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..
As the Romans march into Jerusalem, establishing shots show the Roman soldiers lining up across the entire visible length of the city's main street, and Pontius Pilate rides in the very center. As soon as the column reaches the house of Judah Ben-Hur though, we suddenly see the very end of the column as if Pilate had inexplicably fallen back in line or the column had shrunk. See more »
Hate, anger, fear. Those are lies they use to turn you against each other. When you set aside the hate they force you to carry, that's when you know love is our true nature.
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The name of the Turkish actor, Haluk Bilginer, is mistyped as Haluk Biligner in the end credits. See more »
Admittedly, re-telling the story of Ben-Hur in modern cinema seems remarkably unnecessary since the original film was already so good in it's own merit. But to say that this is a bad movie would be a lie. There are plenty of powerful moments that portray betrayal and survival with its dialogue staying engaging and competent. Convincing acting from Jack Huston and Toby Kebbell helps establish a heartfelt brotherhood of joy and sadness that shines in key moments in all three acts. Even the supporting cast does a solid job establishing the tention of the conflict at hand. A serviceable soundtrack and action set pieces build to a good climax as well. I do agree with most that Timur Bekmambetov's frequent "free style" camera control is distracting with the consistent shaking and close-up shots rob what could have been sweeping epic shots to fuel the emotions of the film better. And the way some dialogue is delivered falls flat when the passage of time or awkward pacing steals their thunder. And of course, it's worth confirming that the CGI scenes are...pretty bad at times. In the end, why fix what isn't broken? It's tough to live up to an already fantastic film, and this 2016 adaptation of Ben-Hur will likely drown in history as another "Hollywood cash-grab". But if the story of Ben-Hur resonates within your soul, this adaptation is worth at least a single view.
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