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Ben-Hur

Where to Watch Ben-Hur

PG-13
2016

Ben-Hur is an epic historical drama film that was released in 2016, a reimagining of Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. This new adaptation brings a fresh perspective to this timeless story, focusing on themes of revenge, redemption, and brotherly love. With meticulously detailed sets, spectacular visual effects, and captivating performances by a talented cast, Ben-Hur engrosses audiences into an ancient world beset by political unrest and personal vendettas.

The central character is Judah Ben-Hur, played by Jack Huston, a Jewish nobleman living in Jerusalem during the time of Roman occupation. Born into privilege, Judah enjoys a peaceful existence with his family until a yoke of oppression and personal loss forces him on a journey he never anticipated. Huston offers an impassioned portrayal of the character's struggle, seamlessly transitioning from nonchalant aristocrat to embittered slave, and finally to a man seeking redemption.

One of the seminal relationships in the movie is Judah's bond with his adopted brother Messala Severus, portrayed by Toby Kebbell. This relationship forms the emotional backbone of the film, becoming a chronicle of brotherhood betrayed. As Messala chooses to align himself with the Roman occupiers, believing that their influence can provide him with the recognition he yearns for, the rift between the brothers widens. Kebbell gracefully portrays Messala as a man caught in a personal conflict, torn between loyalty to his adopted brother and his ambitions.

Rodrigo Santoro plays the pivotal role of Jesus Christ, whose paths occasionally cross with Judah's. His presence serves as a stark counterpoint to Judah's journey, subtly influencing him and ultimately culminating in two of the film’s most profound scenes: the crucifixion and the iconic chariot race. While his role is limited, Santoro's portrayal of Jesus is deeply poignant and compelling.

Apart from the performances, Ben-Hur is a testament to Hollywood's capabilities in grand-scale movie-making. The film features impressive set pieces, breath-taking landscapes, and detailed period costumes. The film soars especially in the depiction of the iconic chariot race – a spectacle of technical prowess, where teams of horses stampede around a massive stadium in a deadly competition. The film's director Timur Bekmambetov masterfully handles the sequence, making it pulse-pounding and thrilling with high-speed cinematography.

Despite being a remake of an acclaimed classic film, Ben-Hur does not backaway from exploring new territories. The film emphasizes the humanity of its characters and the world they inhabit, without detracting from its epic scope. The film’s screenplay breathes life into the setting, effectively explicating the social and political atmosphere of the time. It reflects on the times of social unrest, rebellion against an oppressive regime, and individual struggles against social norms.

Moreover, the film’s tone straddles both the epic and the personal. Through the lens of this familiar story, Ben-Hur explores themes of revenge, redemption, and brotherly love. Although the story revolves around an act of betrayal that sets Judah on a path to vengeance, it also underscores the futility of vengeance and the transforming power of forgiveness. It illustrates the human capacity for change and growth, even amidst warfare and chaos.

At the core of the film, however, lies the exploration of the relationship between Judah and Messala. Tested by time, war, and conflicting ideologies, their bond underscores the constant clash between familial love and personal ambition. The two central performances by Huston and Kebbell add layers to their complex characters, making the unfolding drama all the more gripping.

Ben-Hur, with its poignant story, vivid characters, and stunning visuals, serves as an impressive revamp of the enduring saga. It combines elements of blockbuster film-making with profound, introspective themes, delivering a film experience that's both exciting and thought-provoking. While it pays respect to its precursors, this movie stands as a unique interpretation filled with massive action sequences, profound character explorations, and a haunting representation of a turbulent historical era.

Ben-Hur is a Action, History, Adventure, Drama movie released in 2016. It has a runtime of 144 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 5.7. It also holds a MetaScore of 38.

How to Watch Ben-Hur

Where can I stream Ben-Hur movie online? Ben-Hur is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Ben-Hur for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

5.7/10
38/100
Director
Timur Bekmambetov
Stars
Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro, Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer, Morgan Freeman
Also starring Toby Kebbell
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