“When it comes to art, I use three categories to evaluate those kinds of things,” says Brett Kunkle, Student Impact Director at Stand to Reason. “The three categories are (1) truth (2) goodness (3) beauty.” Discern what the message is and whether or not it is true. “If there’s a message that a certain lifestyle will bring you joy and happiness, but I know that from God’s word this is clearly an immoral lifestyle that won’t result in that…that’s a false message.” Truth is also communicated through the hero of the movie. Movies like Ocean’s Eleven in which the heroes are criminals are presenting distorted values and morality. On the other hand, The Lord of the Rings commends virtue and self-sacrifice.
In the end, the intrinsic value of a movie or piece of art doesn’t come solely from its content. “Certainly if you’re going to rule out Harry Potter [for having magic], then you have to rule out The Lord of the Rings, you have to rule out C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia.”