Risen – Movie Review

Movie: Risen
Reel Rating: 3 out of 5 Reels
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for Biblical violence, including some disturbing images
Released in Theaters: Feb. 19, 2016
Best for Ages: 13+
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 107 minutes
Directed by: Kevin Reynolds
Studio: Sony
Cast: Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Cliff Curtis

MOVIE SYNOPSIS: The Biblical story of the Resurrection is told through the eyes of non-believer Clavius, a powerful Roman Military Tribune tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus following the crucifixion.


In this Biblical retelling of Jesus’ death and resurrection, Joseph Fiennes stars as the fictional character of Clavius, a high-ranking Roman soldier who’s given an usual assignment.


He must protect the tomb of the Jewish prophet Yeshua, aka Jesus (Cliff Curtis), who is rumored to be the son of God. He’s just been crucified, and Clavius must ensure that his followers don’t steal the corpse.

But the next morning, the tomb is open and the guards are missing, as is Jesus’ body. Along with his assigned aide Lucius (Tom Felton), Clavius tracks down Jesus’ disciples to see if they can help him determine what happened.

Imagine Clavius’ surprise when he finally locates Jesus and finds him alive and well. Clavius, a non-believer, is forced to question his own beliefs.

Each year, there are usually a few faith-based movies released as we head into the Easter season. This one features an excellent cast and a story told from a different perspective – a non-believer tasked with investigating the resurrection.

Still, “Risen” is a pretty straightforward film with little room for creativity, depth or development. It’s not so much a religious story – in contrast to 2014’s “Son of God” and 2015’s “Woodlawn” – as it is a big Hollywood movie that appeals to a broad range of moviegoers.

The bottom line is that “Risen” feels underdeveloped, especially in the third act when the story abruptly ends and you’re waiting for one last scene to wrap things up.

Also, my little quibble with a lot of these movies set in Biblical times is that everyone is always so well-groomed, like they just stepped out of a salon. For all the problems people had with 2014’s “Noah,” at least Russell Crowe didn’t look like he’d just returned from two weeks at a spa.

PARENT OVERVIEW: “Risen” includes lots of graphic violence, including battle scenes with swords and spears, bashing of heads with rocks and clubs, and an intense crucifixion scene, followed by bodies being thrown onto a pile of corpses. A few characters get drunk on wine. Not much swearing and only a few innuendo.

PARENT DETAILS (May Contain Spoilers):

Violence/Gore: Graphic violence includes people slashing each other with swords and spears, as well as bashing heads with rocks and clubs. The crucifixion scene shows the slow, gruesome death of the three people on crosses. Dead bodies are tossed into a pile of corpses.

Sex/Nudity: Subtle innuendo.

Profanity: None.

Drugs/Alcohol: People drink wine and occasionally act drunk.

One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.

Images in this review used courtesy of the studio and distributor.


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