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Video Reviews

Plugged In Rating
Content Caution
MPAA Rating
Drama, Musical
Michael Koch as Rich Mullins; David Schultz as Sam Howard; Wolfgang Bodison as Bryan; James Kyson as Matt
David Schultz
On Video
May 6, 2014
Bob Waliszewski



The movie Ragamuffin could have been called The Life and Complicated Times of Rich Mullins. Before Mullins became a well-known and respected Christian musician/songwriter, he was a little boy struggling with daddy issues. Dad makes it clear Rich isn't turning out as the rugged ranch hand he'd hoped for. So, instead of telling folks he has three boys and two girls, dad tells others that he has two boys, two girls and a piano player.


As Rich gets older, goes off to college, and begins writing and singing Christian songs, it's clear he loves Jesus and wants to serve Him, but time and again, his actions fall short. Rich regularly gets intoxicated. He smokes. He swears. One minute he's turning down lucrative recording contracts to work with Native Americans. The next he's angrily breaking the glass of a phone booth. One minute he's seeking out a Christian mentor. The next he's telling this same mentor that on a scale of one to 10, he's hungover at an 11.

Mullins' roller-coaster faith journey is the essence of this DVD. On the positive side, the film is strong on the idea that we all need to be lovers of Jesus. And it's strong on grace. However, grace often comes across as cheap here. Sinfulness doesn't carry the destructive weight that Scripture underscores. Depending on one's own faith journey, this story has the potential to help someone get out of spiritual duplicity ... or possibly become more comfortable in it.