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Ben-Hur (2016)

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Judah Ben-Hur, a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother, an officer in the Roman army, returns to his homeland after years at sea to seek revenge, but finds redemption.


Timur Bekmambetov


Lew Wallace (based on the novel by), Keith R. Clarke (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4,501 ( 493)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Huston ... Judah Ben-Hur
Toby Kebbell ... Messala Severus
Rodrigo Santoro ... Jesus
Nazanin Boniadi ... Esther
Ayelet Zurer ... Naomi Ben-Hur
Pilou Asbæk ... Pontius Pilate
Sofia Black-D'Elia ... Tirzah Ben-Hur (as Sofia Black D'Elia)
Morgan Freeman ... Ilderim
Marwan Kenzari ... Druses
Moises Arias ... Dismas
James Cosmo ... Quintus
Haluk Bilginer ... Simonides (as Haluk Biligner)
David Walmsley ... Marcus Decimus
Yasen Atour ... Jacob
Francesco Scianna ... Kadeem
Learn more

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A Jewish nobleman, Judah Ben-Hur, and his adopted Roman brother Messala are best friends despite their different origins. Messala enlists in the Roman army and fights in the Roman Empire's wars in Germany. Ben-Hur also develops feelings for the family slave Esther although their different station in life compels him not to pursue her. But when her father Simonides seeks to marry her off to a Roman, Ben-Hur declares his love for her and takes her as his wife. Three years later, Messala returns as a decorated Roman officer. His return coincides with a rising insurrection by the Zealots, Jews who are opposed to the oppressive nature of Roman rule..

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


First to finish. Last to die. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


This is Morgan Freeman's first film for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer since Moll Flanders (1996). See more »


According with Holy Gospels, Christ was arrested by Temple soldiers, not by Romans. At this time Judea was a reign under roman control but with his own laws and "police". Only Romans can execute to death, so Jesus was bring to Pontius Pilate after a Jewish trial. See more »


Judah Ben-Hur: [to Dismas] How many Romans do you even know? Have you ever had a conversation with a single one in your life? Don't spit your hate for all when you don't even know one.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits for the director, producer and department heads are animated to look like they fly across the race track, kicking up dust as if they were horse-drawn chariots. See more »


Featured in For King & Country: Ceasefire (2016) See more »


The Only Way Out
Written by Andra Day & Dave Wood
Performed by Andra Day
Produced by Dave Wood
Andra Day performs courtesy of Warner Bros. Records and Buskin Records
See more »

User Reviews

Modern and spectacular version about the known hero being sent into slavery , set in the Roman empire at the time of Christ .
8 January 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Nice rendition about Ben Hur , the Jew noble being sent into slavery by a Roman friend , then he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge ; including intense drama, marvelously staged battle ships and overwhelming chariot races . In A.D. 26-Jerusalem, the wealthy merchant and son of a Jewish family, Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston , John Huston's son) , enjoys a comfortable life along with his adopted brother Messala (Tony Kebbell) . However, Messala flees to Rome and it will lead to an eventual separation .Now a Roman tribune, Messala goes back ; childhood friends and brothers, Judah Ben-Hur and Messala meet once again but things go wrong . Nowadays , as experienced adults , this time Messala is a Roman officer , a tough conqueror against the Jews and Judah as a rich noble , though conquered , Israelite . An unexpected reunion takes place after many years with his childhood best friend , but Ben Hur soon finds, however, that his friend has changed and has become an arrogant conqueror, full of the grandeur of Rome , and it leads to fateful consequences , as Judah refuses to divulge the names of Jews who oppose Roman rule, and Messala decides to make an example of him , banishing Judah to a life of slavery and imprisonment at a galley ship. When in Jerusalem happens a Roman parade , where is wounded the ruthless governor Pontius Pilate (Pilou Asbæk ) Judah to be sent off as a galley slave , his ownership confiscated and his mother (Ayelet Zurer) and sister Tirzah (Sofia Black-D'Elia) imprisoned at an impregnable jail . But the brave Ben Hur goes on his determination to stay alive when his galleon is attacked by a Greek ship , and then , to be shipwrecked , as he becomes a castaway and escapes . Later on , Judah goes backs his homeland . Unable to locate his mummy and sister, and believing them dead , he can think of nothing else than vendetta against Messala . Judah'll finally find peace in this revolutionary and enlightened new doctrine of kindness : Christianity .

Last movie of the acclaimed novel , being lavishly produced , stars Jack Huston and Tony Kebbell as Messala . This breathtaking film concerns about a merciless vengeance , not about forgiveness, only an unforeseen and gracious act of pardon will set free the once noble prince, who is now bent on revenge, as the incendiary teachings of the Nazarene Jesus rapidly gain ground. Although I think that the the famous novel written by Lewis Wallace is mainly about forgiveness . Furthermore , it deals with a extreme rivalry between the Roman Empire and Israel , in Rome the most important values were pride, rivalry, power, strength, the dictatorship of power , while in Israel rules the religion , rebelliousness , and protests against the Roman invader . Main cast is pretty good . Jack Huston is fine in the known role as wealthy Palestinan battling the Roman Empire who finally meets his rival in a justly famous chariot race and while rescuing his suffering family. And decent acting by Tony Kebbell as the nasty Messala who sends Judah to the galleys and throws his mother and sister into prison. Support cast is frankly well , such as : Ayelet Zuret , Sofia Black , Pilou Asbæk , James Cosmo , and mention special for Morgan Freeman who does some narrating in the beginning and end of the film. The chariot race required thousands of extras on sets constructed on lots of acres of lands . The MGM production costs were massive millions of dollars , as a lot of chariots were built , with half being used for practice . The race took various weeks to film ; both , director and producer insisted that the chariot circus be built for actual, and be made with as little computer graphics imagery as possible. They felt it was absolutely necessary, to make the chariot race look and feel realistic . The known chariot scene was shot at what is now the Cinecittà Studios, Cinecittà, Rome, Lazio, and Matera, Basilicata, Gravina di Puglia, Bari, Apulia, Italy and other scenes in Painted Canyons, Mecca Hills, California, USA . Attractive images , majestic set design , glamorous photography in brilliant color by Oliver Wood , and evocative as well as rousing musical score by Marco Beltrani , all of them combine to cast a spellbinding movie , though inferior than other versions . The motion picture was professionally made by Director Timur Bekmambetov , though with no originality , being a real flop at the box office .

Other retellings based on this vintage novel written by Lewis Wallace are the followings : Silent version by Fred Niblo with Ramon Novarro , Francis X Bushman , that still stands as the all-time silent classic ; it packs impressive scenes that still look nice , in spite of age and in 1931 , a shortened version was released .The classic version ¨Ben-Hur¨ won a record 11 Oscars , this recounting of the story is 87 minutes longer than the 2016 version , directed by William Wyler with Charlton Heston , Stephen Boyd , Haya Harareet , Jack Hawkins , Sam Jaffe , Finlay Currie , Martha Scott , Cathy O'Donnell , in which stuntman Cliff Lyons worked a Stuntman/chariot driver in both versions : 1925 and 1959 ; it ranked as the most expensive movie of its time and took years to end ; it is one of the greatest films in the genre "Epic". Ben-Hur still stands as the all-time silent classic . And cartoon version (2003) by Bill Kowalchuck with prologue by Charlton Heston and ¨Ben-Hur¨ TV series by Steven Shrill with Joseph Morgan , Stephen Campbell Moore , Kristen Krouk , Simon Andreu and Lucia Jimenez

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Arabic | Latin | English | Persian | Greek

Release Date:

19 August 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ben-Hur See more »


Box Office


$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,203,815, 21 August 2016

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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