Christian Living


Ragamuffin: Movie Review

Star Rating

Movie Info


PG-13 for thematic elements and smoking


Drama, Biopic


Michael Koch, David Schultz, Wolfgang Bodison, James Kyson, Carson Aune, Brad Binkley


David Schultz


Color Green Films

More on this movie at IMDb.com

CBN is not endorsing the films or TV shows CBN.com reviews. Our goal is to provide information about the latest in entertainment, both the good and the bad, so you may make an informed decision as to what is appropriate for you and your families.

Those longing for a genuine look at the nitty-gritty that can be the Christian walk will find it in the new Rich Mullin’s biopic, Ragamuffin. The small-budget, indie production portrays a candid Mullins as he unapologetically lived life full-on until his untimely death in 1997.

Rated PG-13, Ragamuffin is not a movie for young kids. However, teenagers and even pre-teens should see this, with their parents’ consent. This movie, like its subject, is not wrapped up in religiosity. Mullins identified with the ‘ragamuffin’ spirit, one of humility and brokenness before God, and that example is one worth remembering today.


Rich always wrestled with being different, even from an early age. Troubles with his abrasive father sent the young musical prodigy into a whirlwind of confusion about his place in life. Thinking a move would be the answer, Rich left his family farm for Bible college. But his road from there on was rife with heartache and loneliness, addiction and depression, even in the midst of the fame and fortune he gained from his work in Christian music.


Michael Koch, a newbie to feature-length film, embodies the role of the Ragamuffin band leader. Koch’s performance as Mullins is both engaging and provoking. Though he’s not the spittin’ image of Mullins, he does bring his fiery passion alive as he sings “Awesome God” and “Hold Me Jesus”.

The film’s other strength is its moments of Mullins-esque revelation. Ragamuffin’s message to us is one that God’s love is not dependent upon us. Not shying away from the grittiness of Mullins’ story and struggles with alcohol, Ragamuffin comes across as an honest look at what walking with Jesus is like sometimes—messy and full of questions.

Where this biopic falters a bit is in its script and supporting cast. From a filmmaking perspective, narration is overused. Also, some of the secondary actors aren’t as strong as lead, and consequently do not uphold their supporting roles.

Ragamuffin’s PG-13 rating is for thematic elements and smoking (and drinking throughout the film). Mullins was a broken man, one who grappled with fame and fortune, the state of the Church and his longing to be more like Jesus. The personal struggle with his inner demons is not glossed over.


Ragamuffin presents Mullins’ life in an accessible way. Like his life, the movie has a few bumps along the way, but for the most part, it’s a smooth ride as we journey through the life, death and rebirth of one of the greatest voices for God of the 20th century.

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