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Paul, Apostle of Christ: Movie Review

Hannah Goodwyn


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Actor Jim Caviezel hasn't taken on a role in a Bible movie since he played Jesus in Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ (2004) on purpose. He's been waiting for the right film, a good film. And, he found it.

The long-time screen star shows up in Affirm Films' New Testament movie, Paul, Apostle of Christ, alongside James Faulkner (Game of Thrones/Downton Abbey) and Olivier Martinez (S.W.A.T.). It's a PG-13 film about the last days of Paul's life, as he awaits execution by order of Emperor Nero. The film follows Apostle Luke (Caviezel) as he sneaks into Mamertine Prison where Prefect Mauritius (Martinez) is holding Paul (Faulkner), as well as, tells the story of the faithful in Rome as they wrestle with the persecution the tyrant levels upon them.

Scripture as everyday conversation is quite the thing to behold in this film. What's more, the realness of this story all about how the first generation of followers of Jesus dealt with persecution, fear, and doubt is personally refining. Watching the humanity, and struggles, and ultimate faith of these men and women who, in the face of certain death, end up changing the world provides a moving movie experience.

So many scenes (too many to discuss here) are packed full of biblical truth, offering moviegoers a chance to see a deep, quality film about the people who helped preserve the message of Christ, a mission and feat of faith that we all benefit from these many thousands of years later.

Where Paul, Apostle of Christ falters is in its minor details. Two lower-billed actors and a questionable story decision may disengage some moviegoers from being fully immersed in this Book of Acts movie. But, its cinematic sins are not too many. Grace definitely abounds -- for Faulkner and Caviezel are transcendent as Paul and Luke. Their prison scenes together in the darkened hole, where Paul's being held, are the film's best. The emotional tension these two veterans create through the script's sound dialogue (written by director Andrew Hyatt and Terence Berden) is palpable.

Rated PG-13 for some violent content and disturbing images, Paul, Apostle of Christ warrants caution when it comes to younger audiences. Persecution of Christians is forefront. The film shows people burning on stakes that line the streets of Rome, a man being stoned to death, and believers in "The Way" being led into Emperor Nero's Bloody Circus (though you do not see the maulings).

Dedicated to all those who suffer persecution for their faith, Paul, Apostle of Christ is as timely as ever for even today believers around the world are being killed, abducted, raped, and attacked. To say this is an important film would be to undersell it. This is a crucial film. It reminds us of the suffering so many endured (and still do) for the faith. It reminds us of the forgiveness and grace we have through Christ. Thanks be to God.

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About The Author


Hannah Goodwyn served as a Senior Producer for, managing and writing for the award-winning website. After her undergraduate studies at Christopher Newport University, Hannah went on to study Journalism at the graduate level. In 2005, she graduated summa cum laude with her Master's from Regent University and was honored with an Outstanding Student Award. From there, Hannah began work as a content producer for For ten years, she acted as the managing producer for the website's Family and Entertainment sections. A movie buff, Hannah felt right at home working as's