The Case for Christ

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The Case for Christ
The Case for Christ poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJon Gunn
Produced by
  • Elizabeth Hatcher-Travis
  • Karl Horstmann
  • Michael Scott
  • David A. R. White
  • Alysoun Wolfe
  • Brittany Yost
Screenplay byBrian Bird
Based onThe Case for Christ
by Lee Strobel
Music byWill Musser
CinematographyBrian Shanley
Edited byVance Null
Triple Horse Studios
Distributed byPure Flix Entertainment
Release date
  • April 7, 2017 (2017-04-07)
Running time
113 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$3 million[2]
Box office$17.6 million[3]

The Case for Christ is a 2017 American Christian drama film directed by Jon Gunn and written by Brian Bird, based on a true story and inspired by the 1998 book of the same name by Lee Strobel. The film stars Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway and Robert Forster, and follows an atheist journalist who looks to disprove his wife's Christian faith. The film was released on April 7, 2017 by Pure Flix Entertainment.


In 1980, Lee Strobel is an atheist journalist and investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune. He and his wife Leslie have a daughter named Alison and are expecting their second child. After getting a very special recognition, Lee and his family go out to celebrate with dinner, where Alison chokes on a piece of candy. One of the patrons, a nurse named Alfie, intervenes and saves Alison. She credits the event to God's will, which Leslie takes to heart.

Leslie and Alfie become friends and start attending a Christian church together; irritated, Lee unsuccessfully tries to dissuade Leslie. Due to an advice from his mentor, Lee sets out to find evidence that proves that the resurrection of Jesus did not happen. Meanwhile, Leslie gives birth to a son, Kyle.

Lee starts gathering information and evidence. Next, he tries to prove that the witnesses were hypnotized, but a psychologist proves him wrong. Lee then tries to gather evidence that Jesus may have not died or was taken off, but again, a physician proves him wrong, saying Jesus had to have died on the Cross.

Meanwhile, Lee's estranged father tries to reconcile with him, but Lee brushes him off. His father dies soon after, and then Lee learns that his father truly loved him, which surprises Lee.

Lee is also investigating a case of a murder of a police officer. At first, it looks like the convicted man is guilty and an informant for a gang, but Lee proves that the cop had shot himself with a secret gun disguised as a pen, and the convict is freed.

Lee tries to get more evidence for his religious investigation, but his mentor explains that whether he chooses to believe or not believe, the last part of proving His real existence is faith. When a colleague gives him a speech, Lee decides to take the leap of faith and believe. When he tells Leslie about it, they have a happy reconciliation and pray together.



In the United States and Canada, The Case for Christ was released on April 7, 2017 alongside Going in Style and Smurfs: The Lost Village, and was projected to gross $5 million in its opening weekend from 1,174 theaters.[6] It ended up debuting to $3.9 million, finishing 10th at the box office.[7] In its second weekend the film grossed $2.8 million, dropping 30.5% and finishing 9th at the box office.[8]

Critical response[edit]

According to the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 59% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 27 reviews, with an average rating of 5.69/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "The Case for Christ shouldn't be dismissed, but like many faith-based productions, it's better at preaching to the choir than reaching the unconverted."[9] At Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 50 out of 100 based on six critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[10]

Kevin McLenithan of Christianity Today gave the film a "fresh" rating and wrote, "The film may be only intermittently successful, but when it takes its own story seriously rather than treating it as a means to an end, it stands among the best films yet produced by the Christian film industry."[11] Jackie K. Cooper of HuffPost gave the film 6 out of 10 stars and called it "Well made and well acted; the perfect movie for the Easter season."[12] Michael Foust of the Southern Baptist Texan gave it 4 out of 5 stars and acknowledged he was "skeptical that The Case for Christ could be turned into an enjoyable film but was pleasantly surprised with the on-screen product." Foust added, "It is one of the best films I've seen this year, masterfully weaving a spoonful of apologetics into an engaging plot that will leave moviegoers entertained, educated, and perhaps even inspired."[13] But Roger Moore of Movie Nation gave it only 1.5 out of 4 stars and called it "unemotional, uninspiring and unconvincing."[14]


  1. ^ "The Case for Christ". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  2. ^ "The Case for Christ movie will encourage Christians and surprise sceptics". Premiere Christianity. September 15, 2017. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  3. ^ "The Case for Christ (2017)". Boxofficemojo. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  4. ^ "The Case for Christ Movie | Casts And Crew". The Cast For Christ Movie. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  5. ^ "Haley Rosenwasser". IMDb. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  6. ^ "Box Office: 'Smurfs: The Lost Village,' 'Going in Style' Won't Top 'Boss Baby'". Variety. April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  7. ^ "'Boss Baby' Crawls Ahead Of 'Beauty' With $26M+; 'Smurfs' Lost in 3rd With $14M". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  8. ^ "Box Office: 'Ghost In The Shell,' 'Power Rangers' Stumble, 'Boss Baby,' 'Beauty And The Beast' Hold". Forbes. April 16, 2017.
  9. ^ "The Case for Christ (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
  10. ^ "The Case for Christ Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  11. ^ "In 'The Case for Christ,' Experience, not Evidence, Is the Real Clincher". Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  12. ^ Cooper, Jackie K. (April 11, 2017). ""The Case For Christ" Is a Perfect Movie For the Easter Season". HuffPost. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  13. ^ "REVIEW: 'The Case For Christ' is entertaining, educational and uplifting | Texan Online". Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  14. ^ "Movie Review: "The Case for Christ" gets tossed out of court". Movie Nation. April 12, 2017. Retrieved March 31, 2018.

External links[edit]