Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Daniel Lusko|
|Produced by||Daniel Lusko|
James R. Higgins
Jerry D. Simmons
|Written by||Daniel Lusko|
|Music by||Chris Ridenhour|
|Cinematography||Richard J. Vialet|
|Edited by||Brian Brinkman|
|Distributed by||Millennium Entertainment|
|Box office||$1.6 million|
Persecuted is a 2014 American-made Christian drama film written and directed by Daniel Lusko and starring James Remar, Bruce Davison, Dean Stockwell, Raoul Trujillo, Fred Thompson, Brad Stine, David House, and Tabatha Shaun.
Reformed drug addict and America's leading evangelist John Luther opposes Senator Donald Harrison's 'Faith and Fairness Act', which would not allow Christians to state that they have the whole/only truth. To destroy Luther's credibility and ensure passage of the bill, Harrison has Luther framed for the rape and murder of a teen-aged girl.
- James Remar as John Luther
- Bruce Davison as Senator Donald Harrison
- Dean Stockwell as Dave Wilson
- Raoul Trujillo as Mr. Gray
- Fred Thompson as Fr. Charles Luther
- Natalie Grant as Monica Luther
- Gretchen Carlson as Diana Lucas
- Brad Stine as Pastor Ryan Morris
Principal photography took place in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The movie's production is finished, and it was screened at the February 2014 National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, Tennessee, and on March 2014 at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC
Persecuted has been adapted into a book by Robin Parrish.
Persecuted was released theatrically on July 18, 2014.
The film was widely panned by critics and is one of the worst-reviewed films of 2014. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 0% approval rating with an average rating of 2.6/10 based on 14 reviews. Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 11 out of 100 based on 9 reviews, indicating "overwhelming dislike".
In a review for the New York Post, Kyle Smith wrote, "The Lord works in mysterious ways but Persecuted works in blundering, obvious ways, straining a Christianity-under-attack theme through a dopey thriller."
New York Times film critic Neil Genzlinger stated, "This terrible attempt at a political thriller for the religious right is aimed not at Christians in general but at a certain breed of them, the kind who feel as if the rest of the world were engaged in a giant conspiracy against their interpretation of good and truth."
Justin Chang of Variety concluded his scathing review with, "At a time when the world offers us no shortage of examples of what actual religious persecution looks like, for a film to indulge in this particular brand of self-righteous fearmongering isn’t just clueless or reckless; it’s an act of contemptible irresponsibility."
Focus on the Family said, "Philosophically, the movie compels us to grapple with what it looks like to have religious freedom in our modern world. It asks, Do we still have it in America? And it goes to some length, story-wise, to reinforce how important such freedom is....Indeed, religious freedom is a very big deal. It is the bedrock upon which America was founded. And while the sort of vicious persecution Christians currently experience in some other countries is not a reality here in the United States, many American Christians already feel that their faith is under attack...[Persecuted] has its problems, both in terms of content and plot and even message. But its subject is a timely one, well worth putting much more thought into than most of us usually do."
- "Persecuted (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
- ""Persecuted" latest movie to shoot in NM". bizjournals.com. July 15, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
- Kellner, Mark A. 'Persecuted' film examines freedom of conscience versus the state, Deseret News, February 13, 2014.
- "Persecuted (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- "Persecuted". Metacritic. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- Smith, Kyle (July 16, 2014). "Even a higher power cannot save dopey thriller 'Persecuted'". New York Post. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- Genzlinger, Neil (July 17, 2014). "They're Out to Get Him, Whoever They Are: 'Persecuted' Focuses on a TV Evangelist". The New York Times Company. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- Chang, Justin (July 17, 2014). "'Persecuted' Review: A Ludicrous Exercise in Christian Paranoia". Variety. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- "Movie review". Focus on the Family. 2014. Retrieved November 22, 2018.