back at home, it's an altogether different story. Caleb and his wife Catherine (Bethea) have been married for seven years, but lately arguments over career, housework, finances, and outside interests have driven the once-happy couple hopelessly apart. Just as Caleb and Catherine prepare to officially dissolve their marriage, Caleb's father John (Harris Malcolm) presents his son with a most unusual challenge: commit to a 40-day experiment called "The Love Dare," and take one last shot at saving his marriage. While at first Caleb agrees to take a chance on "The Love Dare," the discovery that it's closely tied in with his parent's newfound faith causes him to momentarily reconsider. Still, Caleb carries on with the experiment despite being constantly rejected by his skeptical, embittered wife. When Caleb asks his father how he can be expected to love someone who refuses to give him a fair chance, John tells his son that this is precisely the same love that God shows for humankind. Now, with a little help from above, the man who makes headlines for saving lives will fight to be a hero to the one person who matters most -- his wife. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Cast

Kirk Cameron
as Capt. Caleb Holt
Erin Bethea
as Catherine Holt
Ken Bevel
as Lt. Michael Simmons
Jason McLeod
as Eric Harmon
Harris Malcolm
as John Holt
Stephen Dervan
as Wayne Floyd
Eric Young
as Terrell Sanders
Bailey Cave
as Ross Spencer
Phyllis Malcolm
as Cheryl Holt
Anthony Brown
as James Turner
Dwan Williams
as Diedre Harris
Blake Bailey
as Stephanie Mills
Renata Williams
as Latasha Brown
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Critic Reviews for Fireproof

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (8)

  • Fireproof stops becoming relatable to us all and only to the already, or easily, indoctrinated.

    Oct 3, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Unfortunately, the emphasis on what God wants has a way of overwhelming who Caleb and Catherine are as characters.

    Oct 2, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • You probably can't blame pastors moonlighting as moviemakers for wanting to pack their film with multiple messages, but the conversion subplot feels shoehorned into the more crucial marital doings.

    Oct 1, 2008 | Rating: C | Full Review…
  • While hardly sophisticated in its approach and certainly not polished in its technical elements, the film does get its heartfelt message across with undeniable sincerity.

    Oct 1, 2008
  • In the history of marital discord in the movies, has there ever been a blander conflict than the one between firefighter Kirk Cameron and his goodly wife Erin Bethea in the dismal Christian-themed melodrama Fireproof?

    Sep 29, 2008 | Rating: F

    Scott Tobias

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • This is a decent attempt to combine faith and storytelling that will certainly register with its target audience.

    Sep 29, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Fireproof

  • Feb 02, 2016
    I obviously don't belong to the target audience of this moralizing, pro-marriage piece of Christian propaganda, but nothing can excuse it for being so awfully schmaltzy, predictable, sexist and poorly made, preaching to the converted and making everyone else cringe in pain.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 18, 2014
    I've never been much of a believer in finding faith...in Christians films that is. For every great Christian film like "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "The Ten Commandments" that transcends personal beliefs to provide viewers something to enjoy there are dozens that give the wrong impressions. Films such as "C Me Dance", "To Save A Life", "Sunday School Musical", "Last Ounce of Courage", and "The Lion Judah" (three of which have earned zeroes) make up a majority of Christian films offerings that believe good morals excuses poor filmmaking. Here's a film that yes doesn't always successfully hides it's Christians views and metaphors, but present its beliefs through good protagonist and a story whose message delivery is known without it being forced upon nonbelievers. Fireproof is about a firefighter using a 40-day experiment known as "The Love Dare" in an attempt to save his marriage. Being a film based around a specific religion it's impossible to ignore the signatures it'll have; positive messages, bible verses, characters with strong religious beliefs, and (often) an unrealistic view of how the real world functions. For starter the positive message and bible verses are as clear as day, but not shoehorned in. Characters with Christian views don't come across as preachy often conversing like regular people. For the most part the characters act realistically even supporting our protagonist who's a nonbeliever. It's for this acceptance that makes it Christian elements with corny dialogue forgivable. The protagonist is not condemned for being a nonbeliever rather is simply a man attempting to fix his marriage. By the will of the protagonist and not outside interference his transformation comes across effectively. This conflict helps supports the film as it contains several solid scenes. Including the few instances when we see the protagonist doing some actual firefighting are surprisingly exciting. Humor is also a plus while it doesn't always click the jokes that do get a laugh prevent the messy potential divorce from becoming tedious to view. The major pitfall of "Fireproof" is without a doubt it presentation of the world. Words such as realism don't apply to its depiction of women. Just about all the characters who are women tend to be shallow being less like people and more as a tool to for the plot. Even the protagonist wife gets little to no development nor are we given much on her past and what made her fall in love. Every black women in the film is given stereotypical dialogue with the occasional "mmmhhhmmm" for added effect. One major conflict in the film that's not addressed well enough is protagonist Caleb Holt porn addiction (also a metaphor for temptation). According to the film the only form Caleb can get his porn is from his computer. If more developed or presented in a form that made his porn addiction evidently problematic the presented weak resolution would have work to a degree. Since it does little in showing Caleb Holt handling his addiction the resolution doesn't gain leeway since we often don't see him fall victim to his addiction only scarcely viewing his attempted resistance to it. It should also be mention that the final twenty minutes are in fact very preaching, but by that point the film is merely accomplishing the needs for it genre fans with it already offering nonbelievers a satisfying story. Production values are decent. It clearly looks like it was made on a small budget with it commercial like lighting and few actual professional actors. Kirk Cameron is easily the best of the bunch, though that's not saying much. His performance is decent for a leading actor. There is not a noteworthy that showcases his true acting ability, but neither border beyond what he can't do. Because of this it is easy to accept Cameron as a film character as everything he does fits with his characters. Ken Bevel performance leaves something to be desired. She is not to say bad, but in the most pivotal scenes she clearly comes across as someone reading her lines for the first time. Other actor performances are adequate and sincere. There performances don't hurt the film significantly detract from a given scene. Direction from Alex Kendrick is decent. In the few instances (like the firefighter scenes) when Kendrick has complete understanding of his film language events can be tense, funny, and even touching. While his cinematography won't impress it does it job. As for music it's something that can't be held against the film. It selection of music is fitting for the film becoming a part of it not a negative distraction. Fireproof is a solid film that gets across its core moral values with a subtle delivery through its somewhat believable characters and a solid story that is not overly preaching. No doubt it'll please genre fans as production values and writing is superior to what is occasionally offered to them. On the other hand it's competent filmmaking that does not force its message down nonbelievers.
    Caesar M Super Reviewer
  • May 14, 2013
    I have no words for how bad this film is. The clumsy script is an insult to the message...and the acting is worse than sinful. Dimensionless, flat acting by an incompetent Kirk Cameron is notable. Does God really want people in marriages to be so emotionally deficient they blindly grasp at the ridiculous? I doubt even Jesus would forgive the film makers.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 14, 2012
    I don't consider myself a religious person at all, and sometimes question if I really believe in God or Christianity. Therefor, in some ways I'm not really a target person for this, but in other ways it's a movie meant to register with someone like me with it's Christian messages. "Fireproof" is the story of Caleb(Kirk Cameron) and his wife Catherine(Erin Berthea) as their marriages begins to fall apart. She wants a divorce, he is unsure and then takes a 40 day "love dare" given to him by his father. The dare will hopefully lead them back together and help them build a relationship with God. The movie has a very meaningful message, and honestly never becomes too "pushy" about God. It's a movie designed for people to think about their own relationships and faith, and it really does accomplish that. However, the story is kind of cardboard, and the acting is downright horrible. Makes me wonder with all the actors who talk about God and thanking Jesus, why don't they make movies like that this, so they would be better and reach more people? Cameron is ok, but he's not a movie actor at all, he is perfect for sitcoms like "Growing Pains". Married people should give it a watch, just expect a good message, with poor execution.
    Everett J Super Reviewer

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