The true story of a national spiritual awakening in the early 1970s and its origins within a community of teenage hippies in Southern California.
24 Feb, 2023 | Theatrical Wide (2,575 locations)
Other Key Dates
May 18, 2022 - Cannes Film Festival Premiere
May 19, 2022 - London Premiere
In 1968, a staid yet respected Southern California pastor, Chuck Smith, finds that his church is slowly dying with an inability to connect with the younger, live-free generation of hippies. One day, his daughter, Janette, gives a ride to a colorful hippie hitchhiker named Lonnie Frisbee, who says he is traveling around and telling people about the Ministry of Jesus. Smith, at first suspicious of Frisbee, eventually warms up to him and welcomes other hippies to his house. This includes Lonnie introducing Chuck to a band called Love Song, who proceeds to perform a song in his living room. They join forces and start a successful movement to evangelize hippies and others. Meanwhile, high-school student Greg Laurie runs away from his Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps class and joins a girl named Cathe who “turns him on” to a Janis Joplin concert, with Timothy Leary preaching the value of drugs for self-discovery. However, Greg sees that various hippies are dangerously irresponsible; Cathe’s sister gets sick from a drug overdose. When watching a movie, Cathe gets angry at Greg for not caring about how dangerous drugs are and breaks their friendship. At the hippie campus, Cathe is listening to Lonnie preach; Greg then comes over and they reconcile, ending with Cathe telling him she found a church and he should come visit. Greg and Cathe find solace at Smith and Frisbee’s ministry, though Cathe’s uptight parents are not enthusiastic about Greg. The ministry explodes in popularity, being seen as a “Jesus Revolution” or “Jesus freaks”, and even sparking a Time magazine cover in 1971. However, Lonnie eventually leaves for Florida after having disagreements with Chuck Smith. Greg offers to take over a ministry branch in Riverside, and eventually marries Cathe and becomes a famous pastor himself. Smith and Frisbee are remembered as founders of the widespread Calvary Chapel movement, and more generally as leaders in the Jesus movement.
Tells the story of a young Greg Laurie (Joel Courtney) being raised by his struggling mother, Charlene (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) in the 1970s. Laurie and a sea of young people descend on sunny Southern California to redefine truth through all means of liberation. Inadvertently, Laurie meets Lonnie Frisbee (Jonathan Roumie), a charismatic hippie-street-preacher, and Pastor Chuck Smith (Kelsey Grammer) who have thrown open the doors of Smith’s languishing church to a stream of wandering youth. What unfolds becomes the greatest spiritual awakening in American history. Rock and roll, newfound love, and a twist of faith lead to a JESUS REVOLUTION that turns one counterculture movement into a revival that changes the world. — Lionsgate The movie tells the story of Chuck Smith, a Southern California pastor in the late 1960s, struggling to connect with the younger, free-spirited generation of hippies. One day, his daughter Janette gives a ride to a hippie hitchhiker named Lonnie Frisbee, who introduces Chuck to the Ministry of Jesus. Initially suspicious, Chuck warms up to Lonnie and welcomes other hippies to his house. Together, they start a successful movement to evangelize hippies and others. Meanwhile, high school student Greg Laurie runs away from his military class and joins a girl named Cathe who introduces him to the counterculture and drugs. After seeing the dangers of drug use, Greg and Cathe find solace at Chuck and Lonnie’s ministry. However, Cathe’s strict parents are not enthusiastic about Greg. The ministry gains notoriety and attracts media attention, being referred to as “Jesus Freaks”. However, there are internal disagreements that lead to one member leaving the group, while another takes over a new ministry branch and becomes a prominent figure in the religious community. The original founders of the movement are remembered as influential leaders in the Jesus movement. — Frank Liesenborgs