“Son Of God” Movie Review

Son of God is a Christian movie. It depicts Jesus’ life based on the book of John. Although the movie doesn’t come out until next month, my mother and I got to see a special screening of it earlier this week.

It did not live up to our standards.

One of the problems that I have with it is, it’s based on one book. There were way too many important scenes that needed to be included (God saying, “My beloved son” at the baptism, the first miracle, etc.), even though they were not in John. The reason that there are four books is so that we have a full view of who Jesus is. I didn’t feel like there was enough depth into Jesus’ life.

In the movie, when Jesus says, “Peter,” Peter just looks at him. “I don’t know you, but you know my name, come into my boat” (he doesn’t say that, I’m just saying). In the Bible Peter even asks, “How do you know my name?” It just wasn’t very realistic.

Another scene that bothered me: the adulterous woman. In the movie, Jesus picks up a stone and it looks like He is about to throw it at her. He evoked fear into her. In the Bible, Jesus bent down to write in the ground (I was trying not to rhyme). Jesus did not put fear into her. This scene is all about His love for her. He had every right to stone her, he would have been just in his action. But instead He said, “You who is without sin, cast the first stone.” He saved her. I did not care for the way this scene was set up.

See, this movie is based off of John. The gospel of John is all about love, and grace. I did not feel like Jesus’ love and grace was shown to the best of the movie makers’ abilities.

There were little details too that bothered me. For example, Mary was with the disciples. No where in John does it say that a Mary was a disciple (I don’t even know what Mary it was). I didn’t know who the high priest was. The high priest is supposed to wear a breast plate with precious jewels. I didn’t know who that was until the end of the movie. The fish and bread scene with the 5,000 people was a little strange. In the Bible it says that the food was put into baskets after everyone had eaten, but in the movie, the food was already in baskets and the bread was under the fish, but then there was a basket full of bread and it was just weird.

In the Bible, a woman touched the hem of Jesus’ garment as He was walking, and He stopped. In the movie, some people came down through the roof of a house to bring someone to Jesus so he could heal them, and it didn’t get Jesus’ attention, He just kept on teaching. I expected him to stop what He was doing because commotion like a roof caving in is a lot more attention grabbing than a woman touching His robe. That didn’t make any sense to me.

If there is one thing I don’t like about Christian movies or shows depicting Jesus, it’s that they make Him too passive, one dimensional, static. Jesus is not passive. When He went into the temple, He turned over tables. But hold on, not just that, He made a whip and shooed people out after overturning tables (He didn’t whip anyone, ok?). In this movie, He pushed the tables, He didn’t overturn them. I wanted some anger out of Him, but no, nothing. Very disappointing. (He was angry because these people were making His Father’s house into a place of exchanging money, and not using it for worship).

The beating was too “nice.” Now, I understand that this movie is being made for the whole family, and that they can’t add in anything too violent. But you know what? The beating was violent. I learned (read, researched) that it was so bad that flesh was falling off of His body, and bones were exposed. In (The) Passion of the Christ, I can’t watch the beating. Mel Gibson did an amazing job at coming so close to the line between “movie theater” and “cut that scene out or dial it down.” And it wasn’t even that close to what Jesus really went through. The beating scene in this movie was watered down.

Passion is just…so much better. It’s just so…heartbreaking and…terribly wonderful. I get an equal sense of deity and servant, power and love.

But the movie did its job, it got Mom and I to open our Bibles and read it.

I mentioned a lot of little details that bothered me, but they’re big if you want a good representation of Jesus. If you decide to go see this movie, I suggest you go with someone so you can talk about it afterwards. It’s a good teaching tool for young kids I guess, but if this movie and Passion were sitting next to each other on my DVD shelf, I’d pick Passion every time.

This movie started up a conversation between my mom and I, and it got us to read the Bible together. And it had one really good scene. At the end, people are in the temple sacrificing lambs, while the One Lamb (Jesus) is dying for them on the cross. That was just a really great scene for me. The acting wasn’t that bad either. So, yes, there is some good in the movie. I’m not saying it sucked, I’m just telling you what I thought about it. If none of what I said is a big deal to you then please, disregard what I have said and see if for yourself.

I hope you enjoyed a Christians review of a Christian movie. Have a great day!

4 thoughts on ““Son Of God” Movie Review

  1. Brooke Summerlin says:

    Thanks for this post. I was looking forward to seeing the movie, but wasn’t sure how much I should hedge my recommendations to other Christian friends. Some of them would be really bothered by the discrepancies you mention, so I would feel bad if I didn’t caution them about those kinds of details before hand.


    • sarahtheswan says:

      You are very welcome. Be aware that this is just my opinion and my own perspective, but I did read the whole book of John before carefully writing this post. I wanted my thoughts to be based on the book and the portrayal of it by the movie, and not just on one or the other. I wanted to be honest, and not just lift up the movie because it is Christian based. Thank you for taking the time to read the review :).


  2. Ellen says:

    I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts, from a Christian perspective on this movie. It helped me in preparing myself for seeing it. I just saw it, yesterday. Though I don’t agree with all of your opinions of various scenes from the movie, one of your points I totally agree on is how the scene of the adulterous would was portrayed. So true that the film having Jesus pick up a rock & holding it evoked fear into her, and did not show love toward her until all the accusers walked away.
    In regards to Jesus’ anger in the temple, you said that Jesus in the movie only “pushed” the tables, but as I was watching the movie, he DID overturn the tables (flipped them on their sides), not just push them. I also think it would have been a bit difficult in the constraints of time to show Jesus making a whip out of cords. I thought the actor showed sufficient anger, but I guess that would be a subjective opinion.


    • sarahtheswan says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting, I’m glad I could help. I appreciate you letting me know what you do and do not agree with, and doing it in a respective manner.

      I understand that Jesus did flip the tables over. When I said “pushed” I meant that he pushed them over, instead of flipped. Meaning, to me, it more passive than aggressive. But I agree with you that that may be subjective. As for the cords, I did not know that Jesus made them until I read it, so that part did not bother me as much as the other scenes I mentioned.

      Thank you very much for sharing your opinion.


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