I Can Only Imagine – Movie Review

In theaters on March 16

Our Rating

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This movie tells the story behind MercyMe’s hit song “I Can Only Imagine.” In particular, it describes the life of lead singer, Bart Millard, and how his experiences shape his musical career and become the inspiration for the iconic song.

Personal Opinion

This film rates 5 stars, one of the best films we’ve seen in a long time. It’s one of those movies that is made so well, you forget you’re watching a movie. We were pleasantly surprised with the amount of comedic moments throughout the story which helped provide some lightheartedness in contrast to some of the tear-jerking moments.

From a musical standpoint, the film was exceptional. The songs in the movie were actually sung by J. Michael Finley, who did a terrific job portraying Bart Millard. Even for the most critical of musicians, the movie provided quality musical moments. There were no “obvious lip-sync” moments or times when the musicians were clearly not playing the instruments. The movie brought enthusiasm and energy to the band’s music. It would be entertaining for the die-hard MercyMe fan, as well as for the casual listener. Quality casting, creative filmography, and great writing really put the audience into the story of Bart’s life. We would rank the production quality of this movie as high as any other secular blockbuster hit.

The movie centers around forgiveness, healing, and redemption, particularly regarding the relationship between Bart and his father. The film makes evident the reality of how difficult it can be to forgive a person who has caused you a lot of pain, but how important it is to forgive others. The relationship between Bart and his childhood sweetheart also displays the necessity of humility, in order to ask for forgiveness from one other.

The ending of the movie brings the focus to Christ, which was really encouraging. It’s easy for Hollywood to try to take the Christian themes out and to “tame” the movie for a more secular audience. This was not the case for I Can Only Imagine. The movie stayed centered on Jesus throughout the whole story.

We attended the premiere of the movie in Nashville on February 27th. Afterward, the cast and directors answered questions about the film. We were surprised to hear how they were focused less on being in the spotlight, and more focused on bringing glory to God and giving thanks to Him for the opportunity to make the movie. Several members of the cast even shared how being a part of this movie impacted their own personal lives. For example, Trace Adkins shared how he didn’t originally want to do the movie because he “didn’t feel good about [himself] at the time,” but the directors said, “We’re all about redemption” and encouraged him to do the movie.

While this is truly a heartwarming story about chasing your dreams, the movie is a powerful reminder that it’s never too late for a person to change. In fact, Bart Millard himself, after the premiere said, “Don’t assume that the story is finished. I think we have people in our lives that we think, ‘there’s no way God can reach them… or can reach us.’ But you still have time until your last breath. As long as there’s breath in our lungs, there is hope. No one is out of the reach of Christ.”

I Can Only Imagine hits theaters on March 16 and it is, without a doubt, worth seeing! You will not want to miss it!

Learn more & buy tickets


J. Michael Finley does an outstanding job in his first feature film playing the role of Bart Millard.
Madeline Carroll plays the role of Shannon, Bart’s girlfriend.
Dennis Quaid plays the role of Arthur Millard, Bart’s father.
Country star Trace Adkins plays the role of Scott “Brick” Brickell, MercyMe’s manager.
Priscilla C. Shirer (War Room, and author of Fervent) plays the role of Mrs. Fincher, Bart’s high school drama/choir teacher.
Cloris Leachman plays the role of Meemaw, Bart’s Grandmother.


The movie is directed by The Erwin Brothers (Mom’s Night Out).

Family Friendliness

This movie would be perfectly suitable for young teenagers up to adults. There are some moments in the movie involving the health of the Bart Millard’s father, which might be a little heavy for young children.


There is no foul language in the movie.

Sexual Content

There is no inappropriate sexual content. There is, however, is a very sweet, wholesome love story between the two main characters.

Drug Use

There is no drug use in the movie.


There is a scene where two main characters engage in mild violence.


Hi! We’re Josh and Kaysee Squire!

We’ve been married for almost 6 years & are currently both teachers in Tennessee. We have two dogs, Waffles and Sadie, that we adopted and love dearly. We love to sing & write parodies and original songs. Our desire is to share the hope of Christ with others & give God the glory in the process.

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