Paul: Apostle of Christ parents guide

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

Overall A

The life of Jesus Christ's apostle Paul, formerly the Christian persecutor Saul, is brought to the big screen in this dramatization of the New Testament. Held in prison while awaiting execution, the soul of the religious man (played by James Faulkner) wrestles to know if his present ministry has made up for his past sins.

Release date March 23, 2018

Violence C-
Sexual Content A-
Profanity A
Substance Use A-

Why is Paul: Apostle of Christ rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Paul: Apostle of Christ PG-13 for some violent content and disturbing images.

Run Time: 108 minutes

Official Movie Site

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

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.

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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?

Learn more about:
Paul, who began as a Christian persecutor named Saul
Pricilla and Aquila
Emperor Nero and the burning of Rome

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

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Paul: Apostle of Christ movie is June 19, 2018. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: Paul: Apostle of Christ
Release Date: 19 June 2018
Paul: Apostle of Christ releases to home video (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital) with the following extras:
- Deleted Scenes: “Crucifying The Servants of God” and “Followers of The Way”
- The Living Word: “Saul’s Conversion” and “Paul’s Letter,” - spoken by James Faulkner
- Featurettes: “Recreating First Century Rome,” “The Path of The Apostle: Adapting Paul,” and “An Extraordinary Friendship: Luke & Paul.” 
- Director Andrew Hyatt, Jim Caviezel and the cast and crew talk about their journey of faith and share how they used scripture to piece together Paul’s story on screen.
- Jim Caviezel and James Faulkner speak to the evolution of their characters and this unwavering friendship.

Related home video titles:

Affirm Films, who produced this movie, also helmed the religiously themed All Saints, Risen and The War Room.