The Young Messiah

(2016)

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Title:
The Young Messiah
Release Date:
10th March 2016
Runtime:
120 min
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Genres:
Directors:
Cyrus Nowrasteh
Writers:
Anne Rice, Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

At the age of 7, Jesus Bar-Joseph lives with his family in Alexandria, Egypt, where they have fled to avoid a massacre of children by King Herod of Israel. Jesus knows that his parents Joseph and Mary have secrets they are keeping from him, secrets about his birth and about traits that make him very different from other boys. His parents, however, believe him too young to grasp the truth of his miraculous birth and purpose. Learning that the murderous Herod is dead, they set out to return to their home of Nazareth in Israel, unaware that Herod's namesake son is, like his father, determined to see the boy Jesus dead.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 48%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 68%
IMDb Rating 5.3

Casts

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by QueerVamp20 26th July, 2016

A glimpse into the eyes of Innocent Love!!!

Take a breathtaking journey into a year in the life of "The Young Messiah". What was Jesus like as a kid? How do you explain what He went through to become who He is and was? Miracles are in this movie - A question-asking young boy who truly didn't know the power He would later use to save the souls of the Earth. Jesus is played by a beautiful young boy who is very good in his role. With his parents (Mary and Joseph), they flee the town they are in. On their journey, young Jesus begins to learn and do things He doesn't quite understand at first - Jesus as a child is so amazing because even with my being a Christian, it didn't make me look at Jesus any different than I do now (with respect and love) - Forgiveness was yet to be known - but Jesus was more than a forgiver, even as a child - Watch what happens and go see the movie - It's worth a watch.

Reviewed by SpiritMechanic 13th March, 2016

Tries too hard

I think to make a movie about a non fictional character without any information or facts of the actual story, is a mistake. Especially this kind of story. There were things done in the beginning of this movie that were just plain wrong, and clearly wrong according to the biblical writings. He didn't do ANY miracles until the age of 30 the bible clearly states and i'll leave it at that. I wish people would stop trying to make Jesus someone other than He really was. This movie felt like it stole a little from 'Risen' which was a very good movie, surprisingly. Too much free license with this movie left me cringing many times at the things that were shown. The Devil, the ignorance of Jesus, Mary being worry full and Joseph being the strong minded one, quoting from the King James version of the bible which wasn't even made yet... Little stuff like that bugs me. If this wasn't a movie about Jesus, i could see it being a decent movie. But, it was. And it falls flat for me because they tried too hard to make it fit into what we would want it to look like if we could really see Him at such a young age. "Risen" had a great concept because it could have actually happened, but the way this move was written, it could not have happened the way it was portrayed. it is what it is i guess.

Reviewed by bkrauser-81-311064 13th March, 2016

Benignly Boring

Out of all the reviews I have written thus far, this one may arguably be the toughest. Not because Young Messiah is a particularly good movie; it's not. I struggle because while it might be easy to lampoon a movie for being amateurish, inept, casually racist, remarkably insincere, thematically dubious and egregiously pandering; this movie's greatest sin however is it's a bore. Clocking in at a sluggish one hour and fifty one minutes, I constantly was asking myself if this film might have been improved if they replaced all the supporting characters with mannequins. Perhaps if Graham Chapman's ghost popped up and sung "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" there'd be signs of actual, you know, life. The film starts with the young Jesus (Greaves-Neal) living in Alexandria with his parents Joseph (Walsh), Mary (Lazzaro) and their extended family. After drawn-out moments of pensive staring and one half-hearted occasion of necromancy, the family decides to trek back to Judiah since the infamous King Herod is dead. Then the family walks, and walks, and walks until finally they don't. They stop in Nazareth, then Jerusalem slowly realizing that their movements are being monitored by Severus (Bean), a Roman centurion tasked with finding a certain seven-year-old with a knack for miracles. The main source of attempted tension comes from Severus and Herod Jr. (Bailey) trying to find the mythic child of Bethlehem. The film takes great pains in making Herod as traditionally evil as possible complete with effeminate, overly dramatic mannerisms, a testy anger and an almost stunning lack of awareness. Sean Bean fairs a little better as Severus by simply phoning it in as the bad guy with a complicated past. Yet even his jaded, near expressionless presence can't make the film exciting. The moments of "chase" are largely missed connections with supporting characters pointing north and saying "he went that a- way." Meanwhile Severus prattles on about Roman steel. We all know the story of Jesus, or at least we know enough to assume he's not captured by Romans at seven-years-old so why is this dull chase the centerpiece of this dribble? At no point in time will a reasonable viewer think Jesus is in any real harm so why the cloak and daggers BS? The secondary source of tension comes from Joseph's unwillingness to speak to Jesus about his origins because of...reasons. What those reasons are, we're never made privy to. Half-realized conversations happen with such regularity that one would be hard-pressed to find anyone's reasons for doing anything in this movie. Jesus on the other hand seems to take things in stride, performing miracles, showing off in front of rabbis and otherwise being the embodiment of Christ in miniature form. That's great and all, but he's not exactly an interesting character. Instead he's every "the one," "the special," the superhero Metropolis needs," we've seen thousands of times before. I understand Jesus's tale is the granddaddy of all heroes journeys but this film approaches the source material with such a pitiful lack of imagination that Jesus doesn't feel like a messiah but an X-Man. With a subject so revered by countless believers, I'm surprised just how painfully conventional Young Messiah is. The film is adapted from "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt" written by Anne Rice who injects religious iconography into all her books with such regularity, that I'm surprised she's not a nun by now. Brought to moribund life by director Cyrus Nowrasteh, the cinematography and editing is film-school, senior thesis level atypical. There are some moments approaching the ethereal in the vein of music video expressionism, but then we're brought right back into the heavy- handed pandering that's become a hallmark of these kinds of movies. The best thing that can be said about Young Messiah is at least it panders without fear-mongering or demonizing other groups. Movies like God's Not Dead (2014) and Left Behind (2014) preach with such bluster, that the only thing stopping them from being malignantly harmful is their amateurishness. I long for the day when we expect more from these kinds of movies other than them being benignly boring. It is possible, if you're willing to sit through rarefied gems like The Tree of Life (2011) or Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) or The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928). Otherwise you may just have to get your spiritual fulfillment watching your nephew's nativity play.

Reviewed by suegrise 11th March, 2016

Jesus has no clue he's the Son of God.

Be informed! The Young Messiah's high production quality probably makes its content more disturbing, because many people will see it and form a concept of Jesus from it. Like The Da Vinci Code, the film—based on a novel by Anne Rice (Interview With the Vampire)—is loosely based on Gnostic texts widely deemed heretical. (In those texts, the boy Jesus strikes a playmate dead and then resurrects him, makes clay birds alive, etc.) The story's main premise is that young Jesus has no clue he's the Son of God. As in the Harry Potter saga, the young hero gradually discovers his supernatural powers and struggles to control them and to discover his destiny. Yet it's being billed as a "Christian-themed" Easter film and even being supported by some big ministry groups. Mary and Joseph try to protect Jesus from the backlash from his accidental miracles. In a totally fictional suspense subplot, Herod discovers Jesus' name, age, home, and family and sends a Roman soldier to track and kill him. Don't be bamboozled—read the Bible for yourself.

Reviewed by geeandrea 11th March, 2016

Incredibly thought provoking- what was Jesus like growing up?

This movie was fascinating. Too often, as Christians, we feel like it is wrong to imagine what Jesus was like before the Bible and history books mention him. Non-Christians sometimes equate Jesus conflict and any discussion or mention of the name is discouraged. This movie did a beautiful job of making such an interesting topic approachable. Jesus was a baby, a kid, and a teenager, like all of us. It is good the ask questions. While this movie takes creative license with details about Jesus (because nobody was actually there- nobody knows,) it still serves to provoke thought and imagination. This movie is interesting and entertaining, whether you are a Cheistian or not. It is not a documentary, and there are definitely things that were added and omitted this is for entertainment, not to convince people of anything. If you are looking for absolute historic, Biblical and ethnic accuracy, then please explore this topic through other avenues. The setting is breathtaking, and this is overall a very beautiful film.