Feature

Son of God

A faithful retelling of the story of Jesus

Directed by Christopher Spencer(PG-13)

*

“God did awfully well” at the box office last weekend, said Gary Susman in Moviefone.com. This polite account of Jesus’ life took in close to $27 million, roughly double pre-release estimates, and could be on its way to being the highest-grossing Christian-themed film since Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004). Co-producers Mark Burnett and his actress wife, Roma Downey (who also plays Mary, Jesus’ mother), pieced together the movie by repurposing footage from their 2013 History Channel miniseries, The Bible. The condensed story essentially unfurls as “a series of greatest-hits miracles,” said Claudia Puig in USA Today. Bland performances and uneven special effects rob the story of its innate power. Diogo Morgado, a Portuguese model turned actor, plays Jesus “with a good-natured geniality” but “a total lack of the charisma needed to become the most famous man who ever lived,” said Stephan Lee in Entertainment Weekly. Gibson’s version at least left a mark. “At best,” this well-intentioned retelling “succeeds as a Sunday school supplement.”

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