I don’t know exactly how to write a movie review for The Shack. You either already know you are going to see it, or are uninterested and won’t be seeing it. The Shack isn’t fun in the way most movies I am entertained by are fun, but no one expected it to be. I will say that I have seen some really bad faith based movies. In fact, most of them are bad, cringe worthy, and practicably unwatchable. The Shack is none of those three things. They spent the money to hire actual actors (and that makes a world of difference); the writing is average for a movie (therefore, miles ahead of most faith based movies); and the production values are also of reasonable quality. The story is good, they handled the rough parts tastefully, but still with most of the impact, and if you buy the premise then the characters will pull you in.
I don’t think you would have had to have read the book to be able to grasp the movie, but it would help, of course. As far as movies go, The Shack is the best player on the JV team; a stand out as long as you’re not comparing it to the bigger, stronger players. But as far as faith based entertainment goes, it is top shelf.
The kids will be fine, as long as you don’t mind answering a bazillion questions on the ride home.
Oh! I almost forgot the best part. Overly religious people will be crapping their pants. They’ll be tripping over themselves to misquote or argue some irrelevant point. It brings my heart great joy to watch religious people scramble.