(2016) (Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Drama: A Jewish prince must contend with his adopted Roman brother turning against him and sending him into a life of slavery.
- It's 28 A.D. and Judah Ben-Hur (JACK HUSTON) is a Jewish prince living in Rome-occupied Jerusalem with his family, including his wife, Esther (NAZANIN BONIADI), mother, Naomi (AYELET ZURER), and sister, Tizrah (SOFIA BLACK-D'ELIA). No longer living there is Judah's adopted Roman brother, Messala Severus (TOBY KEBBELL), who left to make a name for himself in the Roman army, and he's done that under the watch of none other than Judean governor Pontius Pilate (PILOU ASBĘK).
Judah has no problem with the Romans, but Pilate and others are concerned about Jewish rebels, although their main focus is on a carpenter, Jesus (RODRIGO SANTORO), even if he preaches peace over violence. When Messala returns home in advance of Pilate making his way through Jerusalem, he asks for his brother's help in preventing any rebel action. Despite that, a young rebel who Judah took in attempts to kill Pilate, resulting in Messala having no choice but to arrest his adoptive family. With Naomi and Tizrah sent off to be crucified, Judah is shipped off to be a galley slave on Roman warships.
After years of that, Judah is accidentally freed during a sea battle and after spending some time adrift on the related wreckage, he washes up on the shore near an encampment run by Sheik Ilderim (MORGAN FREEMAN). While not fond of the Romans, he's found a way to make a living from them involving their love of chariot races, and he trains both drivers and horses for such endeavors. When Judah heals one of his sick horses, Ilderim decides that rather than turn the escaped slave back over to the Romans, he'll help train him to become a chariot race driver and thus get his revenge on Messala in that fashion.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- They might if the story sounds interesting to them, or if they happen to be fans of anyone in the cast.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For sequences of violence and disturbing images.
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