‘Jesus Revolution’ Shows Spiritual Side of Flower Power Era

Grammer, 'The Chosen's' Roumie lead soulful look at forgotten part of our past

The Erwin brothers make a living telling stories that Hollywood would rather avoid.

Think faith-friendly stories like “October Baby” and “I Can Only Imagine,” the latter the duo’s biggest hit to date.

Now, Jon Erwin offers a ‘60s-style flashback that flies in the face of pop culture conventions. It’s a hippie tale brimming with peace, love, understanding and Jesus, and not remotely in that order.

And it really happened.

“Jesus Revolution” recalls how a preacher and a lost young soul teamed to bring faith to a generation desperate for meaning. The drama defines Erwin’s brand of storytelling – strong performances, glossy production values and, occasionally, a dearth of dramatic grit.

Jesus Revolution (2023 Movie) Official Trailer - Kelsey Grammer, Joel Courtney


Young Greg Laurie (Joel Courtney) meets a beautiful young woman (Anna Grace Barlow), a Hollywood-approved moment that changes the course of his life in many ways.

She introduces him to Hippie, Inc., the film’s attempt to give a PG:13 rating to the era’s Flower Power movement.

The production values are first rate, but the generic, soft-focus look at these cultural forces will frustrate many.

The two become part of a larger wave of disaffected hippies who would rather drop Bible verses than acid. They’re led by Lonnie Frisbee (Yes, that’s Jesus himself, Jonathan Roumie, from “The Chosen”), a natural leader whose banter bullies past conventional sermons.

Lonnie finds an unlikely ally in Pastor Chuck Smith (Kelsey Grammer, always excellent). Together, they’re a formidable team that inspires what Time Magazine would dub the “Jesus Revolution.”


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“Jesus Revolution” captures a fascinating moment in history, but the focus is too often reserved for smaller, less defined measures.

It’s not clear what the movie’s purpose is, and that haunts us deep into the film.


Young Courtney’s wanderlust perfectly encapsulates the era in question – late ’60s, early ’70s – but Pastor Chuck’s embrace of Team Lonnie happens far too quickly. That transformation alone could have anchored a large swath of the story.

The key romance between Courtney and Barlow’s characters also feels undernourished. They’re beautiful looking and kind of heart, but we need more than that. A key moment late in their courtship, much like the ending of the Netflix rom-com “You People,” is wildly unearned.

Yet “Jesus Revolution” nails why Christianity captured so many hearts and minds during the era. Young people felt disconnected, alone and scared. Many didn’t want to blur their minds with drugs or partake in the era’s sexual freedom.

They craved a spiritual balm, even if they didn’t realize it at the time. “Jesus Revolution” is at its best when showing that hunger. And darned if Roumie isn’t perfectly cast as the charismatic heart of the revolution.

He’s not Jesus, of course, but the film leans into his “Chosen” identity in sly and satisfying ways. Watching him bicker with his on-screen wife, after watching him all but mesmerize a massive gathering of worshipers, is a giddy treat.

The film’s closing credits fill in the real story’s blanks, suggesting a documentary approach might have hit closer to the mark in capturing this “Revolution.”

HiT or Miss: “Jesus Revolution” tells a necessary story with heart, pathos and fine performances. It’s still missing dramatic elements to put it over the top.


  1. I an a long time follower of our Lord and I feel like Thomas. This is a feel good movie of something that actually happen.I rather have these films coming out then all the sexual demonic ,murdering movies that have saturated our society. This movie opens the door to share the true scriptures with people who see the movie and then after ask questions about what the truth is. There’s already people who are saying ” is this what God is about ” then we’re able
    to share the facts of salvation. We’re looking forward to seeing it.minus sex,murder,demons cuss words.

  2. Hey Keith, The movie was never intended to be a vehicle to hammer out theological mysteries. It’s an entertainment piece that uses the backdrop of a bunch of hippies turning onto Jesus to celebrate the quest for spiritual understanding. Enjoy the movie for what it is, spin an old Larry Norman record, and go show someone whose hurting that you have some love in your heart.

  3. Greg Laurie is a FALSE CHRISTIAN LIAR.
    He specifically LIED on how and what it means to BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. He is so demonic that he actually preached PART of what Jesus told his followers.
    Acts 1:8 King James Version
    8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

    HE THEN PROCEEDED TO TALK OF OTHER THINGS AND NOT SHOW HIS CONGREGATION THESE VERY SAME PEOPLE ACTUALLY RECEIVING THE HOLY GHOST THAT JESUS PROMISED. Instead he spoke lies about it”being like a SAIL filled with WIND”. AT NO POINT did he tell his deceived crowd that THIS is how those people and EVERY ONE ELSE IN THE BIBLE “received” the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost . With the evidence of speaking in tongues as the SPIRIT “gave them utterance”.!!!! That is DECEPTION.

    Acts 2:4King James Version
    4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

    Acts 10:46-47 King James Version
    46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
    47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

    In fact ^^^^^this event is used to CLEAR PETER OF ALL CHARGES when the Apostles at Jerusalem call him to account for the sin and CRIME of entering a GENTILES HOME and EATING WITH THEM . It is only when they learn that the GENTILES RECEIVED THE EXACT SAME HOLY GHOST SPEAKING IN TONGUES that they Apostles themselves had received that they PRAISED GOD and accepted the salvation of the gentiles. Read Acts 11: 1-18 and read Acts 10 for how Peter came to be in Cornelius’ home.
    15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
    16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
    17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
    18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

    Acts 19:5-6 King James Version
    5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
    6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

    It’s equally DEMONIC that he would mention “Sails and Wind” since JESUS taught that receiving the Holy Ghost was like a THE SOUND of the wind ( not the wind dummy) AND THAT YOU CANNOT DETERMINE WHERE THAT WIND THAT YOU HEAR has come from NOR where it is going. AND THEN CHRIST SAID THE PART THAT CONDEMNS Greg Laurie! HE SAID THAT EVERYONE WHO RECEIVES THE HOLY GHOST HAS THE EXACT SAME EXPERIENCE . Yeah, Greg left that part out! As you can see from the scriptures above, ALL of these people without exception HAD THE HOLY GHOST CAUSE THEM TO SPEAK IN LANGUAGES THEY’D NEVER LEARNED. See, that’s the part the FAKES leave out since it’s the ONLY part that REQUIRES AN ANSWER FROM GOD with respect to your “faith”.

    John 3:8 King James Version
    8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    You don’t have to “understand” this experience, the important part is “SO IS EVERYONE THAT IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT” . Now if the book of Acts didn’t exist , you’d be free to SPECULATE and OMIT things ABOUT that experience. But the bible is quite clear on how one receives the HOLY GHOST . Acts 2:4. Greg Laurie is simply a LIAR.

      1. Seems like Keith needs a little compassion and grace extended towards others. Take the beam out of your own eye brother. That bitterness and judgmentalism will kill your soul and your spirit. Why not pray and bless those you so easily want to condemn. SMH

    1. The spirit of Antichrist lives strong in you. You seem not to recognize the limits of your comprehension and it’s fallibility. A spirit of charity would reflect better upon your religion.

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