UPDATE 4/8/2017 - I saw the movie today and agree with both Ed Morrissey's review (below) and that of Steven D. Graydanus'. Both reviews acknowledge that this faith-based film evidences the genre's maturation. One can watch it without cringing. I found the acting very good, and the emotional responses of Erika Christensen (who played Strobel's wife, Leslie), particularly outstanding.
Here is a trailer followed by Lee Strobel's talk at a church last month in which he tells his story in his own words.
Ed Morrissey, whose opinion I regard highly, gives five stars to The Case for Christ movie. It opens in theaters across the U.S. tonight. Strobel is the author of the best-selling book (over 14 million copies) The Case for Christ. Here is Morrissey's review:.
The faith-based film industry has both grown and matured over the last several years as filmmakers and investors see enthusiasm from audiences for these offerings. The new film The Case for Christ, based on the real-life conversion story of former Pulitzer-nominated journalist Lee Strobel and taken from his 1998 book of the same title, provides further evidence of this maturation.
In fact, the pursuit of evidence forms the core of the film’s narrative. In 1980, Lee Strobel (Mike Vogel) finds his marriage and professional life turned upside-down when his wife Leslie (Erika Christiansen) converts from their shared atheism to Christianity. Convinced that his wife has been brainwashed by a cult — being just a couple of years removed from the Jonestown massacre — Strobel decides to apply his journalistic expertise to debunk the central core of the Christian faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Can Strobel find an evidence-based argument to refute Christianity, or will he be forced to face his own biases and assumptions?
The Case for Christ models a familiar tension for believers between faith and reason. People come to Christianity through both paths and generally find ways to accommodate both. Leslie’s conversion comes through an emotional tie to faith, but Lee clings to his vision of reason. That dichotomy plays out in their interactions, depicted realistically and very believably between Vogel and Christiansen on screen. For most of us, who struggle to blend the two, we will recognize ourselves in Lee and Leslie.