If you like “Bible movies,” Risen is a good one. And let me tell you the best thing about it.
It’s a single scene, starring an actor in a small part. Richard Atwill plays one of the Roman guards who was on duty at Jesus’ tomb when He rose from the dead, and he tries to tell you what is was like. It would be wrong of me to reveal any of the details. I highly recommend seeing it for yourself.
Risen is the story of a Roman army officer, Clavius–played with stern conviction by Joseph Fiennes–who is ordered by Pilate (Peter Firth) to track down Jesus’ body, arrest the disciples, and prove that the Resurrection was a hoax. And this without drawing a single paycheck from a modern teachers’ union.
There’s a lot of grim and even gruesome detail in this movie; but on the plus side, it’s a loving and realistic rendering of Jesus and His disciples. I would have liked to see more of Pilate’s inner conflict that the Scripture suggests, but you can’t have everything. Fiennes is really good, and so are all the actors playing the apostles. There’s a trace of Catholic bias in it, but that really shouldn’t be a major problem for the viewer.
On the whole, though, the screenplay sticks fairly close to Scripture. No movie can be a substitute for the Bible. But a good one might draw a viewer nearer to it.