Movie review by Renee Longstreet, Common Sense Media
Ben-Hur Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 13+

1959 biblical epic has fierce blood-spilling, cruelty.

PG-13 1959 222 minutes

Parents say

age 12+

Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 11 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Stands out for and .

Community Reviews

age 13+

The Best Movie of All Time

I am a classic movie buff, have a Bachelors in Dramatic Art, and have collected over 1,000 fine movies. By far, of all the movies I have seen, which is easily over 2,000, Ben Hur 1959 with Charlton Heston, is my absolute favorite. It has everything anyone could want, incredible and incomparable live action, beautiful cinematography, heart-thumping romance, family bonds and tears, greed, generosity, heroism, dynamic acting, war, and even Jesus. When compared to other movies, including the Ten Commandments, which is my second favorite movie of all time, Ben Hur still comes out on top, all with no cussing.

This title has:

Educational value
Great role models
age 12+

Timeless production with one of the best ever actors in Charlton Heston and a great story line with a Biblical reference

Stirring timeless masterpiece that illustrates that bad things happen even to the best and most privelaged, and that it isn't the challenging conditions in life that determine your destiny but how you respond to them. Charlton Heston carrys the leading role with quality which makes it one of his best ever movies. Its great how the narrative of Ben Hur's life brings him to cross paths with the Saviour of the world when both are in the deepest depths of lifes struggles. Definately worth watching.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

  • Holding hands
    See all
  • Kids in class
    See all

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon picture of a book
    Book Characters
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a sister and brother holding hands
    Brothers and Sisters
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a map and jug
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate