Clavius (Joseph Fiennes, left) and Lucius (Tom Felton) in Columbia Pictures' RISEN.

“RISEN” the mystery unfolds


Joseph Fiennes is Clavious in Columbia Pictures' RISEN.
Joseph Fiennes is Clavious in Columbia Pictures’ RISEN.

“Witness the manhunt that changed the course of human history.”

Risen is the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a powerful Roman Military Tribune, and his aide Lucius (Tom Felton), are tasked  by Pontius Pilate 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.

Risen was received well by the audience.  A majority of the people in the audience applauded when the credits rolled.  I really loved the authenticity of the set and costumes.  The costumes and realistic settings made it genuine for me. Jerusalem was recreated in Almeria and Andalucia, Spain under the impressive set direction of Alessandra Querzola.  Cinematographer Lorenzo Senatore’s camera worked magic, transporting us to the ancient time of Christ.  Director Kevin Reynolds (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and the Count of Monte Cristo) was brought on for the mystery thriller about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.   Reynolds along with screenwriters Paul Aiello and Karen Janszen weave an interesting tale about a devout Roman military officer who begins to question his own beliefs in the 40 days following Christ’s resurrection.

Our protagonist, Clavius is outstandingly portrayed by Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love).  Fiennes’ performance is remarkable. He engages the audience and invites them into the story. You feel his struggle as he contemplates the unbelievable and learns to have faith. His transformation is significant and a major theme in the film.  Fiennes and Tom Felton (Harry Potter franchise) were excellent choices for Clavius and Lucius.  However, I was not that impressed with Peter Firth as Pilate.  Other than his snarky comments, he did not come across as a powerful ruler.

Risen opens a week after Ash Wednesday, making it the perfect choice during Lent. The film is not heavy on biblical exactness and lightens the mood with subtle displays of humor, thus making it appealing to those they may not be familiar with certain chapters of the New Testament. Be open-minded as the mystery unfolds and enjoy subsequent storyline. ~A.S. MacLeod

Release Date: February 19, 2016

Running Time: 1 hour 48 minutes

Directed by: Kevin Reynolds

Rated PG-13 for Biblical violence including some disturbing images

Grade B


Joseph Fiennes as Clavius

Tom Felton as Lucius

Peter Firth as Pilate

Cliff Curtis as Yeshua (Jesus)

Maria Botto as Mary Magdalen

Luis Callejo as Joses

Antonio Gil as Joseph of Arimathea

Richard Atwill as Polybius

Stewart Scudamore as Peter








About Leigh Ann Rassler

october, 2021