Messiah

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
Messiah TV Poster Image
Parents recommend
Global psychological thriller missing thrills, has violence.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

This dense mystery shrouds its characters' motivations; positive messages are tough to find.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There are concerns that the show has anti-Muslim messages and portrays Middle Eastern stereotypes. Additionally, the religious aspects of the show may feel underdeveloped and offensive to some.

Violence

A significant amount of action takes place during conflict. Though violence isn't always depicted outright, the threat of violence is often present and reinforced with depictions of military factions and weaponry.

Sex

Sex and sexual situations. Some brief male nudity.

Language

Profanity includes "f--k," "s--t," "ass," etc.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink alcohol and sometimes smoke cigarettes. A teen girl is shown smoking. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Messiah is a mystery-drama about a Christ-like cult leader who operates in the Middle East. The show involves both religion and global politics, and it's come under scrutiny for potential anti-Islamic sentiment and stereotypical portrayals of Muslims. The show contains some sexual content, including brief male nudity, and profanity includes "s--t" and "f--k." There are also some depictions of smoking and drinking. Violence is often threatened, if not shown outright, and the show features both military and terrorist groups. Teens who have the maturity to understand the complex plot and setting may enjoy this intense series.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13 and 15-year-old Written byWhatclaws February 29, 2020

Thriller

Lots of swearing which seems unnecessary. The plot is intriguing so far
Adult Written byGer457 March 18, 2021

Love it

I recommend everyone to watch the show. It’s is enjoyable show I ever seen.
Kid, 12 years old March 19, 2021

Loved it

I recommend others to watch as person experiences I believe that Netflix did a great job overall creating the show.
Teen, 13 years old Written byEthan Hames April 6, 2020

Exaggerated

I think that although Messiah does have swearing and more, It does also touch on good Christian beliefs. It is a good series.

What's the story?

When CIA officer Eva Geller (Michelle Monaghan) learns of a man named al-Masih (Mehdi Dehbi), who has developed a religious following in Damascus, she immediately suspects him of being a fraud with ulterior motives. MESSIAH follows Eva and others as they attempt to figure out what al-Masih might be up to.

Is it any good?

The setup is familiar but promising: A detective-like character tries to figure out whether or not a charismatic leader is a fraud or the real deal. Messiah's premise is essentially a global twist on Homeland's, where cultural differences should factor in to the mystery. But it feels content to rest on its premise without either the character or plot development to keep it consistently engaging.

It seems like there's extra political and religious context needed to enjoy it, but at the same time the politics and religious aspects of the show are underdeveloped (one of the reasons the show has been surrounded by controversy). Psychological thrillers like this rely on complexity to create suspense, but viewers' faith in Messiah is likely to feel misplaced.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about religion and belief systems. How can you tell a real religious leader from a fraud? How do the characters on Messiah deal with this issue? 

  • How does the show make you feel about the Middle East? Does it give you a better understanding of the complex politics of that region? Why or why not?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

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