Son of God
In the Holy Land, the Roman occupation has produced a cauldron of oppression, anxiety and excessive taxes levied upon the Jewish people. Fearing the wrath of Roman governor Pontius Pilate (Greg Hicks), Jewish high priest Caiaphas (Adrian Schiller) tries to keep control of his people. That control is threatened when Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, performing miracles and spreading messages of love and hope. Those who fear that Jesus will inspire a revolution decide that he must die.
Release Date: February 28, 2014
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MovieReviewMaven.blogspot.com Rating = B
In a Nutshell: As a Christian, I really wanted this film to provide a spiritual feast, but it’s really only a snack. The movie is willing, but the spirit is weak. Considering how strongly I feel about the life-changing topic, I found it to be more like an illustrated children’s Bible, highlighting only a few parts of the four Gospels that tell the story of Jesus Christ. It’s certainly not a detailed study, nor an entirely accurate account of the scriptures, playing more like a “Greatest Hits” version.
The audience I joined was reverent and hopeful enough, but the big screen version felt like a choppy, re-edited collection of the TV mini-series “The Bible” that aired on the History Channel last year. Indeed, that’s exactly what it was. One critic noted that if the TV show“The Bible” was a Cliff’s Notes for the scriptures, then “Son of God” is the cheat sheet. Although the target audience consists mainly of supportive believers, the movie is more of a basic introduction to the Christian faith, visiting the birth, life, death, and resurrection.
Uplifting theme: The movie’s witness, as well as mine, is that Jesus Christ lives! By the way, Easter is April 20th this year.
Things I liked:
• The Portuguese actor who plays Jesus (Diogo Morgado) is a little Brad Pitt-esque. There’s nothing wrong with that. He’s handsome and kind-looking, but some reviewers criticize his portrayal as a hippie being followed by a band of scruffy misfits. Of course, some said that about Jesus himself.
• The lovely Roma Downey from “Touched by an Angel” portrays a sweet Mary, mother of Jesus. It’s nice to see her again.
• The cinematic journey starts with “In the beginning, the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was there with Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses...” We’re given a quick walk-through of our religious history and then the narrator says “In the struggle for the promised land, He was always by our side. He was the light shining in the darkness. Then, He came into the world.” We learn that John the Beloved is the narrator, as he begins and ends the movie with his testimony. I love movies that carry us full circle to a poignant message. John explains “I was one of His followers. After what I saw, how could I not be?”
• I always like to see different interpretations of Pontius Pilate. This version features a continuously scowling Roman prefect who is annoyed by the constant Jewish disturbances and more worried about keeping the peace in order to preserve his own political position and comfortable lifestyle.
• I loved it when the camera went underneath the Sea of Galilee to show us Jesus’ face above the water, reaching down to move the water and command the fish to swim into Peter’s nets. Jesus tells Peter “I will make you a fisher of men”. A confused Peter asks “What are we going to do?” “Change the world.”
• While the Pharisees and Sadducees are depicted as jealous and fearful in their piety, other Jews are shown faithfully wearing phylacteries and prayer robes, strictly obeying the law out of love. There are fanatics and hypocrites in every religion, but there are also believers who inspire us to live more valiantly.
• I love symbolism so I thought it was awesome when Judas spit the bread out of his mouth. Bread, of course, is a symbol of Jesus Christ. Did you know that the name Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, means “House of Bread”?
• Thousands of hours of film have been recorded to tell the story of Christ, so I always appreciate subtle interpretations that directors are able to include in their version to speak to us. I liked it when Jesus gently kissed the heavy cross he struggled to carry. There’s a lesson in there for all of us; our trials will cause us to stretch and grow, so we should greet them with gratitude, rather than anger.
Things I didn’t like:
• The aerial views of Jerusalem looked like a child’s toy model of the legendary holy city that was put together in 15 minutes.
• One of the most disappointing features of the film is what it does NOT have: Satan. The devil does not get his due…or screen time…in this movie because the filmmakers chose to intentionally edit out all of the scenes that reveal a Lucifer that looks too much like President Obama. Producer Roma Downey told the Hollywood Reporter “This is now a movie about Jesus, the son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time.” While I admire her desire to put the spotlight on the Savior, her choice also waters down the need for a redeemer and removes the necessary contrast that opposition provides in good film, as well as in religion. It appears more like she is bowing down to Hollywood and political pressure than proclaiming that Jesus atoned for our sins and conquered death and hell. The reason we need Jesus is because of Satan. Sin separates us from God and Jesus bridges that gap. Because of Satan we have spiritual and physical death; because of Jesus, we can live.
• The writing is inconsistent, sometimes quoting scripture from the traditional King James version of the Bible, while other times using today’s modern lingo.
• As if the audience weren’t sophisticated enough to recognize a powerful phrase or prophetic moment, a base note sounded after every significant spot in the movie.
• I really hate it when lousy movie extras are shown in the background shaking their fists weakly in the air and grumbling that they’d rather head to the Kraft food table than act. There were, however, a few authentic-looking extras in the crowd with missing teeth and a Mediterranean look.
• I’m sure Sana Mouziane is a lovely person in real life, but I thought she was a terrible Martha.
• Jesus meets Peter for the first time and says “Peter, just give me an hour and I will give you a whole new life.” Peter looks surprised and answers “Who says I want one?” Jesus makes that same offer to all of us.
• “Put God first and everything else will follow.” - Jesus
• “If you hunger for righteousness, you will be filled through me.” - Jesus
Tips for parents: There are many bloody images when Jesus is beaten and crucified that can be quite disturbing to young children and even some adults.
Terrific videos about the life of Christ: I can highly recommend the inspiring collection of free videos at www.BibleVideos.com that will strengthen your faith in the Savior.March 1st, 2014 · Details4 Thanks ·
The Son of God is very well done from a Christian standpoint. The film making is good, along with the acting as well. Although some religions within the realm of Christianity as a whole may disagree on some of the details of the film, the events stayed close to the Biblical accounts.
Overall, there is a decent amount of violence considering the nature of the film. When Jesus Christ is crucified you see a lot of blood. Also, the events and physical beatings leading up to his crucifixion are vivid and don't shy away from blood.
The movie makes you want to familiarize yourself more with the Bible and learn more about Christ. It's most definitely worth your time. It's quite refreshing that a movie like this comes out now. We've seen some very graphic things from Hollywood in recent months and years and this movie will be refreshing for Christians to see.2 Thanks ·
This weekend, I saw the movie Son of God. It’s the larger-than-life story of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Here's my reaction, as well as links to learn more about Jesus Christ the Son of God: http://ldsmediatalk.com/2014/03/03/son-of-god-movie/March 3rd, 2014 · Details1 Thank ·
anyone, of almost any age, should be able to watch a film about the Lord if they are raised in a Christian manner. I'm excited to see that these types of movies are coming soon.February 4th, 2014 · Details1 Thank ·
Full disclosure - I didn't see the actually cinematic film. I saw the miniseries called "The Bible" which is like an extended version of the movie and is currently on Netflix. The movie has a few scenes that aren't in the TV series, but mostly is just a condensed adapted version for the big screen.
My reaction to what I watched was very positive. It is faith-building and it's always interesting to see what we read in the scriptures represented in film. I liked the actor that played Jesus. He was charismatic and full of passion for his mission. Peter was also a role that was played very well and you could feel the anxiety and awe that Jesus's apostles must have felt as they carried out their ministry. I liked how the motives of Pilate, Judas, the pharisees, and sadducees were explored.
It was a little jarring for me as a student of the King James version of the bible to hear familiar lines recited in modern language, but I actually ended up liking it. Although I believe the King James version is the most correct translation from the original biblical texts, the delivery of the lines in language that I am familiar with made me think of the dialogue in ways I hadn't thought about it before.July 28th, 2014 · Details
its just like the bible series but they made it into a movie it was great!!! but i wouldent buy the dvd cuse you should just buy the bible seriesMarch 14th, 2014 · Details
Though not the most powerful mass media treatment of its subject -- that accolade continues to belong to Franco Zeffirelli's 1977 television miniseries "Jesus of Nazareth" -- director Christopher Spencer's reverent but uneven screen version of the Gospel story ranks as a worthy revival of the Hollywood biblical epic... See Full ReviewMarch 6th, 2014 · Details
“Son of God” is a very good attempt at retelling the story of Jesus. It has excellent production values and powerful moments that will touch your heart, but it doesn’t exactly explore any new ground and doesn’t say anything more than most of us don’t already know about his life... See Full Review
A re-presentation of material from last year’s immensely popular History Channel mini-series The Bible with much new added, Son of God is a reverent, accurate, and deeply touching picture of the life of Christ – the first such film since The Passion of the Christ a decade ago. With the flawless production values of the mini-series, TV producer Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Voice) and Roma Downey ( Touched By An Angel) bring the life of Jesus to vivid life. - See more at: http://w2.parentstv.org/Main/News/Detail.aspx?docID=3029#sthash.bIkDxzmT.dpuf... See Full Review
Will the Son of God make a believer out of skeptics and cynics? Likely not. However for Christians this movie is a recognition that the religiously minded go to movies too. And in an era when we seem bent on worshipping flawed heroes, it can be a spiritual respite to retell the story of one who spent his life preaching peace and performing miracles... See Full Review
It is one of those rare pictures that features stirring music, a great story, and a superb cast. The viewer will feel Mary's pain as Roma Downey does a remarkable job portraying the mother of Jesus witnessing her son cruelly tortured and crucified. Diogo Morgado is a strong and convincing Jesus.
We recommend "Son of God" and award it our Faith Based Seal. There are graphically violent moments including scenes of Roman soldiers attacking the crowds and Jesus' suffering and crucifixion. This is a movie with a message. It willl take you on a powerful, compelling and, in the end, spiritual journey... See Full Review
SON OF GOD is a captivating showcase of God’s grace. The acting is excellent, including the powerful ending. The movie is life changing, but the pacing could be tighter. Thus, the movie opens strongly, but the first half is a too episodic. Also, some biblical episodes, including dialogue, seem too truncated. That said, the conflict between Jesus and the Jewish and Roman leadership is strong. Also, the movie has a powerful resurrection sequence. SON OF GOD clearly shows that the death and resurrection of Christ is a glorious reminder of God’s love... See Full Review
“Son of God,” a big screen version of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s History Channel TV series “The Bible,” has a redemptive optimism about it that makes the brutality go down easier. Their Jesus may be all business. But he sports a beatific smile as he renders unto audiences lines that feel like rough drafts of the polished poetry of the King James Bible... See Full Review