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New Ben-Hur 2016 movie got mostly negative reviews from top critics. Paramount Pictures released their new action/drama remake flick, “Ben-Hur” into theaters today, August 19th, 2016, and all the reviews are in from the top movie critics.

It turns out that it didn’t sit too well with most of them, getting just an overall 38 score out of a possible 100 across 25 critic reviews at

The movie stars: Ayelet Zurer, Jack Huston, Johan Philip Asbæk, Marwan Kenzari, Morgan Freeman, Nazanin Boniadi, Rodrigo Santoro, Sofia Black-D’Elia and Toby Kebbell. We’ve added comments from a few of the critics, below.

Glenn Kenny over at, gave it an ok 75 score, saying: “I’m not qualified to say whether it’s an effective delivery system for its Christian message, but I think I can credibly pronounce it a good popcorn movie.”

Mark Feeney from the Boston Globe, gave it a 50 grade. He said: “That Morgan Freeman voice! It’s so rich and full and authoritative that even when he’s telling Judah, “OK, OK,” you almost believe people used that word in the year 33. If they were very progressive.”

Michael Phillips from the Chicago Tribune, gave it a 50 score, stating: “The leading actors labor valiantly and to little effect.”

Richard Roeper from the Chicago Sun-Times, gave it a 50 score. He stated: “Ben-Hur struggles to find an identity and never really gets there. The well-intentioned efforts to achieve moving, faith-based awakenings are undercut by the casually violent, PG-13 action sequences.”

Joe McGovern from Entertainment Weekly, gave it a 50 grade. saying: “This arena, unfortunately, is no Thunderdome. The chariot race is sloppily framed, choppily edited, and droopily choreographed, with special effects that look like they needed another few passes through the CGI machine.”

Stephen Whitty from the New York Daily News, gave it a 50 score. He said: “All the flash and sizzle of modern movie effects can’t make up for a once spectacular tale that feels not just scaled-down, but shrunk.”

Stephen Holden over at The New York Times, gave it a 40 score. He said: “Overseen by a director not known for his human touch and lacking a name star, except for Mr. Freeman, Ben-Hur feels like a film made on the cheap, although it looks costly.”

Kenneth Turan from the Los Angeles Times, gave it a 40 grade, saying: “As directed by Timur Bekmambetov, this 21st century Ben-Hur is more phlegmatic than awful, a by and large dull and lethargic piece of work that is not bad enough to get mad at. What it lacks most of all is a convincing reason to exist.”

Owen Gleiberman from Variety, gave it a 40 score, stating: “Minus a hero who has the macho charisma to wrap a movie around him like he owned it, the new Ben-Hur is an oddly lackluster affair: sludgy and plodding, photographed (by Oliver Wood) in nondescript medium close-up, an epic that feels like a mini-series served up in bits and pieces.”

Michael O’Sullivan from the Washington Post, gave it a 37 score, stating: “Bekmambetov and Co. have created a redesigned product that is at once inferior to the original and a slavish imitation.”

Robert Abele from TheWrap, gave it a 35 grade, saying: “This Ben-Hur may not be an epic fail, but its steady stream of shortcomings are certainly a cautionary journey for anybody with the hubris to try and rebuild the monuments of movies past.”

Todd McCarthy over at The Hollywood Reporter, gave it a 30 score, claiming: “Misguided, diminished and dismally done in every way, this late-summer afterthought will richly earn the distinction of becoming the first Ben-Hur in any form to flop.”

Mick LaSalle from the San Francisco Chronicle, gave it a very bad 25 grade. He said: “The problem comes down to this: If you take the spirituality out of Ben-Hur, you take the Ben-Hur out of Ben-Hur.”

Lastly, Lou Lumenick over at the New York Post, gave it the worst 0 grade, stating: “There’s a fatally miscast lead (Jack Huston, you are no Charlton Heston), cut-rate special effects, reams of eyeball-glazing dialogue, and a schmaltzy “inspirational” script that pointlessly alters the story in ways that make absolutely no sense.” Stay tuned.

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