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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Moses overcomes enormous challenges, solves problems, and learns empathy. But some of the messages get muddled/conflicted in the movie's action sequences and because of parts of the story that were cut out.
Positive Role Models
Moses is usually a clear hero, but in this version he seems uneasy with God's help, and the use of the seven plagues seems rather gruesome. (You almost feel sorry for the bad guys.) He can also be violent and sullen and quarrelsome. Still, he's heroic enough to rescue hundreds of thousands of slaves and bring them a new life and new freedom.
Violence & Scariness
Heavy fantasy-style action violence. Gruesome "seven plagues," with strong terror, blood, death, destruction, and chaos. Fighting. Lots of blood and death. Dead children. Dead bodies. Bird entrails. Dead horses. Slave whipping. Several people hanged. Falling from cliff. Tidal wave and drowning.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A married couple kisses; sex is indicated.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The pharaoh appears to drink wine with his meals.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Exodus: Gods and Kings is an epic retelling of the Biblical story of Moses freeing the Jewish slaves from the evil Egyptian pharaohs. There's lots of gruesome violence, particularly in the depiction of the seven plagues, with shocking amounts of blood, death, destruction, chaos, and terror. Dead children and animals are seen. There's also lots of fighting, hangings, slaves being whipped, and a terrifying tidal wave. On the other hand, sex and drinking/drugs are minimal, and language and consumerism aren't an issue. The film has drawn some criticism for "whitewashing" history by casting Caucasian actors in the roles of Middle Eastern characters. Teens who are on the fence about seeing a Biblical epic may be swayed by the movie's action factor, and Moses' story is still there -- and still worth telling and discussing, even though he's not portrayed as a saintly hero. But kids and tweens are strongly warned away; stick with either The Ten Commandments or The Prince of Egypt instead. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS has a somber, dreary quality, punctuated by a thrumming, droning music score. Director Ridley Scott has made some great films, but he seems drawn to huge battle epics, like Kingdom of Heaven and Robin Hood, which he doesn't seem particularly suited to. The mood of this film doesn't invite anything in the way of an emotional or spiritual connection.
Nor does it allow many of the actors much of anything to do. Bale is both serious and battle-ready, and several other recognizable actors appear as window dressing. Only Edgerton as Rhamses brings a little heart to his under-confident villain. Some choices, such as God appearing as a creepy kid, are simply strange. Only the plagues sequence offers a kind of distraction, but even that quickly turns disturbingly dark. Earlier Moses films (The Ten Commandments, The Prince of Egypt, etc.) were at least campy or funny, but this one isn't even entertaining.
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.