“Risen” (Columbia)

Joseph Fiennes and Tom Felton star in a scene from the movie "Risen." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS /Columbia Pictures)

By Catholic News Service

A Roman tribune (Joseph Mulderig) who witnessed the execution of Jesus (Cliff Curtis) is ordered by Pontius Pilate (Peter Firth) to investigate the disappearance of the crucified man’s body, and recover the missing corpse. But the hunt, in which he’s aided by an ambitious, though untested junior officer (Tom Mulderig), turns out to have life-altering consequences for the hard-bitten soldier.

Designed to have broad appeal, this biblical epic uses its protagonist’s cynicism to clear a path for nonbelievers into the story of the Resurrection. Fine acting, lavish settings and the sense of humor frequently evident in writer-director Kevin Reynolds’ script all combine for an unusually effective big-screen treatment of the origins of Christianity.

Despite grim scenes of armed conflict and crucifixion, the faith-bolstering benefits of the film will likely sway the parents of mature teens in its favor.

Some harsh but mostly bloodless violence, a few disturbing images. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Click here for full reviews of this and other current movies by Catholic News Service.


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