Journey to Bethlehem

I won’t lie, I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to go and see Journey to Bethlehem by my wife. My wife really wanted to go and see it so the promise of some pizza before it and the fact my theatre only has it on for a couple of showings per day made me think I probably should go.

To be honest, I have a soft spot for Christmas movies, but I feel like I have seen the nativity story play out about a million times, but this one is different, it is a musical.

How to Download Journey to Bethlehem

Journey to Bethlehem was released on November 10, 2023. You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and check the current availability.

The Movie Review

If you know the basics of the whole Mary and Joseph heading to Bethlehem story, you pretty much know what the deal is here. Journey to Bethlehem is a musical interpretation of this classic story and I was shocked to hear that this was brought to us by Adam Anders who I knew as the writer of some pretty big hits by people such as The Backstreet Boys.

Cast and Performance Highlights

For a directorial debut, this is very well done. Our two leads are Fiona Palomo as Mary (she also plays Sofia in Outer Banks) and Milo Manheim as Joseph (see him also in Thanksgiving as Ryan). They both have great voices, are likable, and have great chemistry together. Having not bothered to watch a trailer before being “dragged” to see this, I had no idea what to expect, but I was not expecting a pop song-filled Disney-style retelling of the trek to Bethlehem so Baby Jesus could be born!

Special Mention: Antonio Banderas’s Performance

Not knowing anything about the movie, apart from the small blurb on my theatre website and what my wife told me, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Antonio Banderas was in this movie! Antonia Banderas plays the evil King Herod who wants to kill this “King of Kings” as he sees him as a threat to his kingdom. He is awesome in this role and belts out a pretty awesome song too.

Musical and Visual Elements

The music, the dancing, and the whole presentation are just fantastic. It tells this classic tale that is still set in ancient Israel, but with modern music. Yes, this is super cheesy, but with me being in a good Christmas spirit, I was tapping my foot and having a lot of fun with the musical performances.

Unique Style and Production Design

One thing that I could not put my finger on the whole time I was watching the movie was what I thought about the “style” of the movie. The sets had a very interesting look and it was my wife who said that the movie looked like a theatre production. That is the best way to describe it, the more compact sets and the singing and dancing scenes have a very theatre look to them which I liked. Some of the special effects show their low-budget quality, but it is not terrible or anything like that.

Conclusion and Recommendation

I am so glad that we managed to go and see this at the theatre. I can see Journey to Bethlehem becoming a bit of a cult hit as I have yet to hear anyone say anything bad about it. Yes, it is a cheesy pop song-filled reinterpretation of a classic story, but it works and it has a lot of charm and is sure to get you into the Christmas spirit.

Journey to Bethlehem
Journey to Bethlehem is a musical retelling of the nativity story with modern pop tunes, starring Fiona Palomo and Milo Manheim. Download it and have a good time.
8.5 Total Score
Journey to Bethlehem Review Summary

Sound & Music
  • It mixes the classic story with modern pop songs
  • The whole movie has a kind of Disney Channel vibe about it
  • I liked the way the smaller sets had a theatre production look to them
  • It has Antonio Banderas in it and that is awesome!
  • It may be a hard sell to get some people (like I was) to go and see this
  • Some of the special effects do not look all that great
User Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Jason Delacey

Jason Delacey

Jason is a 40-year-old writer from Northern England. He has been playing video games his whole life and writing about them for over a decade. As well as enjoying gaming into the wee hours of the morning, Jason is a real film fanatic too! He is open to watching all genres of movies from animated singing animals to brutal horror!

Jason loves to give his honest opinion on games, movies, TV shows and is always willing to give anything a try!

Favorite Games: Resident Evil 4, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, Bioshock Infinite, Super Mario World, The Last of Us, Halo 2, Streets of Rage 2, Overwatch.

Favorite Movies: Terminator 2, The Empire Strikes Back, Avengers Infinity War, Bloodsport, The Transformers The Movie. Dogma, BASEketball, From Dusk Till Dawn

Favorite TV Shows: X-Files, Supernatural, Lost, American Horror Story, The Mandalorian, Stranger Things.