Peter: The Redemption

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Peter: The Redemption Movie Poster Image
Violent biblical story defeated by weak production.
  • NR
  • 2016
  • 89 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

It's imperative to speak truth to power and to stand up for what's right in the face of great consequences. Christian values throughout. Among them: The message of Jesus Christ is one of love, forgiveness, and redemption for all men and women. "The healing power of the Word can cure." Peter, the Apostle, affirms Jesus's divinity: "I am blessed because I saw the Christ risen." "How much more blessed are those who did not see and yet believe?" "The whims of one man will not dictate the course of this world." "It is hard to walk together when you follow different paths." "The truth has set me free." "The Word of the Lord will endure forever."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Peter the Apostle is a role model for Christianity; he brings a message of faith, sacrifices himself for his steadfast belief. He is wise and honest, inspirational, bringing hope to others. Susanna is a pinnacle of virtue, faith, and courage. Martinian, a dutiful soldier at the film's onset, learns the true value of faith, charity, and standing up for what is right. Nero is emphatically evil; he has no conscience; his thirst for power and his lust know no limits.

Violence

Terrified sounds of screaming, wailing, and horror play in the background of numerous sequences while, off camera, Christians are being burned to provide light for Nero's palace, being tortured in prison, or enduring flogging. A man is whipped excessively. Soldiers stab men in the back; they collapse and die. Torture with a hot poker is suggested. In several scenes, Jesus is shown on the cross, bleeding and suffering. Another crucifixion is less bloody, but camera holds on body on cross for lengthy scene. Nero frequently threatens all Christians with death in various ghoulish ways. Heroic woman is the object of a powerful man's sexual advances in creepy, suggestive scenes.

Sex

A central plot point relies on sexual suspicions and the possibility of an adulterous liaison; it's referred to in several scenes. A powerful man frequently looks at a beautiful young woman salaciously, leading to a seductive encounter in which he promises to save a prisoner in exchange for her sexual favors. An innocent romance results in a gentle kiss.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Peter: The Redemption is a feature-length tale that takes place in the palace of Nero, Emperor of Rome, decades after Jesus's death. Peter, now an elderly man, is the foremost "rabbi" who preaches Christianity and leads an ever-growing group of those who follow the word of Jesus. Christian precepts are integral to the story. Based on early writings and biblical references, the film expands upon events from the onset of Peter's imprisonment to his crucifixion to detail the challenges Christians faced in their devotion to their newfound faith. A series of violent events (flogging, stabbing deaths, as well as two bloody crucifixions) are used to illustrate anti-Christian sentiment and Nero's relentless evil. Some of the action (i.e., burning and torture), takes place just off camera; to make the resulting agony clear, sounds of terror, pain, and helplessness are frequently heard in the background. Nero is also portrayed in several scenes as a sexual predator as he attempts to corrupt a beautiful servant girl.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMartin K. August 20, 2016

Enjoyable telling from biblical and historical perspective!

Our family enjoyed this film and it opened up a great conversation! This one dared to give a realistic idea of Christian persecution under Emperor Nero. The fil... Continue reading

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What's the story?

In PETER: THE REDEMPTION, set years after Jesus Christ's death, the dominance of the Roman Emperor Nero (Stephen Baldwin) is threatened by the Christians. Peter the Apostle (John Rhys-Davies) is the leader of the converts, so Nero imprisons and tortures him, expecting the man will both confess to setting recent fires in Rome and denounce his faith. But Peter remains steadfast. Sent to administer to the old man's wounds, Susanna (Brittany Bristow), servant to Nero's wife and a secret Christian herself, becomes Peter's ally. Their only hope is Martinian (Steve Byers), commander of the guard, who appears to be a thoughtful and moral man despite his allegiance to Nero. As the time for a long-anticipated festival draws closer, the stakes get higher for the evil Nero. Either the Christians must deny Jesus's word, or they must be executed as examples to the citizens of Rome. In the chaotic climate of death and destruction that Nero's actions set in motion, it becomes ever clearer that he is no match for Peter's faith and the growing legions of believers who follow him. 

Is it any good?

Solid Christian messages and values cannot save this inept, amateurish effort to tell the story of the late years and martyrdom of the Apostle Peter. Despite a fine performance by John Rhys-Davies and an accomplished one by Brittany Bristow as Susanna, the production's directing, writing, sets, costumes, and performances combine to detract from the intended messages. (Stephen Baldwin's "Nero" is so outrageous that it's unintentionally comic from the outset.) The bloody violence and the exaggerated and histrionic sounds of off-camera wailing and terror mean that even kids who enjoy faith-based movies and biblical stories might find it disturbing. Not recommended. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the fact that biblical stories are often bloody and violent. In Peter: The Redemption, while the filmmakers have opted not to try to portray Christians being tortured and burned, they used sounds instead of visuals. Do you think this technique made the violence less disturbing or more disturbing than actually showing the events? Why?

  • Many movies use one person's journey to show a significant cultural or intellectual change. How does Martinian's personal transition from soldier who follows orders blindly to righteous Christian help the filmmakers deliver their messages to the audience?

  • The story here develops and expands upon ancient texts. The romance between Susanna and Martinian is the writer's creation. How does that story contribute to an audience's interest in and enjoyment of the material? Do you think it was a successful plot element? 

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