"Risen" is the story of the Resurrection from the experience of Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a member of the Roman Military Tribune. Due to the rumors that Jesus will return to life 3 days after his death, Clavius is assigned the task of overseeing the crucifixion and monitoring the guards responsible for making sure the tomb is left untouched. When the body of Jesus disappears, Clavius and his aide Lucius (Tom Felton) must discover what happened and how. In the weeks that follow, Clavius encounters events and people that challenge everything he holds true. When he finds the man whose crucifixion he had witnessed, Clavius is more determined than ever to find the answers...and his life will never be the same.
My Review: The acting, story line and production values are top-notch, and “Risen” followed the Biblical accounts closely enough that I had no issue with the creative licensing that must take place when telling a story from the point of view of a fictional character. The story brought a fresh look at people we are familiar with and “humanized” a few with both flaws and unexpected humor. Did I agree with every interpretation? No. But there was nothing that was outlandish or too far from actual events.
There are violent moments and graphic scenes as they search for Jesus among the dead, but not as intense as “Passion of the Christ.” Two younger teens were with me, and the movie was suitable for them, but I believe that parents should keep in mind that the film is PG-13. “Risen” is also one you can invite your unbelieving friends to see with you because it is a well told story about a seeker of truth (I love "Christian Pep Rally" films for my own encouragement, but some can be a tad antagonistic). Hopefully, it will open the door to many conversations and people will be more willing to explore the authenticity of Christianity. I confess that I am not a huge fan of several epic Biblical movies that people watch every year, but “Risen” will become a perennial favorite of mine.