Ben-Hur (2016)

Theatrical Release: August 19, 2016
DVD Release: December 13, 2016
Ben-Hur (2016)


The epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a Jewish prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother, an officer in the Roman army. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but he finds redemption.

Dove Review

“Ben-Hur” illustrates the transformative power of love over hatred and redemption over revenge.

This film is the dramatic retelling of a classic tale that follows the life of Judah Ben-Hur, a prince of Israel, and his adopted brother Messala, a Roman whose real father plotted the overthrow of Caesar. The film begins with the brothers racing horses in the countryside. When Judah is thrown from his horse, Messala carries him to their home, and he is treated for his injuries. Shortly afterward, Messala leaves home and joins the Roman army to make a name for himself.

Time passes, and while Messala is becoming a great soldier of Rome, Judah shows his compassion to a young zealot who is injured — a gesture that ultimately causes his family to be imprisoned and Judah condemned to the galley of a ship as an oarsmen for five years. After a battle at sea with the Greeks, their ship is destroyed. Judah becomes free of his chains as he washes ashore, where a benevolent and wise nomad named Ilderim (Morgan Freeman) discovers him. With vengeance in his heart, Judah works with Ilderim to train on the nomad’s chariot with the hope of defeating his brother in the Chariot races in Jerusalem.

In several scenes, Judah comes into contact with Jesus and His disciples. Witnessing Christ on the cross forgive his captors, Judah grasps the meaning of true forgiveness. He then seeks out Messala, and the two former rivals finally embrace in the spirit of forgiveness and brotherhood.

This film features many battle scenes with death and destruction, due to the Roman’s oppression of the Jews. It also includes several severe injuries and deaths during the epic chariot races. We, therefore, award “Ben-Hur” the Dove “Faith-Based” Seal with a caution, due to the violent episodes throughout the film.

Content Description

Sex: Woman kisses man on cheek; married couple lie on bed together.
Language: G/MG/OMG-4; For G.. sake-1; Idiot-1
Violence: Man falls from horse and has bloody face; man shown with bloody arm; scene in which men are hit with arrows and fight with swords, and blood appears on swords; scenes showing dead men from battle; man bullies another man into helping him; dog attacks people in the street; man, on top of a building, shoots arrows at soldiers; man is hit with sword and dies; woman and man are tied up, and soldier hits woman; blood on sword; man is chained and shackled; dead man is dragged up stairs on ship; men are beaten, kicked and whipped on ship; ships collide into one another; man tied to front of ship, and it crashes into another ship; fiery arrow hits man; men on fire; ship sinks; man still chained to dead men underwater; dead bodies in water; people throwing rocks at a man; 20 people are taken to be murdered; chariot races where men are run over, dragged, and mutilated; horses die in races; crucifixion of Jesus; blood running down a post.
Drugs: Man drinks alcohol.
Nudity: Men are half naked on ship.
Other: Comment about having different "gods"; "Shut your mouth" comment; woman with boils on her face while in prison; the act of lying about people being dead.


Company: Paramount
Writer: Lew Wallace (novel), Screenplay By: Keith R. Clarke, John Ridley
Genre: Adventure
Runtime: 123 min.
Industry Rating: PG-13
Reviewer: Donna Rolfe