“Is it a miracle? A wonder?” said Paul MacInnes in the Guardian. “Or just a sign of the coming end days” that the Christian movie Fireproof—which was made for just $500,000, produced by a studio run by a church, and stars Kirk Cameron—came in fourth at the box office over the weekend and grossed $6.5 million?

This was a “big surprise,” said Nikki Finke in Deadline Hollywood Daily, but it’s not that hard to figure out. The marketing team behind Fireproof used “grassroots methods to directly reach churches,” and “faith-based ‘Action Squads’ bought up blocks of tickets”—and it obviously worked.

It also doesn’t hurt that Fireproof has some “commendable elements,” said Neil Genzlinger in The New York Times, “including that rarest of creatures on the big (or small) screen—characters with a strong, conservative Christian faith who don’t sound crazy.” And the mostly amateur cast is “surprisingly good.”

Fireproof may have done well at the box office, said The Search, but this is not a “successful film.” It’s a “melodramatic, Hallmark Hall of Fame film riddled with clichés," overacting, "and one too many Kodak moments.”