Overcomer (film)

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Overcomer promotional poster
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlex Kendrick
Written by
Produced by
  • Aaron Burns
  • Justin Tolley
  • Stephen Kendrick
  • Alex Kendrick
  • Priscilla Shirer
  • Shari Rigby
  • Jack Sterner
  • Cameron Arnett
  • Aryn Wright-Thompson
CinematographyBob Scott
Edited byAlex Kendrick
Steve Hullfish
Bill Ebel
Music byPaul Mills
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • August 23, 2019 (2019-08-23) (United States)
Running time
119 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$5 million[1]
Box office$38 million[2][3]

Overcomer is a 2019 American Christian drama film directed by Alex Kendrick, who co-wrote the script with Stephen Kendrick. It is the Kendrick brothers' sixth film and their second through their subsidiary, Kendrick Brothers Productions.[4] The film was released by Sony Pictures Releasing on August 23, 2019.[5]

It grossed $38 million worldwide against a $5 million budget and garnered Alex Kendrick's third "A+" on CinemaScore. He is the second director to have three films receive the grade, along with Rob Reiner.[6]


John Harrison (Alex Kendrick) is a basketball coach at a high school and married to Amy (Shari Rigby). Due to the manufacturing plant being moved to another city, all of the good basketball players, along with their families, must move also. School Principal Olivia Brooks (Priscilla Shirer) tells John that the school is losing several teachers and coaches and that she needs him to coach cross country, as she doesn’t want the school to lose another program.

At the tryouts for cross country, only one student shows up. Nevertheless, John agrees to be the running coach for Hannah Scott (Aryn Wright-Thompson), who is asthmatic. Hannah lives with her grandmother, Barbara Scott (Denise Armstrong), who has been telling her all her life that both her parents are dead. Hannah also steals items from students at school and has a collection of them. One day, on his hospital visits to help the pastor, John accidentally enters the room of Thomas Hill (Cameron Arnett). Hill is blind and suffering from diabetic complications. Hill also had been a cross country runner. After a couple of visits to see Hill, John finds out that Hill is Hannah's father. Hill abandoned Hannah and her mother when Hannah was a baby and Barbara has been trying to protect her from being hurt by him again, albeit by lying to Hannah about him. John also later finds out that the principal was Hannah's mother's friend and has been paying her tuition fees.

John tells Hannah about her father and he and Amy take her to meet him. Though reluctant at first, she eventually accepts him and starts visiting him more. Through the process she discovers herself and also strengthens her Christian faith and her belief in Jesus Christ as her Heavenly father. Hannah returns all of the stolen items and practices rigorously.

Barbara finds out about her visits to her father and angrily confronts John and Amy over letting Hannah meet her father without discussing it with her. She threatens legal action until she is chastised by Hannah for lying to her all this time. John, Amy, and Barbara then each go to God in prayer about the situation, each asking Him for forgiveness and guidance.

On the day of the State Championship race, John gives Hannah ear buds and a player. John tells her to play the player as the race begins. Through the race, Hannah hears her father's voice of coaching and encouragement, leading her to win the race and become the state champion.

Later, Hill passes away. A couple of years later, Hannah tells her story to her cross country friends. Then Hannah puts a flash drive in the player and runs through the city while listening to the recording from her father which begins with "It's your 21st birthday".


  • Alex Kendrick as John Harrison, former basketball coach who reluctantly begins coaching cross-country
  • Shari Rigby as Amy Harrison, John's wife
  • Priscilla Shirer as Olivia Brooks, the principal of Brookshire Christian School and mentor to Hannah Scott
  • Cameron Arnett as Thomas Hill, a blind man and former runner harboring a secret past
  • Aryn Wright-Thompson as Hannah Scott, an orphan and high-school cross-country runner being raised by her grandmother
  • Denise Armstrong as Barbara Scott, Hannah's grandmother who raised her after her father abandoned her and her mother died.
  • Jack Sterner as Ethan Harrison, John Harrison's son
  • Ben Davies as Coach Myers


The idea that resulted in Overcomer came to Alex Kendrick in 2011 while he was visiting cross-country events for children:

I saw a lot of dads coaching their kids, speaking into them, affirming them . . . [a]nd I remember Paul in scripture talking about life is like a race. And you want to finish well. Then [the idea] went in the prayer incubator. Then as we were praying about, 'Lord, what do you want us to do?', that came back to mind. And the prompting to talk about identity.[7]

Overcomer was filmed mainly in Columbus, Georgia,[8][9] with a few scenes shot in Nashville, Tennessee and Albany, Georgia.[1] In the summer of 2018, Affirm Films and Provident Films announced that they had wrapped up filming and were now in post-production.[4]

Overcomer was made with a $5 million budget, which is $2 million more than their last film, War Room's budget.[1] Because of the larger budget, the film was shot with the same camera equipment used to film The Avengers,[10] with the indoor shots being filmed in sets built by the production crew, which was something the Kendricks had never done before in their previous films.[11] The film's producer and co-writer Stephen Kendrick said of their work on the film: "[Overcomer is] the best shot . . . [t]he best lighting. I would say the best acting in so many ways. The storyline has some neat twists and turns in it."[7]

Several actors appearing in earlier films by the Kendrick Brothers were cast for roles in Overcomer, including Priscilla Shirer and Ben Davies. Paul Mills, who wrote the score for War Room, also returned to compose for Overcomer. The soundtrack includes the record setting No. 1 Christian song "You Say" by Lauren Daigle that held the top spot for 62 weeks.[12] It also crossed over and reached No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary charts.[13]


Overcomer's main theme is finding one's identity in Christ,[14][15] and is based mainly on Ephesians 1 and 2.[16] On the issue the film was intended to address, Alex Kendrick related the following:

Our culture wants to say identity is what you feel, or what culture says about you, or some status, job status, financial status . . . [a]nd all those things can change. So, who are you when what you are known for is stripped away?[7]

Concerning the religious nature of the film and the Kendrick Brothers' previous productions, Kendrick said:

Our primary [purpose] is to help people who already know Christ, to continue growing and live out their faith.

But there is truth in our movies that will bleed over into secular audiences as well. Many people that watch our films are impacted by the messages, even if they don't share our faith.

We can make a movie but only God can change the heart.[17]

The title of the film was inspired by 1 John 5:5.[1]


Overcomer screened early in several cities, including Atlanta, Georgia.[1] It also received a pre-screening on March 28, 2019 at the National Religious Broadcasters' Proclaim 19.[18] The film was theatrically released in the United States on August 23, 2019.

Home media[edit]

It was released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on Digital HD on November 26, 2019, followed by a 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD release on December 17, 2019.[19]


Box office[edit]

In the United States and Canada, Overcomer was released alongside Angel Has Fallen, Overcomer was projected to gross around $6 million from 1,723 theaters in its opening weekend.[20] Prior to its release, Fandango reported that the film's advance ticket sales were surpassing those of Breakthrough, which debuted to $11.3 million in March 2019.[21] Overcomer made $3 million on its first day, including $775,000 from Thursday night previews. [22] It went on to slightly over-perform, debuting to $8.1 million over the weekend; as with many faith-based films, it played best in Mid-West and Southern states.[23][24] The film has grossed $38 million worldwide as of January 2020.[2]

According to the film's director, Alex Kendrick, 50 people in one theater accepted Christ after seeing the film, calling it "one of many, many stories" of people affected by the film.[25]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 56% based on reviews from 18 critics and an average rating of 6/10.[26] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 17 out of 100, based on 5 critics, indicating "overwhelming dislike".[27] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a rare average grade of "A+" on an A+ to F scale.[24] While Deadline Hollywood noted it had become "standard" for faith-based films, Kendrick became just the second director (after Rob Reiner) to have three different films earn the score.[24]

Tara McNamara of Common Sense Media rated Overcomer 4 out of 5 stars, writing that "Kendrick's work improves with every film, and he deserves his seat at the head of the faith-based film table." She does criticize the movie's "racial stereotypes", however, and doubts the necessity of Alex Kendrick's character.[28] Kimber Myers of The Los Angeles Times gave the film a mixed review, saying the script "focuses more on tugging at the heartstrings instead of developing characters," but praising its "emotionally effective conclusion that might persuade even the cynics to its cause."[29] Carlos Aguilar of TheWrap wrote "Sports-Centric Faith-Based Drama Preaches, Repetitively, to the Choir," saying that "The writing, the acting, even the lighting fails to turn the thudding messaging into something resembling cinematic entertainment."[30]


  1. ^ a b c d e Jennifer Parks (August 10, 2019). "Opening approaches for Kendrick Brothers' 'Overcomer'". Albany Herald. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Overcomer (2019)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  3. ^ "Overcomer (2019)". The Numbers. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "AFFIRM Films And Provident Films Announce Production Wrap On Kendrick Brothers' 'OVERCOMER'". PR Newswire. July 31, 2018. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  5. ^ "'Greyhound' Release Date Changes Again As Sony Moves Tom Hanks WWII Pic To March – Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  6. ^ "Alex Kendrick". Scripts. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c Efrem Graham (August 22, 2019). "'You Are Who God Says You Are': What New Faith-Based Film 'Overcomer' Is All About". Christian Broadcasting Network. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  8. ^ Chuck Williams (July 28, 2018). "Columbus gets big role in Kendrick Brothers faith-based movie. City kept it secret for weeks". Ledger Enquirer. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  9. ^ Jeannie Law (November 1, 2018). "Kendrick Bros. Release Teaser Trailer for 'Overcomer'". The Christian Post. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  10. ^ Jamie Broadnax (August 22, 2019). "The Faith-Based Drama 'Overcomer' Is All About Lack of Faith". Black Girl Nerds. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  11. ^ Michael Foust. "5 Things You Should Know about Overcomer". Crosswalk.com. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  12. ^ Parke, Caleb (October 4, 2019). "Lauren Daigle's Christian song just broke the record with 62 weeks at No. 1 in the category". Fox News Channel.
  13. ^ "Lauren Daigle's 'You Say' Completes Record Crossover to No. 1 on Adult Contemporary Chart". Billboard.
  14. ^ Steve Jordahl (August 16, 2019). "Kendricks on 'Overcomer': One saved 'better than 10' Oscars". Baptist Press News. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  15. ^ Michael Foust (August 9, 2019). "Kendrick brothers return with 'Overcomer'". OneNewsNow.com. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  16. ^ Jeannie Law (August 23, 2019). "'Overcomer' movie brings hope to a generation searching for worth". The Christian Post. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  17. ^ Ben McEachan (August 20, 2019). "Fireproof and War Room team share secret of success". Eternity News. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  18. ^ "Proclaim 19 to Feature Alex Kendrick, Upcoming Film 'Overcomer'". National Religious Broadcasters. January 10, 2019. Archived from the original on March 22, 2019. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  19. ^ Clarks, Jessie. "'Overcomer' Releasing On Digital November 26". TheChristianBeat.org. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  20. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (August 21, 2019). "'Ready or Not,' 'Angel Has Fallen' Enter Box Office Race". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  21. ^ Michael Foust (August 20, 2019). "Overcomer Outpacing Hit Breakthrough in Fandango Ticket Sales". Christian Headlines. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  22. ^ Brad Brevet (August 24, 2019). "'Angel has Fallen' Looks to Rise to Weekend #1". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  23. ^ "August 23-25, 2019 Weekend". Box Office Mojo. August 25, 2019. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  24. ^ a b c D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 25, 2019). "Gerard Butler's 'Angel Has Fallen' Rises Near Franchise's 'London' Sequel With $21M+ Opening – Sunday AM B.O." Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 25, 2020. A+ CinemaScore (standard for these pics, as the older-skewing female audience isn’t as severe in their criticism, with 45% of the crowd over 45, 64% female).
  25. ^ Michael Foust (November 11, 2019). "50 Accept Christ in Theater after Watching Faith-Based Film Overcomer". Christian Headlines. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  26. ^ "Overcomer (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  27. ^ "Overcomer Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  28. ^ "Overcomer Movie Review | Common Sense Media".
  29. ^ "Review: 'Overcomer' reaches the finish line — eventually". Los Angeles Times. August 23, 2019.
  30. ^ "'Overcomer' Film Review: Sports-Centric Faith-Based Drama Preaches, Repetitively, to the Choir". August 23, 2019.

External links[edit]