This movie shines and is well worth your time while looking for good streaming options.
Lee is a journalist who wants to prove that there is no God, and he’s going to use his award-winning reporter skills to do it.
Sure, it sounds difficult, but if he examines the evidence and interviews enough experts, the case will solve itself. Right? At least, that’s how he’s cracked criminal cases his entire career.
“Facts are our greatest weapon against superstition, against ignorance and ignorance tyranny,” he says.
His war against God started at a restaurant, where his young daughter nearly died while choking on food but was saved by a stranger sitting at a nearby table. That stranger, a middle-aged woman, tells Lee that she nearly didn’t come to the restaurant that night. The implication: If she hadn’t changed her mind, the girl might be dead.
“It wasn’t luck. It was Jesus,” the woman says.
The event transformed Lee’s wife from skeptic to Christian, but he isn’t convinced. Soon, he’s traveling the country to save his wife from this “myth” – and perhaps even to change the course of history.
The Case For Christ (PG) starts streaming on Netflix Nov. 21, recounting the incredible tale of Lee Strobel’s journey in the early 1980s from radical atheist to sold-out Christian apologist.
It stars Mike Vogel (Cloverfield, The Help) as Strobel; Erika Christensen (Parenthood) as his wife, Leslie; Mike Pniewski (Madam Secretary, Blue Bloods, Killing Reagan) as Lee’s Christian co-worker, Kenny; and Academy Award winner Faye Dunaway as scholar Roberta Waters.
The Case For Christ is one of the best films of 2017 and perhaps the most inspiring. It masterfully weaves a spoonful of apologetics into an engaging plot that parents, teens and older children can enjoy together. It contains no sexuality, language or violence, although there are a few scenes that might be too much for little kids: Strobel gets drunk at home, and he and his wife then have an intense argument. He shouts at his father and says a few things he later regrets. A family member also dies.
The movie shines in its presentation of apologetics – no easy feat in a drama. It succeeds partially because filmmakers limited Strobel’s on-screen interviews with scholars to about five (instead of the real-life 12), and because the interactions are mostly brief. It seems natural, and not clunky or academic.
The apologetics angle also works because it doesn’t dominate the film. The movie has at least three other angles: his struggling marriage, his rocky relationship with his father, and his big-city newspaper day job.
The film demonstrates how the testimony and action of just a handful of people can impact someone for Christ. The stranger-turned-friend leads Leslie Strobel to Christ, and she in turn starts her husband on a path that changes his life forever.
“She’s different,” an unbelieving Strobel tells a friend.
The Boss Baby (PG, 2017) – A 7-year-old boy gets a baby brother who just happens to be able to talk. He’s also a sassy brat, and soon, the two are in a selfish fight for their parents’ attention. This one ends with a positive message, but the sibling rivalry – which comprises most of the film – made me uncomfortable. Rated PG for some mild rude humor. Nov. 22.
42 (PG-13, 2013) – A man named Jackie Robinson becomes the first black player in Major League Baseball. Of course, we’ve read about him in the history books, but it’s just different to watch the racial ugliness and baseball heroics unfold on the big screen. Caution: This one has lots of n-words and about five instances of GD. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including language. Nov. 1.
D3: The Mighty Ducks (PG, 1996) – The third and final installment in Disney’s Mighty Ducks franchise spotlights the hockey kids’ transition into their high school years. Contains some mild language and romantic angles. Rated PG for hockey rough-housing and mild language. Nov. 1.
Treasure Planet (PG, 2002) – A science fiction adaptation of the popular novel and movie Treasure Island, Treasure Planet takes the adventure into space, as young Jim Hawkins embarks on a galactic treasure hunt. Rated PG for adventure action and peril. Nov. 1. Editor’s note: Amazon’s November titles not available at press time.
The Pursuit of Happyness (PG-13, 2006) – An entrepreneur (played by Will Smith) struggles to find a job while taking care of his 5-year-old son. Eventually, both end up on the street. Smith received an Academy Award nomination for his performance. Rated PG-13 for some language. Nov. 1.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (unrated, 2017) – The beloved children’s book is now an animated series. You know the drill: If you give a mouse a cookie, then he’ll ask for something else, and then something else, and then something else! The series follows the adventures of Mouse, Oliver, Moose, Pig, Cat and Dog. Nov. 7.
–By Michael Foust