Paul: Apostle of Christ Parent Guide
This well-made and emotionally powerful production offers some historical context (and artistic license) to the New Testament account
Parent Movie Review
Rome in AD 67 is a brutal place – especially for Christians. When part of the city is ravaged by fire, Emperor Nero blames these believers of a new religion, and they are quickly rounded up. Some are slaughtered, others are held to be killed later by tortuous means or as public entertainment at the Circus.
One of the more famous leaders of the faith, known as Paul (played by James Faulkner), has also been thrown into prison. Desiring to see the condemned man before his execution, Luke (played by Jim Caviezel), another follower of Jesus Christ, enters the dangerous city and hides within a secret community of Christians led by Aquila and Pricilla (John Lynch and Joanne Whalley). Their assistance helps Luke to sneak into the jail where he hopes to record one last message from the apostle. Paul’s words of wisdom are needed to strengthen the persecuted believers.
With the ever-present fear of being caught, it is little wonder the fledgling flock is struggling to know what to do for protection. Aquila suspects they need to flee before they are found by the Roman soldiers. Pricilla thinks they should stay and provide a safe haven for the needy. Still others want to build an army to avenge the wrongs they have endured. Meanwhile Luke worries whether or not he believes his own preaching about love’s power to overcome evil. And Paul searches his soul for faith that God’s grace is sufficient to make amends for his past, grievous sins.
This well-made and emotionally powerful production offers some historical context (and artistic license) to the New Testament account. Still, parents should be warned the film contains details that will certainly be too intense for little ones. These include portrayals of people (men, women and children) being beaten, set on fire, stoned, stabbed, and executed. Most of these acts are only implied, but bloody wounds and burnt corpses are shown, and acts of rape, torture and murder are mentioned.
Most people of faith will relate to the various wrestles depicted here, although, unlike the people of ancient time, few of us have had to face the reality of dying for what we believe in. By weaving Paul’s words into the script in a natural manner, his messages of faith in God, believing in a better world to come, and the courage to face all obstacles will be loud and clear for older teens and adults. Perhaps that is what makes this movie so personal—especially for Christians.Directed by Andrew Hyatt. Starring James Faulkner, Jim Caviezel, Joanne Whalley, Olivier Martinez. Running time: 108 minutes. Theatrical release March 23, 2018. Updated March 23, 2018
Paul: Apostle of Christ
Rating & Content Info
Why is Paul: Apostle of Christ rated PG-13? Paul: Apostle of Christ is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some violent content and disturbing images.
Violence: The film depicts violence against Christians in Ancient Rome. Scenes of torture, religious cleansing and other brutalities are depicted without explicit detail. For example, when a character is decapitated, the shot shows an sword falling but doesn’t show the event. However, other scenes depict characters covered in blood, either from their own injuries (inflicted by others) or from the deaths of family members and friends. Bodies are hung in a crucifixion style, displayed along the street and, after being doused in a flammable liquid, lit on fire. We see one man briefly a moment prior to this event taking place and then hear his screams. A man is imprisoned for preaching his religion, we briefly see him whipped and later see the injuries on his back. Other people are beaten, kicked, stoned and lashed (seen on screen). Buried and bloody corpses are shown. Dialogue describes Romans killing Christians (including women and children) through torturous acts as part of a spectator “game”. We see a group of Christians being paraded into an arena, but we don’t see anything after this point. Rape is mentioned. A dead animal is seen after it has been sacrificed and it’s blood is poured on a man’s face.
Sexual Content: Characters kiss and embrace. Rape is mentioned.
Profanity: “Hell hole” is used to describe a prison.
Drugs/Alcohol: Characters drink in a bar or pub setting.
Page last updated March 23, 2018
More parents' guide for Paul: Apostle of Christ after the break...
Paul: Apostle of Christ Parents' Guide
How does Paul and Luke’s faith in an afterlife change their perspective on death? What do they see as the purpose of this life? How do these beliefs allow them to love their enemies?
How do Paul’s teachings of appropriate Christian behavior apply to today? Do you think love really can overcome evil? Do you think most Christian’s reflect his philosophies?
What does Paul mean when he says, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race”? If you were facing eminent death, how would you sum up your life?
News About "Paul: Apostle of Christ"
Paul: Apostle of Christ is scheduled to release in theaters in time for Easter 2018.
Based on New Testament writings, this movie tells the tale of Saul/ Paul. At first, he went about persecuting Christians, until he saw a vision and was converted himself. Changing his name from Saul to Paul, he became a proselyter of the Christian faith. In this film adaptation of his life, Luke (who is based on the author of the third book of the New Testament) risks his own life by traveling to Rome to visit Paul in prison. Luke hopes to make a written record of Paul's ministry and missionary labors to preserve the faith for future generations.
James Faulkner takes on the role of Saul/Paul. Jim Caviezel plays Luke. (Caviezel's also starred in Mel Gibson's controversially violent, Biblical adaption, The Passion of the Christ .)
From the Studio:
PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST is the story of two men. Luke, as a friend and physician, risks his life when he ventures into the city of Rome to visit Paul, who is held captive in Nero’s darkest, bleakest prison cell. But Nero is determined to rid Rome of Christians, and does not flinch from executing them in the grisliest ways possible. Before Paul’s death sentence can be enacted, Luke resolves to write another book, one that details the beginnings of “The Way” and the birth of what will come to be known as the church.
Bound in chains, Paul’s struggle is internal. He has survived so much—floggings, shipwreck, starvation, stoning, hunger and thirst, cold and exposure—yet as he waits for his appointment with death, he is haunted by the shadows of his past misdeeds. Alone in the dark, he wonders if he has been forgotten . . . and if he has the strength to finish well.
Two men struggle against a determined emperor and the frailties of the human spirit in order to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ and spread their message to the world.
- Affirm Films