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Reviews & Ratings for
Risen More at IMDbPro »

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91 out of 121 people found the following review useful:

Powerful Acting and Writing Give an Old Story New Perspective

Author: Kris King from Atlanta, GA
19 February 2016

Risen is a well done action movie with strong writing of an old story in a fresh new way. Please don't waste your time picking apart the theology. All direct quotes from the Bible were accurate and powerfully depicted. It is a FICTIONAL account through the eyes of Pontius Pilate's right hand man (Roman tribune) Clavis. No, Jesus and the disciples did not hang out with a Roman after the resurrection. We all know that. It deviates from the Biblical story to show a different point of view and they do it graphically and with a great connection to the audience.

This movie pretty much picks up where "Passion of the Christ" left off. They unabashedly told the story from the end of the crucifixion into the full-on resurrection, into the ascension and traveled with Christ into Galilee with the disciples all the way to the ascension. Somehow it was not hokey or silly. They did it well. I highly recommend you go see it while it is still in theaters. The scenery was beautiful.

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103 out of 146 people found the following review useful:

Awesome movie. Kind of took me by surprise.

Author: McKenzie_Bryant from United States
19 February 2016

I just came back from seeing Risen, and I have to say, I was actually impressed. This is a very well made movie. They handled the biblical story respectfully, while taking creative license in a way that maintained the spirit and overall message of the gospel. To anyone else considering making another film based on the bible, please take note of this film. This is how it's done. No rock creatures to be found here. Just a wonderful film that tells the story with excellence and dignity. I absolutely loved this movie, and fought tears during the 2nd half. I eventually lost that battle, and I heard other sniffles in the audience as well. So be prepared. (By the way, someone please nominate that Roman guard in tavern for an award.)

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70 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

Pretty Decent

Author: allstarrunner from United States
18 February 2016

With the most recent Biblical movies that Hollywood has come out with, Noah and Exodus, the main complaint, at least from the Christian viewer-base, was that they didn't stick to the accuracy of the Bible; in this film they do - so it has that going for it, if you're a Christian.

At the top of the IMDb page it lists this movie as Action, Adventure, and Drama; but in reality it's pretty much just drama. There is a 3 minute action sequence at the beginning and that is about it. It's not bad that it's Drama, but it is a slower paced movie - I only point this out because that is one of things I like to know when going into a movie.

The movie itself wasn't terribly exciting, but for the Christian audience, who like to see portions of the Bible "brought to life", I think it will find a decent viewer ship. That being said, if it's Friday night and you're looking for a fun movie, then this probably isn't it.

Thankfully, this isn't another "God's Not Dead" where they smack you in the face over and over again with how awesome Christians are and how terrible atheists are - it basically just sticks to a fictional storyline of what might have happened to a Roman centurion who is in charge of finding the missing body.

The bottom line is this movie is the very definition of "good" to me, not bad, but not great...just good.

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72 out of 105 people found the following review useful:

Fun and Touching Movie

Author: keicraig from USA
19 February 2016

Risen is a fun movie, with many touching moments. It's faithful to the original story of Jesus, but also completely different as the story of a Roman Tribune commanded to find the body of Jesus to quell the new messiah movement. Jesus is played by an excellent choice of actor, who is less of a male model look than many movies. Fiennes is awesome as a man who undergoes a life changing series of events. The basic plot and conclusion of the film is simple yet profound, and should be appreciated by believers and nonbelievers alike. The night I watched it I dreamed about the movie all night, not something which normally happens. The quality is above most faith-based films and is full of action, humor, and inspiration for the whole family.

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51 out of 65 people found the following review useful:

Romans, faith, and reason.

Author: mjjusa-1 from United States
20 February 2016

With nothing else to see, I went, somewhat reluctantly, to see the new Biblically inspired, movie, 'Risen' (which, as you can see, got good reviews on IMDb). Ostensibly about the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, it's more a logical investigation imaginatively laid atop a history lesson, a key miracle of the New Testament, and a logical examination of rational thought challenged by inexplicable events. Told from the perspective of a Roman Tribune sent to investigate how Jesus' physical body disappeared from it's tomb, it's a story well told, seems historically authentic, and I (a lapsed Catholic/agnostic/skeptic) recommend it highly. It was also an interesting exercise in memory, as I strained to remember what I remember from hours of Catechism, and yearly celebrations of Good Friday, Easter, and the Feast of the Assumption...which turned out to be...not much.

There are parts which recall 'Life of Brian', it's a little bit long, the disciples resemble the inhabitants of the hippie commune in 'Easy Rider', Bartholomew is completely over the top, and the actor who plays Christ is iffy. But, then again, he is tasked with the impossible role of being man and God (just what expression would you choose if you played Christ?) without descending into camp farce. All in all, he does OK.

Joseph Fiennes plays the Tribune with authenticity, honesty, and an openness which allowed me to put myself in his does a rational man deal with fundamental challenges to his heretofore solid as a rock, world? When do you surrender to faith when all the 'reason' in the world suggests that reason has little to do with it all?

It's a good movie, well worth seeing.

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51 out of 75 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable if not inspired Biblical adaptation.

Author: jdesando from United States
19 February 2016

For a fallen-down Catholic boy like me, seeing Risen, a take on the weeks after Christ's Resurrection, should have offered me a year's supply of cynicism. As it turns out, the film was a pleasant trip back to the days when I did believe, when awe was a companion of my faith.

This uninspired Biblical thriller shows a powerful Roman tribune, Flavius (an underplaying to good effect Joseph Fiennes), ordered by Pilate (Peter Firth) to get rid of the Nazarene, and after His resurrection, find Him, and kill Him again. With restraint, director Kevin Reynolds makes even me a brief believer because the actors, from Cliff Curtis (Yeshua--Jesus) to Mary Magdalene (Maria Botto), play their roles with a natural affection that's supported by no swelling music or dazed looks.

But it's Fiennes who impressed me most: As he plays a character who is probably meant to be a surrogate for doubters like me in the audience, he actually makes us believers for the moment. So dedicated he is to proving this Messiah a hoax that his growing belief becomes a balm for our disbelief.

Beyond this nicely played worship is a set that looks like it came from a hundred other "B" movie sword and sandal epics. Yet, the underplayed plot, which pretty much follows the New Testament depiction of Christ's resurrection, has a quiet charm that reminds us of the Biblical text that needs no resurrection: It is with us forever.

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37 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly very interesting led by a fantastic performance

Author: stephendaxter
23 February 2016

Risen is a Biblical Drama/Adventure film that follows Roman Tribune 'Clavius' (Joseph Fiennes) who is tasked with investigating the disappearance of the body of 'Jesus of Nazareth', who has been rumoured to have resurrected. This movie was a very pleasant surprise as i went into it expecting just an average film about a story that has been represented on the big screen many many times, but i got a very interesting, and dramatic film that had me hooked right to the very end. Many of these biblical films do touch on many of the same beats, but this film approached the story in some interesting ways and offered enough new to differentiate it from the others. The film featured some excellent/very good and convincing performances, but also had one or two miscasts. The story progressed at a steady pace for most of the film making it very easy to follow, and the film was also accompanied by a pretty good soundtrack that i did not expect at all.

One thing this film did with its story that really worked in its favour was tell the story through the eyes of a non-believer, and that added so much more to the story and more interest in the film. This added element let the story take turns that you wouldn't get from just an average biblical film and was great to see. The film also 'looked' very good in terms of the scenery and cinematography, it was very subdued and didn't really have grand set pieces and scenery that were obviously CGI. This really helped the film seem very grounded and i couldn't be distracted by any obvious CGI.

I have to say that i enjoyed the last 2/3 of the film much more than the first 1/3. I felt that there were some pretty big pacing issues in the beginning where it either felt like it was progressing too slow or it was moving too fast. There was a lot of jumping through time and skipping over quite a few scenes, and it was quite jarring at times. But as the story developed it quickly flowed at a very steady pace for the rest of the film and i quickly forgave it for its earlier blunders. In terms of performance, Joseph Fiennes was fantastic in the film as 'Clavius', he was the standout in the film and put in a very convincing and engaging performance that carried the film, especially early on. There were also good performances from other side-characters who elevated the film especially later on, but they weren't all good. Peter Firth who was cast as 'Pontius Pilate' was really not good at all, the way he delivered his lines felt very forced and not natural at all. Tom Felton was also a complete miscast, he just did not work at all as a Roman Soldier and his dialogue was very wooden and fake and just gave the impression that he was overacting and did take me out of it a little.

So in the end this was a surprisingly very good biblical film that offered enough new elements to this familiar story to differentiate it from the countless other similar films. This film would have been much better had they cast someone other than Tom Felton, as he was bringing down the film when Joseph Fiennes was putting in a fantastic performance. It's no 'Passion of the Christ' but it is better than a lot of other biblical films to come out in recent years.


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31 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Two movies in one, the first much better than the second.

Author: askragh from United States
21 February 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all, this review contains a spoiler.

Now this movie is 1:47 long. In that time, there was in fact two movies, the first hour was truly like a detective story unfolding during the time of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. The development of the Tribune within the context of service to the emperor as well as locally to Pilate was well done. However, the greatest tragedy of writing in this movie was after the Tribune discovers Jesus meeting with his disciples, very much risen, welcoming him into the room. Initially, all that the Tribune can do is drop his sword. At that moment, all that made sense to this Roman - the Empire, the emperor, law, order, his role, everything - no longer had any relevance. This is when the movie should have ended. Unfortunately, what we get is a completely different tone from now on. With little character development we get a "Forest Gump" meets "Travels with Charley" tour of miracles and a jaunt to Galilee. Clearly, the movie had lost the focus from the first half and there was some felt need to show "Jesus in action" rather than people in action because of their faith in Jesus. Truly unfortunate. This made a 4 star movie into at best 3 stars, falling flat and shining little.

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27 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

The Gospel--Detective Movie Style!

Author: ( from Tampa, FL
19 February 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For more than 100 years, stories of Jesus have been the topic of movies. Many early works of cinema featured not only Jesus, but Moses, Sampson, David, etc, but this film is quite different in that is carries a much lighter tone than most faith-based productions. Sticking to the basics of what is known from the Bible and other Jewish and Roman historical accounts of the event, Risen lacks the pious and pretentious nature many of the films in this same sub-genre contain. Not quite cinematic per se or traditionally action-packed, the film has relatively slow pacing but keeps it interesting by supplying well-developed characters and simply the thrill of the original man-hunt. Although the message of the Gospel is clearly stated and shown in the movie, it does not come off as proselytizing. In many ways, the central character is an everyman because it is fairly easy to place yourself in his shoes--or sandals in this case--and imagine what it must have been like to have been in charge of guarding Christ's tomb and then having to answer for the disappearance. One thing puzzles me; and that is Columbia Pictures' timing of this release. Honestly, it makes more sense to have released it the weekend prior to Easter. Anyway, I digress.

A history and mystery in one! From either objective or subjective points of view, this is my pick for the best "Jesus" film ever. And yes, I am including the box office smash Passion of the Christ in that assessment. But what makes this particular movie more receptive and less controversial and other faith-based films in the past? Answer: lack of pretense. Whether talking God's Not Dead or Passion of the Christ, both films do not attempt to appeal to a broad audience. They play on the court with the rest of the faith-based movies both good and bad. Risen plays to the audience differently because it concentrates on developing the realistic historic characters by pairing what is known by way of Biblical or Jewish/Roman historic texts with logical conclusions or using context clues to fill in the gaps. The writers did an excellent job in developing the character of Clavius as someone with whom many in the audience could identify because whether believers int he resurrection or not, we have all questioned our various and respective beliefs at one point or another and often look for answers very much in the same way a detective solves a mystery.

Unlike other films where the focus is either directly or indirectly on Jesus, the focus of this film is primarily on the delicate political landscape between the Jews and Romans and of course our protagonist Clavius. However, this film uses the indirect approach to discover why Jesus' was so special to his followers (and it still to this day). This indirect approach is far more effective for speeding the Gospel message than typical "Christian" films. Although this film is clearly about the mystery surrounding the resurrection of Jesus in the background, the foreground is a personal journey thus making it more of a historic film than a "Christian" one, so to speak. Therefore, most anyone who enjoys Roman or Jewish history will find something of interest in this film. The relationship between the Romans and Jewish leadership is handled very well. It shows the game the Romans had to play with the Jews in order to keep peace in Jerusalem--especially because Caesar is arriving soon and Pilate needs to show him that he has the Jews under control.

The person of Jesus is also handled better than any other film I have seen. He comes off as an average Joe--that is, an average Joe who can heal lepers. But, he connects well with the audience and is very much down to earth in his appearance and mannerisms. Sometimes it's hard to understand why his disciples then and followers to this day would choose to follow such a man, but this film makes it clear why. He embodies love. On a lighter note, I've always found it funny that in most historic/Biblical films, such as this one, most of the characters speak with a British or transatlantic accent. Pretty sure that was not the case back then. But, at the same time, it does not hinder the story in any way. Although the film is a little slow and the pacing isn't always executed well, over all, it keeps in line with the traditional three-act plot structure and sufficiently supplies the audience with the proper turning points. Risen also handles character development very well. I really appreciate the development of not only Clavius but also Pilate and Lucius as well. To an extent, we also see some development in some of Jesus' disciples as well. At the end of the movie, the characters in the story felt like real people, and that is a remarkable achievement in this movie.

Ordinarily, we don't see movies like this until Easter time. Even though we are a month out from it, I feel that if you enjoy Biblical or simply historic movies that are down-to-earth, written, acted, and developed well that you will enjoy this movie. Traditionally, I am not a fan of most faith-base movies because they are cheesy, pious, over the top, or just executed poorly; however, I very much enjoyed this film and hope you do too.

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

A Fresh but Solemn View

Author: amyamy-49421 from United States
9 March 2016

Risen gave a fresh but solemn view of the biblical story of the aftermath of Jesus's crucifixion as it tells the story through the eyes of a conflicted and emotionally drained Roman soldier named Clavius. Clavius seems more of a tired observer with his deep stare and mellow manner, and he seems appalled by the violence that the Roman soldiers perform, violence that he himself is called on to perform as well. He is tired of it all and wants to retire to a quiet life with a family, without witnessing any more deaths. None-the-less, duty demands that he kill from time to time, which he dutifully does, and he seems half mortified over this, and half compliant. During the battle in the beginning of the movie, Clavius apathetically kills a Jewish rebel, and later, during the tri-crucifixion scene, he orders a Roman soldier to break a prisoner's leg as he's dying on the cross, then runs his spear through Jesus's ribs, and he's no more bothered by this than if someone fender-bendered him at the supermarket.

The way Fiennes played his role as a troubled Roman official was intriguing, capturing civilians to question them about the whereabouts of Jesus's body, then dismissing them at will. The viewer expected Clavius to perhaps resort to violence or torture to get his captures to speak and reveal where Jesus's body is, knowledge that he desperately needed to satisfy his commander, Pontius Pilate. However, Clavius never quite went that far, either out of compassion or exhaustion. While Fiennes was cast well, Curtis, who plays Jesus, is a cross between a California hippie and a happy skateboard dude in a Coke commercial. In his final good-bye scene, Jesus glibly calls across the sand yelling his farewell as if mom was telling her kids to be good while dad's in charge.

Clavius's young side kick Lucius is played by Tom Felton, and unlike Draco, Lucius follows Clavius around looking confused. Bartholomew was my favorite character. Clavius demands that Bartholomew tell him where Jesus's body is, and Bartholomew grins flippantly and conveys that he ain't telling nothing'! Clavius interrogates him more harshly, kicks him to the ground, and Bartholomew gets up and slowly approaches Clavius, solemnly bends down to his ear, and says, "he's everywhere!" Then Bartholomew beams and prances away; the joke's on Clavius! The only more comical scene was when Clavius asked a group of men, "Does any of you know Mary Magdalene?" and all of them raised their hands. One more -- I was amused when Mary Magdalene looked like Miss Karate Woman beats Godzilla when she kicked an advancing soldier out of her way and escaped through a stone window. Mary is cast well, but her role is too brief, as is all the twelve disciples who are never given any individual definition (except for Simon, who sometimes pouts, and who sometimes is as happy as Santa Claus). Pontius Pilate is old and whiny and is fixated on not upsetting public opinion. Maybe he was really like that, but they don't show the inner turmoil he must have felt being forced to kill an innocent man to placate the masses.

We all know the ending, but Risen takes an unorthodox (if you will) direction. We see facial expressions of shock and realization that tell the story better than computer-generated special effects, and we are constantly grounded into this time period with the frequent buzzing of flies over rotting bodies, hair filled with dust and sand, broken statues of the gods, and earthquakes that crack massive stone gates. Thus, Risen shows instead of tells, and doesn't preach, thank God.

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