Starring: Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell, Nazanin Boniadi, Rodrigo Santoro, Sofia Black-D’Elia, James Cosmo, Ayelet Zorer
OUR RATING: ★★☆☆☆
Story: Epic historic action adventure remake directed by Timur Bekmambetov which tells the story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves, Esther, (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption.
Verdict: The best thing that can be said about this new iteration of the classic Ben-Hur movie is the performances by Jack Huston as Judah Ben-Hur and Toby Kebbell as Messala. They both did a great job in this inconsistent mess of a movie and both are totally wasted because they are such good actors. The other positives are the chariot race scene which was quite well made, and the story might have just about been passable had it not been for the horrible fairy-tale ending which just felt so out of place and totally unnecessary.
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 19)
[to the slaves on the ship]
Quintus: No matter where you’re from, this ship is your body! That drum is your heartbeat and your God is the glory of Rome!
Ilderim: You wash ashore shackled. You are an escaped prisoner. How long were you a galley slave?
Judah Ben-Hur: Five years.
Ilderim: What is your name?
Judah Ben-Hur: Judah Ben-Hur.
Judah Ben-Hur: My family was one of the most respected in Jerusalem, until the Romans came. And then we were betrayed by my own brother.
Judah Ben-Hur: Messala, you will always be my brother.
Messala: I’m an orphan. Your father took me in.
Messala: Please, I need you to tell me who our enemies are!
Judah Ben-Hur: Messala, I won’t name names.
Jesus: Love your enemies, God is love. He has a plan for you.
Judah Ben-Hur: If he’s already decided my path how am I better off than a slave?
Jesus: Why don’t you ask God?
Judah Ben-Hur: Messala, you know we’ve done nothing wrong!
Messala: Rome’s calling for blood, I have to give them something. Crucify them!
[the Roman guards grab Judah’s mother and sister]
Ilderim: The world you live is Rome’s, their laws, their power.
Judah Ben-Hur: I won’t let Messala go unpunished for what he’s done to us.
Judah Ben-Hur: Our mother and sister, was it a quick death?
[he punches Messala and knocks him down, he takes his knife out and just then Roman guards enter]
Judah Ben-Hur: Coward!
[Judah turns and leaves]
[giving Judah some water after he’s been shackled]
Judah Ben-Hur: Thank you.
Jesus: You do the same.
Ilderim: The world you live in is Rome’s. They’re laws, they’re power, you cannot defeat them in the street.
Judah Ben-Hur: My family, they deserve justice for what’s happened to them.
Ilderim: There is another way.
Ilderim: [to Judah] In the arena there is no law. Racing is a blood sport, if you lose, you die. But your brother is the pride of Rome, defeat him and you’ll defeat an empire. Then you’ll have your vengeance.
Ilderim: [to Judah] Give them a shame they will understand, you can start a revolution to free us all.
Esther: [to Judah] You have a voice, people would follow you. I would follow you.
Messala: You should have stayed away.
Judah Ben-Hur: You should have killed me.
Messala: I will.
Ilderim: Remember, first to finish…
Judah Ben-Hur: Last to die.
Esther: It’s Jesus that’s kept you alive, Judah. Jesus showed you kindness when no one else would.
[as Judah goes to strike the Roman soldier that hit Jesus as he’s about to be crucified]
Jesus: My life, I give it of my own free will.
[dragging Judah along at the end of his chariot]
Pontius Pilate: Come on!
Messala: Are we having fun now, brother! Stand and fight! Stand up, now!
Total Quotes: 19