The Case for Christ

6.21 h 54 min2017PG
The true story of an investigative journalist -- and avowed atheist -- who applies his skills to disprove the Christian faith of his wife... with life-altering results.
Jon Gunn
Mike VogelErika ChristensenFrankie Faison
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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Supporting actors
Faye DunawayRobert Forster
David A.R. WhiteMichael ScottElizabeth TravisAlysoun WolfeBrittany YostKarl Horstman
Pure Flix
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
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4.8 out of 5 stars

9069 global ratings

  1. 89% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 7% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 3% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Dr. Jerry Parks, National Teacher's Hall of Fame, 2009Reviewed in the United States on April 22, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
"When the chili hits the cheese, let the facts determine your conclusion..."
You see, the problem with most faith-based films is that they are either preachy, low-budget but well-intentioned less-than-stellar productions, or they just trust ‘evangelism’ alone to supplant tightly-written and poignant scripts. With these opinions in mind I went to see The Case for Christ, all the time weighing my options—through the previews of coming attractions—as to how I’d slide out to another movie if this one didn’t hold my attention. I didn’t. It did.

Unlike a majority of previous Christian films, this one is professionally made, top-notch in every performance, suspensefully written (no easy task when one knows how it concludes), and refuses to end before a seriously hardcore atheist reluctantly drops to his knees the last ten minutes of a two-hour film.

I have owned numerous Lee Strobel books, and appreciated them for their convincing apologetics in the defense of Christ. I had not, however, been at all familiar with their author, and his non-relenting resistance against conversion from atheism to Christianity. The essence of the latter is the theme of this film.

In a memorable trip back to the 70's and 80's, as the film unfolded, I was brought to remember Christ’s question of Saul (the Apostle Paul) as the Pharisee who persecuted believers from Jerusalem to Antioch. “How long will you continue to kick against the goads?” he is asked. Paul was a ‘chosen vessel’, we are told, but a vessel who was so adamant in his non-Christian ideology that he had to be virtually brought ‘kicking and screaming’ into the Kingdom of God. So too was Lee Strobel (Mike Vogel).

I had never realized that the author of so many books I have enjoyed so much came to his faith based upon—to quote Dragnet’s Joe Friday ‘the facts, ma’am—just the facts’. Strobel was a highly intelligent, highly motivated and award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, who earned a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale, and eventually won four Gold Medallions for publishing excellence. He was no ‘needy lamb’ looking for a Shepherd, but a man with insight, influence, and enough connections that he could interview the best medical doctors, theologians, psychologists (Faye Dunaway is terrific), and archeologists in the world in his search for truth.

His search concluded with the counsel from a friend that ultimate truth eventually comes down to finding the facts, synthesizing the evidence, and, by faith, accepting what all those conclude. This was the advice, believe it or not, from an atheist—who reasoned that even atheism is a leap of faith. “When the chili meets the cheese", he is told by another, "let the facts form your proof".

Parts of the film are a bit disconcerting, especially the graphic analysis of crucifixion. Others are poignant, as when Strobel’s small daughter tells her father “I guess I’m an atheist too.” But the plot is superbly unfolded in the parallelism of an award-winning editor’s search for truth in a gang-related police cover-up, as well as his eventual search for Christ.

The characters are not only believable, their performances are superb. Strobel’s longsuffering and faithful—“you only” —Christian wife (Erika Christensen—a Scientologist by the way) is a paradigm of what an unbeliever’s wife should be. In the end however, a man who lives and dies by facts alone is not won to the faith by those facts—they are only a validation. He is won, reluctantly, by the loves in his life which he saw, and did not see, the understanding that the best-researched conclusions could prove to be invalid—“you didn’t want to see it” —and events in daily life which coincidence cannot explain.

As an apologetic against unbelief, this film checks all the boxes, examines all the evidence thoroughly, and leaves but one conclusion…no matter how ardently a skeptic might fight to the end to deny it.
514 people found this helpful
joemaamahReviewed in the United States on November 7, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Don't cop a case
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It is based on the true story of a young man that was an award winning investigative journalist for the Chicago Tribune in the late 70s through the early 80s.

After a harrowing event where their daughter nearly dies choking in a restaurant, and is saved by a nurse who coincidentally happens to be there, his wife starts to show an increasing interest in Christianity. The man is an avowed atheist, as he sees no evidence any god exists.

As the pair grow apart, the man becomes convinced the only way he can save his marriage, and his wife, from what he thinks is a cult's brainwashing, is to prove the central precept of the religion is untrue; that Christ died on the cross and was resurrected. He is positive he can do this with enough research and his logical skills.

He's taken on a journey full of twists, turns, and revelations that he is not expecting, or able to reconcile with his personal paradigm. As he continues to pound his head against the wall, trying to make the history, and the knowledge of the many scientific experts he consults, bend to his will, his obsession is driving his now even more religious wife further away.
He is driven into a corner of frantic panic about what he is going to do, until he comes to the realization that the evidence he has uncovered has completely destroyed his original assumptions and bias. When he puts aside his feelings and looks at all the evidence he has collected objectively, he has to admit to himself that Christ did die and was risen from the dead.

For the most part the movie is well acted, written and directed. Both leads do admirable jobs, and the supporting cast has a lot of characters that are believable as human beings, and not just caricatures. While there is a fair amount of melodrama, and a couple scenes where the smaltz factor goes off the scale, it certainly didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the production. There is a subplot where the protagonist is investigating a gang-banger's alleged shooting of a Chicago cop that adds some good elements to the narrative, but doesn't overwhelm the main story line.

The movie also does a nice job of not using the facts he discovers as hammers to beat you over the head with. This movie is about the journey and the destination, not the waypoints. I never felt like someone was trying to convince me or proselytize me. It was a tightrope to walk, but they did a good job of it.

So while this movie won't win an Academy Award from the heathens in Hollywood, I was impressed that they made a darn good movie from some subject matter that could have very easily jumped the shark. I'll rate this 9 Tomatoes. I'm going to look up the book this is based on as I am hoping to learn some more details on the research he came up with during the journey.
127 people found this helpful
sharonReviewed in the United States on October 2, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Thumbs up from a former skeptic
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Grew up as a Christian but was a huge skeptic for the majority of my life until recently. My boyfriend and I watched it together and we were both in tears. It struck us at the heart and really portrays the struggles of many Christians who grew up in a Christian home.
94 people found this helpful
vivalasvegasReviewed in the United States on October 28, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
One Of The Most Practical But Powerful Christian Films I've Seen
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Wow what can I say, this movie was realistic, practical, believable and yet also supernatural. Unlike many Christian films that often have cheesy plots, ideas, or delivery, this movie was the kind of movie that can rock someone, even an unbeliever, to the core. I pray regularly for God to portray His truth on the Big Screen in Hollywood, and lately some gems like this movie have come forth. Such an upgrade from what we have seen many "Christian" movies be in the past. Sure it's based on a true story so that may have helped, but really I believe the execution of the movie was captivating, inspiring and very moving emotionally. It confronts the reality that an "unbeliever" may think they are basing their beliefs on facts, but the reality is they are still having "faith" in many things that they cannot see or prove. So the idea that a believer is the only one having "faith" is a lie. Even someone who believes in God wholeheartedly, and has ministered the gospel to 1000s of lives, I was incredibly inspired, encouraged and motivated to more adequately share the love of Jesus with others after watching this movie. The fact that there is simply so much hard evidence of Christ's death, burial and resurrection, more so than any other major event in history, should speak volumes to any person who doubt Jesus even existed, let alone was God in the flesh.
72 people found this helpful
Roslyn JohnsonReviewed in the United States on October 12, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Jesus explains that no man can come unless the Father draws him (John 6:65)...Those who are led to view this movie are "drawn" to do so. As you can see by many of the 1,2 and 3 starred reviews, not all responses are the same (refer to the parable of the seed sower Matt 13, Mark 4, Luke 8), just as Jesus said already. I've discovered the Truth of Jesus for myself and can only pray that others do the same. This movie can help w/that journey if you will let it. It gives this one provocative truth: "If anyone can dismantle the resurrection of Jesus, then all of Christianity crumbles like a house of cards." Lee Strobel was unable to do that, and guess what? As many people who HATE THE BIBLE, and conclude that it is nothing more than a "fairytale"...NO ONE WILL EVER be able to DISPROVE THAT THE RESURRECTION IS TRUE...therefore, by default ALL OTHER BELIEFS ARE FALSE...and those are the FACTS. Not one person who took the time to write a negative review has given any FACT negating Christ's resurrection, yet there are several references in the movie for the honest seeker to begin their journey. We who are called by His name, are praying for those honestly seeking answers...because we know that you will find HIM waiting with open arms to receive you :-)!
36 people found this helpful
Eric R.Reviewed in the United States on May 7, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Beautiful story, well put together film, but not "a final step evangelism tool"
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The film is based upon the true story of his life, and as with any movie, the director has to limit the amount of data crammed into the movie to about 1-1/2 hours. Everything about the video was masterfully depicted, very genuine from the characters involved, and believable from the perspective of how things played out.

If you're looking for this video to be a great evangelism tool, it may help bring a skeptic out of skepticism, an unbeliever out of passivity, or cause some important questions/considerations to arise in the hearts of the viewers. However, it cannot bring a sinner over the line to Salvation in and of itself. I haven't read the book, I haven't gotten into depths of his life, so I'm only commenting on the merits and limitations of the video itself, with an evangelistic motive. Today's apostate Christianity has all but eliminated all references to the Blood of Jesus Christ out of 'outreach work.' As a result, the main theme of focus on Jesus (if people do this at all, anymore) is the death. Also, as I believe apostasy has its roots in the fraudulent English Bible version problem, this movie does not reference the Authorized King James Bible for it's reliable, 400-year trusted track record, generated and produced in a time in history where Christianity readily relied upon the doctrine of "Providential Preservation" before the later lie of "Original Autographs Only" came along and slowly eroded the mainstream's trust in God's preserved words. If God's words are eroded, erased, paraphrased, changed, added to, the only result is a product of man's mind and God's mind is lost to the reader. The result is a dead book of man's words, rather than life-giving, faith-building, quickening words of God. In this perspective, the movie can only go so far.

I don't know what all happened at the moment of his Salvation, but would it have been so troublesome for the director to simply write in a bit of detail about the shedding of Blood as the means to Salvation into the narrative? No, I can't see that would have been a stretch.

I will share the movie, I will keep the movie in the collection, but it didn't go far enough to be a quality evangelistic tool as it omits mention of the Blood-atonement and uses Alexandrian-text based bible quotations which are modern apostate pseudo-scripture.

All in all, excellent video that handily brings the viewer to deep consideration.
6 people found this helpful
Calvin SpannReviewed in the United States on July 5, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
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i have personal done my own research on this topic of the existence of Christ and i have my own finding but thats a comment to long to type. I felt this movie had a goal and the goal was to attempt to give a ground form non believers to begin to believe but the problem is not completely diving in to all aspects of the story of Jesus Christ but only his Crucifixion. by doing this we have established that the man existed instead of the fact that he could have possibly not even existed at all. this narrative completely closed the door to a lot of left out history about the subject to the people who have not done any research on it but im hoping that this movie instead of gaining more follows of Christ makes them want to look into the topic of his existence and explore it even deeper. starting the basis of someone existence at there death seems kinda backwards to me. if we are focusing a movie on the existence on someone wouldn't it make more sense to start at their birth like we do everyone else. they failed to even address how long after Jesus died that the bible was actually written or the countless people who were involved with writing it. and how the whole story could have possible came from an interpretation of ancient African hieroglyphs. in all i dislike this movie because it seems basis and not completely encompassing the actual topic which is is Christ real or fake. even tho it was based on a true story and is supposed to directly correlate with the main characters actions, we know that doesn't happen in movies.
6 people found this helpful
GBReviewed in the United States on December 1, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Highly Recommended Movie
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This was a great movie! Quite an inspiring story, and its very thought provoking for anyone who will be honest enough to consider the case. A person who watches this or reads the book and isn't impacted, is I think being intellectually dishonest. Willfully Blind and unwilling to accept the truth of what is right in front of them. The day is coming when the will standing face to face with the reality which they are trying so hard to deny. At that point hey will be without excuse, and it will be to late to change thier minds about where they stand. Its better to do as Lee did and truly examine the evidence.
14 people found this helpful
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