Samson Parent Guide
If you aren’t expecting production quality or story accuracy, then this well intentioned screenplay may entertain you.
Parent Movie Review
Samson is an earnest effort to bring the life of this biblical figure to the big screen. Considering the current popularity of super hero movies, it seems a logical and marketable choice to pick this Hebrew Hercules. Unfortunately, there are also a couple of reasons why this particular tale is problematic.
First, to pull off a period piece of this magnitude requires equally big bucks. That makes it an ambitious project for a company the size of Pure Flix. While they have put great effort into tackling the challenge, the sets, models and costumes often fail to be convincing.
Second, the scriptural account of Samson, found in the book of Judges (chapters 13 to15), paints a picture of a conflicted character. Chosen by God from birth, and ordained to fulfill a divine purpose, Samson instead prefers to follow his own passions and desires. Although the Lord still works mighty miracles through him, his story doesn’t come with a clearly defined moral message.
Despite this, the scriptwriters have used their best artistic license to explain some of the contradictions. Samson (played by Taylor James) is depicted as young and therefore foolish about showing off his strength in petty contests and for pretty girls. His romantic interest in a beautiful female (Frances Sholto-Douglas) from a forbidden culture comes with the (modern) sensibility of racial tolerance. The oppressions of the Philistines, which are personified in the evil Prince Rallah (Jackson Rathbone), present just cause for cheating, stealing, and lashing out with a jawbone (with which he kills 1000 soldiers). And a more kind and gentle portrayal of the beguiling Delilah (Caitlin Leahy) softens her eventual betrayal.
For family viewers, the frequent violence will present the greatest concern. Samson faces off against armored men, swords, arrows, and a lion. His bare hands (and occasionally bare chest) are bloodied in these beatings. Characters are seen being cruelly treated, threatened, stabbed, lashed and thrown from heights. Women fear for their virtue. Animals are set on fire (implied, not shown). And property damage occurs.
If you aren’t expecting the production quality of The Ten Commandments, and you are comfortable with Old Testament tampering, then you may be sufficiently entertained by this well intentioned screenplay. But you are unlikely to have an inspirational experience. As is usually the case with movie adaptions, if you want the real “hairy” deal, you should read the book.Directed by Bruce Macdonald, Gabriel Sabloff. Starring Jackson Rathbone, Billy Zane, Taylor James, Caitlin Leahy . Running time: 109 minutes. Theatrical release February 16, 2018. Updated February 19, 2018
Rating & Content Info
Why is Samson rated PG-13? Samson is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for violence and battle sequences
Violence: Characters are oppressed by a cruel king and prince, who enslave, stave and kill them. Female characters are threatened with physical harm and rape. Characters engaging in stealing, lying, cheating and betraying. Characters are chased and are in peril. Many physical altercations occur: deaths and bloody injuries result. Many corpses are seen. Frequent portrayals of characters battling with hands and weapons: these include swords, bows and arrows, knives, whips and the jawbone of an ass (donkey). Many of these violent acts are depicted on screen with blood effects. Characters are ordered to be executed. Characters are decapitated (implied) and later a part of a head is seen in a blood stained bag. A character is whipped, beaten and bound. A man has his eyes put out with a hot sword blade. Characters gamble on gladiator style games. Characters are blackmailed and/or betray others for money. A man lights the tails of foxes on fire, who in turn set alight a grassy field. A building collapses and crushes the people within.
Sexual Content: A male character is seen shirtless. The virtue of female characters is threatened. Intimate relationships are implied between unmarried men and women. Prostitution is alluded to. A womanizing character is seen flirting.
Profanity: Characters are mocked by others for their race and/or religion. Name-calling occurs.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Alcohol is drunk in social settings. Characters embrace and kiss. A character drinks poison and falls asleep.
Page last updated February 19, 2018
More parents' guide for Samson after the break...
Samson Parents' Guide
From his birth, Samson was aNazirite, meaning one who had made a special vow with God. How serious was Samson about keeping his promises to God? What happened as Samson neglected to follow these vows? How important is it to you to keep your word?
One of the characters in the movie tells Samson, "You are only a slave if you let (your oppressors) make you one." Later, another man talks about hope, and how it can breed rebellion. Do you believe attitude can have that big of an effect on the way you see the world, and the things you are willing to fight for?
News About "Samson"
Samson was a man chosen by God. He was bless with much strength and given the commission to save his people from their enemies. Yet Samson wasn't committed to the cause. Instead he used his power for his gain, and eventually was beguiled by the beautiful Delilah. Once the woman discovered the secret of his strength, she betrayed him. And that left Samson with only one opportunity to redeem himself -- one that would demand the ultimate sacrifice.
Read the story of Samson as recorded in the Bible: Judges, Chapters 13 - 15.
From the Studio:
A Hebrew with an unusual gift of strength must respond properly to the call of God on his life in order to lead his people out of enslavement. After his youthful ambition leads to a tragic marriage, his acts of revenge thrust him into direct conflict with the Philistine army. As his brother mounts a tribal rebellion, only Samson's relationship with a Philistine seductress and his final surrender - both to the Philistines and to God - turns imprisonment and blindness into final victory.
Written by Pure Flix