Rating: PG (violence and injuries)
Recommended for: Ages 14 and up
A member of the Jewish nobility living in Jerusalem, Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) lives a religious life and peacefully opposes the tyrannical occupation of Judea by Rome.
After months of waiting to watch this movie (we recorded it the week of Christmas) I finally got to see it. It wasn't nearly as good as the book, but it was still good.
This is an old movie, so the acting was a little stiff and awkward at times. There was some good acting too. The film score would get dramatic at strange times and was also a little weird. The chariot race was pretty realistic (and a little horrifying) and left us wondering how they would have done it. The pacing was good and I wasn't confused about things, even when they changed things.
The setting was true to the book, from what I can remember. Things didn't seem to be historically out of place. I don't know a ton about the area, but nothing was obviously out of place.
There was a lot that was changed from the book and in my opinion, it was not for the better. They cut a major character, killed a major character that didn't die, and changed a very major event. The basic plot line is still the same and they keep some of the most major things. Some of the things they cut probably would have taken the focus away from Ben-Hur.
For the most part, the characters are the same as they were in the book. They also let you see two characters' good friendship before it went bad. Ben-Hur wants to protect his family and to get revenge. The actor was a little too old for Ben-Hur and didn't exactly look the part but since he is on the cover of the book I read, I think of him as Ben-Hur.
This movie is semi-faithful to the book. It is an old movie but it is still good. I would recommend it. and if you like the book, it is still worth watching (just be prepared for major changes) and it is a good movie despite its differences from the book.