This movie isn’t going to win any critical awards but it’s a crowd-pleaser. If you’ve watched some of the dramatic retellings of the life of Jesus on History, BCC, Discovery, type channels then think of that but a good bit better.
I found it interesting that they often used a characters name in conversation, as in, “John, hand me that bread,” instead of just saying, “Hand me that bread.” The writers/director went out of their way to make sure we knew which actors played which characters. That was a good choice.
The first half of the movie is mostly a “greatest hits” from the life of Jesus leading up to the days before his crucifixion. The second half of the movie dealt with just the final few days of his life. Personally, I wish they had spent a little more time with the early days. It felt rushed in contrast to the second half of the movie which felt like it dragged on a bit. In fact Jesus has less screen time than Pilate, or even the High Priest of the Temple, over the second half of the movie – not counting the crucifixion which occupies a long stretch of screen time at the end.
This obviously reflects a huge matter of debate among Christians regarding what is more important: the life or death of Jesus. I’m solidly in the “life” camp so I wish they’d featured it more.
It’s a longish movie. About two hours and fourteen minutes, not including the credits, so it’s likely you’ll need to use one of the Peetimes. Fortunately I was able to find three good ones so you should be in good shape.