It’s 1980, Chicago journalist Lee Strobel (Mike Vogel) is angry and confused when his wife Leslie (Erika Christensen) tells him that she has become a Christian. Without telling Leslie, annoyed atheist Lee begins interviewing scholars and experts about the historical evidence for Jesus Christ. As he attempts to prove Leslie’s Christian faith is based on lies, Lee argues with his wife, has trouble with his father and reports on a case of possible police corruption.
RATED: The Case for Christ is rated PG for mild themes and occasional coarse language
AUDIENCE: While this is an unashamed Christian movie, The Case for Christ is not only for people who already describe themselves as followers of Jesus. The movie’s plot and packaging weave together a domestic drama, journalism investigation and spiritual debate, which provides rich elements for fans of strong, engaging personal stories.
WHAT’S GOOD: Unlike too many other Christian movies, The Case for Christ is not preachy, manipulative, cheesy or only for the faithful. And the decision to not just make a movie out of Lee Strobel sitting in offices, interviewing smart people about Jesus, is inspired. Having Lee and Leslie Strobel’s relationship strain and struggle as the movie’s backbone makes it engaging on a human level, while there is plenty of theological talk to satisfy disciples. The various investigations Lee Strobel is involved with create enough tension and interest to keep viewers tuned in.
WHAT’S NOT: Due to the nature of Strobel’s journalistic investigation into Jesus, some viewers still might find The Case for Christ is too intellectual or bogged down in expert testimony. While the Strobel’s relationship problems make for on-screen fireworks, the movie’s second half can drag and slump occasionally, as repetition of ideas and issues settles in.
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SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING: The Case for Christ is unusually successful at being a movie that is entirely about Christian truth and faith, yet it’s not heavy handed, simplistic or cringeworthy. One of the main reasons it’s such a strong film is its focus on the personal spiritual journey of Lee Strobel. The Case for Christ movie realises that it doesn’t have to shout at viewers about making their decision about who Jesus was and what that means for my life or your life. Instead, by showing how defiant atheist Strobel responds to the incredible claims and facts of Jesus, The Case for Christ should challenge anyone watching on to consider what they make of what Strobel has discovered.
RELEASE DATE: May 4, 2017