Son of God
By Sandie Angulo Chen,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Bland retelling of Jesus' ministry can be very violent.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Encourages belief in God and specifically the Christian vision of Jesus as the Son of God.
Positive Role Models
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 & Scariness
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.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Jesus is taunted as "King of the Jesus" and "peasant" and "false prophet."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Jesus and his disciples drink wine.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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.
To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Son of God
Based on 9 parent reviews
Made by new agers
Report this review
Who is this guy??
Report this review
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?
- In theaters: February 28, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: June 3, 2014
- Cast: Roma Downey, Diogo Morgado, Sebastian Knapp
- Director: Christopher Spencer
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Great Boy Role Models, History
- Run time: 138 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: intense and bloody depiction of The Crucifixion, and for some sequences of violence
- Last updated: February 25, 2023
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.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
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