Starring: Jonathan Roumie, Joel Courtney, Kelsey Grammer, Anna Grace Barlow, Nicholas Cirillo, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Mina Sundwall, Charlie Morgan Patton, Julia Campbell, and Jolie Jenkins
Directors: Jon Erwin and Brent McCorkle
Jesus Revolution doesn’t quite have the problem most religion-based movies do in terms of being poorly constructed or having weak performances, but that doesn’t mean it’s free from some of the same old clichés. The two different storylines don’t really line up, the “issues” the characters face are magically cured once their faith starts, and the speaking cast is – you guessed it – all white except for two people. That said, it does more to address the dangers of hyper-charismatic religious movements than most films of its kind do, even if it ultimately fails to actually confront those dangers.
Jesus Revolution caters to both the secular and faith-based communities…until it doesn’t. It paints a nuanced but sanitized picture of the anti-war hippie movements, while also showing the often unspoken dangers within those communities. Kelsey Grammer does a solid job, but it’s Jonathan Roumie who steals the show with his performance as a censored version of Lonnie Frisbee. Unfortunately, the film loses focus towards the end, making it feel more like an advertisement for church rather than the exploration of a movement. Overall, Jesus Revolution mostly preaches to the choir, so it will resonate with evangelicals, but for others, it’s likely a hit or miss.