Son of God

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Son of God Movie Poster Image
Bland retelling of Jesus' ministry can be very violent.
  • PG-13
  • 2014
  • 138 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive messages

Encourages belief in God and specifically the Christian vision of Jesus as the Son of God.

Positive role models & representations

Unlike The Bible, which surveys major Judeo-Christian stories, Son of God concentrates on Jesus. Even those who do not believe in Jesus' divinity will find him a fascinating revolutionary who challenges the establishment, ministers to outcasts and sinners, and wants to change the world. His promise to people is simple: believe and you shall be saved. His disciples are all flawed, but they remain faithful. Even Judas, who betrays Jesus, repents for his part in Jesus' arrest.

Violence

The movie, which is taken from parts of The Bible miniseries, is quite violent. Jesus is flogged with the 40 lashes, forced to carry his cross, fixed with crown of thorns, and crucified. There are close-ups of his bloody body and bruised face. Pontius Pilate's guards push over a merchant's cart, and it falls and crushes his son, who is shown dead in his mother's arms. Crowds are stabbed and slaughtered. During temple scenes, there are animals being sacrificed, and people are pushed. Jesus is told his friend John the Baptist was beheaded. Judas hangs himself.

Sex
Language

Jesus is taunted as "King of the Jesus" and "peasant" and "false prophet."

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

Jesus and his disciples drink wine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Son of God is re-purposed material from the History Channel's The Bible miniseries concentrating on the story of Jesus' ministry years, death, and resurrection. Although it's not quite as bloody and violent as The Passion of the Christ, the movie still features the violence of the crucifixion, like Jesus' flogging, the crown of thorns, and the nailing to the cross. There are close-ups of a bloody and beaten Jesus, as well as the two thieves crucified beside him. There are also scenes of dead Israelites killed by Roman guards, a child who is crushed and killed by a cart, and Judas hanging himself. Families must decide whether their kids are ready to see some of the more disturbing and bloody aspects of Jesus' story.

User Reviews

Educator and Parent Written byTeenBoyzDad March 8, 2014

A guy's perspective

My wife and all the other ladies in the theater were crying. The males weren't. I think it's because the actor who plays Jesus is gorgeous (and that... Continue reading
Educator and Parent Written byDr. Lou March 15, 2014

Overwhelming violence

My friend and I took our sons, aged 11 and 12, to see the movie Son of God. We went to the movie in part because our sons had requested to see it and we wanted... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old March 3, 2014

Son of God

1st Review This is a REALLY great movie that explains what Jesus did in his life and ministry as god's son. This movie has a great message of what Jesus d... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written by150quail March 7, 2014

Left me disappointed. It was very slow in some cases.

One thing that movies shouldn't do to you is that it shouldn't bore you to death. Unfortunately this movie did. It was very slow moving for me and the... Continue reading

What's the story?

To release SON OF GOD, husband-and-wife film producers and devout Catholics Mark Burnett and actress Roma Downey have repackaged the Jesus-centered portions of their wildly successful The Bible miniseries, which aired on the History Channel in 2013. Son of God isn't exactly like the four episodes in the miniseries that chronicle Jesus' life -- instead the film skips over Jesus' childhood and baptism and goes from birth to his finding his disciples. Narrated by the disciple John the Evangelist (Sebastian Knapp), the movie chronicles how Jesus (Diogo Morgado) performed miracles, preached about forgiveness and love, was persecuted by the high priests and Pontius Pilate, was crucified, and then was resurrected.

Is it any good?

Christian viewers looking for a traditional retelling of the story of Jesus' ministry years will find this a fine, if incomplete, tale. The production values are good, some of the actors are better than good, particularly English actors Darwin Shaw as the intense and hotheaded disciple Peter, Greg Hicks as the most famous Roman prefect in history, Pontius Pilate, and Knapp as the dearest disciple John. Jesus is played by the distractingly attractive Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado, whose indeterminate accent and occasionally off line readings make him less effective than Jim Caviezel in The Passion of the Christ.

Overall, the movie is a rather bland adaptation of Jesus' ministry, with somewhat bizarre and inexplicably extreme close-ups and disappointing computer-generated depictions of ancient landscapes. One of the best parts of the movie is Hans Zimmer's swelling score, but ultimately this doesn't feel like a complete or particularly memorable picture. Except as a ministry tool for church youth groups, Son of God is not the most stirring depiction of Jesus' life. Jesus Christ Superstar and VeggieTales DVDs are far more memorable, and those familiar with Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical may find themselves singing it in their head as they watch along.

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this movie compares to other interpretations of the life of Jesus. Do you think movies with religious themes appeal to general audiences or just believers?

  • The filmmakers removed the last temptation of Christ that proved controversial in the miniseries. Do you think that was a good idea, or was it strange to see a movie about Jesus that omits this part of his life?

  • Was it smart for the filmmakers to hire lesser-known actors play Jesus and the disciples? Would it have been odd to see a better-known actor play Jesus?

Movie details

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