Risen parents guide

Risen Parent Guide

This New Testament inspired story is told with solid performances and some grisly depictions.

Overall B

After the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, some of his followers begin to claim he has risen from the dead. To squash these rumors and any possible ideas of rebellion amongst the Jews, a Roman Military Tribune (Joseph Fiennes) and his aide (Tom Felton) are sent to find the body of the executed religious leader.

Release date February 19, 2016

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

Why is Risen rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Risen PG-13 for Biblical violence including some disturbing images.

Run Time: 108 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Crucifixion is a gruesome business. But Roman Tribune Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) stomachs it in order to move up the ladder of command in the Empire. His ultimate goal is to reach a position where he doesn’t have to deal with death everyday. However, it is the demise of a simple Nazarene that upends this soldier’s world.

Barely back from a bloody battle with Jewish insurgents, Clavius is summoned to Pilate’s (Peter Firth) side and given the task of quelling a local uproar. Egged on by Caiaphas (Stephen Greif) and other Jewish religious leaders, the Roman Prefect has ordered the crucifixion of Yeshua (Cliff Curtis). Now rumors are circulating that Yeshua (Jesus for English-speakers) will rise from the dead after three days. Pilate orders Clavius to make sure that doesn’t happen.

But when the tomb, sealed by Clavius himself, is found empty as prophesied, the Tribune and his adjutant, Lucius (Tom Felton), are sent on a manhunt for a dead body and the disciples accused of stealing it. What Clavius stumbles upon instead is a man, not a myth.

This story, told from the perspective of a non-believer, opens with a graphic skirmish between soldiers and rebels in which characters are impaled with spears, run through with swords and pummeled with rocks. Some bloody injuries are shown, though not as many as you’d expect from this kind of encounter. The grisly depictions of crucifixion and decomposing bodies (which the soldiers are forced to rifle through) portray a sickening reality of ancient life—one that many parents won’t want their children and younger teens to see. It may also explain why several characters turn to alcohol, including a couple of soldiers who become drunk while on duty.

Directed by Kevin Reynolds, the script displays the constant jostling for religious power and political superiority that likely existed between the Romans and the subjugated Jews. Portrayed with rich cinematography, the film also contains solid performances from a strong cast and a gritty feel for the life of a soldier forced to do the dirty work of his commanding officers.

Yet the real struggle in this narrative is not between captor and captive but in the heart of one man who tries to reconcile what he sees with his unbelief, even when the evidence stands right in front of him.

Directed by Kevin Reynolds. Starring Tom Felton, Joseph Fiennes, Cliff Curtis . Running time: 108 minutes. Theatrical release February 19, 2016. Updated

Watch the trailer for Risen

Rating & Content Info

Why is Risen rated PG-13? Risen is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for Biblical violence including some disturbing images.

Violence: Characters involved in a battle are impaled with spears, run through with swords and pummeled with rocks. Numerous characters are depicted as dead or injured. Some bloody wounds are shown. Characters that are hung on a cross suffer extreme agony. Their legs are broken to induce death. One character is impaled with a spear in the side of his body. Men shriek in pain. Mobs jeer the dying men. Bloody injuries are shown. Nails are pulled out to release the dead bodies from the crosses before the corpses are thrown into an open pit of decaying bodies. Soldiers are later forced to dig through the pit and to unbury the dead in search of a corpse. A bloated, decomposing body is brought to Pilate’s court. The bodies of dead soldiers are burned on a pyre. A man is slashed in the leg with a sword while trying to help someone. Another character has a blade held to his neck. Roman soldiers break into homes during the hunt for Yeshua’s disciples.
Sexual Content: Pilot asks one of his soldiers if he would like a female companion to help him relax after a trying day. A woman’s reputation as a prostitute is briefly discussed.

Language: None noted.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Several characters drink. Some characters are drunk, including two soldiers who drink while on duty.

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Risen Parents' Guide

Read the Biblical account of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in Matthew 27: 32-56.

How does the ambition of Clavius and Lucius set them apart from the older soldiers? Why is their ambition seen as both a good trait and a dangerous one in the Empire? While Pilate relies on Clavius to do his bidding, why does he also fear him?

Both Pilate and Clavius are seen washing their hands after dealing with the dirty work of the Empire. In what other ways do they emotionally deal with the difficult tasks in front of them?

“Seeing is believing” is an old adage many adhere to but Clavius still struggles to reconcile what he sees. How does the exercise of faith differ from detecting something with your eyes?

From the Studio:
Follows the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius, a powerful Roman Military Tribune, and his aide Lucius, are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.
- Written by Sony Pictures

Loved this movie? Try these books…

One of the best known fictionalized stories of the death of Christ and his resurrection is The Robe by Lloyd C Douglas. This novel tells the story of a Roman soldier who gambles and wins Christ’s robe. He then seeks out to find the truth about the man who wore the robe.

Another novel about a Roman soldier touched by Christ is The Centurion by Kevin Gire. This book tells the tale of one of the soldiers who crucified Christ and how it impacted his life.

Another classic in the genre is Lew Wallace’s Ben Hur. This novel tells the story of a man unjustly betrayed into slavery by the Romans. Judah Ben-Hur seeks revenge until his life is changed by Christ.

Taylor Caldwell’s Dear and Glorious Physician is a fictionalized biography of St. Luke, a gentile physician who learns of Jesus and whose life is transformed as he studies and records His ministry.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Risen movie is May 24, 2016. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: Risen
Release Date: 24 May 2016
Risen releases to home video in the following formats with the following bonus features:

4K Ultra HD
-Feature film in 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR)
- Dolby Atmos soundtrack (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible)
- Includes high-def Blu-ray featuring the film and special features

Blu-ray Extras Include:
- Deleted Scenes
- Four Featurettes: The Battle of the Zealots Deconstructed, The Mystery of The Resurrection: Making Risen, A.D. Jerusalem and Script to Screen.
- Commentary

Digital Extras Include:
- Deleted Scenes
- Four Featurettes: The Battle of the Zealots Deconstructed, The Mystery of The Resurrection: Making Risen, A.D. Jerusalem and Script to Screen.

DVD Extras Include:
- Three Featurettes: The Mystery of The Resurrection: Making Risen, A.D. Jerusalem and Script to Screen.
- Commentary

Related home video titles:

Joseph Fiennes stars as a religious reformer in the film Luther. Another Roman Centurion becomes converted to Christianity after he helps crucify Jesus in The Robe.