Alex Kendrick is a former associate pastor from Georgia (the US state), who has become a leading light of Christian filmmaking, including through his company Sherwood Pictures based in Albany, GA. He often works with his brother Stephen Kendrick.
His films tend to be received respectfully by American Christian media, and to be ignored or ridiculed by everybody else.
For avoidance of doubt, he is no relation of Oscar-nominated actor Anna Kendrick.
Films as director
Right-wing publication The Federalist summed up the brothers' ten-year film career thus: "All they actually did was introduce a new generation of Christian filmmakers to a low standard of storytelling." They noted common features of his films, such as a tendency for interminable preaching and generally telling not showing; "simplistic character archetypes"; failing to challenge their audience; and an obsession with avoiding smut or family-unfriendly material that leads to Fireproof being a film about porn addiction that never mentions pornography.
As writer-director he has made the following:
About a dodgy used car salesman who finds God and decides to be nicer. It was made for a minimal budget, less than $20,000, with the aid of many church volunteers.
Facing the Giants (2006)
An (American) football drama where prayer is shown to be the way to footballing triumph. God's policy on chronic traumatic encephalopathy is unclear.
A marital drama about a firefighter and his relationship with the erstwhile burning bush that is Our Lord.
About four policemen with a crisis of faith, focusing on Kendrick's cop who decides to be a better (i.e. more conservative) father to his kids. The New York Times found it "overplotted and understructured": there are reasonably good moments of "light gunplay" and comedy, but they don't integrate well with the main plot, and it's all no more than competent but way too long.
War Room (2015)
Another family drama, but featuring black people. Its message is that if you're a wife and your husband is being a jerk, it's your fault for not praying enough or in exactly the right way. Jordan Hoffman for The Guardian found it badly-lit and boring, although the editing was ok. According to Variety, it's even more religion-focused than his earlier films, with less attempt to integrate the faith stuff with an actual plot, although Variety did compare a scene of divinely-ordained diarrhea to Cary Grant-Doris Day comedy That Touch of Mink.
Even some Conservatives disliked it, with The Federalist caling it "cheesy".
According to IMDb, Overcomer, his 6th film as director, is due out in 2019.
Other film work
He also co-wrote Like Arrows, a family drama directed by Kevin Peeples. Peeples is a regular collaborator of Kendrick, as well as maker of such films as the Troy McClure-esque Birth Control: How Did We Get Here? (2013).
Alex has a tendency to act in the films he writes or directs, but has also had a few roles in other films. He played a pastor in the comedy Moms' Night Out (alongside Patricia Heaton and Sean Astin). He often seems to play men of the cloth in films, suggesting his acting talents may be somewhat limited.
He was added as narrator of a framing device in the re-cut version of Bill Muir's film The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone, which was re-edited by a bunch of Christian investors. Again, playing someone who tells a story with a strong Christian message probably didn't stretch his acting skills much.
With his brother Stephen, he wrote a non-fiction self-help book The Love Dare, related to Fireproof. Published in 2008, it has allegedly sold 3.5 million copies and spent over 130 weeks on the New York Times Paperback Advice & Misc. bestsellers list. The brothers followed it with Love Dare Day by Day (2009) and The Love Dare For Parents which is about "how can you win the heart of your child."
He has also co-written novelisations of most of his films.
- Alex Kendrick, IMDb
- ‘War Room’ Is Just As Cheesy As All Kendrick Brothers Films, The Federalist, 4 Sep 2015
- Courageous, New York Times, 3 Oct 2011.
- War Room review: shut up and pray he quits, Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian, 28 Aug 2015
- War Room, Variety, 2015
- Alex Kendrick talks about his acting role in the faith-based comedy “Moms’ Night Out” and how a “Prayer Grid” helps him choose his projects, BeliefNet July 2013
- See the Wikipedia article on The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone.
- See the Wikipedia article on The Love Dare.
- Hit Filmmaker Alex Kendrick, Kelli Gillespie, Risen Magazine