Film Review: ‘The Case for Christ

Posted 2017/04/07 5038

Although it sporadically errs on the side of sentimentality and simplification, “The Case for Christ” sustains interest, and even generates mild suspense, while offering a faith-based spin on the template of an investigative-journalism drama. Director Jon Gunn and screenwriter Brian Bird have shrewdly reconstituted Lee Strobel’s best-selling book about his road-to-Damascus transition from outspoken atheist to devout Christian as a kind of theological detective story. Of course, there’s never any real doubt as to how the story will be resolved. (After all, the title is “The Case for Christ,” not “The Case Against Christianity.”) But the movie likely will impress even dedicated nonbelievers with its willingness to place as much emphasis on empirical evidence as on blind faith.

The year is 1980, a fact repeatedly underscored by conspicuous period details as Chicago Tribune reporter Lee Strobel (Mike Vogel) uses pagers and typewriters instead of smartphone and computers, drinks massive quantities of Schlitz Beer, and keeps his shaggy mane in place with enough hairspray to deplete several acres of the ozone layer.

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