With Redeeming Love, director D.J. Caruso tackles the emotional romance portrayed in the 1991 Francine Rivers best-seller of the same name, bringing the book’s California Gold Rush-era tale to the big screen. The sweeping romance gives a Western-style makeover to the biblical book of Hosea, on which the story is loosely based. Critics have had a chance to review the film before it hits theaters January 21, so let’s take a look at what they thought of this romantic drama.
Redeeming Love stars Abigail Cowen as Angel, who was sold into prostitution as a child, and Tom Lewis as Michael Hosea, who falls in love at first sight with Angel as an adult, vowing to give her the life she deserves. Angel’s past continues to haunt her, however, against the backdrop of 1850s California. The film also stars Logan Marshall-Green, Famke Janssen, Nina Dobrev and Eric Dane. Let’s see what the reviews have to say.
Starting with our own CinemaBlend review, Sarah El-Mahmoud gives Redeeming Love 1.5 stars out of 5, saying the main characters lack chemistry — through no fault of Abigail Cowen and Tom Lewis. The film adaptation has no charm and is missing passion, leaving its characters feeling one-dimensional, despite the talented cast.
Nicole Ackman of Next Best Picture struggles to understand the movie’s genre and intended audience, as the Christian historical romance about a prostitute deals with subject matter that isn’t easy to watch. She rates it 2 out of 10.
The fact that Redeeming Love is biblically based while trying to be explicit is noted by Robert Kojder of Flickering Myth, who rates the film 1 star. He says, similarly to other critics, that the film fails to develop its lead characters.
Joseph Aberl of Murphy’s Multiverse, however, thinks the seemingly bizarre genre-mashing makes for an unexpectedly dark spin on a classic romance.
Tessa Smith of Mama’s Geeky gives Redeeming Love 3 out of 5 stars, noting that even though the story is based on the Book of Hosea, it can still be enjoyed by non-religious viewers like herself. However, the movie overall could have used a bit more editing, Smith says, as a run time of over two hours isn’t needed to tell its story.
The critics seem mixed on this one, with some saying Redeeming Love gives a unique perspective on unconditional love, while others think it didn’t do enough to properly adapt the best-selling novel it’s based on. Redeeming Love hits theaters Friday, January 21. Be sure to check out our 2022 Movie Release Schedule to see what other films are coming soon.