Exodus: Gods and Kings (PG-13)

Film

Drama

Exodus: Gods and Kings

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Time Out says

Tue Dec 9

Exodus, more so than any other episode of the Old Testament, is a story that exists in order to be retold. While most of the major milestones on the Jewish calendar are observed via one-way conversation with God, only on Passover do we so explicitly recite history to each other. By that logic, I can’t fault Ridley Scott for wanting to stage a version of this saga, just as I can’t ignore the fact that my dad tells the same tale every spring, but much more engagingly, in half the time and drunk on Manischewitz. 

Framing the story as a parable about how the men who lust for power are often the least equipped to wield it, Exodus: Gods and Kings begins in medias res, introducing Moses (Christian Bale) as a reluctant hero and a nonbeliever until his past comes to light and he’s banished by his adoptive brother, the paranoid Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton: bald, bronzed and palpably uncomfortable in the role long before God starts to make his skin blister).

Recalling the truncated theatrical cut of Scott’s 2005 Kingdom of Heaven (but absent that movie’s raw promise), Exodus plays like a miniseries that’s been disemboweled of its drama and imagination with a butter knife. The handful of revisionist touches that survive to the screen are enough to make you glad there aren’t more: Instead of parting the Red Sea, Moses watches it wipe out the pursuing Egyptians in a single CG tidal wave, a glaring reminder that iconography doesn’t endure for thousands of years by accident.

The ultimate takeaway is that if you can’t finance a $140 million epic about ancient Egypt with racially appropriate actors, maybe you shouldn’t make a $140 million epic about ancient Egypt. Scott has been raked across the coals for using star power as his excuse for whitewashing the movie, but while all films compromise in order to get made, those compromises are much harder to forgive in a film that feels as though it only got made because it could. Let my people go see something else.

Follow David Ehrlich on Twitter: @davidehrlich

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Release details

Rated:

PG-13

US release:

Fri Dec 12, 2014

Duration:

150 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Ridley Scott

Cast:

Christian Bale, Sigourney Weaver, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley

Screenwriter:

Steven Zaillian, Bill Collage

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AMC Clifton Commons 16

405 Route 3, Clifton, 07014 Show map/details

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    AMC Clifton Commons 16 405 Route 3
    Clifton
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    888-262-4386

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    1. AMC Clifton Commons 16
      • 405 Route 3
        Clifton
        07014
      • 888-262-4386
      • 40.8314,-74.1422
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AMC Loews Bay Terrace 6

21101 26th Avenue, (Corporal Kennedy St and Bell Blvd), Flushing, 11360 Show map/details

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    AMC Loews Bay Terrace 6 21101 26th Avenue
    Flushing
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    Corporal Kennedy St and Bell Blvd

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    888-262-4386

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    1. AMC Loews Bay Terrace 6
      • 21101 26th Avenue
        Flushing
        11360
      • 888-262-4386
      • 40.779063,-73.778679
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AMC Loews Jersey Gardens 20

651 Kapowski Rd., Elizabeth, 07201 Show map/details

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    AMC Loews Jersey Gardens 20 651 Kapowski Rd.
    Elizabeth
    07201

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    908-289-2004

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        Elizabeth
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      • 908-289-2004
      • 40.6628,-74.1745
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AMC Loews Kips Bay 15

570 Second Ave, (E 31st St), New York, 10016 Show map/details

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    New York
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    E 31st St

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      • 570 Second Ave
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      • 212-447-9425
      • 40.742973,-73.977009
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AMC Loews Newport Centre 11

30-300 Mall Drive W., Jersey City, 07303 Show map/details

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    AMC Loews Newport Centre 11 30-300 Mall Drive W.
    Jersey City
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    201-626-3200

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AMC Loews Orpheum 7

1538 3rd Avenue, (Lexington Ave and 3rd Ave), New York, 10028 Show map/details

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    AMC Loews Orpheum 7 1538 3rd Avenue
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    Subway: 4, 5, 6 to 86th St (Lexington Ave)

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      • 40.779216,-73.953716
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Starplex Cinemas Ridgefield Park

75 Challenger Road, Ridgefield Park, 07660 Show map/details

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    Starplex Cinemas Ridgefield Park 75 Challenger Road
    Ridgefield Park
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    201-440-2044

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      • 201-440-2044
      • 40.8496,-74.0131
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AMC Loews 84th Street 6

2310 Broadway, New York, 10024 Show map/details

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312 W 34th St, (at Eighth Ave), New York, 10001 Show map/details

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AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9

2309 Frederick Douglass Blvd., New York, 10027 Show map/details

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