Beliefnet
Movie Mom

The discovery of a Third Testament leads to a mystery — a whole series of them — in this ambitious, intricately constructed film from first-time writer-director Matt Dallman.

Carolyn Matthews (Amy Weins) is determined to find her husband, Jacob, who disappeared after he interviewed an archeologist named Phineas Black (Eric Michael Gillett), the man who found the controversial Third Testament. Black is arrested for Jacob’s murder and Carolyn visits him in jail. He is hostile, even abusive. It turns out they have something important in common. Both have experienced tragic losses. But Carolyn responded by becoming a Christian while Phineas responded by rejecting God.

Despite his hostility, Carolyn keeps talking to Phineas, certain that he has something to tell her about where Jacob is. He begins to give her some hints about a murky, centuries-long conspiracy called The King’s Eight. And she will learn that they share another important connection.

If it suffers from first-time mistakes, especially over-complication (its imitation “Da Vinci Code” plot twists are a distraction). But it benefits from far above-average acting from a cast with strong theater experience and a willingness to take on big issues in a generous-hearted and open-minded way. Its mosaic, documentary-style story-telling gives it an immediacy that makes its more amateur elements feel like further proof of its authenticity.

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