Exodus: Gods and Kings

Exodus: Gods and Kings ★★★

Retelling the story of Moses in a massive and ambitious interpretation bogged down by a lack of tension-building and energy in most of its lengthy runtime, "Exodus: Gods and Kings" showcases Sir Ridley Scott's undeniable epic historical filmmaking sensibilities. Every person who grew up with a Bible is familiar with this tale, and while the film isn't a by-the-book copy, the sense of familiarity did not create more excitement. But the performances, lavish production design, and detailed costumes are still worth the watch.

This is another victim of whitewashing in casting, but Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton carry a lot of the film's little emotional heft. Bale, in particular, provides a gritty, imperfect, indecisive, and soldier-like quality in Moses outside of the usual heavy-bearded preaching leader. His strong screen presence lifts a lot of the film's humdrum and forgettable moments. The transitions of the film are not always clean, but the scale is impressive regardless.

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