Faith Driven Consumer, an organization connecting Christian consumers with faith-compatible companies, opportunities, and entertainment, has given the faith-based film "Risen" an impressive 4.5. stars, meaning it will likely resonate with Christian viewers.
"Risen is, at long last, the movie we've all been waiting for," said FDC founder Chris Stone of the film, which hit theaters Friday. Faith Driven Consumer reviews films based on entertainment value and how "faith-friendly" and "family-friendly" they are.
"Risen," from Sony Picture's Affirm Films and Columbia Pictures, is seen through the eyes of Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), an ambitious Roman tribune, who is charged by Pontius Pilate to investigate the rumors of the risen Jesus and locate his body in an attempt to prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.
Throughout the film, Clavius finds himself caught between belief and unbelief as he encounters familiar characters such as Jesus' disciples and Mary Magdalene, and is forced to reexamine his beliefs when he discovers that Jesus is, in fact, alive.
In its review of "Risen", FDC praises the film's Biblical accuracy: "While much of the story line in Risen is extra-biblical, it is nevertheless plausible and holds close to the biblical narrative in a creative and engaging way."
The group also gives the film high marks for its faith-compatible depiction of situations, faith-compatible depiction of characters and character relationships, entertainment value, and overall Biblical relevance.
"In today's postmodern culture characterized by skepticism, 'Risen' is a fresh and timely look at the biblical claims about Jesus," reads the review. "The story is framed and advanced in ways that effectively respond to the doubts that non-believers have raised over the centuries to the narrative Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension-the most important event in human history."
However, the review offers a word of caution to families with young children, as it is rated PG-13 for biblical violence including some disturbing images.
"Events associated with Jesus' crucifixion may be difficult for both children and adults to see. Interestingly, the place of the crucifixion-Golgotha-is depicted in unusually narrow confines and the moment when the three crosses are brought down is jarring on multiple levels."
Faith Driven Consumer says it serves 41 million Christians who spend $2 trillion annually, and that its recommendations reach more than 10 million people via its emails, website and other means.
While "Risen" is overtly faith-based, producer Rich Peluso told The Gospel Herald that it will likely resonate with both Christian and secular audiences, as it remains faithful to Scripture while presenting an epic cinematic event.
"For Christians, it doesn't feel tired at all; it's a unique experience to see the story that we know and love through the eyes of a non-believer that's on his own journey," Peluso said of the film. "For the unchurched, it is probably the most accessible story of the life of Christ on film. You can come into the story and experience it without feeling like someone is trying to preach at you, because the lead character is so skeptical about what's going on. It really is a manhunt to disprove the rumor of this risen man; you get pulled into this manhunt thriller."