OUT now / CERT 12a / 123 mins Director Timur Bekmambetov Cast Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro, Morgan Freeman, Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer, Pilou Asbaek
IT ALMOST CERTAINLY doesn’t need saying, but just in case — this latest screen version of Ben-hur (the sixth) will not be winning 11 Oscars. Judah (Huston) is one of the Jerusalem Ben-hurs, a wealthy family living in the Roman-occupied city. life is good until he’s arrested by his adopted brother Messala (Kebbell) and sentenced to a life of slavery, kick-starting a quest for revenge. It’s an often bland retelling, but if the big chariot race flies, much can be forgiven. Sadly it’s patchy — high on spectacle but low on drama, with Judah and Messala kept apart for the majority of its runtime. Ultimately, it means the 2016 Ben-hur only staggers, bruised and bloodied, across the finish line.