Killing Jesus

DVD Release: April 29, 2015
Killing Jesus
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Synopsis

Based on the New York Times best seller by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, “Killing Jesus” is an epic motion picture event chronicling the life and death of Jesus as never seen before. Featuring an all-star cast, including Stephen Moyer, Rufus Sewell, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Kelsey Grammer, this thought-provoking account adds new context to the story of Jesus and the conflicts that led to his demise.

Dove Review

“Killing Jesus” is a spectacle of scenery and big scope and features solid acting regarding the life of Christ. It features some big names in the cast, such as Kelsey Grammer and John Rhys Davies. It is also a mixture of Biblical stories centering around the life of Jesus, and the movie manufactures a few variant ways of portraying certain events. In some cases, it offers abridged versions of the biblical text. For example, during the climatic scenes of Jesus being turned over to Pontius Pilate, the people cry out, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” And Pilate simply hands Jesus over to the Roman guards for that very deed to be carried out. He doesn’t offer to set a prisoner free, which is what happens in scripture when the people choose Barabbas over Jesus. Another example of changing the scriptural story is when Joseph tells Mary they must simply flee to Egypt when Jesus’ life is in danger. The film shows no exposition of his dream, a warning from an angel of God to flee to Egypt for the child’s life. Certain scenes seem “incomplete” or possibly even “edited” from the biblical story.

Ever since “The Passion of the Christ,” that the bloodiness of many of the biblical films seems to have increased. This film is no exception. A man’s slit throat is plainly visible, as is blood on a child, murdered by one of King Herod’s henchmen. The same goes for the flogging of Jesus. His back looks like ripped pieces of flesh and the scene is very graphic. The crucifixion scenes are, too.

Due to the strong violence, we are awarding this film our Faith Based Seal. Jesus, especially in the beginning, is portrayed as not being sure of who he is and reluctant to accept his role. The film does, however, feature many moments from the Gospels, including the preaching of John the Baptist (as well as a graphic scene of his head being carried after his beheading), Jesus teaching the Beatitudes, the teaching to love one’s enemies, his forgiveness of the woman caught in adultery, the overturning of the money changers’ tables, his death and his resurrection. The clarity of the high definition on the Blu-ray is amazing. This is a gritty and edgy telling of the life and death of Jesus.

Content Description

Sex: The talk of a ruler bedding his brother's wife; the comment about a man's lust for his new wife's daughter; woman dances sensually; ruler licks dancer's knee a couple of times.
Language: Jesus calls the religious leaders "vipers," and rightfully so!
Violence: Soldiers kill babies, and blood is visible on swords; a dead baby lies on the ground, covered in blood; a dead man's slit throat is visible, and it is bloody and graphic; blood visible on a woman's mouth; man is beheaded and, though not visible, blood splatters the executioner's face; man's severed head is carried around, and some blood is visible on bottom of the head; Jesus overturns money changer's tables in righteous anger; a bloody dead animal; it's said a jackal ate the head of John the Baptist in the desert; a guard's bloody ear is visible after it is sliced with a sword; Jesus is punched and flogged, and his back is bloody and shows ripped flesh; nails driven into Jesus' feet and the crucifixion scenes of Jesus and two thieves are bloody; spear is cast into Jesus' side and blood comes out; Judas is seen hanging and a close-up shows his blue lips from his death and is graphic.
Drugs: The drinking of wine in several scenes; a comment about drunkenness.
Nudity: Man's bare chest is visible; shirtless man seen in pool and woman's bare shoulders; cleavage.
Other: Boils are seen on a man; some of the Biblical events, such as Joseph and Mary fleeing to Egypt with baby Jesus, are abridged; Jesus sets free a demon-possessed boy who foams at the mouth; some wonder if Jesus heals due to sorcery; a man says the meek shall not inherit the Earth, even though Jesus said the contrary; mocking of Jesus.

Info

Company: 20th Century Fox Home Ent.
Director: Chris Menaul
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 191 min.
Industry Rating: TV-14
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter