Journey to Bethlehem Movie

A unique new entry into the collection of holiday classic movies, this epic Christmas musical is unlike any before it!

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Disclosure: Many thanks to AFFIRM Films, Inc. for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

I was asked to review a new Christmas movie and didn't even have time to finish reading the title before my little sidekick spotted the word "Musical" and begged me to accept it:

The story certainly isn't new, but this fresh, family-friendly, song-driven take on it is:

A young woman carrying an unimaginable responsibility. A young man torn between love and honor. A jealous king who will stop at nothing to keep his crown. This live-action Christmas musical adventure for the entire family weaves classic Christmas melodies with humor, faith, and new pop songs in a retelling of the greatest story ever told—the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus

The film opens with a hilarious scene involving the Wise Men that leads right into a stirring version of my favorite holiday song ever.

This is followed by the opening credits and then the movie zooms in on Mary and her family, which leads right into what the Healys declared a big, boisterous, Bollywood song & dance scene reminiscent of this movie we all love.

We're next introduced to Joseph,

Antonio Banderas as Herod,

And Joel Smallbone (from For King & Country) as Herod's son, Antipater:

Grammy winner Lacrae shows up as Gabriel and now that we've met all the main characters, the storyline proceeds as expected...

Although I completely enjoyed this movie, at the end I found myself wondering what it added to the familiar story -- or what reason there was that this film needed to be made.

G said that I was overthinking things. He said that just as I love certain directors or actors or genres of movies that I consistently turn to and watch, people seek out Christmas-story movies and enjoy watching them, even if the story remains the same.

And he's right, it really doesn't matter that we know exactly what's going to happen in this story, it's that same familiarity that allows us to sit back and be entertained by the spectacle of it all.

And spectacle is exactly what you'll get. I already compared this movie to a slick Bollywood film, but I have to say that the songs and choreography were really incredibly entertaining!

One of my favorites was that beginning "sisters" number I referenced earlier, where the girls are walking through the marketplace and different sound effects (merchants sweeping, or turning the grinding stone) build up and become the background rhythm that leads the girls into their song -- so fun!

My other favorite was Antipater's big number, where he and his goons are all pounding these big sticks to the same beat -- I could watch that scene all day!

(Side note - you can actually listen to the soundtrack here, as well as view a music video here and see another featuring Steven Curtis Chapman here!)

Go ahead and also watch the trailer for yourself here and you'll see just what I mean about the spectacle of the musical numbers.

I highly recommend this film! Buy tickets today (you can even gift tickets to others here) to see Journey to Bethlehem in theaters starting November 10th!

Oh, I almost forgot! There are also several resources (discussion guides, coloring pages) here (and a Spanish version here) that you can download to make your experience with this movie even more enjoyable.

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Do you enjoy musicals and/or Christmas movies? I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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