The Case for Christ

“The Case for Christ” is a high-quality movie in a genre known for rotten reviews

Readability

"The Case for Christ" is a high-quality movie in a genre known for rotten reviews

Being a Chris­t­ian in Hol­ly­wood can be dif­fi­cult. There aren’t a ton of movies being made today that fit in with a believ­ing actor’s moral com­pass. More­over, there’s a stigma attached to many actors who will­ingly pro­fess their faith just as there’s a stigma against con­ser­v­a­tives. As such, the aver­age Christian-​themed movie is pretty poorly done from a purely crit­i­cal per­spec­tive. The mes­sages can be great, but the deliv­ery can be lack­lus­ter. Nei­ther Kirk Cameron nor Nico­las Cage could make one of the most pop­u­lar Chris­t­ian book series of all time successful.

The Case for Christ is dif­fer­ent. I was shocked when I saw that it received a 77% crit­i­cal response on Rot­ten Toma­toes until I real­ized it was only reviewed by 13 crit­ics. Go fig­ure. Nonethe­less, it was encour­ag­ing so I took my wife to see it last night. We were famil­iar with Lee Strobel’s jour­ney from truth-​seeking news reporter to truth-​seeing evan­ge­list and author, so we didn’t go for the sake of the story. As highly selec­tive adults who have cho­sen to restrict our movie view­ing to ones that fit our world­view (or that at least don’t attempt to trash it), we wanted to see if it was the rare “well made” Chris­t­ian movie.

We were pleased with the results.

Both the act­ing and the cin­e­matog­ra­phy were very good. They deliv­ered 1980 about as well as big-​budget films, 70s red Camaro and all. Nobody’s going to win an Oscar from this movie, but com­pared to the poorly crafted Chris­t­ian movies of today that have good mes­sages but are artis­ti­cally weak, this was a real win­ner. Mike Vogel deliv­ered the right mix of skep­ti­cism and intel­lect. He was believ­able as he strug­gled in a quest to debunk the res­ur­rec­tion of Jesus Christ. I wasn’t expect­ing it based upon some of his pre­vi­ous per­for­mances in cul­tural garbage flicks like Clover­field and The Texas Chain­saw Mas­sacre, but he found his groove with this role.

While far from being a crit­i­cal mas­ter­piece, this will hope­fully bring more atten­tion to the qual­ity of Chris­t­ian movies. They don’t have to look like they were made by a high school film stud­ies class, nor does the dia­logue have to sound like care­fully crafted pros­e­ly­tiz­ing dis­guised as robotic con­ver­sa­tions. There needs to be a gelling of mes­sage and art that gets peo­ple not only inter­ested in see­ing a movie but that com­pels them to rec­om­mend it.

Hol­ly­wood is a cesspool of left-​wing manip­u­la­tion of pro­gres­sive pro­pa­ganda. As a soci­ety, we’ve fought through to make conservative-​themed movies like Amer­i­can Sniper and Zero Dark Thirty crit­i­cal and box office suc­cesses. Now we need to do the same for Christian-​themed movies.

The Case for Christ is a step in the right direc­tion. We need more of them.

Being a Christian in Hollywood can be difficult. There aren’t a ton of movies being made today that fit in with a believing actor’s moral compass. Moreover, there’s a stigma attached to many actors who willingly profess their faith just as there’s a stigma against conservatives. As such, the average Christian-themed movie is pretty poorly done from a purely critical perspective. The messages can be great, but the delivery can be lackluster. Neither Kirk Cameron nor Nicolas Cage could make one of the most popular Christian book series of all time successful.

The Case for Christ is different. I was shocked when I saw that it received a 77% critical response on Rotten Tomatoes until I realized it was only reviewed by 13 critics. Go figure. Nonetheless, it was encouraging so I took my wife to see it last night. We were familiar with Lee Strobel’s journey from truth-seeking news reporter to truth-seeing evangelist and author, so we didn’t go for the sake of the story. As highly selective adults who have chosen to restrict our movie viewing to ones that fit our worldview (or that at least don’t attempt to trash it), we wanted to see if it was the rare “well made” Christian movie.

We were pleased with the results.

Both the acting and the cinematography were very good. They delivered 1980 about as well as big-budget films, 70s red Camaro and all. Nobody’s going to win an Oscar from this movie, but compared to the poorly crafted Christian movies of today that have good messages but are artistically weak, this was a real winner. Mike Vogel delivered the right mix of skepticism and intellect. He was believable as he struggled in a quest to debunk the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I wasn’t expecting it based upon some of his previous performances in cultural garbage flicks like Cloverfield and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but he found his groove with this role.

While far from being a critical masterpiece, this will hopefully bring more attention to the quality of Christian movies. They don’t have to look like they were made by a high school film studies class, nor does the dialogue have to sound like carefully crafted proselytizing disguised as robotic conversations. There needs to be a gelling of message and art that gets people not only interested in seeing a movie but that compels them to recommend it.

Hollywood is a cesspool of left-wing manipulation of progressive propaganda. As a society, we’ve fought through to make conservative-themed movies like American Sniper and Zero Dark Thirty critical and box office successes. Now we need to do the same for Christian-themed movies.

The Case for Christ is a step in the right direction. We need more of them.