Critic Reviews



Based on 28 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
With intelligence and great moviemaking skill, [Reynolds] has created a classic variation on a venerated ancient theme.
Yes, it's aimed at believers. But Reynolds & Co. avoid the traps of Mel Gibson's movie and many others by making these times horrifically real, but these Biblical figures and what they were about compelling in their kindness, soft-selling their message so sweetly that even a Roman with blood on his hands will question his Empire, his religion and his way of living before all is said and done.
As played by Fiennes, who has the aquiline face and piercing eyes of Max Van Sydow, Clavius is no pushover. You believe his disbelief, so when it wavers, yours might as well.
Risen is more entertaining than Bible-adjacent stories are usually allowed to be.
The film, directed and co-written by Kevin Reynolds ("Fandango," um, "Waterworld"), is a nice-enough telling of the Resurrection of Jesus, which at times seems like it also wants to be a Very Special Episode of "CSI: Jerusalem." It's well-made and well-acted.
Risen is fairly engrossing in its thriller-like section, with Fiennes' restrained performance providing a solid dramatic anchor and the Maori actor Curtis being a nice change from the usual blonde-hair/blue-eyed Jesus. But when the film shifts into inspirational territory it ironically becomes far more prosaic, depicting the miracles in a low-budget, low-key fashion that will hardly win any converts.
In the end, you get a Sunday morning sermon when what you really want is a Saturday midnight screening.
Refreshingly unpretentious, Risen reimagines the Gospel as an ancient Roman cop movie.
Risen turns out to be an intriguing, if ultimately frustrating, retelling of the familiar story, here reconfigured as a detective procedural.
Risen veers so far off the Bible's path that it might as well be a tale of this 13th apostle, called Marty, who was in charge of snacks and mini-golf reservations.

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