Jesus Revolution (Movie Review) By Jordan S.

JesusRev_USATODAY_2000x3000_1A“Jesus Revolution”: Cinema’s Take on America’s Last Great Religious Movement

When you think of the 70s, you tend to think of Woodstock, bootcut jeans, Marlboro reds, or Fleetwood Mac–but not usually Jesus. “Jesus Revolution”, Lionsgate’s latest box office success, follows the greatest spiritual awakening in American history and shows how it all started in a small, Southern California church in the early 1970s.

From a less-glamorized standpoint, when you think of the 70s you also tend to think of Nixon, Vietnam, and the gas shortage. But amidst the polarizing political climate of this decade, evangelicals and hippies banded together and create what TIME Magazine labeled “The Jesus Revolution.”

“Jesus is alive and well and living in the radical spiritual fervor of a growing number of young Americans who have proclaimed an extraordinary religious revolution in his name,” TIME wrote in their 1971 issue. “Their message: the Bible is true, miracles happen, God really did so love the world that he gave it his only begotten son.” The film mirrors this reality by focusing on the stories of the real people who served as prophet-like figures in this revolution.

Anthony Roumie, which many know from the TV show “The Chosen”, acts as Lonnie Frisbee, the charismatic hippie preacher whose role in the film (and in real life) is to proclaim God’s love and appeal to the youth of the flower child age. Joel Courtney, known for “The Kissing Booth” trilogy, plays the young, God-searching Greg Laurie, who’s looking for something real and something that won’t fail him. Kelsey Grammar, who you may have seen in “Cheers”, brings to life the story of Chuck Smith, a middle-aged pastor who has a hard time seeing eye to eye with the younger generation but is willing to give it a valiant try.


In the movie, a monologue about peace and love is spoken at a music festival that two characters attend. In the speech, the singer informs the audience that they are free to be who they want and that there is everlasting love within the space. This is paralleled when Lonnie talks about the younger generation’s unconscious search for Jesus. A beautifully-calculated montage of both speeches manages to bridge together gaps between generations and shows that differences can be put aside if only in the name of love. Clearly, it’s meant to communicate to movie-goers that young people are looking for peace and love in “all the wrong places” or so the film explicitly states.

While this review could dive into what could have been different or what could have been added to make this a well-rounded film, it’s important to look at what exactly it accomplished. Christian movies don’t tend to make box office hits, with it being even rarer to see one reach theaters. Yet “Jesus Revolution” made double its production cost.

What is this saying about society’s want for God? What does this say about the yearning its young masses have for Jesus in the film? Are young people the key to striking up an interest in spirituality once again?

Just like the young generation who protested war and hatred, they turned to peace and love and subsequently found God. Just like the current generation who protests war and hatred, they turn to peace and love and find–Well, what will they find?

“WARNING,” TIME wrote. “(JESUS) IS STILL AT LARGE!” “Jesus Revolution” is out in theaters now.


Jordan Stokes - Headshot

Jordan Stokes | Writing Contributor
B.A | Writing  | Point Loma Nazarene Univ
Jordan Stokes is a writer currently studying at Point Loma. Her writing has previously been published in Driftwood and Thimble Literary Magazine. When she is not reading or writing she dabbles in baking, beach trips, and baseball – the “Big B’s” if you will. | View My Articles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s