Ben-Hur (1959)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: G
Running Time:
Release Date: November 18, 1959
DVD Release Date: September 13, 2005
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Critic Score: 86% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Uneven, but in terms of epic scope and grand spectacle, Ben-Hur still ranks among Hollywood's finest examples of pure entertainment.

TIME Magazine

The biggest and the best of Hollywood's super-spectacles.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

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.

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

The most egregiously boring movie ever graced with the Best Picture Oscar... though in fairness, egregious boredom is one of the cornerstones of the Bible epic genre.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Entire new frontiers in boredom were opened up by this MGM whopper from 1959.

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Peter Rainer
Los Angeles Times

If we later came to realize that movies could be a whole lot better than Ben-Hur, that still doesn't detract from the enjoyment the film still provides.

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Cole Smithey

[VIDEO ESSAY] It's worth sitting through four hours of Charlton Heston's hammy pregnant pauses of strained dialogue and toothy grimaces just to savor the legendary larger-than-life marathon where single rider chariots...

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Scott Meek
Time Out

The movie could be trying to say that for some people religion is an escape from their sexuality, but it seems unlikely.

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Ronald Holloway

A majestic achievement, representing a superb blending of the motion picture arts by master craftsmen.

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Martin Chilton
Daily Telegraph (UK)

Although it is a spectacle film, the story of how a man takes on the tyranny of the Romans, with all sorts of horrible consequences to himself and his family, is powerful and gripping.

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More reviews for Ben-Hur

Flixster Audience Score: 89% Flixster User Reviews
Kevin M. Williams
A sword and sandal epic intended to begger your measly little life...which it almost manages to do, dadgumit! Heston represents Israel groaning under the Roman… More
Alex roy
William Wyler's Ben-Hur is one of the greatest epics in cinematic history. The film changed the medium forever and is a stunning accomplishment in film.… More
Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Powerful and masterfully crafted, Ben Hur is a timeless epic that will continue to thrill and move audience members throughout the generations.
Jens S.
The word monumental has been invented for this film. Larger than life sets, huge amounts of extras, gigantic matte paintings, a big orchestral score, everything… More
Lucas Martins
William Wyler's epic and unforgettable masterpiece. One of the best remakes ever! Touching. Fresh.
Carlos Magalhães
Even though Charlton Heston is a terrible actor, Ben-Hur will always be remembered as a spectacular epic that boasts an astonishing production design,… More