BEN HUR (2016) 2 STARS our of 5


1959 was a remarkable year at the movies. BEN HUR won 11 of its 12 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture of the Year. The other nominees for Best Picture included ANATOMY OF A MURDER, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, THE NUNS STORY AND ROOM AT THE TOP.

In doing my research, I was very surprised to find the variety of films that were released in 1959. Some of them remain classics today:

  • Some Like It Hot
  • The Last Angry Man
  • Pillow Talk
  • Suddenly Last Summer
  • The Young Philadelphians
  • Imitation of Life
  • Wild Strawberries
  • The 400 Blows
  • The Five Pennies
  • Porgy and Bess
  • North By Northwest
  • A Hole in the Head
  • On the Beach


It remains to be seen if 2016 will have such a list.

But one thing is certain. The powerful — if not astonishing galley and chariot scenes in BEN HUR (2016) will certainly bring Oscar nominations. But twenty minutes cannot save this disappointing remake. We have a weak screenplay with actors who are miscast. Some in the audience may find too much “preaching”. This could be the biggest bomb of the summer, although I believe that faith based audiences will have a different opinion.

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