In this adaptation of Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ (previously brought to the screen in 1925 and 1959), a Jewish prince (Jack Huston) spends years toiling in slavery after an old friend, now an officer in the Roman army occupying Jerusalem (Toby Kebbell), falsely accuses him of a crime. In time, he wins his freedom and competes against his betrayer in a violent chariot race, but an encounter with Jesus Christ (Rodrigo Santoro) teaches him the importance of mercy and compassion. This version of Ben-Hur was penned by John Ridley, and directed by Timur Bekmambetov.
“An amateurish effort that boasts direct-to-video characteristics, the latest version disappoints in almost every production aspect. …the Chariot Race offers little that’s memorable.” – James Berardinelli –Reelviews
“A more secular ‘Ben-Hur’ is a dud.” –Mick LaSalle –SFGate