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Record-breaking winner of 11 Oscars, including Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, and Score, this epic masterpiece stars Charlton Heston ("The Ten Commandments," "Touch of Evil") in the title role of a rebellious Israelite Jew who takes on the Roman Empire during the time of Christ. Featuring one of the most famous action sequences of all time -- the breathtaking chariot race. Directed by Oscar-winner William Wyler ("Mrs. Miniver," "The Best Years of Our Lives"). Recently selected as one of the top 100 American films of all time by the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The biggest and the best of Hollywood's super-spectacles."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"Mr. Wyler and his money-free producers have smartly and effectively laid stress on the powerful and meaningful personal conflicts that are strong in this old heroic tale."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"At 212 minutes it is far too long, and large swathes of the action appear redundant or unnecessary. "Bigger than Ben-Hur!" they say. That may not be a compliment."
‑ Glenn Dunks, Quickflix
"A masterpiece of epic filmmaking, a profound religious experience and one of the greatest films ever made."
‑ R. L. Shaffer, IGN DVD
"It's very much of its time, overblown and overlong -- but Ben-Hur is rightfully lodged at the forefront of Hollywood history."
‑ Daniel Etherington, Film4
"Entire new frontiers in boredom were opened up by this MGM whopper from 1959."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"A majestic achievement, representing a superb blending of the motion picture arts by master craftsmen."
‑ Ronald Holloway, Variety
"Some critics believe that William Wyler's box-office smash is no match for the 1925 silent version, but there's no denying that the race that forms the famous climax is one of the most iconic sequences in Hollywood history."
‑ Peter Freedman, Radio Times
"There is no reason to feel guilty about not loving this mammoth epic."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Snobbery
"The kind of sweeping pseudo-biblical epic that Hollywood was famous for. If not for Heston's weak performance and Boyd's ludicrous one, the film might have been better."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"The movie could be trying to say that for some people religion is an escape from their sexuality, but it seems unlikely."
‑ , Time Out
"1959 Biblical epic has fierce blood-spilling, cruelty."
‑ Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
"Epic in both length and stature, Ben-Hur goes on for-bloody-ever... but the action set-pieces remain unrivalled, even in the age of CGI."
‑ , Total Film
"Mostly tedious Sunday school tale."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"In the lead, Heston is stiff, and the writing is uneven, but overall, it's a rousing epic done on a massive scale with hundreds of sets and extras, and a priceless race scene."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
More reviews for Ben-Hur on Rotten Tomatoes

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