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Rotten Tomatoes Critics - rotten 25%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - upright 63%
IMDb Rating 5.7


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November 27, 2016 at 5:12 am


Morgan Freeman as Ilderim
Ayelet Zurer as Naomi Ben-Hur
Toby Kebbell as Messala Severus
720p 1080p
915.98 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 5 min
P/S 433 / 1,586
1.9 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 5 min
P/S 560 / 1,732

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Harry T. Yung ([email protected]) 9 / 10

Fairy tale version

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Reviewed by don544 9 / 10

Why do I do this to myself ?

Remakes come in various shapes and sizes. Gus Van Sant's "Psycho" is a shot-for-shot remake. Ridley Scott's "Exodus" is his own statement of the iconic Biblical event, entirely different from Cecil B. DeMille's masterpiece "The Ten Commandments". Most interesting is Yoji Yamada's "Tokyo Family" which is an updated version of Yasujiro Ozu's immortal "Toyko Story", one so cleverly done that it is well worthy of the original (although some Ozu loyalist may disagree).Timur Bekmambetov, whose claim to a place in the film industry is in his expertise in respectable zombie and vampire movies, is not in the same league as master William Wyler. Still, Ben Hur (2016) is not a total write-off provided that you don't waste any money on a 3D version. Ben Hur (1959) was structured on three building blocks comprising two set pieces and the Biblical element. Of the two set pieces, the chariot race is unquestionably the highlight while the sea battle is extra entertainment. A "zealot" might have said that "Ben Hur" IS the chariot race. I have not mentioned the "human story" as that is supposed to be the basic building block of a vast majority of motion pictures anyway.Still, let us take a look at the human story first, through the characters. I wouldn't bother with name of most of the actors. For the old one, they are mostly well known; for the new one, they are mostly unknown. The historical background and the love-hate relationship between Judah Ben-Hur and Messala Severus are essentially unchanged. The most striking change is in the role of Quintius which, played by Jack Hawkins, was pivotal as Ben-Hur's mentor in his return with a challenge to Messala. In the remake, while Quintius is still there, his importance is much dwindled and the character is out of the picture (no pun intended) after the sea battle. The role of Ben-Hur's mentor is doubled up by Arabian chief and racing-chariot owner Ilderim. In 1959, this role earned Hugh Griffith his Best Supporting Actor Oscar. This year, Morgan Freeman is unlikely to aspire to any Oscar claim but that does not take anything away from his solid performance of a character that, in this movie, in addition to the name Ilderim, may also aspire to a nickname "God". That may even be one of the reasons Freeman is cast, as who can claim to be more qualified to play God, after his "Evan Almighty"? While on this reference to divinity, albeit on a figurative basis, just a quick mention that in 1959, the face of Jesus was never shown, if I remember correctly. This inhibition is of course long gone and Jesus, with appearances in only a few scenes, is played by Rodrigo Santoro.There is really not that much more to say other than echoing my earlier comment that this movie is not a total write off. The key set piece, the chariot race, is quite well made. The acting will not excite you but are passable. The cast, other than Freeman, is relatively unknown but I would not leave out mentioning Ayelet Zurer who plays Ben-Hur's mother. You may remember her running all over the place with Tom Hanks in "Angels & Demons".Oh yes, my summary line. You may find it difficult to hold back a chuckle seeing the fairy-tale ending slapped onto this movie.

Reviewed by Daniel Ross 9 / 10

Another Hollywood remake...

One often wonders why I continue to exchange my time of life and my hard earned cash to drive to a theater to pay exorbitant or confiscatory prices so that overpaid actors , directors and other assorted persons involved in the production of cinema can continue to grow rich sucking the wealth of their victims while foisting trash on the screen. I know the the 1959 version was a remake itself but this remake of that remake shows that film makers of today have very little if any originality to add to the screen. The producers would have been better off remastering and cleaning up one of the prints from 1959 and releasing that. At least then one would have gotten a film that was worth driving to the local cinema to see. This effort stands out as an example of why people do not flock to the theater to see the trash Hollywood sends out these days, that is those of us who still have an independent thought in our heads. For those mindless individuals who still live in mommies house and can not wait to go see the latest trash it really does matter what they put out does it ?

Reviewed by rexking410 9 / 10

You already know his name.

Hollywood remakes. For every Ocean's 11, there's 10 Willy Wonkas. So here we are saddled with another previously untouchable classic getting a slickly made, soulless studio remake. But is it fair to judge it just because it's a remake? Or does it succeed on its own merits? I love the William Wyler '59 original classic, and watch it often. I just can't envisage myself re-watching this. The effects are impressive, the action is predictably impressive, but it's predictably slick and with no standout unforgettable moment. Morgan Freeman clearly has a new flat screen TV to pay for, so he shows up to phone it in.But we've seen sword & sandal epics go from fun genre revival (Gladiator) to moribund cliché (Hercules, 300 Rise of the Empire). I left the cinema knowing that I'll forget about this in 3 weeks.Remakes can improve on the original (The Fly, The Thing, the '59 Ben-Hur is itself a remake of an early silent B&W version). But you risk falling into trap of being so slavishly loyal to the original that to redo the film becomes pointless (Pyscho). I can't recommend paying full cinema price. Stay at home and watch the '59 original. On the small screen, Chuck Heston commands a stronger presence than anyone in this large screen bore.

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