Killing Jesus

National Geographic’s third TV movie to be based on Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s lightweight historical books takes on Christ with unimpressive results. The story of the carpenter’s life and death has been chronicled so many times that this adaptation, which is sorely lacking in ambition, is imminently forgettable. The focus lies on the Jewish and Roman intrigues leading up to the crucifixion, but there is little tension and Haaz Sleiman is far too bland in the lead. Trevor Morris’s music theme is better than anything else here.

2015-U.S. Made for TV. 132 min. Color. Directed by Christopher Menaul. Teleplay: Walon Green. Book: Bill O’Reilly, Martin Dugard. Music: Trevor Morris. Cast: Haaz Sleiman (Jesus), Alexis Rodney (Peter), Joe Doyle (Judas Iscariot), Aneurin Barnard, Abhin Galeya, Rufus Sewell… John Rhys-Davies, Kelsey Grammer.

Trivia: Co-executive produced by O’Reilly and Ridley Scott. Also released as a three-part miniseries. Grammer, who plays King Herod, also serves as narrator.



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