Apparently several million others who purchased $26.5 million worth of tickets on opening weekend thought the same.
A good portion of the movie was from the television series that aired last year. I don't know how much of this material was new, but it seemed like there was fresh content.
The overall effect was that it created a strong story arc for the duration of a feature film. As sacred as the story is however, I would have made it two hours instead of two hours and 18 minutes.
I liked the story device of the narrative from John's perspective. I was particularly moved when Jesus comes for John's home-going on the island of Patmos. Great way to end the film.
For any film dealing with the life Jesus, there will be plenty of room for criticism. In this case, you may not like the rearrangement of story elements (e.g. Nicodemus comes to Jesus the night before the crucifixion). You may not like the casting of Jesus. While taking some liberty with the timeline of the Gospels, "Son of God" still captured the mystery, beauty, and intrigue surrounding the life and teachings of Jesus.
The political tension is particularly fresh and believable.
I loved the many North African faces in the cast.
Unfortunately, we lost the sense of the true spiritual conflict at work due to the criticism from the television series about the obama-esque look of Satan.
I was surprised how Jesus was surprised by the way some situations unfolded (the waiting crowd before the feeding of the 5000, the sudden awareness that Judas would betray him). That is not my understanding of how and when Jesus perceived things. But I understand this is a plausible scenario since I do believe in the full humanity of Jesus (as well as his divinity). We tend not to like the implications of the humanity of Jesus.
Overall, I found this a strong and sincere telling of the story from producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. When the Bible series premiered last year on television, they sat through all six services at Saddleback Church on the weekend of the series premier (including the Sunday night service when the first episode aired!). I got the very distinct impression that they felt called to this project.
I thank them wholeheartedly for their faith, devotion and perseverance on this project.
Hats off to associate producer Bob Beltz.