Son of God Parent Guide
In an era when we seem bent on worshipping flawed heroes, it can be a spiritual respite to retell the story of one who spent his life preaching peace and performing miracles.
Parent Movie Review
Recycling appears to be catching on in Hollywood. For the environmentally minded that seems like a good idea—until you realize it is storylines we are talking about. And in the case of Son of God, it’s actual film footage.
Anyone who saw the History Channel’s The Bible: The Epic Mini Series that aired in March of 2013 has already seen much of this movie. But while the miniseries attempted to retell Biblical events from cover to cover, Son of God focuses on the birth, life and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
It’s the kind of movie that draws lines in the sand before people even buy tickets. Some Christians may feel an obligation to like it. Others, without religious attachments, may dismiss it before even giving it a chance. Some won’t pay for something they’ve already seen on TV or own on DVD. Others will want the theatrical experience. And then there will be the inevitable comparisons with other film depictions of Jesus. Suffice it to say this is not The Passion of the Christ.
The film begins with a quick review of Old Testament stories like the parting of the Red Sea, Noah (who is the title subject of another movie releasing in 2014, with Russell Crowe in the lead) and David and Goliath. It then segues into the New Testament with the birth of Jesus in a lowly stable, skips a few decades and then resumes with the calling of the apostles Peter (Darwin Shaw), John (Sebastian Knapp), Matthew (Said Bey) and others.
For anyone familiar with the Bible, there won’t be any surprises. The film, a project of reality TV producer Mark Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey, sticks closely to the book it is based on. The cast is made up largely of lesser-known actors including Diogo Morgado as Jesus, Adrian Schiller as the Jewish high priest Caiaphas and Greg Hicks as Pilate. Both Schiller and Hicks give convincing portrayals of men motivated by politics, whether in the Jewish temple or Roman palace.
Morgado’s portrayal of Christ is much gentler than many we’ve seen on screen. That lack of passion, particularly when he overturns the moneychangers’ tables in the temple, may be a problem for some viewers who want a more emotionally wrought character. (Frankly I’ve had enough tortured protagonists for a while.) And although Morgado may not offer the most compelling depiction of Jesus, this film rehearses the events of his life and ministry with stunning visuals of the landscape and a sense of the time. (The actors’ teeth may be a little too white, but there is grit on their faces and under their fingernails.)
While many scenes of the miracles could easily be shown in a Sunday School class, the depiction of Jesus’ arrest, scourging and crucifixion become increasingly graphic and gruesome. His body is covered with bloody lacerations after a lashing. Blood oozes from his mouth, and courses down his face from cuts caused by the crown of thorns. Other characters are beaten, bruised and stabbed with swords. Streaks of red are seen on the wall of a prison. Roman soldiers also employ brutal tactics to quell uprisings among the Jewish populace.
Will the Son of God make a believer out of skeptics and cynics? Likely not. However for Christians this movie is a recognition that the religiously minded go to movies too. And in an era when we seem bent on worshipping flawed heroes, it can be a spiritual respite to retell the story of one who spent his life preaching peace and performing miracles.Directed by Christopher Spencer. Starring Roma Downey, Diogo Morgado, Louise Delamere, Amber Rose Revah. Running time: 138 minutes. Theatrical release February 28, 2014. Updated July 17, 2017
Son of God
Rating & Content Info
Why is Son of God rated PG-13? Son of God is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense and bloody depiction of The Crucifixion, and for some sequences of violence.
Violence: Romans, dispatched to stop a Jewish uprising, beat, kick and kill people. Characters are run through with swords. Blood sprays across the screen when one sword is withdrawn from the victim. Blood is shown when an animal has its neck slit. A child is crushed and killed when soldiers push a cart off the roadway. Rocks are thrown at characters. A man involved in sword practice has his chest sliced. A man has his ear cut off. After being arrested, a man is beaten, shackled, spit upon, pushed and bruised before being lashed. Other forms of torture are shown. A character hangs himself. Bloody streaks are shown on the walls of a prison. Characters are covered in bloody injuries. Other explicit violence and disturbing images are shown briefly.
Sexual Content: A woman is accused of adultery. Brief moments of embracing and platonic kissing are seen. A woman’s bare shoulders are seen.
Language: The script contains some name-calling and slurs.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters take a sip of wine during a sacramental event.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
More parents' guide for Son of God after the break...
Son of God Parents' Guide
Pontius Pilate and other Roman leaders were charged with maintaining the peace in the vast Roman Empire. What were some of the challenges inherent in ruling over a captured people? Why does Pilate seem unwilling to take responsibility for condemning Jesus to death? Why was it important for him to maintain power in the eyes of the Jewish religious leaders?
How does this portrayal of Jesus differ from other movie depictions? Do you think this movie distracts from or enhances the events recorded in the Bible?
Look here for a factual account of the life of Jesus Christ.
The most recent home video release of Son of God movie is June 3, 2014. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Son of God
Release Date: 3 June 2014
Son of God releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet) with the following special features:
- Son of God: Reborn
- Making of Video (includes Spanish version)
- Son of God Set
- Compassion Video
Related home video titles:
This feature film was created by the same team, and stars the same cast as the made-for-TV, The Bible: The Epic Mini Series. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was also portrayed in Mel Gibbon’s movie The Passion of the Christ. Both of these productions contain graphic depictions of violence. Jesus’ birth is gently depicted in The Nativity Story.