JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM is a great musical with lots of jeopardy and some funny comic relief to lighten the mood. The songs are really good, and so are the performances. Although this is a musical version of the Nativity Story, the filmmakers treat the birth of Jesus with the proper reverence it deserves. The script and song lyrics refer to Jesus as Lord, the Son of God, the Messiah, King of all kings, Immanuel, and “God with us.” JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM is one of the most enjoyable, uplifting movies of 2023.
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong Christian, biblical, moral worldview tells the story of the birth of Jesus Christ with references to Jesus being Lord, the Messiah, the Savior, King of all Kings, and the Son of God, and including Jesus being called Immanuel or “God with us”
No foul language
No depicted violence but there are threats of violence
No sexual content
No alcohol use
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,
King Herod lies to the wise men.
JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM is a entertaining, heartfelt musical about the Nativity Story and the Birth of Jesus Christ, with scenes of King Herod the Great, played by Antonio Banderas, who orders his son, Antipater, to find the Christ child and kill him. Though some people avoid musicals, JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM is really a terrific one that treats the Birth of Jesus with the theological seriousness it deserves but also includes some funny comic relief, good songs, plenty of jeopardy, and wonderful acting.
The movie opens by introducing the three wise men, Mary and her parents, and King Herod the Great and his eldest son, Antipater. The three wise men discover the star over Bethlehem announcing the coming of the Messiah and King. They set off on their journey to Bethlehem to pay homage to the new King. Mary’s parents have arranged a marriage for her with Joseph, who’s new in Nazareth. They decide to hold a party to meet Joseph and his family. Meanwhile, King Herod sings a song about how great it is to be the King of Judea. However, he’s actually just a Roman puppet, and the Romans order him to conduct a census of all the people in Judea.
At the party, Mary discovers that Joseph is a young man who flirted with her in the marketplace. This knowledge makes her reluctant to go through with the arranged marriage. Then, when the Angel Gabriel appears to her and tells her she’s carrying the Son of God, it creates a new set of problems for the young couple. The problem is settled when Joseph has a dream where the Angel Gabriel tells Joseph that Mary’s child is from God.
Meanwhile, the three wise men visit King Herod’s palace in Jerusalem to consult some ancient scrolls about the coming of the Messiah. King Herod is very interested in the wise men’s story of a new divine king. He asks them to let him know when they find the child so that he can worship the Messiah.
However, the three wise men are suspicious of Herod’s interest in the child, so they sneak away to Bethlehem to search for the child. King Herod orders Antipater to find the young woman who’s pregnant with the Christ child and kill him. Antipater feels bullied by his father, but he diligently follows his father’s orders. He’s close on the trail of Mary and Joseph as they travel to Bethlehem to fulfill the commands of the Roman census.
JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM is a highly enjoyable musical. The songs are really good. For example, Mary’s friends sing a wonderful song about the joys of marriage. Antonio Banderas, who plays King Herod the Great, sings a powerful, ominous song about his love of power. The music at the end where the angels celebrate the birth of Jesus are even more impressive.
JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM has strong scenes of jeopardy. The dangers from King Herod and his son are palpable. The movie also has some comic relief to ease the tension, mostly coming from the scenes involving the three wise men.
Although this is a musical version of the Nativity Story, the filmmakers treat the birth of Jesus with the proper reverence it deserves. Although the movie deletes the references to the Holy Spirit in Chapter One of Matthew and Luke, it refers to Jesus as Lord, the Son of God, the Messiah, the King of all kings, and Immanuel, which means “God with us.” JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM is one of the most enjoyable, uplifting movies of 2023.
We are a crowdfunded organization, supported by people like you. These are some of the reasons why our supporters choose to give.
“They uphold God and tell us the truth about movies and TV shows. “
You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.
Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax-deductible.