DVD Verdict
Home About Deals Blu-ray DVD Reviews Upcoming DVD Releases Contest Podcasts Judges Jury Room Contact  

Case Number 19800: Small Claims Court

Buy Rust at Amazon


Sony // 2009 // 95 Minutes // Rated PG
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // September 30th, 2010

• View Judge Johnson's Dossier
• E-mail Judge Johnson
• Printer Friendly Review

Every purchase you make through these Amazon links supports DVD Verdict's reviewing efforts. Thank you!


All Rise...

Judge David Johnson shakes off his rust with some well-placed shots of WD-40.

The Charge

A journey home. A faith restored.

The Case

Corbin Bernsen enters into the surging Christian filmmaking market with this meditation on faith.

Bernsen (who producers, writes and directs) stars as James Moore, a minister who has shed his faith, unable to get past the thorny question of "Why does a seemingly benevolent Creator allow bad things to happen?" So he returns to his rural hometown and is stunned to discover some truly bad news: a house fire killed a local family and James's childhood friend has been charged with the slaying.

James takes it upon himself to dig through the case and unearth the truth and along the way he learns a bit more about his belief system.

What to make of Rust? Well, it's easy to see how intensely personal a project this is for Bernsen. It is also unabashedly Christian in its message, dealing in the themes of purpose and redemption.

However, it falls a few degrees short of becoming something truly memorable. As it stands now, Rust is a well-made, somber affair and could almost pass as Bernsen's biopic. In fact, that's not very far off the mark as his commentary reflects how close to home the character arc hit for him.

The film materialized when Bernsen's father passed away, prompting him to think long and hard about the afterlife and his role in the world. This is all hard-hitting stuff and for the most part, it lands on the screen. But a lethargic pacing and a mystery that doesn't measure up as the central narrative engine hold Rust back from truly soaring.

Please note that I'm not using the "it's good for a Christian movie." I more than appreciate the weighty material that Bernsen grapples with and noticeable lack of corniness. And while the Christian message is not shied away from, it's not wielded like an axe either; you won't be preached at with this movie.

After listening to Bernsen's commentary and watching his stirring behind-the-scenes featurettes, I ultimately realized that those elements—Corbin Bernsen explaining why he made the film—proved to be more moving than the film itself.

Sony's DVD presentation is effective: a nice 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.0 Dolby Digital (English, Portuguese, Thai), commentary, deleted scenes and four making-of featurettes.

The Verdict

Not Guilty. But not quite the sentimental homerun it could have been.

Give us your feedback!

Did we give Rust a fair trial? yes / no

Share This Review

Follow DVD Verdict

Other Reviews You Might Enjoy

• Tortilla Soup
• Sins Of The Father
• Cruel Intentions
• Wedding In White

DVD Reviews Quick Index

• DVD Releases
• Recent DVD Reviews
• Search for a DVD review...

Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Sony
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.0 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 5.0 Surround (Portuguese)
• Dolby Digital 5.0 Surround (Thai)
• English
• English (SDH)
• Chinese
• French
• Korean
• Portuguese
• Spanish
• Thai
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated PG
• Drama
• Religious and Spiritual

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• Deleted Scenes
• Featurettes


• IMDb

DVD | Blu-ray | Upcoming DVD Releases | About | Staff | Jobs | Contact | Subscribe | Find us on Google+ | Privacy Policy

Review content copyright © 2010 David Johnson; Site design and review layout copyright © 2016 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.